Clemens lawyer Rusty Hardin still doesn't get it


Here’s Roger Clemens’ ace lawyer, Rusty Hardin, speaking about his client’s indictment:


He’s right about reason being thrown out the window when it comes to baseball. People freak the hell out about steroids and have been doing so since at least 2002, when Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti began to speak up about it all.
I wish some perspective was maintained, but I know that’s a vain wish.

But you know what? It was Rusty Hardin’s job to assess all of this in late 2007 and early 2008. To realize how combustible the Mitchell Report and its fallout was and would continue to be and to advise his client to proceed in a manner which limited his legal risk.  It may not be fair that Congress and the press and the public was going crazy, but it wasn’t Hardin’s job to change their minds about the fairness of it all. It was his job to keep his client out of legal trouble and he failed miserably in that regard.

At some point — a point before Clemens went on 60 Minutes and sued Brian McNamee and held a big silly press conference — Hardin should have realized that playing PR like Clemens was doing was a dangerous, dangerous game.  This is not hindsight. I don’t have the fraction of the legal skills or experience of Rusty Hardin and I saw it and was talking about it at the time (see here, here and here). Hardin should have seen it too and should have impressed upon Clemens that discretion, in this instance, was the better part of valor. This he did not do.

At the end of the above video, Hardin talks about convincing the public or public opinion or whatever.  Even now, more than two years later, he doesn’t seem to understand that shaping what the public thinks is not his job. That’s a job for publicists. Hardin was and his Clemens’ lawyer, and he should have done everything he could have to avoid his client getting hauled before a Congressional committee in the first place. He failed at that job, and in this regard he’s continuing to fail.

Giants interested in John Lackey

John Lackey
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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Ben Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculated on Sunday that there might be a connection between the Giants and veteran free agent right-hander John Lackey, and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that San Francisco is indeed in pursuit.

Rosenthal says the Giants, “like most clubs seeking pitching, [are] examining [a] wide range of options” in this starter-heavy free agent market. Lackey would make a ton of sense for any contender on something like a two-year deal. His free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t be much of a deterrent.

The 37-year-old right-hander registered a career-best 2.77 ERA across 218 innings (33 starts) this past season for the National League Central-champion Cardinals and he was St. Louis’ most reliable starter during the playoffs.

It’s well known that he wants to remain in the National League.

Angels sign catcher Geovany Soto to one-year contract

Geovany Soto
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
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As first reported by beat writer Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have signed free agent catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year major league contract.’s Alden Gonzalez says the deal is worth $2.8 million guaranteed.

Soto will offer some veteran presence at catcher for the Halos alongside 25-year-old Carlos Perez, who hit .250/.299/.346 as a rookie in 2015.

Soto slashed .219/.301/.406 with nine homers in 78 games this summer for the White Sox.

The 32-year-old backstop is a .246/.331/.434 career hitter at the major league level.

White Sox acquire right-hander Tommy Kahnle from Rockies

Tommy Kahnle
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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According to the official Twitter account of the Chicago White Sox, the club acquired right-hander Tommy Kahnle from the Rockies on Tuesday evening in exchange for minor league pitcher Yency Almonte.

Kahnle was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week in a flurry of moves made in preparation of next month’s Rule 5 Draft. The 26-year-old former fifth-round pick posted an ugly 4.86 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, and 39/28 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings this past season for Colorado and he wasn’t much better at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Almonte, 21, had a 3.41 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 110/38 K/BB ratio in 137 1/3 innings this past season between Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem.

It’s a straight one-for-one deal of two non-prospects, and the timing of it — in the evening, with Thanksgiving approaching — has our Craig Calcaterra wondering whether an executive was just trying to get out of some family responsibilities …

Mark McGwire to become the Padres bench coach

Los Angeles Dodgers batting coach Mark McGwire roams the field during practice for the National League baseball championship series Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in St. Louis. The Dodgers are scheduled to play the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The other day Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Padres were in discussions with former Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire about their bench coach job. Today Jon Heyman reports that the deal is done and will soon be announced.

McGwire has been the hitting coach for Los Angeles for the past three seasons. When his contract was not renewed following the end of 2015 he was rumored to be up for the Diamondbacks’ hitting coach job. He likely view staying in Southern California to be a plus, as he makes his home in Irvine, which is around 90 miles from Petco Park. That’s a long commute, but Mac can afford the gas, I guess.