According to the Associated Press, the judge on the Roger Clemens perjury case has issued a gag order prohibiting “public comments by the principles in the case.”
It’s about time.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton is worried that lawyers (that means you Rusty Hardin) and potential witnesses (and you Brian McNamee) could affect the jury pool by spouting off to the media. After all, it would be a shame to spend all this time putting a trial together and then not be able to find any acceptable jurors, because there are some people out there who don’t know anything about Roger Clemens and his alleged steroid use, right?
“Further action in violation of this admonition will be confronted of the full authority of the Court,” Walton wrote in the order that covers “the parties, any potential witnesses, and counsel for those parties and witnesses.”
Clearly this judge, who presided over the “Scooter” Libby trial, means business.
So since we won’t be receiving anymore great quotes from Hardin, Clemens and the gang, here are a few of the most recent comments from key figures to keep you occupied until the trial starts:
Clemens: “We’re going to deal with it, guys, I don’t really know what else to say. We’re going to deal with it and have our day.”
Hardin: “The government made a recommendation [for a plea agreement] and we declined. I will tell you the recommendation they made was a very good one if he was guilty. And if he was guilty we would have jumped on it.”
Jose Canseco: “There’s got to be better ways to spend taxpayer money.”
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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.