Roger Clemens just pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. No bail set. Clemens just can’t leave
the country, which is standard. Nothing crazy happened. He’s now off to play golf someplace, just as most
well-heeled criminal defendants do after they get arraigned.
There’s nothin’ else going on right now, so I’m left to consider the following:
- Roger Clemens showed up for his arraignment several hours early today, thereby making it into the courthouse before most of the press could assemble and photograph and tape him entering the building;
- Frank McCourt, according to the L.A. Times, “entered a side door” to the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse today, thus avoiding the press;
- Jamie McCourt walked right in the front door wearing a white dress, shades, flanked by a phalanx of lawyers and got photographed like crazy.
I was part of a couple of cases that got a lot of media attention back when I was practicing. There was always talk of how to avoid the press and, on at least one occasion, I was part of some elaborate scheme in which the quasi-celebrity client was trucked in and out via freight elevators and loading docks and stuff.
I never understood this. They’re going to get their pictures eventually. You don’t have to say a word to them. Unlike in the movies, you don’t have to fight your way through them. Unless you’re some coked up starlet or something, they really will get out of your way. They’re working the legal beat for crying out loud.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.