Roger Clemens gets arraigned today; finally has a decent lawyer

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The only thing I was hoping wouldn’t happen while I was on vacation was Roger Clemens getting arraigned, skipping bail, going on the lam and taking a bunch of hostages, because that’s the kind of thing I would have had to blog about.  Thankfully that didn’t happen. He gets arraigned today, so any hostage-taking will occur while I’m on duty [crosses fingers].

As for the arraignment, don’t expect much. It will be short. The judge or the clerk or the prosecutor or someone will read the charges (or that could be waived). Roger will plead not guilty. Bail-skipping jokes aside, Clemens will almost certainly be officially released without bail. A trial date will be set, but it will almost certainly not be the real trial date due to whatever delays each side will later want/ask for/create. The biggest takeaway from all of this will be new pictures of Clemens wearing a suit walking in and then out of the courthouse. Frankly, I was getting tired of the old ones.

Actually, the biggest takeaway of today is the story in the Houston Chronicle about Clemens’ new lawyer, Michael Attanasio. Oh, Rusty Hardin is still around there and will likely be listed as lead counsel, but Attanasio is a San Diego-based guy with lots of criminal law experience and experience in dealing with steroids-in-baseball stuff.

There’s a gag order in place now so no one will be making statements anyhow, but you can bet that if Attanasio was in charge of Clemens’ defense a couple of years ago he wouldn’t have been all over “60 Minutes” and stuff back then and likely wouldn’t be in the mess he’s in now.

Billy Butler on altercation with Danny Valencia: “We had equal faults in this.”

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 24: Billy Butler #16 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates a solo homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to regain the lead against the Tampa Bay Rays at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum on July 24, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Don Feria/Getty Images)
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On Friday, Athletics teammates Billy Butler and Danny Valencia were involved in a clubhouse altercation that started when Butler told an equipment representative that Valencia was wearing off-brand spikes during games. Valencia didn’t like Butler’s interference, potentially costing him an endorsement deal, so he punched Butler in the temple, causing a concussion.

Neither player had said much to the media about the incident, but Butler finally addressed the issue on Wednesday. MLB.com’s Mark Chiarelli reported Butler’s comments:

“This was something that could’ve been prevented on both sides,” Butler said. “We had equal faults in this. I definitely said some things that you shouldn’t have. I definitely stepped in an area where it wasn’t my business.”

[…]

“By no means do I think his intentions were to give me a concussion,” Butler said. “This is me addressing my faults and what I took away from the team.”

[…]

“To say that we’re enemies is not right,” Butler said. “To blame this all on one side is not right either.”

Butler also apologized to his teammates. “I would like to apologize for putting [my teammates] through this because they didn’t deserve this. This was an issue between me and Danny. To be fair for them, they didn’t deserve this. The coaching staff didn’t deserve this. The organization didn’t deserve this,” he said.

Butler is making progress in his recovery from his concussion. He’ll travel with the team to St. Louis to open up a three-game series against the Cardinals starting on Friday. If he passes his concussion protocol test, the Athletics will put him back on the active roster from the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Report: Pablo Sandoval has lost 22 pounds during his rehab

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 11:  Pablo Sandoval #48 of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout before the Red Sox home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Orioles defeat the Red Sox 9-7.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval has lost 22 pounds during his rehabilitation after undergoing shoulder surgery in early May. Weight has been the top subject of conversation regarding Sandoval ever since he showed up to spring training and an unflattering photograph was published by the Boston Globe.

Sandoval had a miserable spring training, batting .204 in 49 at-bats and lost out on the starting third base job to Travis Shaw. He went hitless in seven regular season plate appearances before landing on the disabled list with a sprained left shoulder, which ultimately required reconstructive surgery.

Sandoval is still under contract through at least 2019, earning $17 million next season, and $18 million in ’18 and ’19. His controlling club has a $17 million option with a $5 million buyout for 2020 as well. It’s hard to see Sandoval fitting into his current club’s future plans, but it will be tough for the Red Sox to get rid of him without eating a significant portion of his remaining contract.