Lawyers for Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens did battle in New York this morning, arguing the motion Clemens filed to have Brian McNamee’s civil suit against him dismissed. The gist of the legal argument was whether saying someone else is a liar can be defamatory. Given that each of them have been calling the other one a liar for the past two and a half years, you’d think they’d know that by now, but that’s just not how the legal system works, sadly.
My favorite part is that Clemens is arguing that a New York court doesn’t have jurisdiction over him despite the fact that the Yankees still pay him deferred compensation and that the business relationship between Clemens and McNamee which gave rise to all of this was largely a New York affair. Again, I realize that isn’t everything when it comes to jurisdiction, but I’d bet a zillion dollars that Clemens would have run to a New York court when he filed his defamation suit if he thought doing so would have provided him a tactical advantage.
I realize that this is a lot of nothing, but you have to allow me this. With everyone having a gag order on them during the criminal trial, I won’t get to have any Roger Clemens fun for months.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.