Great Moments in litigation: Roger Clemens’ lawyer subpoenas stuff he knows he can’t get

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I won’t make too much out of this because when I read a couple of weeks ago that Roger Clemens had subpoenaed Congress in order to get notes and reports and whatever he could find, I didn’t think anything of it.  But the Daily News makes a good point today:  you can’t subpoena stuff from Congress that isn’t already a public record due to the immunity provided by the Speech and Debate clause to the Constitution.

And even if lazy ex-lawyers like me didn’t think about it at the time, Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin should have because he’s been down this road before:

This is not Hardin’s first attempt to subpoena documents from a congressional committee. Hardin represented the giant auditing firm Arthur Andersen in 2002 when the company was indicted on obstruction of justice charges for shredding Enron-related documents.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on Andersen, which had signed off on Enron’s fraudulent finances for years. When Hardin tried to get documents from the Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as notes of an interview conducted with an Andersen employee who later became a cooperating witness for the Justice Department, he was denied. The committee refused to hand them over, and the federal judge presiding over the case refused to compel the panel to do so.

I suppose ineffective belt-and-suspenders subpoenas are harmless in and of themselves, but at some point I wonder if Clemens will ask himself how much money he’s willing to pay to avoid what will probably be three months in a minimum security federal camp. At the most.  I’m sure his legal bill is into the millions already and I’ve seen criminal lawyers budget a full 50% for the actual trial and aftermath.  At some point, you figure the vacation would do him some good, no?

Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues

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Based on his track record so far I don’t think Tim Tebow deserves to play in the major leagues on the merits. Not even close. But then again, I’m not the general manager of the New York Mets, so I don’t get a say in that.

Sandy Alderson is the general manager, so his say carries a lot of weight. To that end, here’s what he said yesterday:

Noting the Tebow experiment has “evolved” into something greater, general manger Sandy Alderson on Sunday said, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

To be fair, Alderson is pretty up front about the merits of Tebow’s presumed advancement to the bigs at some point. He didn’t say that it’s because Tebow has played his way up. He said this:

“He is great for the team, he is great for baseball, he was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year. The notion that he should have been excluded from the game because he is not coming through the traditional sources, I think is crazy. This is entertainment, too. And he quietly entertains us . . . He benefits the Mets because of how he conducts himself. He’s a tremendous representative of the organization.”

I take issue with Alderson’s comment about people thinking he shouldn’t be in the game because of his background. Most people who have been critical of the Tebow experiment have been critical because there is no evidence that he’s a good enough baseball player to be given the opportunities he’s been given. I mean, he advanced to high-A last year despite struggling at low-A and he’s going to start at Double-A this year in all likelihood despite struggling in high-A. If he does make the bigs, it will likewise come despite struggles in Double-A and maybe Triple-A too.

That said: I don’t mind if they promote Tebow all the way up as long as they’re being honest about why they’re doing it and aren’t trying to get everyone on board with some cockamamie idea that Tebow belongs on the baseball merits. If they do put him in the majors it’ll be because he’s a draw and a good promotion and because people generally like him and he’s not hurting anyone and I can’t take issue with that.

That’s basically what Alderson is saying here and if that’s the case, great. I mean, not great, because Tebow in the bigs will likely also mean that the Mets aren’t playing meaningful games, but great in the sense of “fine.” Baseball is entertainment too. No sense in pretending it isn’t.