It’s unclear if Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch will be completely eliminated from the Roger Clemens trial, but the judge ruled this morning that they will not be permitted to testify about Brian McNamee providing them performance enhancing drugs as a means of establishing that, yes, it may be likely that Clemens got some too.
This is a different tack that the judge in the Barry Bonds case took, in which other BALCO clients and former Bonds teammates testified about their own drug use. Presumably, Pettitte, to the extent he has something to say on the matter, could still testify regarding his personal knowledge of Clemens’ own drug use.
At the same time, the judge also indicated that he would likely bar the introduction of evidence related to Brian McNamee’s alleged rape of a woman in a Florida pool back in 2001. Again, it’s unclear if just the underlying incident will be barred as inflammatory and prejudicial or if the police’s impressions that McNamee lied to them would be barred as well. Those things may be too difficult to untangle from one another, of course.
All in all, however, it sounds like the judge is going for a streamlined case. Which, frankly, may be the best thing for everyone.
MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports that Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol.
In a statement, via Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Polanco denied knowingly using the substance. Polanco said, “To be clear, I did not intentionally consume this steroid. I now know, however, that my intention alone is not a good enough excuse and I will pay the price for my error in judgment. The substance that I requested from my athletic trainer in the Dominican Republic and consented to take was a combination of vitamin B12 and an iron supplement, something that is not unusual or illegal for professional athletes to take. Unfortunately, what I was given was not that supplement and I take full responsibility for what is in my body.”
Last year was Polanco’s first full season in the majors. He hit .256/.313/.410 with 13 home runs, 74 RBI, 60 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 544 plate appearances.
The Twins have Ehire Adrianza and Erick Aybar to handle shortstop while Polanco is out. The club could also give the starting job to prospect Nick Gordon, ranked No. 4 in the Twins’ system according to MLB Pipeline. Gordon had a solid 2017 campaign at Double-A Chattanooga, posting a .749 OPS with 29 doubles and 13 steals in 578 PA.