Jury selection in Clemens case drags along, has its moments of entertainment

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We’re three days into jury selection in the Roger Clemens perjury case and they still don’t have 12 people in the box. Like I said last week: it happens. It can be slow if everyone is being super thorough, and that appears to be the case here.

But hey, it’s not our meter running on Rusty Hardin’s legal fees, and the prosecutors who are being paid by our taxes are on salary, so no need for us to fret about it. Besides, there has been some great fun in the jury selection process that we wouldn’t have had if they did it like your run of the mill armed robbery case and sat the panel quickly. Fun like this:

One woman who made it through to the next round is a former attorney turned yoga instructor who said she saw some of Clemens’ congressional testimony and thought ”he seemed sincere.” The judge asked her, ””Have you ever heard about performance enhancing drugs in yoga?” She said no, ”we tend to be vegetarians.” But she thinks that some drugs should be legal and U.S. drug laws ”are a bit heavy-handed.”

Another potential juror, a lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission, said she does not watch sports on television and doesn’t even know how to turn on the TV at home. She said her husband told her it looked like she was being called for the Clemens jury and she got him confused with all-star Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Roberto Clemente, who she apparently didn’t realize died in 1972

Another woman praised Michael Vick and said “I thought he was done wrong.”  Seriously.

I’m guessing that the prosecutors kept her and the yoga lady off the jury. Unclear how the no-TV/Roberto Clemente woman cuts. I’d probably not want her on any jury I had to persuade of anything. Without decades of TV softening her brain, she may not be as malleable as others.

Oh, and given that she works for the FCC — the people who regulate television content — and that she doesn’t watch TV should probably tell you something, folks. And I’ll just come out and say it: all non-sports television content is designed to destroy and control your lives.  Except the stuff on NBC, that is. No problems there, I can assure you.

(thanks to Kiwicricket for the heads up)

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.