Roger Clemens

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)

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.