Today is “can they put Roger Clemens back on trial?” day

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For those of you following, Roger Clemens and all of the lawyers will be back in court today to argue over whether the government should be allowed to try him again. Or if, rather, the government will be held to have lost it’s chance to do so because they intentionally sought a mistrial because their case was going sideways.

Clemens’ argument that it was intentional will be a hard sell.  As I see it, there are three potential reasons whey the government put on evidence that they weren’t supposed to:

1. They’re rank incompetents, unable to edit a video tape and/or comprehend a court order;

2. They tried to intentionally derail the case; or

3. They’re federal prosecutors who are routinely given the benefit of the doubt and who are routinely allowed to get away with questionable crap like this, intentional or otherwise, because the criminal defendants they usually go after are poor and poorly-represented and, as a result, the prosecutors have just sort of come to expect that when they do stuff like this they’ll be able to talk their way out of it with a scolding, and oftentimes they never even get the scolding.

I’ve worked with federal prosecutors. I’ve yet to meet a truly incompetent one. They’re usually pretty good as far as actually knowing how to do their job.  And, as many have noted, the trial had just gotten underway so it’s hard to argue that the prosecutors truly thought the case was in terrible shape, scuttling number 2.

But even if I personally believe number 3, I imagine it will be called an “inadvertent error” by the judge and Clemens will be tried again.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.