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.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”