Last July, Roger Clemens went on trial for lying to Congress. It didn’t last long, as the case was thrown out when the prosecutors blatantly disobeyed the judge’s order and played a video to the jury in which a congressman read affidavit testimony by Andy Pettitte’s wife. Which was eight kinds of inadmissible.
Today the prosecutors get a second bite at the apple, as jury selection begins for the retrial. And the prosecutors are leaving nothing to chance:
The legendary former pitcher, who famously reveled in staring down hitters, will face a prosecution lineup of five lawyers – more than double the two from the first trial.
Because adding more lawyers to a case always makes it better. Especially a pretty simple case like this one, the hype surrounding it notwithstanding.
But hey, these lawyers have to have something to do, what with the PED investigation against Lance Armstrong fizzling into nothing and the Barry Bonds prosecution ending. Better that they be in court prosecuting a long-retired athlete over some old testimony than doing almost anything else, right?
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.