The Clemens Trial desperately needs Joe West right now

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Trying a case to a jury is like pitching: work fast and throw strikes. It’s amazing how many lawyers fail to understand this. How many fall in love with their own outline of questions and fixate on points that matter only to them when a jury really only cares about the important crap.

But even if the lawyers trying the Rogers Clemens case didn’t know that, you’d think the judge actually yelling at them to speed the heck up would work. But I guess not:

Prosecutors had said they might have star witness Brian McNamee testify Tuesday. Now they say he might not even appear this week. And that was after U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton told both sides to speed things along.

Walton said Monday he had concerns about the pace of the trial, and threatened to impose time limits if the parties continue to ask unnecessary questions.

The trial is already in its fourth week.

Someone call Joe West. He may be wrong on every evidentiary ruling in the case, but he’d sure as hell get this baby moving faster.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.