Roger Clemens

The evidence against Roger Clemens continues to be underwhelming

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The Roger Clemens trial got entertaining yesterday as ex-steroids dealer Kirk Radomski — made famous in the Mitchell Report — took the stand.

He was fun at least. Lively. Animated. Entertaining even, for a jury that has been mostly bored to tears.  The problem, though, is that the big piece of evidence he provided isn’t terribly big:

Radomski’s key piece of evidence is a shipment of HGH he said he sent to Clemens’ house about a decade ago. Radomski showed the jury an old, torn shipping label he found under his television set in his bedroom in June 2008. Federal agents had failed to find the label when they searched his home three years earlier – because they apparently didn’t look under what Radomski called his huge, old-model “dinosaur of a TV.”

The label was addressed to Brian McNamee, Clemens’ former strength coach, at Clemens’ home address in Texas. Radomski said the shipment was for two kits of HGH – “about 50-100 needles” – and estimated it took place in 2002.

It’s not irrelevant. I mean, it meets the definition of evidence that has ” the tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence,” as Rule 401 says.  It could, if the jury is otherwise inclined to convict Clemens, support that conviction.

But really: a long lost scrap of paper from underneath a drug dealer’s TV, from a package that was sent to someone who is not the defendant? I can’t say that will have a ton of weight, especially in these post-CSI days when jurors expect a ton more from physical evidence than that which could reasonably be given.

So, fun. Maybe relevant. But this trial still turns 100% on whether the jury will believe Brian McNamee.  That’s all that matters.

Edwin Encarnacion: “I think [the Blue Jays] got too hasty in making their decision.”

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians early last month. The 34-year-old had spent the last seven and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, but his future elsewhere appeared to be written on the wall when the Jays signed Kendrys Morales in November to essentially occupy Encarnacion’s role.

Encarnacion spoke about testing free agency for the first time in his career and the situation that led to him leaving Toronto for Cleveland. Via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY:

“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,’’ he said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.’’

Encarnacion last season hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI. He’s now on the team that defeated his Blue Jays in the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Encarnacion effectively replaces Mike Napoli, who returned to the Rangers.

Sammy Sosa compares himself to Jesus Christ

Sammy Sosa
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I’m on record saying that Sammy Sosa has been rather hosed by baseball history.

The guy did amazing things. Unheard-of things. He was truly astounding at this peak and was incredibly important to both his franchise and Major League Baseball as a whole. His repayment: he’s a pariah. His club won’t claim him and his greatness, by any measure, has not just been overlooked but denied by most who even bother to consider him.

Yes, he had PED associations, but they were extraordinarily vague ones. He’s in the same boat as David Ortiz as far as documented PED evidence against him, but Ortiz will be a first ballot Hall of Famer while Sosa barely clings to the ballot. He hit homers at the same cartoonish rate as Mark McGwire, but while Big Mac has been embraced by baseball and has coached for years, Sosa can’t get into Wrigley Field unless he buys a ticket and even then the Cubs might try to hustle him out of sight. The man has been treated poorly by any measure.

Yet, it’s still possible to overstate the case. Like Sosa did in this interview with Chuck Wasserstrom:

It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem,” Sosa told chuckbloggerstrom.com. “Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (bleep) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”

At least he was basically joking about it. Still, it’s a totally unfair and almost offensive comparison.

I mean, anyone who watched Sosa’s career knows that he had trouble laying off breaking stuff low and away. In contrast . . .