I think Andy Pettitte’s testimony actually helped Roger Clemens’ case rather than hurt it in that it introduced uncertainty and uncertainty is bad when you have the burden of proof. Despite this, the defense moved to strike Pettitte’s testimony last week, arguing that it was contradictory, inconclusive and therefore useless. The judge ruled on that today and Clemens’ side lost:
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton rejected a defense motion Monday to strike Pettitte’s testimony about a contested conversation a dozen years ago about human growth hormone. Pettitte testified two weeks ago that Clemens said he had used HGH – only to say under cross-examination he might have misunderstood their conversation.
Basically, the judge is going to allow the jury to infer what they may from the testimony. They could infer that Pettitte had no real knowledge of anything Clemens did. On the other hand they could infer that Clemens did in fact tell Pettitte that he used HGH and that he later lied about or Pettitte was covering for him or whatever (which is why the defense wanted to strike it, even if it wasn’t want the prosecution wanted Pettitte to say). It stands on its own for whatever it’s worth.
The judge also struck down the defense’s attempt to try to get Brian McNamee’s divorce records, calling it a “fishing expedition.” Which is an insult to the certainty one usually finds in fishing expeditions. Besides, this trial is now in week number five. Anything that gets it to the end quicker is a good thing, so hooray for the ruling.
UPDATE, 12:07 p.m. EDT: The Royals have confirmed reports of Yordano Ventura’s death with an official statement. No further details pertaining to the accident have been divulged.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.