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.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.