Brian McNamee

Brian McNamee’s estranged wife contradicts his testimony

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As we’ve said over and over again, the only thing that truly matters in the Roger Clemens case is whether the jury believes Brian McNamee. For all of the other weeks and weeks of testimony, if they believe what he says, Clemens’ goose is cooked. If they don’t believe him, Clemens walks.

So it’s kind of a big deal that Brian McNamee’s soon-to-be ex-wife came in to court yesterday and contradicted a key part of his testimony. Specifically, the testimony in which he explained why he took the unusual step of saving the syringes that he allegedly used to shoot-up Roger Clemens. The reason he gave: his wife pestered him, saying that he needed to protect himself.  Yesterday Eileen McNamee said that wasn’t so:

Wearing a blue floral print dress, Eileen McNamee presented herself as a soft-spoken first-grade schoolteacher who never nagged her now-estranged husband about Roger Clemens. She went on to contradict the government’s key witness many times … She says she never said anything of the sort. She said McNamee didn’t tell her back then that he was injecting Clemens …

This matters because, if there was no self-preservation motive for keeping the syringes like McNamee says there, what was the reason? Was it a more sinister motive? Or, for that matter, were they truly preserved in the first place? The defense is saying McNamee made all this evidence up. That’s a hard sell, but it’s made easier if it sounds like McNamee was lying about the stuff to begin with.

Eileen McNamee went on to contradict McNamee regarding the now-famous FedEx box in which McNamee stored the evidence which implicates Clemens. She said that their marriage broke down, not because, as McNamee said, he had to travel all the time, but due to the date-rape drug incident down in Florida, which the jury doesn’t know much about, but which is being referred to as McNamee being involved in a “serious criminal incident.”

Obviously she will be cross-examined and the prosecutors will say that, due to contentious divorce proceedings, she has a reason to sink Brian McNamee.  But it’s hard to see what she gains by doing it here as opposed to in divorce court.  And that aside, the sight of a witnesses wife coming in to court and essentially saying he lied is the sort of thing that has to stick in a jury’s head.

Matt Wieters could draw interest from Reds

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 15: Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles looks on against the Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 15, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.

Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.

The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.

Red Sox could go to arbitration hearing with Fernando Abad

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Fernando Abad #58 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning at Fenway Park on September 16, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.

Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.

While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.