Roger Clemens is not naive

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At least that’s what his lawyer says:

Clemens adamantly denied using either substance at a 2008 congressional hearing and added that “no matter what we discuss here today, I’m never going to have my name restored.”

Hardin said that’s still the case.

“Roger is not naive,” Hardin said in a telephone interview this week. “I was saying that if 85 percent thought he was guilty before, then this verdict might move the needle to 50 percent.”

Kind of beside the point, I reckon. People who think he did PEDs and care will always think so and always hold it against him. People who think he did PEDs and don’t care won’t ever care. People who don’t think he did PEDs, well, I have yet to meet one who truly thinks that, but their mind probably won’t be changed either.

Fact is, PED-thinking is more like religion than anything else. People believe what they want to believe, and when the beliefs are challenged, they say it doesn’t matter. It’s the downside of baseball and baseball players being treated like heroes and mythological figures for over a century. There’s no room for them to be human, flawed or, in some cases, gifted, without people getting bent out of shape about it.

Yasiel Puig was late to a workout on Monday, so Dave Roberts benched him

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Earlier, Craig wrote about how Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in manager Dave Roberts’ doghouse once again. Puig didn’t slide into second base when he was caught stealing to end Saturday’s game, which irked Roberts.

Puig didn’t earn himself any brownie points on Monday as he was late to a team workout and was benched as a result, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Roberts said, “That was a decision he made, not me.” Roberts added that he was disappointed in Puig, though he did note that the former All-Star’s behavior has been improved for most of the season.

Puig, 26, has had a solid season, batting .259/.339/.474 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, 66 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 554 plate appearances. While he hasn’t provided value on the same level as Justin Turner or Corey Seager, he’s been a valuable part of the lineup which makes this drama all the more unfortunate with just a week and a half before the start of the NLDS.

MLB, MLBPA grant Pirates exemption for Jung Ho Kang to participate in Dominican Winter League

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates were granted an exemption by Major League Baseball and the players’ union which will allow infielder Jung Ho Kang to participate in the Dominican Winter League without being removed from the restricted list.

Kang, 30, has been denied a visa by the Department of State as a result of his third DUI in South Korea last September. Kang was also under investigation in 2015 for alleged sexual assault.

Kang is under contract through the end of 2018 and the Pirates have a club option for the 2019 season as well, so it makes sense they would try to get him into some type of baseball action ahead of next season. The infielder has hit .273/.355/.483 in 837 plate appearances across two seasons in the majors. As Brink notes, Kang has already arrived to the Dominican Republic and will work out with his team, Aguilas Cibaenas, ahead of the start of the season on October 20.