Former baseball star Roger Clemens smiles as he walks outside Federal District Court in Washington

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.

The Phillies have shut down Jake Thompson

CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 03:  Jake Thompson #75 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during the first inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at Bright House Field on March 3, 2016 in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Phillies rookie starter Jake Thompson has been shut down for the year. Not that there’s much of the year left, but he will not make what would’ve been his last start.

Thompson allowed three earned runs over four innings in the Phillies’ 17-0 blowout loss to the Mets. That leaves him with a 5.70 ERA in 53.2 innings for the season. Which, while that’s kind of ugly, it was a function of some bad starts mixed in with good starts as opposed to overall badness.

Everything about his 2016 should be viewed as “get yourself used to the big leagues, because you’re going to be part of this rotation in 2017 and beyond,” and from that perspective, you can call 2016 a success.

Congressional candidate uses Jose Fernandez’s death to score political points

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As a horrible Sunday unfolded yesterday there was at least one thing buoying the public mood: the overwhelming outpouring of emotion and love for Jose Fernandez and warm remembrances of his all-too-brief time on Earth.

But it wasn’t a unanimous sentiment. Some people, like this Florida state representative who is currently running for Congress, thought it was a great time to make a political point:

Setting aside the tastelessness of Gaetz’s timing and intent, one wonders if he appreciates that the reason Fernandez risked his life on multiple occasions was specifically so he could live in a country where protesting and not exhibiting a reflexive loyalty and patriotism is a fundamental right and does not get you thrown in jail.

But really, it’s the tastelessness which most galls here.