Rumor: a Roger Clemens indictment is not far off

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Put this firmly in the category of scuttlebutt and rumor, not news, but someone who tends to know about this kind of thing is telling me that the feds could obtain an indictment on Roger Clemens any day now. The last intelligence my source had on it was that it could happen “around the All-Star break.”

To be clear — predicting indictments is kind of a sucker’s game. I had a client under federal grand jury investigation for 18 months once, and every other day someone called me to tell me “hey, your dude is about to get indicted.”  Funny thing happened, though: he never got indicted. I’d like to say it was because I’m a totally awesome lawyer, but that’s not true (if it was, would I be doing this for a living? OK, maybe I would, but still).  The fact is that no one on the outside of these things really ever knows how it’s going to break until it does.

All of that said, this is some rather specific intelligence on the time frame. And to be sure, it involves a guy who was really damn brazen during his testimony in front of Congress and was directly contradicted by another witness. The feds have been investigating Clemens for a long time now, and have been presenting testimony to the grand jury for months.  Just this morning his old boss was talking about a lot more information coming out soon. That tends to happen when someone gets indicted. You get the sense they want him, and in our system if a prosecutor wants someone bad enough, they can at least be fairly confident of getting an indictment. I mean, we’ve all heard the old adage about how you can indict a
ham sandwich, right?

So yeah, this might merely be smoke. But I think there’s enough heat to it that we shouldn’t act all shocked if Roger Clemens is indicted sometime soon.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?