Roger Clemens pleads not guilty, and a digression on entering courthouses

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Roger Clemens just pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. No bail set. Clemens just can’t leave
the country, which is standard. Nothing crazy happened.  He’s now off to play golf someplace, just as most
well-heeled criminal defendants do after they get arraigned.

There’s nothin’ else going on right now, so I’m left to consider the following:

  • Roger Clemens showed up for his arraignment several hours early today, thereby making it into the courthouse before most of the press could assemble and photograph and tape him entering the building;
  • Frank McCourt, according to the L.A. Times, “entered a side door” to the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse today, thus avoiding the press;
  • Jamie McCourt walked right in the front door wearing a white dress, shades, flanked by a phalanx of lawyers and got photographed like crazy.

I was part of a couple of cases that got a lot of media attention back when I was practicing. There was always talk of how to avoid the press and, on at least one occasion, I was part of some elaborate scheme in which the quasi-celebrity client was trucked in and out via freight elevators and loading docks and stuff.

I never understood this. They’re going to get their pictures eventually. You don’t have to say a word to them. Unlike in the movies, you don’t have to fight your way through them. Unless you’re some coked up starlet or something, they really will get out of your way. They’re working the legal beat for crying out loud.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.