Judge to Roger Clemens: zip it

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Well, I haven’t seen the order from the judge, but I assume that, seeing it was going to Clemens, it had to contain short, easily readable words. “Zip it” seems to fit the bill:

A federal judge is not happy that baseball’s Roger Clemens talked to the media about his upcoming perjury trial.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton reminded Clemens on Monday that he does not want the case tried in the media. He ordered all parties in the case to review his order last August prohibiting public comments that could prejudice potential jurors.

Clemens told ESPN Radio last week that he’s eager to defend himself and refuses to hang his head.

Jeez, tough judge. How a nothing little statement like the one Clemens made rises to a level of threatening a gag order is beyond me, but I suppose the judge is just trying to protect Clemens. I mean, if history shows us anything, when he starts talking, the person most likely to be harmed is himself.

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.

Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.

Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.

There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.