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 Yankees and Red Sox will play on artificial turf in London

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Major League Baseball wants to give the United Kingdom a taste of America’s past time when the Yankees and Red Sox visit next month. Based on the playing surface they’re going to use, however, they may as well have sent the Blue Jays and the Rays:

Major League Baseball has access to Olympic Stadium for 21 days before the games on June 29 and 30, the sport’s first regular-season contests in Europe, and just five days after to clear out. The league concluded that there was not enough time to install real grass.

Starting June 6, gravel will be placed over the covering protecting West Ham’s grass soccer pitch and the running track that is a legacy from the 2012 Olympics. The artificial turf baseball field, similar to modern surfaces used by a few big league clubs, will be installed atop that.

At least they will not use the old-style sliding pits/turf infield that you used to always see. That’ll all be dirt. There are comments in the article about how it’s a cost savings too since they’re going back next year and won’t have to bulldoze and re-grow grass. Aaron Boone and Xander Bogaerts were asked and they don’t seem to care since it’s similar to the surface they play on in Toronto or down in Florida against the Rays.

Still, this is whole deal is not aimed at doing whatever minimally necessary to pull off a ballgame. It’s supposed to be a showcase on a global stage in a world capital. I have no idea how anyone thinks that doing that on a surface baseball has decided is obsolete for baseball playing purposes unless the ballpark is either outdated or in an arid environment is a good idea.

It’s certainly not baseball putting its best foot forward. It could’ve avoided this by choosing a different venue or even building a temporary one like MLB has done on occasion in the past. That, I suppose, would limit the revenue-generation capacity of these games, however, so you know that was off the table in this day and age.

Yankees and Red Sox on turf. What a decision.