Steve Pearce
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Red Sox place Steve Pearce on 10-day injured list

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The Red Sox have placed first baseman Steve Pearce on the 10-day injured list with a lower back strain, the team announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, infielder/outfielder Sam Travis was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s been a disheartening season for the 36-year-old Pearce, who has already spent some time on the injured list after rehabbing a calf strain last month. He lasted just one inning during Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Yankees and exited in the second inning after experiencing back spasms in his first and only at-bat of the night. Through Friday, he’s batting a lackluster .180/.245/.258 with five extra-base hits, nine RBI, and a .503 PA across 99 plate appearances this season.

With fellow first baseman Mitch Moreland also on the mend from a back strain and knee discomfort, the Red Sox will likely turn to some combination of Michael Chavis and Brock Holt at first base. Travis is also expected to see some time there, and may finally see a breakthrough at the plate after carrying a .251/.359/.371 batting line in Triple-A this spring.

Roger Clemens says he’s not running for Congress

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Apparently some people in Texas wanted Roger Clemens to run for Congress? At least enough people to where Clemens felt it necessary to tell Pete Olson, the congressman whose seat is going vacant due to his retirement, that, no, he had no interest in running for it.

From ESPN:

“The climate in politics at this time is much more than I would want to undertake, along with my family considerations,” Clemens said in a message to Olson that was obtained by ABC News.

“I am a Republican and I support our President and will continue to do so,” Clemens said. “No matter who our President may be, I will continue my support of them and root for them to be successful, just as I did when President Obama was in office.”

That’s a pretty diplomatic answer from Clemens. But even if he did not have family concerns and even if the “climate” disinterested him, I’m struggling to imagine Clemens as a viable political candidate in the first place.

For as good a pitcher as he was — and for as generally popular as he may be in Texas — the guy has some serious baggage, right? And I mean that beyond just the broad arc of the PEDs controversy that surrounded him for so long. The specifics of that controversy spun off his indictment for perjury before Congress, for example. He was acquitted — and I think it was a proper acquittal — but that was not exactly his finest hour.

It also led to a nasty battle of defamation lawsuits with a drug dealer that, remarkably, caused Clemens to come off way worse than the drug dealer, and that’s quite a trick. That whole process also revealed that he had an extraordinarily problematic extra-marital relationship with a now-dead country music singer. In all, it was a profound, 100% self-inflicted, reputation-trashing, public relations disaster that, even years later, he has taken no responsibility for. It was the sort of episode that, in addition to the ammo it might give any political opponent he may have, calls into serious questions Clemens’ judgment and sense of strategy, both of which are things that, to put it lightly, can be useful in politics.

Clemens, of course, is not going to cite any of those things as a reason for not wanting to run for office, nor does he have to. His simple “no” is all he needs to say and he can go back doing whatever it is he does for the Houston Astros.

But I am struggling mightily to understand why those people who are apparently encouraging him to run for office are doing so despite all of that being out there on the record. Is fame all that matters in politics now? Is a win bought by fame the be-all and end-all, even it means electing a candidate who is profoundly compromised both ethically and morally?

Haha, just kidding. You don’t need to answer that. I think we already know the answer.