Fernando Rodney
Getty Images

Report: Nationals ink Fernando Rodney to minor league deal


The Nationals have signed free agent reliever Fernando Rodney to a minors deal, per a report from Craig Mish of FNTSY Sports Radio. He’ll report to Triple-A Fresno once the deal is officially confirmed by the club.

Last week, the 42-year-old right-hander was released by the Athletics following a less-than-ideal performance this spring. During his first eight outings with the A’s, he pitched to an inflated 9.42 ERA, 7.5 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 over 14 1/3 innings. In May alone, he issued six runs, four walks, and two strikeouts across just 2 1/3 innings.

Still, Rodney can’t be written off as a ‘lost cause’ just yet. He’s just one season removed from his last productive stint in the majors, during which he produced a cumulative 3.36 ERA and 0.5 fWAR for the Twins and A’s. Even taking his inconsistent performance into account, there’s no doubt the Nationals could use the bullpen depth; entering Sunday’s series finale against the Reds, their relief corps ranks sixth-worst in the league with a combined 6.85 ERA and -0.3 fWAR so far in 2019.

Roger Clemens says he’s not running for Congress

Getty Images

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.