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A Very Special Episode of Arli$$ – Testimony begins on Monday in the Roger Clemens Trial

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A Very Special Episode of Arli$$ – Testimony begins on Monday in the Roger Clemens Trial

Posted on 29 April 2012 by Trish Vignola

The Roger Clemens case becomes more confusing and contradictory by the hour. Let me explain. In the federal government’s failed effort to convict Barry Bonds of perjury, prosecutors told the judge they would present players who purchased steroids and garnered advice from Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson. The game plan was to prove Anderson was dealing steroids to many of the sport’s luminaries and therefore must have been dealing to Bonds. The judge ok’d it, which brought on a cavalcade of faded all-stars, such as the Giambi brothers, establishing connections to Anderson. The result? Bonds was convicted on one measly count. Wasn’t this case supposed to be a slam dunk? This time around, federal prosecutors made the same offer in their effort to convict Clemens of obstruction of Congress and perjury. Maybe they thought the second time would be the charm? They told Judge Reggie Walton former players Chuck Knoblauch, Mike Stanton and Anthony Corso would testify that they purchased drugs and garnered advice from Brian McNamee. This time around, the judge said no. What?

According to ESPN senior legal analyst, Lester Munson, in these “circumstances”, the rule of law gives each trial judge broad discretion to make rulings that the judge views as proper. In other words, it allows the judge to call it like he or she sees it. I didn’t even know that was possible. What makes this a special “circumstance”? Munson agrees that the rulings are clearly contradictory, but then goes on to say that there is little that the losing sides could do about it. If appealed, the higher court is beholden to the discretion of the original trial judge. Justice may be blind but it apparently is also arbitrary.

With the first witness expected to be called on Monday, this trial is beginning to look less like the circus I thought it was going to be and more like a flat out farce. The federal government is building their entire case on key witness, Brian McNamee. With his history of substance abuse, DUI conviction, passing out in the Yankees team hotel, or the piece de resistance – a sexual-assault investigation in Florida that includes allegations of administering a date-rape drug to a woman, lying to the grand jury and attempting to destroy evidence, Brian McNamee makes Lou Pearlman look like a standup guy. There is a judge who seems to not want anyone with an ounce of credibility to take the stand, and Clemens’ innocence is being argued with a “so what” defense (elegantly coined by Munson). I’m sorry, when did lying to congress not constitute a crime? I really don’t care how many people you think do it on a daily basis. A crime is a crime.

Every day of the trial, I see a new picture of Clemens smugly entering the court. Why shouldn’t he look smug? He’s completely going to get off. I don’t even think he’ll get the measly conviction Bonds got. Think back. As unlikeable as Clemens is, he was in theory more likeable than Bonds. Celebrity is blinding, guys. It gets more blinding everyday.

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Open Mic II: Judgement Day

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Open Mic II: Judgement Day

Posted on 25 February 2012 by Bryan Grosnick

About a week ago, our colleague Dennis posted the results of the first few rounds of a fantasy draft he was a part of. I really like this idea, and think that there’s a lot to learn from this process. So, instead of my usual Saturday Roster Report post, I’ve decided to post my own recent fantasy draft.

Miguel Cabrera

I look to our readers and other writers for their comments, their raves, and their criticisms of all the teams that participated. And as Dennis requested in his original post, it would be great if everyone could be cordial in their comments, regardless of how they feel about draft strategy.

The draft was a regular snake draft run over at Mock Draft Central – and it was standard for them. Imagine a traditional 5×5 league (AVG, HR, R, RBI, SB, W, ERA, WHIP, K, SV) with 23 roster spots and no bench. 5 OFs, MI, CI, UTIL and the usual suspects otherwise. Here’s how the draft went for the first five rounds:

ROUND ONE

  • Team1  - Matt Kemp (OF)
  • Team2  - Albert Pujols (1B)
  • Team3  - Ryan Braun (OF)
  • Team4  - Jose Bautista (3B, OF)
  • Team5  - Miguel Cabrera (1B)
  • Team6  - Joey Votto (1B)
  • Team7  - Troy Tulowitzki (SS)
  • Team8  - Justin Verlander (SP)
  • Team9  - Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
  • Team10 – Jacoby Ellsbury (OF)
  • Team11 – Robinson Cano (2B)
  • Team12 – Roy Halladay (SP)

ROUND TWO

  • Team12 – Clayton Kershaw (SP)
  • Team11 – Justin Upton (OF)
  • Team10 – Dustin Pedroia (2B)
  • Team9  - Evan Longoria (3B)
  • Team8  - Carlos Gonzalez (OF)
  • Team7  - Prince Fielder (1B)
  • Team6  - Jose Reyes (SS)
  • Team5  - Hanley Ramirez (SS)
  • Team4  - Curtis Granderson (OF)
  • Team3  - Felix Hernandez (SP)
  • Team2  - Cliff Lee (SP)
  • Team1  - Tim Lincecum (SP)

ROUND THREE

  • Team1  - Andrew McCutchen (OF)
  • Team2  - Mike Stanton (OF)
  • Team3  - Josh Hamilton (OF)
  • Team4  - Ian Kinsler (2B)
  • Team5  - Adrian Beltre (3B)
  • Team6  - Mark Teixeira (1B)
  • Team7  - David Wright (3B)
  • Team8  - Cole Hamels (SP)
  • Team9  - Jay Bruce (OF)
  • Team10 – Dan Uggla (2B)
  • Team11 – Carlos Santana (C, 1B)
  • Team12 – Ryan Zimmerman (3B)

ROUND FOUR

  • Team12 – Hunter Pence (OF)
  • Team11 – Aramis Ramirez (3B)
  • Team10 – Brett Lawrie (3B)
  • Team9  - C.C. Sabathia (SP)
  • Team8  - Jered Weaver (SP)
  • Team7  - Dan Haren (SP)
  • Team6  - Nelson Cruz (OF)
  • Team5  - Zack Greinke (SP)
  • Team4  - Mike Napoli (C, 1B)
  • Team3  - Carl Crawford (OF)
  • Team2  - Starlin Castro (SS)
  • Team1  - David Price (SP)

ROUND FIVE

  • Team1  - Matt Holliday (OF)
  • Team2  - Eric Hosmer (1B)
  • Team3  - Elvis Andrus (SS)
  • Team4  - Desmond Jennings (OF)
  • Team5  - Yovani Gallardo (SP)
  • Team6  - Jon Lester (SP)
  • Team7  - Stephen Strasburg (SP)
  • Team8  - Paul Konerko (1B)
  • Team9  - Brian McCann (C)
  • Team10 – Alex Gordon (OF)
  • Team11 – Asdrubal Cabrera (SS)
  • Team12 – Matt Cain (SP)

So yeah, with that in mind…I’m Team5. And here’s my entire team:

  • C  - Buster Posey (R6 P8)
  • 1B – Miguel Cabrera (R1 P5)
  • 2B – Ben Zobrist (R8 P8)
  • SS – Hanley Ramirez (R2 P8)
  • 3B – Adrian Beltre (R3 P5)
  • OF – Adam Jones (R7 P5)
  • OF – Peter Bourjos (R11 P5)
  • OF – Yoenis Cespedes (R15 P5)
  • OF – Lucas Duda (R18 P8)
  • OF – Brennan Boesch (R19 P5)
  • MI – Emilio Bonifacio (R16 P8)
  • CI – Lance Berkman (R9 P5)
  • UT – Jesus Montero (R14 P8)
  • SP – Zack Greinke (R4 P8)
  • SP – Yovani Gallardo (R5 P5)
  • SP – Chris Carpenter (R12 P8)
  • SP – Scott Baker (R17 P5)
  • RP – Joel Hanrahan (R10 P8)
  • RP – Sergio Santos (R13 P5)
  • RP – Aroldis Chapman (R20 P8)
  • RP – Frank Francisco (R21 P5)
  • RP – Jonny Venters (R22 P8)

So that’s my draft, and my team. What do you guys think?

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