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Now that the FBI has become involved in the Roger Clemens saga, Clemens finds himself in a heap of trouble he may not be able to get out of. Proving he intentionally lied will be hard to prove, but Clemens seems to have lied several times to the House Oversight Committee.
When his name was mentioned in the Mitchell Report, he was indignant and categorically denied he had ever taken any performance enhancers. As of today, his former trainer Brian McNamee, who stated that he injected Clemens himself has not been accused of lying to the Congressional committee seems to be more credible than anyone thought before the hearings. McNamee still could be charged with perjury, but evidently he was telling the truth.
Andy Pettitte was wise to tell the truth to the committee even if his testimony damaged the credibility of Clemens. This has not been a good winter for the Astros, who already have Miguel Tejada being investigated by the FBI for telling Congress that he never took performance enhancers. Now, Astros owner Drayton McLane says he may reconsider the ten year personal service contract with Clemens because of the legal problems Clemens is facing.
It is hard to believe, but McLane was actually considering to offer Clemens a contract to pitch this season, but I doubt Clemens would want to be exposed to media scrutiny by playing again. It can be done, but it is not easy avoiding reporters who would be questioning him day after day about his legal problems.
He has been pitching to minor league Astros in spring training including, his son Koby, who has spent the last two seasons with the Lexington Legends in the Class A Sally League. Koby led the team in home runs in 2007 with 15 and was second in RBI's with 56. He will be 21 all season so he has time on his side but needs to start moving up the ladder if he expects to play in the majors someday. He needs to improve on his plate discipline since he struck out 112 times in 115 games while walking only 53 times.
It will be interesting how long Clemens will continue working out with the minor leaguers in wake of the news yesterday about the FBI investigation as reporters will be harder to escape from, as they seek to ask him questions he doesn't want to answer.
Spring Training Notebook
It is a shame the Clemens story broke in the middle of spring training but it was too big of a story to not mention. Now we can get back to what is going on in Arizona and Florida now that the spring training games have started.
It may be very early in the exhibition season, but Anthony Reyes, who struggled last season with a 2-14 record, pitched three scoreless innings against the Mets while allowing only two hits and won the game for the Cardinals in a 7-0 rout of the Mets. It may be only one start, but getting off to a good start gives him something to build on the rest of the spring training season.
In other Cardinals news, Scott Spiezio has been released by the Cardinals after being charged with six criminal offenses including driving while intoxicated and assault.
Matt DeSalvo, the former Yankee is in the Braves' spring camp, but did little to impress Bobby Cox, as he pitched an inning and a third while giving up four hits and walking five to blow the save and take the loss in the 5-4 loss to the Dodgers. The Orioles already have shown their pitching woes have not been corrected, as the Marlins pounded them for a 16-3 win. The Orioles gave up 15 hits and 9 walks in the contest. Alejandro De Aza hit a grand slam for the Marlins.
Chad Paronto and Geoff Geary, who were acquired by the Astros from the Braves and Phillies respectively during the offseason gave up 7 runs and 8 hits combined in only two innings in the 12-2 loss to the Indians. Ryan Howard hit his first home run of the spring in a losing cause, as the Pirates defeated the Phillies 11-6. Ichiro Suzuki went hitless for the Mariners, but it didn't matter, as the rest of the team had 15 hits in a 10-3 win over the Padres.
It was a bad day for Northeastern University and Boston College, as the world champion Red Sox defeated Northeastern 15-0 and clobbered Boston College by a 24-0 score, while the two teams combined for only four hits against Red Sox pitching. The market value of Joe Blanton may have dropped after he gave up 6 runs and 8 hits in 2 innings of pitching in the 7-1 win by the Brewers over the A's. Ryan Braun homered and drove in three runs and rookie Matt LaPorta was one of five Brewers to double in the contest.
Jose Contreras trying to regain his form after a disastrous 10-17 record last season took the win as the White Sox beat the NL reigning champions, the Rockies by a 12-3 score. The White Sox had 18 hits in the contest including four hits by Cuban defector Alexei Ramirez. It was his first game ever in America, so it was a good sign that he is able to adapt to any situation. It may have been his first game but if he continues to hit like this he could be an integral part of the White Sox offense in 2008. Centerfielder Nick Swisher drove in two runs for the White Sox.
Ryan Dempster, who has predicted a World Series win for the Cubs in 2008, did his part, taking a 12-6 win over the Giants. 55 players played in the contest. Pedro Feliz, Matt Holliday, and Alexei Ramirez lead all spring players with four hits.