BOB: Clemens acquittedby Brian Borawski
June 20, 2012
Roger Clemens found not guiltyI've avoided this story but now that it's at an end (at least the legalities), it's probably a good time to talk about. Roger Clemens was acquitted of all charges that he lied to Congress back in 2008 when he said he never used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). The only real thing about this is now Clemens won't go to jail, which he probably doesn't deserve anyway. Of course, his legacy is already tarnished and at this point; nothing could save that.
Arguably the best pitcher in baseball history, whether Clemens used PEDs or not (I think he did, but that's just my opinion), I don't see him getting into the Hall of Fame because of his link to using said PEDs. And while it's difficult to look worse than Clemens, the government seemed to make itself look like the fall guy for spending time and money on this. No, you shouldn't lie under oath, but going after a ballplayer and spending millions and millions of the taxpayers' money seems a bit, well, excessive.
This comes on the heels of Barry Bonds' practically getting off on his charges last year. He was ultimately found guilty of obstruction of justice in a seven-year investigation, and he received a month of house arrest. Hopefully this is the end of it and, outside of the talk that comes up when the Hall of Fame voting is announced, we can put the whole PED past to rest.
Rays stadium editorialKen Belson at the New York Times penned a solid piece on the whole Tampa Bay Rays/St. Petersburg stadium situation last week. While not completely coming out and calling the city of St. Petersburg the bad guys, he does paint them with a largely negative stroke by bringing up the accusations that the city is holding the team prisoner. Of course, he also goes on to point out that there is a lease by which the Rays are held, and someone has to pay for the stadium that's already there. Then it turns to a little bit of Tropicana Field bashing, but that's nothing new, either.
I thought by now the city and team would have come to some sort of buyout agreement, but with the state still owing $80 million on Tropicana Field, it's going to be hard to make St. Petersburg completely whole. And for now, the league is staying out of it, telling the Rays they need to come up with their own solution.
Padres sale sweepstakes down to three groupsIt looks like there are three bidders left as the San Diego Padres try to find a potential suitor, but it doesn't look like a sale is going to take place anytime soon. You have the O'Malley family, which owned the Los Angeles Dodgers and were one of the groups looking to buy that team before it was sold. You also have Gary Jabara, who is in the communications industry. And finally, there's Steve Kaplan, a Los Angeles investment adviser. Because Kaplan and Jabara weren't part of the Dodgers' sale, they have to go through the battery of background checks and financial evaluations.
Current owner John Moores is asking $800 million for the team. There's also still the chance that more bidders could emerge, so we will have to wait and see what happens here.
ASU cries foul regarding Cubs' spring training homeThe Chicago Cubs are getting a nice upgrade at their spring training home in Mesa, Arizona, as the groundbreaking for the new complex is set to take place July 11. Arizona State University was supposed to be involved with the complex by using it to play their games, but as of now, ASU has complained about the Cubs being erratic, and they feel the Cubs are trying to push them out of the deal.
The problems between the two parties weren't specified, but it wouldn't surprise me if it came down to money. What makes this even more curious is it looks like the Cubs approached ASU for a deal, but now the Cubs almost seem to be backtracking. In all, the new complex and the surrounding area is going to see just south of a $100-million upgrade.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.