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Friday, July 31, 2009
What a delicious way to end the week:
Roger Clemens’ former personal trainer sued him Friday over allegations of steroid use, claiming the Major League Baseball star ruined his reputation by branding him a liar . . . The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, claims Clemens’ statements have “humiliated McNamee, destroyed his reputation, both personally and professionally, and caused him severe emotional distress.”
I think this suit has about as much chance at succeeding as Clemens' suit did. I mean think about it: irrespective of who was telling the truth and who was lying, how does a person show reputation damages when the only reason anyone knows who he is is because he was listed in the Mitchell Report as one of the most famous purveyors of steroids in the country, because he wrote an article in the New York times lying his ass off about it once, and because of some odd possible date-rate-drug sexual assault in a pool about which he later lied to police? How does that damages case even look?
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury; my client was once thought of as a lying, drug dealing perv. Then along came Roger Clemens, who told the whole world that my client had never given him drugs! He's been ruined by this! Please, see to it that he compensated for the loss of his good name. Er, name."
It may be a bit light here this afternoon as, in about five minutes, I'll be over at Baseball Think Factory taking part in a live chat regarding the trade deadline. Since I know jack crap about player analysis, though, I may try to insert some righteous indignation over steroids issues into every comment. At least until I'm kicked out of the chat.
It's a major post, so I don't want to save it for "Exile":
Why the rest of the names cannot be released.
With all due respect to those people in the "release the names already" camp, anyone who is advocating for such a thing is both (a) selfish; and (b) ignorant as to what really has occurred here.
And in case you missed it last night: the leaker is the only one who should be outed here, and that only as a precursor to his own criminal prosecution.
Reader Michael Martin has a newish blog, and today he has a thought-provoking piece up. Inspired by a conversation he had with an unnamed former Chicago Cub who was himself once part of a midseason trade, Michael reflects on the often overlooked impact such deals have on the psyche of the player:
To the vast majority of the fans, players are simply components that affect the representation and winning capabilities of their hometown teams. If they under-produce, most don’t care if they’re dumped just like that. If they’re expendable, who cares if they’re gone, so long as they fill in a hole in the roster? Few of us stop to think what that means to the player. How it determines the rest of his season, his career, and the life of his family is rarely fathomed.
Michael's blog isn't all about baseball, but it's all pretty good stuff, so I encourage you all to have a click and read a bit while you wait around to see who gets traded today.
Red Sox 8, Athletics 5: Before the game Ortiz said this:
Today I was informed by a reporter that I was on the 2003 list of MLB players to test positive for performance-enhancing substances. This happened right before our game, and the news blindsided me. I said I had no comment because I wanted to get to the bottom of this.
The judges would have preferred the Costanza-esque "Was that wrong? Should I not have done that?" but they will accept the O.J.-esque "I'm going to search for the real killers" response as well. Either way, he wasn't so blindsided that it took him off his game, as his three run homer in the seventh put the Sox up for good.
Mets 7, Rockies 0; Rockies 4, Mets 2: Santana was fantastic in the first game (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER 8K).
Cubs 12, Astros 3: That's 30 runs in three games for the Cubbies. Kevin Hart got the win and then was traded to Pittsburgh as soon as it was over. I'm pretty sure that Pittsburgh has been involved in every trade that has been made for the past week. Query: if they have so much desirable talent, why they hell do they suck so bad?
Orioles 7, Royals 3: Brad Bergesen gave up one run on seven hits in seven innings and got the win, but not before being knocked out of the game when a liner off the bat of Billy Butler smacked him in the shin. "The pain was bad. I wanted to throw up," Bergesen said. Tonight, as he elevates and ices the leg, he'll be updating this seemingly dormant web page.
Brewers 7, Nats 3: The Brewers win back-to-back games for the first time in a month. Yovani Gallardo allowed five hits and three runs while striking out 11 and walking nary a Nat.
Padres 7, Reds 4: Remember in spring training when some folks were picking Cincy as their dark horse contender? Nah, me neither. The Reds have dropped six of seven the Padres this season, which is as close to pathetic as you can get. Game story: "Outfielder Wladimir Balentien, acquired Wednesday by the Reds from Seattle for right-hander Robert Manuel, arrived in Cincinnati early Thursday morning and was in uniform." Early morning? Must have taken the Red eye. Get it? RED eye! Because he's joining the REDS! Ha! Um, er. Yeah.
Rangers 7, Mariners 1: Newark, Ohio's own Derek Holland had a shutout into the ninth, striking out ten Mariners and giving up only two hits. It may have been better, though, if he had given up a run earlier, because maybe then Ron Washington wouldn't have left the 22 year-old in for 118 pitches on a 90 degree night.
Braves 6, Marlins 3: Brian McCann with the three run dinger in the 10th! (I can use exclamation points there, because he plays for my favorite team; were it the Cubs or something, I would have used a period or would have written some dependent clause set off by dashes -- like this -- in order to tone it down a bit. But go Braves! Nice to salvage one!!!
Giants 7, Phillies 2: Rodrigo Lopez gave up eight hits and seven runs -- only three earned -- in four innings, mostly due to a Pedro Feliz error. Feliz used to play for the Giants. According to the game story, Ryan Garko was asked to provide information on Friday's starter -- Cliff Lee -- to the Giants, because Lee and Garko used to play for the Indians. Basically, no one can trust anyone in this series, and death and betrayal lie around every corner.
Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3: Guess what: Todd Wellemeyer doesn't work in relief either! To be fair, he didn't cause the 10th inning jam -- that was Dennys Reyes' doing -- but he did come in and give up the game-losing single, and I'm not sure why Tony La Russa decided that runners on second and third in the 10th inning was the best spot in which to launch Wellemeyer's bullpen career.
White Sox 3, Yankees 2: If you lived in outer space and just came to Earth to visit on Thursdays, you might come away with the impression that DeWayne Wise was actually good, what with the big catch in Buehrle's perfecto last week and hit the walkoff RBI single last night. Hmm, maybe I won't go back to outer space. Mars ain't the kind of place to raise my kids. In fact it's cold as hell.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
We're all so interested in the names being linked from the 2003 tests, but no one (besides me and a few other lawyer types) seems all that interested in who's leaking the names. I wanna know, both as a lawyer -- and for as much as complain about the legal system, I still hold my duties as an officer of the court in pretty damn high regard -- and as a baseball guy.
You'll recall that the reason the names are still out there is because, while some Nero at the Players' Association fiddled, federal agents, acting on a search warrant in connection with the BALCO case, seized the 2003 test results from their custodian, Comprehensive Drug Testing. The warrant and its execution has been litigated to death (a great summary of it all can be found here), and the matter is still pending on appeal.
One's first thought might me to simply go to the docket and write down the names of counsel of record to see if one could guess who's leaking. If one did that, however, one would realize that there's no shortage of suspects. In addition to baseball and the union and BALCO and the government and everyone else with a direct interest in the case, there are multiple amici curiae who have weighed in as well. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, labor groups, privacy advocates and folks like that, all of whom will be impacted by a ruling that has to do with workplace drug testing and the handling of sensitive medical information. In light of that, it's not hard to imagine that several dozen lawyers involved in the case itself are privy to the list, not to mention lawyers and others in-house at the various parties. And that's before you get to the judge, the law clerks, and anyone else who fits the description "lawyers and others connected to the pending litigation."
One of 'em -- probably more than one of 'em -- feels that leaking information subject to a court order is worth their while. Maybe they have an axe to grind against the players. Maybe they're pro-player and have some messed up, double-secret-reverse-psychology motive for outing the ones on the list. Maybe they just get a woody from seeing the information they leaked in the news. There are as many possible motives as there are suspects.
I wanna know who's doing it. Specifically, I want the judge to get good and angry and sic the feds on the matter to suss out who's doing it. Short of that, I want someone in the investigatory side of the media to take it upon themselves to find out who's leaking. Short of that (and I know that's not going to happen because the media isn't going to rat out one of their sources), anyone with ideas as to how to answer the question is encouraged to drop me a line. We can call it citizen journalism or angry mobism or whatever you want, but at the moment I find determining the identity of the leaker(s) to be a far more interesting and pressing question than who the rest of the famous 103 are. And just so no one is uncertain on this point and accuses me of being a tricksy Hobbitses, let me be 100% clear: If I learn who it is, I'm tellin'.
Maybe that seems a bit heavy handed on my part. But hey, like LaTroy Hawkins said, "it's America, dude."
UPDATE: Random Googling found this bit from AmLaw Daily back in February:
Charles La Bella, a founding partner of San Diego's La Bella & McNamara and former U.S. attorney for Southern California, told Yahoo's Littman that he expects U.S. district court judge Susan Illston to order criminal contempt hearings to determine who leaked the news of Rodriguez's failed test.
I'm guessing Illston is taking a bit kindly, because as far as I know, there have been no hearings on this matter. There should be.
David Ortiz hit a three run homer to put the Sox up on the A's a few minutes ago.
I'm assuming the crowd cheered.
Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was okay to give me. Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now. I do want to say one other thing; I’ve taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons.
-- Manny Ramirez, May 2009, demonstrating how it's that sixth season that gets you every time.
So sayeth the Times:
Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the sluggers who propelled the Boston Red Sox to end an 86-year World Series championship drought and to capture another title three years later, were among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the results.
I know it won't do any good because people will go crazy regardless, but at least allow me to try and get out in front of this:
Now, with that out of the way, you may resume your regularly-scheduled outrage.
Oh, and while we're at it, let us remember:
The information about Ramirez and Ortiz emerged through interviews with multiple lawyers and others connected to the pending litigation. The lawyers spoke anonymously because the testing information is under seal by a court order.
Whoever is revealing this information is committing a far greater offense (contempt of court) than that which Manny and Ortiz committed.
Like yesterday, morning is bleeding into afternoon a bit, but I've had some stuff over here too already so it's all good.
No big trades or anything seem about to go down right now, so it's sammich time. See you in a bit.