Judge orders mistrial in Roger Clemens case

Former star MLB baseball pitcher Roger Clemens departs the federal courthouse after his arraignment on charges of lying to Congress about use of performance enhancing drugs in Washington, August 30, 2010. Clemens pleaded not guilty to six counts that he lied and obstructed a congressional investigation about whether he used banned substances to enhance his performance REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL CRIME LAW POLITICS)

Roger Clemens got a reprieve today as the judge in his trial on charges of lying to Congress ordered a mistrial as the prosecution played a video that contained statements from the wife of Andy Pettitte.

The prosecution really screwed this up, as they had been clearly warned by the judge. You have to wonder whether this was an honest mistake or a case of an overaggressive prosecutor. The idea of a criminal trial was already controversial, and now the prosecution will have to decide whether to try again.

UPDATE: Reading this summary of the legal issues, it looks like Clemens is going to walk without another trial.

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Police search offices of Blue Jays, turn over documents on Clemens

WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 13:  Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens testifies about allegations of steroid use by professional ball players before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill February 13, 2008 in Washington, DC. The 'Mitchell Report' named several former and current major league baseball players, including Clemens, who are accused of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to a report by FOX Sports.com, police officers searched the offices of the Toronto Blue Jays and turned over documents in connection with former MLB’er Roger Clemens.

Two officers executed the search in the last few weeks and assisted the U.S. Justice Department by forwarding the material they obtained, police spokesman Const. Tony Vella said Thursday.

Vella called it a U.S. investigation and declined further comment. He said he could not say if they obtained medical records.

Clemens pleaded not guilty last month to charges of lying to Congress about whether he used steroids or human growth hormone. Federal prosecutors didn’t believe Clemens’ testimony to Congress, and they subsequently charged him with making false statements, perjury and obstruction of Congress.

I get the feeling that there’s already enough evidence for a conviction, but the U.S. Justice Department isn’t going to stop doing its home work until they have enough to debunk anything Clemens says in court. Meanwhile, “The Rocket” continues to maintain his innocence because of 1) his ego, 2) he doesn’t want to lose future earnings due to a damaged reputation and 3) he wants to be elected into baseball’s Hall of Fame.

I wonder what would have happened had Pete Rose admitted to gambling on baseball as soon as he was caught. Would MLB have taken pity on him by now? Would he have eventually been inducted into the Hall?

Maybe Clemens should be asking himself the same questions.

Report: Roger Clemens turned down plea agreement

New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Mitchell Report and its allegations that Clemens used performance enhancing drugs on Capitol Hill in Washington on February 13, 2008. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

According to a report by ESPN.com, Roger Clemens was offered a plea agreement but his attorney Rusty Hardin said that his client declined the offer.

“The government made a recommendation [for a plea agreement] and we declined,” Hardin said. “I will tell you the recommendation they made was a very good one if he was guilty. And if he was guilty we would have jumped on it. Everybody has all this great solicitous advice, all the media and you guys — ESPN. Nobody is answering the question: What if he didn’t do it, what should he have done? And everybody wants him to confess.

“I have even heard people suggest that even if he didn’t do it he should have said he did so that everybody will move on. That is a helluva commentary.”

Hardin reiterated he and his staff have drilled Clemens on the need to fess up, if he did steroids or human growth hormone.

“He’s been told from the beginning if he did it he ought to do exactly what Andy [Pettitte] did. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that. And everybody assumes it is his arrogance and his ego that kept him from doing it.

“He wasn’t the greatest witness before Congress, I understand that. But I got to tell you, we’ve sat on him probably for 100 of our hours over the last two-and-a-half years, always with the same thing: ‘If you did it, the best thing to do is just admit it and move on and we’ll deal with it.’ He has never, ever wavered.”

Talk about rolling the dice. If he’s guilty and he didn’t accept this deal when he had the chance, then he’s absolutely out of his mind. The government has essentially given him a nice out and he decided not to take it, so he’s either truly innocent or clinically insane.

I will give Clemens this – he has maintained his innocence throughout this whole ordeal. He’s never wavered in his denial about talking steroids and obviously he’s willing to go to extreme measures to prove his innocence. One would think that if he were guilty, he would have taken the deal and then faced the public scrutiny to avoid jail time.

Of course, I wouldn’t put it past Clemens to go to jail and maintain his innocence, rather than accept a plea agreement and admit that he’s been lying this entire time. Even if he’s proven guilty in the court of law, he could continue to tell the public that he never juiced and that he was screwed by the judicial system.

What a mess.

“Rocket” once again denies taking HGH or steroids, lying to Congress

Former New York Yankee Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens is flanked by his lawyers while testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on The Mitchell Report: The Illegal Use of Steroids in Major League Baseball, on Capitol Hill in Washington in this February 13, 2008 file photograph. Clemens, one of the best pitchers in the sport's history, has been indicted on a series of charges related to lying to the U.S. Congress during an investigation into doping, court papers said. Picture taken February 13, 2008.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SPORT BASEBALL CRIME LAW)

After he was indicted yesterday on charges of making false statements to Congress during his testimony about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, Roger Clemens made a statement via his Twitter page denying that he ever used steroids.

I never took HGH or Steroids. And I did not lie to Congress. I look forward to challenging the Governments accusations, and hope people will keep an open mind until trial. I appreciate all the support I have been getting. I am happy to finally have my day in court.


Is it just me, or does anyone else think there’s something sad about the way Clemens signs off as “Rocket” at the end of his note? That’s his nickname of course, but it almost feels like he’s trying to play to the crowd that beloved him during his playing days.

Regardless, if you’re innocent, you shout it from the rooftops as much as possible – just like Clemens has done. It’s also important to keep in mind that he has never been proven guilty of anything as of this point.

But given how much evidence there is linking him to performance-enhancing drugs, I can’t help but to think about the Dana Carevy stand-up routine when he pokes fun at the O.J. Simpson trial.

Here sits a mountain of forensic evidence and Roger’s like, “Why we even havin’ a trial?”

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