Mike from Attleboro: Pettitte takes the loss in Clemens case

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Mike from Attleboro: Pettitte takes the loss in Clemens case

Roger Clemens walked out of a Washington courtroom a free man earlier this week, as a jury ruled him not guilty of perjuring himself in front of Congress about taking performance enhancing drugs. In front of a heaving throng of press he thanked his supporters and his family. He reminded everyone that it takes a lot of hard work to have a career like his (those Steroids dont lift the weights on their own!) and could barely finish his statement because he was either legitimately choked up, or he was still fighting the effects of giving the twins a pre-verdict liniment basting.

All things considered, a great day for the man formerly known as the Rocket. He fought the law and he won.

And much like championship ball games, in high-profile, hyper-publicized court cases, where there is a big winner, there is a big loser. Who is my choice to wear the goat horns?

Look no further than self-styled paragon of all things virtuous, Andy Pettitte.

If you believe the press clippings, Andy Pettitte is the Ivory soap of professional sports, 99-and-44100-percent pure. Pettitte himself has never been shy about plugging his own moral credentials. Heres an excerpt from Angelic Andys book Strike Zone: Targeting a Life of Integrity and Purity: As a Christian I also have one goal. I want to fulfill God's purpose for my life. I constantly ask myself "What does God want me to do?" Saint Pettitte didnt just go on any old TV show to pitch his tome either; he was a guest on the 700 Club. If there is a Soul Train for the God Squad, Pat Robertson is hosting it, and you dont get on that show unless Pat thinks he could accept a sacrament off your ass.

Its this kind of squeaky clean resume that made him the Star Witness for the Government in its case against his former best friend. Clemens and Pettitte were both named in the Mitchell Report and Pettitte and Clemens both used the ultra-sketchy Brian McNamee as their Strength and Conditioning trainer. So when it became obvious that McNamee would have serious credibility issues in front of a jury, the Government turned to the morally impeccable Pettitte. And, because presumably, God wanted him to, Andy rolled on his buddy when subpoenaed for testimony by congress. "Roger told me he had used it(HGH) and it helped him with recovery (after workouts)." It was that statement and Pettittes unassailable character that allowed this case to not only progress beyond a grand jury, but hopefully would lead Roger to the perp walk so many were craving.

When Pettitte, currently a starting pitcher for the Yankees, walked to the witness stand on May 2nd, the Government thought it had a closer for its case against the Rocket. Andy sold out his own father, so nailing Clemens seemed like a forgone conclusion. But unfortunately for the Government and bloodthirsty Clemens haters everywhere, when Pettitte put his hand on the Bible, God must have wanted Andy to be an acrobat, because his testimony flipped like a member of Cirque du Soleil. When asked by the defense if he would categorize his famous HGH statement as "50-50 you might have misunderstood?" Andy said: "I'd say that's fair." Going .500 might be good enough for your 2012 Boston Red Sox but for a jury, its all they needed to hear to hand the Rocket the most important decision of his career.

You want to blame someone for wasting your tax dollars on a hopeless prosecution? Blame Pettitte. You want to blame someone for letting Clemens grandstand in triumph? Blame Pettitte. You want to blame someone for this case ending in a way only Suzyn Waldman could love? Blame Pettitte.

Instead of the Clemens legacy getting an indelible black mark in the annals of baseball history, it was the legend of Andy Pettitte as a moral oak that is debunked for all to see. That narrative is destined to end up next to the Andy Pettitte that only did steroids once: filed away in the fiction section. As far as Pettittes book goes, it can stay in the non-fiction wing for now. But Id recommend a new title for the paperback version
Strike Zone: Targeting a Life of Integrity and Purity with 50 accuracy

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

Click here for the complete story on CSNChicago.com

Red Sox notes: Sox did their homework researching Sale's character

Red Sox notes: Sox did their homework researching Sale's character

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- In today's game, teams are sure to do their homework when bringing in a star player. For either a big free agent or trade acquisition, clubs want to know everything they can about the individual.

New starter Chris Sale passes that test for the Red Sox.

"There's always an on-field (personality) and away from the game (to consider),'' said Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox' president of baseball operations. "On the field, he's as competitive as can be. He's got an edge to him - a good edge. His teammates love him.

"Off the field, I've heard a lot of pleasant things about him. I've heard tremendous things from him as an individual. A couple of our guys in the organization know him very well and say real good things about him.''

Sale was involved in two clubhouse incidents last season - one in which he angrily confronted White Sox president Kenny Williams about his decision to limit the amount of time Adam LaRoche's son could spend with the team, and another in which he cut up a throw-back uniform with scissors.

"I think you do your checking to see what causes some things,'' said Dombrowski. "But after I checked things, (I'm) not really (concerned).''

Another benefit to having Sale is that he could potentially take some pressure of David Price, who struggled at times in his first season in Boston and perhaps tried too hard to validate his $217 million contract.

"I think it's always good for a club if they have a number of guys, top of the rotation guys, to take the pressure off everybody else,'' Dombrowski said. "Because you know that everyone has a bad outing here and there, and somebody else picks you up in that case. I think that's helpful. If we didn't have (another No. 1 starter), I'd still have confidence in (Price).''

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It's possible that the Red Sox could go into next season with as many as four lefthanders in their rotation -- Sale, Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz.

"It's unusual to have four lefthanders, potentially, in the rotation,'' acknowledged Dombrowski. "A lot of times, you're looking for one. But if it was four lefties, that would be fine. I think it's more important that they get people out. I'd be comfortable with that.

"I've really never been in that spot before, which doesn't make me feel uncomfortable. I don't have a driving force to make any trades because four guys are lefties. I think they're good lefties.''

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Retired Red Sox slugger David Ortiz caused a stir with an Instagram post Tuesday night, kiddingly suggesting that the arrival of Sale was forcing him to re-think his decision to quit.

"It's amazing the number of people who reached out to me,'' laughed Dombrowski. "I know David well enough. I do know that if he really had sincere interest (in returning), he would call. But I also know that he has to stay on the voluntarily retired list for 60 days. So there's rules involved with that. But I know he was just joking.

"When I walk into the clubhouse and I see him working out, I say, 'You could play now. Look at the shape you're in!' But he says, 'Oh, nooooo.' ''

The Sox have yet to officially confirm that they've signed free agent first baseman Mitch Moreland. The two sides are in agreement on a one-year deal for $5.5 million deal, but a slight delay has taken place because of either contractual formalities or added time for medical information to be obtained.

"I can't say much about free agent players,'' said Dombrowski. "We've made some strides with an individual. But I'm not in a position to say much about that for various reasons.''