Thursday, February 07, 2008

Now that the post Super Bowl euphoria is passing, it's time to get back to serious business. I didn't take the time to comment when the Red Sox added Sean Casey to the team in the not too distant past for three reasons. First, the NFL playoffs were much more important at the time. Second, I really don't know what to make of it. And third, I'm not too worried about what he can bring to the table.

Casey is, in theory, an interesting addition to the 2008 Red Sox lineup. He's a left handed bat, who can serve to spell Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis at stretches during the season. I am not anticipating that he would play third, but with him in the lineup it would free Youkilis to play third and Lowell to rest, or DH according to the whim of Francona.

That said, he's not tremedously young anymore. Casey won't be a character problem, since he's been very well liked by teammates, fans and the media everywhere he's played. But he's slow, even by the standards of these Red Sox who are (with the exception of Ellsbury and others) a particularly slow team, both mentally and physically. Also, I don't see him getting enough at bats to make a big impact on the team's fortunes. But who knows who might get hurt.

In other news, Brian McNamee took the stand in Congress today. His battle with Roger Clemens has taken an interesting turn. And one must wonder how it will impact the more important battle being waged between myself and theKobraKommander for the hearts and minds of my readers. This is, indeed, a strange turn.

Brian McNamee turned evidence including syringes, gauze pads and vials over to the IRS Special Investigator allegedly providing the substance behind the earlier accusation that he had injected Roger Clemens with steroids, HGH and everything but the kitchen sink. At first blush, this looks very bad for Clemens, who testified in his own deposition on Tuesday that he had never taken performance enhancing substances.

If Clemens is proved to have perjured himself, it is, ironically, the only way he can fairly and legally be punished for what he is alleged to have done in the Mitchell Report. As baseball had no comprehensive policy banning performance enhancing substances prior to 2004, all of the allegations against Clemens would be moot otherwise, since one cannont be punished under a law written ex post facto.

As a defender of Clemens from the first appearance of the Mitchell Report, I am not tremendously worried about the material that has been handed over to the government investigators. This comment provided by the doping expert ESPN consulted for their story eases my mind somewhat:

Doping expert Don Catlin said steroids could still be detected in a sample that old.

"But if you don't find it, it doesn't mean it wasn't there before," said Catlin, who added there are sure to be chain of custody issues.

He said HGH would be much less stable.

Any reasonably competent lawyer should be able to get around that, provided that there is anything around which to get in this story. Granted, there isn't a great deal of detail in Catlin's comment, but it doesn't seem strong enough to damn Clemens, either. Time, however, will tell.

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