Thursday, July 7, 2011

Roger Clemens Witness List Looks More Like an All-Star Roster

Former pitching great Roger Clemens may call on ex-teammates to testify in his defense at his perjury trial.  At the same time, a prosecutor said he may call former players already implicated in the scandal to the stand as well.  It's virtually a Who's Who of future, potential and tainted Hall of Famers.

While throngs of potential jurors lined up outside the E. Prettyman Court House in Washington; both sides planned their strategies and it sounds like a lot of former baseball greats might be headed for the stand.

It sounded like U.S. District Judge might permit Clemens former Yankees teammates-- Chuck Knoblauch, Andy Pettitte and Mike Stanton-- to take the stand, after Clemen's attorney, Rusty Hardin, said that Clemens' main accuser, Brian McNamee, created evidence made to blackmail his client.

Other potential witnesses including Mark McGwire, Jorge Posada and Sammy Sosa also appeared on the list.

Clemens, the 48 year-old winner of seven Cy Young Awards, was indicted a year ago on charges he gave false statements to a U.S. Congressional Committee investigating the use of steroids in baseball and perjured himself under oath while obstructing the committee's investigation into the wide-spread use of the drug which damaged the sport's reputation.

Other witnesses' names being mentioned by both the defense and prosecution include Barry Bonds, Wade Boggs, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and the guy who literally wrote the book on steroids--Jose Canseco.

The collection of names looks more like an old All-Star roster than a witness list in a Federal case and it's a pretty formidable team.

Here we go position by position.

1st Base-       Mark McGwire.  Former Oakland A's and St. Louis great.   583 career home-runs.
2nd Base-     Chuck Knoblauch.   Former Minnesota Twins and Yankee All-Star until he couldn't control his errant throws.
Shortstop-    Alex Rodriguez.  Yankees current third baseman who dates Cameron Diaz.
Third Base-  Wade Boggs. Former Red Sox player who jumped to Yankees and rode police horse around old Yankee Stadium after winning World Series.
Catcher-        Jorge Posada.  Current Yankee DH who stormed out of manager's office after getting dropped to batting ninth in the batting order earlier this year.
Outfield-        Barry Bonds.  All-time HR leader with 762.  Tried in own perjury case in April.
                       Sammy Sosa.  Seven time All-Star who tested positive for steroids in 2003 according to New York Times.  609 career homers.
                       Jose Canseco.  Former teammate of Clemens and admitted steroid user and book writer.
Relief-            Mike Stanton.  Former teammate of the Rocket on the Yankees.
Starter-          Andy Pettitte.  Just retired Yankee lefthander (19-10 postseason record) and good friend of Clemens.  Probably has most to lose in this hearing besides Clemens.

Baseball fans' eyes will be glued to the All-Star game at Chase Field in Phoenix next week, but the real  action may be in a Washington D.C. courtroom.  And while the former baseball talent testifying may even be questionably better than most of the 2011 All-Stars, there is no doubt there is more on the line than World Series home field advantage for some of these ex-big league players.

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