By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
July 6, 2011
Jury selection was scheduled to begin yesterday for Cy Young Award winning pitcher Roger Clemens perjury trial in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Opening statements are scheduled for next week, with former Clemens teammate and presumed star witness Andy Pettite expected to testify.
Clemens is being charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to Congress during his testimony at a 2008 Congressional hearing on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. Clemens denied under oath that he ever used steroids, HGH, or other banned substances, but subsequent admissions from Pettite, strength trainer Brian McNamee, Jose Canseco, Chuck Knoblauch, and others contradict Clemens’ testimony.
Also expected to testify: former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, whose investigation into the use of PEDs in baseball and 2007 summary report accused 86 current and former players of using banned drugs, including Clemens.
Meanwhile, up the road in Delaware, the Dodgers most recent legal salvo involved filing papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court eviscerating MLB for declining to produce requested documents and executives for depositions. McCourt wants baseball to produce documents related not just to its proposed bailout financing for the Dodgers, but all documents related to the current financial affairs of the New York Mets, and those related to several other media deals approved by MLB. (The Dodgers contend that they are being singled out unfairly, and so the bankruptcy court should reject MLB’s attempt to lend the club money instead of letting it complete a lucrative media rights deal with FOX that would provide immediate cash flow.)
The court has a July 20 hearing scheduled on the financing issue. For the moment, the 82nd All-Star game is a welcome diversion.