Lazy Sunday Links and News II

Brandon Phillips and Matt Beslisle arbitration
Both Brandon Phillips and Matt Belisle filed for arbitration this week. 

For Belisle: Salary-$390,000 Asking-$1.65 million Reds Counter-$1 million

For Phillips: Salary-$407,000 Asking -$4.2 million Reds Counter-$2.7 million

JinAZ has a nice breakdown with some figures

Spring Training Home
Former COO John Allen made a trip out to Goodyear, Arizona this past week looking at a new site for the Reds’ spring training home.  Looks like Sarasota wants to make a counter offer to “re-build” Ed Smith Stadium which is in bad need of repair and to come up to code with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Read about it here and here

MLB Congressional Hearings
Last week Senator George Mitchell, Commissioner Bud Selig, and Player’s Union President Don Fehr had an appearance before Congress about the Mitchell Report.  Although I have barely watched some of the nearly four hours of testimony and questions, nothing much was gained; except for the fact that some Congressmen and Congress women know little or nothing about baseball.  One Congresswoman compared steroids in baseball to Britney Spears shenanigans. 

Baseball Prospectus Prospects List
BP has put out some information on Jay Bruce and the rest of the minor league prospects in the Reds system.  A subscription is required for the entire article.


Roger Clemens, “60 Minutes”, and the Mitchell Report

One of the first explosive stories that will carry over from 2007 into this year will be the Mitchell Report and Roger Clemens. The 45 year old (will turn 46 in August) power pitcher was named in a report by Senator George Mitchell that was an investigation into the use of steroids and performance enhancing drugs and the culture of Major League Baseball during the mid-to-late nineties and into the 2000s.

Clemens will appear on the news magazine 60 Minutes on Sunday, January 6 discussing his case and why he is innocent of using steroids. Brian McNamee, his personal trainer of several years, named in a federal indictment, was a star witness to the non-binding Mitchell Report. McNamee alleges that he injected Clemens with PEDs along with his teammate and friend Andy Pettitte. Pettitte has already admitted to using the drug human growth hormone (HGH), but says his use was limited and was used during a period when he was recovering from an injury. HGH was on Major League Baseball’s banned substance list as of 2004.

On page 171-172 of the Mitchell Report, we learn about McNamee’s relationship with Clemens:

“McNamee’s training relationship with Clemens and others has been described publicly. Peter Gammons reported during spring training 2001:Brandon Smith, an apprentice trainer with the Yankees, describes Roger Clemens’ day as follows: ‘He’s one of the first players in every morning, runs, does his program with Andy Pettitte, does the team program workout, goes to the weight room, leaves, plays 18 holes of golf and finally meets (trainer) Brian McNamee at 6 .. . . and a few other players –for another workout. It’s incredible how much energy Roger has.’

According to McNamee, Clemens advised him in August 2001 that he was again ready to use steroids. Shortly thereafter, McNamee injected Clemens with Sustanon or Deca-Durabolin on four to five occasions at Clemens’s apartment. According to McNamee, he again obtained these drugs from Kirk Radomski. McNamee concluded from Clemens’s statements and conduct that Clemens did not like using human growth hormone (Clemens told him that he did not like the “bellybutton shot”). To McNamee’s knowledge, Clemens did not use human growth hormone in 2001.”

The report continues on page 172:

“It was Clemens who made the decision when he would use anabolic steroids or human growth hormone. McNamee stated that he tried to educate Clemens about these substances; he ‘gave him as much information as possible.’”

Clemens offered this explanation on his official website in late December:

On Thursday, three days before the 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace, it is revealed that Clemens now claims that McNamee did inject him “with the painkiller lidocaine and the vitamin B-12 – not any performance-enhancing drugs.”

So what questions should Mike Wallace ask Clemens? Here are a few suggestions:

What is your exact relationship with Brian McNamee during your time in Major League Baseball?

Will you testify under oath, in a court of law or before Congress, that you did not use illegal performance enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone, at any time in your baseball career?

Do you plan to sue Brian McNamee for liable or slander when he said, under pressure from the federal government, that he injected you with performance enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone, at any time in your baseball career?

Did you know of the use of steroids and the culture of their use in Major League Baseball? If so, why did you not offer to help with the Mitchell investigation and testify for the investigation of steroids and the culture of their use in Major League Baseball?

I plan on taking an open-minded approach to the interview and should have some sort of a reaction on Monday or Tuesday.