Skip to content

Prosecutors: Clemens betrayed his friends

Apr 24, 2012, 1:02 PM EDT

Roger Clemens Getty Images

Figure since I linked a piece on Rusty Hardin’s opening statement that I ought to do the same for the prosecution. They went yesterday afternoon. Their theory: Clemens was obsessed with his legacy. So much so that he was willing to betray friendships in order to preserve it:

The government — more than it did during its opening statement at Clemens’s mistrial last summer — also went heavy on its allegation that Clemens sought to save his reputation by sacrificing some of his closest relationships.

“It is the story of a betrayal of friendships,” Steven Durham, an assistant United States attorney, told the jury of 10 women and 6 men, including four alternates … Within minutes of starting to speak to the jury, the government showed jurors a photograph of Clemens with Andy Pettitte and their former trainer, Brian McNamee — two men who were once close to Clemens.

In the first trial the prosecutors played up some of that “athletes are arrogant and above the law” stuff, as did the prosecutors in the Barry Bonds case. It’s actually a pretty common theme in criminal cases involving athletes. “He’s always been spoiled, and he thinks he can get away with anything,” or words to that effect.

Different tack here. I think it’s a pretty decent one, as far as framing goes.  More human scale and relatable for the jury.  That arrogant athlete stuff isn’t as effective in my view because while it’s understandable, people still worship athletes even if they know better. It’s almost hard-wired. But someone betraying friends? That’s a lot easier to get your brain around.

Of course it’s all useless if the evidence isn’t there. But it’s interesting all the same.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Yoenis Cespedes heading to the New York Mets

    Jul 31, 2015, 3:59 PM EDT

    cespedes getty Getty Images

    The Mets add a big bat to their anemic offense. And they don’t have to part with Zack Wheeler to do it.

  2. Garrett Jones designated for assignment by the Yankees

    Jul 31, 2015, 3:12 PM EDT

    Garrett Jones Yankees Getty Images

    Jones struggled in a part-time role for the Yankees.

  3. The Mets are making a push for Yoenis Cespedes

    Jul 31, 2015, 2:27 PM EDT

    Yoenis Cespedes Getty Images

    This is the third outfielder to whom they’ve been linked in three days. Let’s see if this one takes.

  4. The Blue Jays pick up Ben Revere from the Phillies

    Jul 31, 2015, 2:13 PM EDT

    Ben Revere Ben Revere

    He’s hitting hitting .298/.334/.374 and will likely take over left field duties.

  5. The Cubs, Padres and Red Sox are said to be talking about a three-way deal

    Jul 31, 2015, 2:08 PM EDT

    San Diego Padres Logo

    Jed Hoyer has worked for all three of these teams. He may be in the middle of a big trade involving them all.

  6. Twins trade for Rays reliever Kevin Jepsen

    Jul 31, 2015, 2:05 PM EDT

    Kevin Jepsen Rays Getty Images

    Bullpen help has been an obvious need for Minnesota.

  7. Cubs trade for Dan Haren

    Jul 31, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    Dan Haren Dan Haren

    The Cubs get a starter.

  8. 2015 MLB Trade Deadline Tracker

    Jul 31, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    150731-Justin-Upton Getty Images

    We’re recapping all of the deals as they come down.

  9. Cardinals add more bullpen help, get Jonathan Broxton from Brewers

    Jul 31, 2015, 12:02 PM EDT

    Jonathan Broxton Brewers Getty Images

    Cardinals’ bullpen is suddenly stacked with closers and ex-closers.

  10. David Price got a flat tire on the way to Toronto

    Jul 31, 2015, 11:11 AM EDT

    david price getty Getty Images

    Maybe he’ll see Daniel Norris coming the other way in his van?

  11. Orioles trade for Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra

    Jul 31, 2015, 10:39 AM EDT

    Gerardo Parra Brewers Getty Images

    Milwaukee receives a starting pitcher prospect in return.

  12. Now the Yankees said to be “aggressively pursuing” Aroldis Chapman

    Jul 31, 2015, 9:49 AM EDT

    Aroldis Chapman AP

    Or, the very least, want the Padres to think they are so as to bring Craig Kimbrel’s price down.

  13. Red Sox are considering moves for Tyson Ross or Carlos Carrasco

    Jul 31, 2015, 9:25 AM EDT

    red sox logo

    They have the worst ERA in the AL, so any starter would be a nice addition.

  14. Cardinals hoping Matt Holliday will play again this season

    Jul 31, 2015, 9:18 AM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

    Another torn quadriceps muscle for the All-Star left fielder.

  15. Padres and Astros said to be “working on something big”

    Jul 31, 2015, 8:55 AM EDT

    astros logo

    I feel like Ken Caminiti has to be involved.

  16. The Cubs and Indians are talking about Carlos Carrasco

    Jul 31, 2015, 8:43 AM EDT

    Carlos Carrasco AP

    He’d be both a 2015 and a future move.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Hamels (5865)
  2. C. Gomez (4800)
  3. T. Tulowitzki (4371)
  4. M. Trout (3933)
  5. J. Cueto (3893)
  1. C. Gonzalez (3698)
  2. A. Rodriguez (3637)
  3. D. Price (3533)
  4. J. Bruce (3200)
  5. T. Clippard (3170)