May 31, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT
As the Roger Clemens case drags on, the defense is trying to dazzle the jury with star power! Well, Phil Garner, Charlie O’Brien and other Clemens teammates anyway:
Roger Clemens lost something off his fastball in his 40s but still succeeded by pitching smarter, his former manager testified today.
“He continued to have great success, but for different reasons,” said defense witness Phil Garner, who managed Clemens with the Houston Astros from 2004-2006. “He didn’t just overpower teams; he outsmarted teams … He wasn’t as domineering as he was earlier.”
Scrap Iron went on to rave about Clemens’ work habits and drive and all of that. Yesterday former Clemens catchers Charlie O’Brien and Darrin Fletcher testified. Here’s O’Brien:
“I don’t think he’d cheat,” said former journeyman catcher Charlie O’Brien, who caught Clemens’ games for much of the 1997 season with the Toronto Blue Jays. O’Brien portrayed Clemens as such a stickler that he’d refuse to throw scuffed baseballs because he considered it cheating.
(1) How DARE they call the former personal catcher of the great Greg Maddux — and the inventor of the hockey-style catcher’s mask — a “journeyman catcher.” He is a genius and a saint and shall ever be thus; and
(2) Even if he is a genius and a saint, dude ought to be prosecuted for perjury right now for saying that Clemens refused to throw a scuffed baseball. Because that’s crazy. Not saying he scuffed them, but if a scuffed one was inadvertently returned to him rather than be replaced by a fresh ball, I would bet my children’s lives on him or any other pitcher throwing the thing.
Fletcher’s testimony sounded almost fanboy-esque. He did say that Clemens would purse his lips on the mound when he wanted to throw a curveball. Which is a new one to me. I guess the death stares and game-rage he usually displayed were him asking to throw the heat and the splitter.
Anyway, at least the trial sounds more interesting than it was before. Because, you know, Phil Garner and those guys.
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