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Entries in Baseball (15)

Monday
Jun182012

Roger Clemens Emotional After Prosecutors Strike Out

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After a federal jury cleared him Monday of all counts, Roger Clemens, the legendary pitcher known for his toughness, broke down.

"For all you media guys that have followed my career, I put a lot of hard work into that career" Roger Clemens said as he wept on the courthouse steps surrounded by family.

Clemens, known as "The Rocket" and perhaps the most dominating Major League Baseball pitcher of his era, has been in a five-year fight to clear his name. He had become one of the primary symbols of what was wrong with baseball, accused of taking steroids and lying about it to Congress.

"Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids," Clemens said in a dramatic hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which called him to testify in February 2008.

The government spent four years investigating Clemens, dispatching 103 agents to 72 locations across the United States and around the world to prove that the former pitcher had committed perjury in denying his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens was charged with two counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements, and one count of obstructing Congress. On Monday, a jury acquitted him on all charges after a 10-week trial.

The case was largely built on the word of one man: Clemens' former trainer, who directly contradicted Clemens during that dramatic hearing before Congress in 2008.

"I injected Roger Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs," former New York Yankees trainer Brian McNamee told the House committee.

In end, the jury did not believe McNamee, whose credibility was severely damaged by the testimony of his estranged wife.

"She was able to persuade this jury that everything her estranged husband said was nothing but a lie," Lester Munson of ESPN said.

So the government struck out, and Clemens did something he had done many times before. He won.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr162012

Roger Clemens Jury Pool Asked About Steroids and Baseball

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The judge in the retrial of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens Monday walked potential jurors through a list of 86 questions that they were required to respond to, ranging from their interest in sports and baseball to their thoughts about steroids and human growth hormone and what they think about Congress.

Several potential jurors said they believed performance-enhancing drugs were widely used in professional sports but that the issue would not prevent them from giving Clemens a fair trial.

Clemens was indicted in August 2010 on charges of obstruction of Congress, perjury and false statements as a result of testimony he gave to Congress regarding use of performance-enhancing drugs, specifically steroids and human growth hormone, or HGH.

Clemens is charged with making the false statements to congressional investigators in a deposition on Feb. 5, 2008. The perjury charges arose from his Feb. 13, 2008, testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial in the case in July after only two days of testimony when prosecutors included portions of Clemens’ February 2008 congressional testimony that referred to conversations former Yankee teammate Andy Pettitte had with his wife, Laura Pettitte, about the use of HGH.

Walton had barred the prosecutors from referring to Pettitte’s wife before the jury.

Several of the jurors questioned Monday said they were aware that there had been a mistrial in the case as a result of some trouble over evidence in the case.

Two potential jurors said they felt Congress has more important issues to deal with than steroids in baseball.

“There as lot more current problems that should be dealt with,” a potential male juror told Walton Monday. “I found it a little bit ridiculous Congress is doing this."

“The whole process is a little bit wasteful,” the man said.

A woman who works for a conservation group said that although she thought the congressional hearings were not that pertinent, everyone should testify truthfully.

The woman said she was a fan of baseball and had attended about 20 major league games. Several potential jurors said they didn’t like baseball or follow sports.

Clemens sat seated at a table with his defense lawyers dressed in a blue-gray suit and tie. When the pool of jurors was brought into a room where they all listened to Walton’s instructions, Clemens stood before them all when he was asked to identify himself.

Clemens’ defense lawyers are expected to try to create doubt about the government’s evidence. At the final pretrial motions hearing Friday, Clemens’ defense attorney Rusty Hardin said he had serious questions about chain of custody issues over gauze pads and syringes that Clemens’ former trainer Brian McNamee kept after allegedly injecting Clemens with human growth hormone.

As the new trial approaches, Hardin is preparing to question the credibility of McNamee, the government’s star witness in the case. He is likely to raise questions about how McNamee kept the syringes and gauze pads he allegedly used to inject Clemens before providing them to government investigators.  During opening statements in the first trial, Hardin told the jury that McNamee “manufactured” the evidence.

During the hearing on Friday Hardin said that in the time since the mistrial was declared last July the government has carried out an additional 50 other interviews. Hardin complained before Judge Walton that this was unfair and that the “new information was gained through their own misconduct.”

Clemens has stated that the injections he received from McNamee were vitamin b12 and lidocaine.  The trial is expected to last 6 weeks. Opening arguments could begin next week after the jury of 12 people and four alternates are selected.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct012011

Son of Texas Baseball Fan Who Fell to His Death Throws Out First Pitch

Wendy Hope/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- It was a very emotional opening to baseball’s playoffs in Texas Friday night.

Cooper Stone threw out the first pitch.  He’s the 6-year-old son of Shannon Stone – the man who fell to his death at a July baseball game while trying to catch a ball tossed to him by Texas Rangers’ superstar Josh Hamilton.

It was Cooper’s first trip back to the ballpark since he witnessed his firefighter father’s death.

Hamilton caught the pitch from Cooper (a strike) and then embraced Cooper and his mom, Jenny.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Aug202011

Prosecutors File for Second Perjury Trial Against Clemens

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Prosecutors have filed arguments in Washington in an attempt to try baseball star Roger Clemens again on perjury charges.

The prosecution's first attempt against Clemens ended in a mistrial.

The baseball star is accused of lying under oath about using performance-enhancing drugs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

Texas Rangers to Honor Dead Baseball Fan with Statue

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- One of saddest sports stories of the summer occurred at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas last month when a 39-year-old man fell over the railing to his death while trying to catch a baseball tossed by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

What made the accident even more tragic was that Shannon Stone was attending the game with his six-year-old son, Cooper, who watched his father fall 20 feet onto a cement embankment.

This week, the Rangers organization announced it has commissioned the building of a statue to honor Shannon Stone that will be placed outside the stadium.

Entitled "Rangers Fans," the statue will feature the Brownwood, Texas firefighter and his son.

CEO and club president Nolan Ryan -- a Hall of Fame pitcher who played for Texas -- said, "I want for people to remember Shannon and Cooper.  And I want our fans to know that they represent what we are all about, about family entertainment and making memories."

In addition, there have been charities set up to take care of the financial needs of Stone's widow and her son.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul142011

Judge Declares Mistrial in Roger Clemens Case

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A mistrial has been declared in the perjury case against former baseball star Roger Clemens, just days after the trial began.

The defense complained that prosecutors failed to follow a pretrial ruling to limit information about conversations fellow ballplayer Andy Pettitte had with his wife about the use of human growth hormone. Judge Reggie Walton halted proceedings Thursday, quickly accepted their concerns and declared a mistrial.

Clemens' defense team raised objections to prosecutors showing jurors extended parts of Roger Clemens' testimony on Feb. 13, 2008, which referenced conversations between Pettitte and his wife about use of human growth hormone.

Before a brief recess, Walton admonished prosecutors for not editing down portions of the testimony: "I made a ruling that statements that Mr. Pettitte made to his wife could not be admitted."

"This clearly runs afoul of my pre-trial rulings."  Walton told the prosecutors. "That testimony is not going to be relevant."

A new jury will now be called.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

Baseball Fan Saved from Near-Death Fall Admits 'Bad Judgment'

Keith Carmickle and his brother Kraig talk with ABC News about his narrow escape from a 20ft. fall while trying to catch a baseball. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The Arizona baseball fan who narrowly escaped a 20-foot plunge while trying to catch a ball says all he recalls of the incident is the frantic screams of those around him and worries that his brother, who reached in to save his life, would be able to hold him. 

"I'm a 250-pound guy," Keith Carmickle, of Kingman, Ariz., said Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America. "The look in my brother's face just appeared like, 'Can we hold on to this guy?'"

Carmickle fell after climbing onto a table just 18 inches wide and leaning forward precariously over the railing in front of his right-field bleacher seats to try and catch a ball hit by Milwaukee Brewers star Prince Fielder during Major League Baseball's All-Star Home Run Derby at Chase Field, in Phoenix, on Monday night.

"I was using bad judgment on my part," Carmickle told GMA.

"When it came off the bat it seemed like it was coming directly at us," he said of the moments before the accident occurred. "I stepped up on the ladder and tumbled overboard before I realized what had even happened."

Carmickle fell over the railing headfirst before being grabbed by his brother, Kraig Carmickle, a friend, Aaron Nelson, and other spectators, who managed to save him from the estimated 20-foot fall to the stadium's pool deck.

Carmickle's near-death fall came on the same day as the funeral of Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter who fell to his death while trying to catch a ball for his young son thrown into the stands by Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

"I can only imagine what the Stone family is going through," said Kraig.

Stone's death and Carmickle's close call have raised questions about the safety of major league ballparks, and whether it is the fans who put themselves at risk by reaching for foul balls or the league and the teams who are not adequately protecting the fans.

Carmickle announced on GMA he'd be auctioning off two of the three balls they caught during the game on eBay, in an effort to raise money for Stone's family. They gave a third ball to a young baseball fan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul102011

Baseball Fan's Dream Is Two Guys' Job

Wendy Hope/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There are jobs that take a lot of tools, and there are jobs that take a lot of training. Then there are jobs that take a lot of big-screen televisions -- 15 to be exact.

Mike O'Hara and Ryan Wagner get paid to sit in front of those televisions and watch baseball games. Every minute of every Major League Baseball game this season.

That's 2,430 games if you are keeping score -- and that's just the regular season.

They are the first inhabitants of Major League Baseball's Fan Cave. Their seven-month marathon of baseball watching is part publicity stunt and part reality show -- all of it designed to appeal to a new generation of baseball fans.

With 30 baseball teams, there can be 15 games to watch in a day. Some days, O'Hara and Wagner begin watching at a little after noon, and don't leave until the final out is made on the West Coast, well after midnight.

"If there was a pro level of watching baseball, we are in the minor leagues, learning how to be superstars," O'Hara says.

But this gig involves much more than lounging in front of televisions. Entertainers and athletes are always dropping by to hang out -- visits that are turned into videos posted online. The cavemen also write about baseball, pop culture and their Fan Cave experiences constantly on Twitter, Face book and MLB.com.

The Fan Cave is a fan's dream -- or at least a fan who is a guy, say, between the ages of 18 to 34.

Located in a former record store in lower Manhattan, it's essentially a gigantic den tricked out with a pool table, a DJ booth, an air hockey game, a tattoo parlor, a bar, a barber's chair, a graffiti wall, areas for musicians to perform and all kinds of baseball memorabilia.

In the middle of it all is the Cave Monster, a wall of 15 large-screen televisions that flicker all day with baseball games and MLB Channel programming. Gigantic 14-foot high windows allow passersby on the street to peer in and watch, too.

Nearly 10,000 people submitted audition tapes for the Fan Cave gig. O'Hara and Wagner were chosen not only because they are huge baseball fans, but also because they are entertainers.

O'Hara, 37, is a comedian, musician and a Yankees fan. Wagner, 23, is an actor in musical theater who roots for the Baltimore Orioles.

It's often said the baseball season is a marathon. There are so many games. But you won't hear O'Hara and Wagner complaining.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jul092011

Derek Jeter Makes Yankees History with a Record 3,000 Hits

Michael Heiman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Yankee captain Derek Jeter earned his 3,000th hit of his career Saturday in a dramatic home run to left field to tie the game against Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.

Jeter's home run sent his teammates streaming out of the dugout and in from the bullpen to celebrate the historic moment. Fellow teammate Jorge Posada met Jeter at home plate with a bear hug, and every other teammate followed, as the game was put on hold for five minutes of celebration.

The 37 year old became the 28th major league player to get 3,000 hits, and the first to do it wearing a Yankees jersey.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul082011

Texas Rangers Fan Falls to Death Reaching for Ball

Polka Dot Images/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- A Texas baseball fan fell 20 feet to his death on Thursday after reaching over a barricade to catch a ball tossed to the crowd by Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

Arlington Fire Department officials said the man, who witnesses said was conscious after the fall, "went into full arrest" while being transported by ambulance.

The man has been identified as Shannon Stone, who worked with the Brownwood Fire Department. Brownwood Fire Marshal Buddy Preston confirmed that a Brownwood firefighter died at a Texas Rangers baseball game in Arlington.

"We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball," team president Nolan Ryan said somberly after the Rangers' 6-0 victory over Oakland.  "As an organization, and as our team members and our staff, we're very heavy-hearted about this, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."

Ryan added that Hamilton is "very distraught over this, as the entire team is."

Thursday's tragedy marks the second deadly fall at a Major League baseball game this season.  A 27-year-old man died in May when he fell 20 feet at a Colorado Rockies game and struck his head on concrete.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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