Clemens had a secret steroid relationship?

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Clemens had a secret steroid relationship?

From Comcast SportsNet
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Brian McNamee described for jurors a relationship with Roger Clemens that had the hallmarks of an illicit affair -- except their secret was steroids. "Roger would ask me, What are you doing? Are you available tonight?' I knew exactly what he was talking about," McNamee said Monday, in the first day of his testimony against his former client and friend. Back then, in 1998, Clemens was pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays, and McNamee was the team's strength and conditioning coach. According to McNamee, the two men went to Clemens' apartment in the Jays' Skydome stadium. "Roger pulled down his pants, exposing his right buttocks cheek to me," McNamee said. A few seconds later, Clemens said he was ready. McNamee said he then "plunged the fluid in, into his buttocks." "That," McNamee said, "was the first time I injected Roger Clemens." McNamee said he didn't feel good about the moment, but he got the sense that Clemens "wasn't good at doing the booty shot.'" That year was the beginning of a decade-long relationship that soured when McNamee, facing legal trouble, told investigators he had injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with steroids and HGH. Clemens' denial of those allegations at a 2008 congressional hearing landed him in court, where he faces charges that he lied to Congress. It took a month for prosecutors to get to their key witness: McNamee is the only person who will claim firsthand knowledge of Clemens using performance-enhancing drugs. McNamee also detailed a rushed shot he gave Clemens in a utility closet in the Tampa Bay clubhouse in 1998. "I was hurrying because we had to get out of there," he recalled. "I closed the door and injected him real quick and we left. I kept one foot on the door as I was injecting," to keep anyone from coming in on them. And when McNamee was asked where Clemens had gotten the drugs, he responded: "Don't ask, don't tell. I didn't want to know." Later that season, McNamee claimed, Clemens came to his locker, threw a bag of steroids into it, and said: "Get rid of it. I'm done with it." That was after Clemens had developed an abscess on his buttocks. The two men had developed such a bond -- either because of drugs, as the prosecution says, or because of workouts, as the defense maintains -- that Clemens asked his new team, the New York Yankees, to bring McNamee on board at the beginning of the 1999 season. New York declined, but when Clemens made another plea near the end of the season, the Yankees created a new position for McNamee -- assistant strength and conditioning coach. The salary was only 30,000, McNamee said, but Clemens supplemented that with 50,000 or 60,000. The previous year, Clemens had tipped him 1,000 at the end of spring training, McNamee said. McNamee said he didn't want to be with the Yankees, having already worked for the team as a bullpen catcher and batting practice pitcher in the mid-1990s. "I just wanted to be Roger Clemens' trainer," he said. The bespectacled McNamee, speaking softly in a thick New York accent, often made eye contact with jurors, who paid close attention to him. Clemens, sitting about 20 feet across the courtroom, did as well. McNamee returns to the witness stand on Tuesday. The former pitcher took several pages of notes on a white legal pad. He looked up quickly when McNamee talked about their alleged conversations about performance-enhancing drugs, licking his lips and holding his pen in the air, as if interrupted in the middle of writing something down. Other times, he would tap five fingers on his desk. At the beginning of his testimony, McNamee seemed a bit sad about how things had turned. A prosecutor asked what it was like to work with such an icon. "Just give me a minute," McNamee said in a subdued tone, after a long pause. Then, his pitch shifting up, he said, "It was great working with the best." The two sides spent the morning arguing over which parts of McNamee's personal life may be revealed in front of the jury. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton quashed a Clemens subpoena for McNamee's divorce records. Walton said it was a "fishing expedition" to look for information to disparage McNamee. The judge did rule that Clemens' team could bring up evidence of McNamee's alleged alcohol problems, including two convictions for driving under the influence. Walton also said that if the defense had evidence that McNamee had obtained prescription drugs online without a prescription, that too could be mentioned. But the judge said again that defense lawyers may not mention that McNamee was investigated for an alleged sexual assault over a 2001 incident at a St. Petersburg, Fla., hotel involving a woman who was found to have a date-rape drug in her system. Walton said the defense could refer to it only as a "serious criminal investigation." The defense will be able to say that McNamee lied to investigators during that investigation. Charges were never filed in the case.

Nick Delmonico takes advantage of fresh start with White Sox

Nick Delmonico takes advantage of fresh start with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Given he was almost out of baseball just two years ago, White Sox farmhand Nick Delmonico never imagined he’d be where he is now.

But the former Baltimore Orioles/Milwaukee Brewers prospect feels like he has rid himself of the off-the-field issues that stunted development early in his career.

In 2014, Delmonico served a suspension for unauthorized use of Adderall and later asked for and was granted his release by Milwaukee. Now with a fresh start with the White Sox, he heads into the final week of camp with an outside shot at the roster. Though he’s likely to start the season at Triple-A Charlotte, Delmonico knows he has made tremendous progress both on and off the field the past two years.

“I definitely did not see this,” Delmonico said. “I’m very blessed to be here.

“It feels awesome. It feels like I’ve accomplished a lot just in my life to get here. Just being around my teammates is one of the biggest things I enjoy every day, just coming to the ballpark. I’m very happy and honored to be able to come here everyday.”

The White Sox weren’t sure what to expect when they signed Delmonico, 24, to a minor league deal on Feb. 11, 2015. A sixth-round pick by the Orioles in 2011, Delmonico received a $1.525 million signing bonus. He was traded to Milwaukee in July 2013 in exchange for closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Delmonico received a 50-game suspension for Adderall in 2014, which he told the Charlotte News Observer he’d used since high school for attention deficit disorder (ADD). Delmonico told the Observer he informed Milwaukee that he no longer wanted to play baseball, changed his phone number and asked for his release. He was placed on the restricted list on July 28 and never played in the Brewers farm system again.

The White Sox signed Delmonico seven months after his final game with Milwaukee and he returned to the field that June.

Delmonico requested privacy when asked about switching teams but acknowledged, “I had some past issues with some stuff that I’d like to keep to myself,” he said.

Delmonico started the 2015 season at Single-A Kannapolis and was promoted a week later to Double-A Birmingham. He finished the season with a .733 OPS and made an additional 76 plate appearances at the Arizona Fall League.

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Last season, Delmonico combined to hit .279/.347/.490 with 17 homers between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte in 110 games. That earned him an invite to big league camp, where Delmonico has displayed a swing refined the past two seasons.

Current third-base coach and former director of player development Nick Capra said Delmonico has worked hard to go from a pull hitter to one who uses the entire field. He entered Sunday hitting .268/.328/.589 with nine extra-base hits this spring in a team-high 61 plate appearance this spring.

“This kid has made a complete turnaround from when we first got him in camp,” Capra said. “He’s done everything. He’s done probably more than we expected him to do. He’s in a really great place. He has a personality that people kind of gravitate to and it’s been a blessing to have him around and see the smile on his face when he comes to work every day.”

Originally a third baseman, the White Sox have moved Delmonico around this spring. He’s logged time at first base and also in the outfield as they try to improve his versatility. If Delmonico performs well at Charlotte, there’s no reason he couldn’t eventually find his way to Chicago and succeed in the big leagues.

“We’re continuing to try to explore his ability to play third base,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He can obviously play first. We’ve started using him in left field. He’s a young man that has a bat to carry. Can hit the ball out of the ballpark. Gives you good at-bats. There’s something to him about his personality and the way he carries himself, which is infectious, which we like.”

Delmonico praised the family-feel that has been prominent in the White Sox clubhouse this spring. He had some jitters coming into his first big league camp but hasn’t allowed them to hinder anything.

He likes how Renteria and his staff have brought a young group of players together. And best of all, he’s happy to be in the right place to enjoy the experience.

“It definitely gives you confidence what you do here,” Delmonico said. “You’ve got to keep moving forward. The biggest thing for big league camp for me is learning as much as I can from everybody. And learning from myself, I’ve been able to handle things and try to pick up as much as I can.”

Nikola Mirotic, Bulls show some moxie in road win over Bucks

Nikola Mirotic, Bulls show some moxie in road win over Bucks

Whacked on his ailing left hand by Khris Middleton, Jimmy Butler shook off the pain to hit a rare triple in transition while Middleton was complaining for a foul a couple possessions later.

Butler then darted into the passing lane for a pass intended for Jason Terry like a linebacker jumping into the flat for an interception, then trotted down for an uncontested dunk to give the Bulls an unlikely 17-point lead.

For the man who claims he’s the best football player in the NBA, playing through the pain and doing so with his team’s playoff hopes dwindling, Butler may finally have some believers to his boasts.

Not only did the Bulls avoid a season sweep to the Milwaukee Bucks with a resounding 109-94 win at the BMO Bradley Center Sunday afternoon, they restored a slight sense of pride after looking like they had none of it Friday night in their loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Butler scored 20 with a career-high 13 assists in a grinding 39 minutes, but he could play the role of a semi-closer, making those big plays in the fourth when the Bulls pulled away.

Instead, it was March Madness as Nikola Mirotic played up to his career numbers in his favorite month on the calendar, drilling five triples on his way to 28 points and eight rebounds in 35 minutes.

Mirotic and Rajon Rondo helped the Bulls to a decisive double-digit lead in the third quarter with Rondo scoring 14 of his 18 points in the period, hitting a triple, getting into the lane for layups and dishing out a few of his eight assists.

It was an offensive masterpiece for the Bulls, a prospect that seemed highly unlikely given the opponent and the way they played coming into Sunday’s contest. And with the Bucks getting Giannis Antetokounmpo going early along with Middleton, it looked like a nightmare of a different kind was in store for the Bulls.

But Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg wasn’t about to let an instant replay occur, having seen his own version of a “Nightmare on Madison Street” Friday night against the woeful 76ers when his backups let time stand still for minutes at a time, squandering a double-digit lead.

Hoiberg decided not to mess around with the second unit as the Bucks began pulling away in the same manner the 76ers did Friday night. He brought the starters right back in when the lead ballooned to 45-33 at the 8:29 mark.

Then the Bulls went to work to finish the half, with a 23-10 run, along with starting off the third as efficient as they had been in awhile against a worthwhile opponent, shooting 14 of 21 in the period to take a 91-79 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Mirotic was seven of eight from the field before halftime and his first miss of the third—a 30-foot triple that went wide right, wound up in a 3-point opportunity for Rondo, who scooped the ball and scored on a layup while being fouled.

It was that kind of afternoon for the Bulls, a team that can’t seem to decide who they want to be on a nightly basis—making it that much harder for an opponent to predict, that much more difficult to eliminate from the playoff conversation.