So what does that mean for his HOF chances?

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So what does that mean for his HOF chances?

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Acquitted in court, Roger Clemens must wait a half-year before finding out whether he cleared his name in the minds of Hall of Fame voters. Standards for conviction are clear in court, less so in baseball, where Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro have been bypassed for the Hall thus far despite distinguished careers. "I think the voters have already spoken, with McGwire and Palmeiro. I don't see him getting into the Hall of Fame as a first-year eligible," said ESPN reporteranalyst Tim Kurkjian, who plans to vote for Clemens. Clemens was acquitted Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C., on six counts that he lied and obstructed Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs. "I think everybody believes he was guilty in some form or fashion," said John Harper of the New York Daily News, who doesn't plan to vote for Clemens. "I think that's the real issue as far as voters go. I know that's an issue for me." Rusty Hardin, Clemens' defense attorney, said his client never fixated on whether or not he would gain admission to the Hall. "You know, the Hall of Fame thing, that's always been other people's concern," Hardin said Tuesday morning during an appearance on CNN. "Roger has made clear that wouldn't have driven him. He wanted to be considered the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball. ... "If he's judged in history by people in baseball to have been a great pitcher, that's good enough for him. If the writers decide to put him in the Hall of Fame, that's fine. If they don't, that's their call. This guy is one of the best people who happen to be also a great pitcher that I've ever known." Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa all will be first-timers on the ballot, which in some ways will be a referendum on the Steroids Era. Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling and Craig Biggio also will be making their initial appearances. "I haven't made any final decision on my votes, but my opinion has always leaned toward the idea that it is unfair to make Hall of Fame voters the steroids police," The Seattle Times' Larry Stone said. "We'll never know definitively who used and who didn't use, and MLB has never disallowed any statistics, so my inclination is to make judgments based on their performances on the field." Asked about Clemens' chances for making the Hall, NBC's Bob Costas said: "A guilty verdict would have damaged his reputation. It remains to be seen how much or if this verdict helps it." Costas doesn't cast a ballot; Hall of Fame voters are veteran members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. "I think some people will assume that he may very well have lied, but that the government couldn't prove it," former commissioner Fay Vincent said. "They may have real reservations about his record in light of those questions. But I think it modestly improves his chances of being elected to the Hall of Fame." Clemens spent 4 years proclaiming his innocence after Brian McNamee, his former personal trainer, told baseball investigator George Mitchell that he injected the pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone about 16 to 21 times during 1998, 2000 and 2001. On Monday, a jury of eight women and four men agreed with Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner. "I think it's great for the game because we can stop talking about it now," Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. "I'm pretty sure baseball fans are happy it's over." Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, a longtime friend of Clemens and a key witness in the case, wouldn't give his opinion on the verdict, saying only: "I don't even care to talk about that." Pettitte was believed to have given Clemens a boost when he testified there was a 50-50 chance he might have misunderstood a conversation during the 1999-2000 offseason that the government claimed was proof Clemens admitted using HGH. "We get all these trials out of the way, we can move on," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, a former Clemens teammate. "Now, it seems like we're beyond it." Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig declined to comment on the verdict. Union head Michael Weiner said Clemens was "vindicated." "We look forward to him taking his rightful place in the Hall of Fame," Weiner said. Vincent called it a "big win" for Clemens and his lawyer. "It's a major defeat for the Justice Department -- one of a series," he said. "I think the government is at a huge disadvantage against really good outside lawyers." Clemens is the latest sports figure to frustrate the federal government's efforts to nab suspected steroid cheats despite prosecution costs of tens of millions of dollars. Bonds, a seven-time NL MVP, was convicted of a single obstruction of justice count that he gave an evasive answer to a grand jury in 2003, and charges were dropped last year that he made false statements when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs. A grand jury investigation of Lance Armstrong was dropped last winter without charges being filed, though the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency filed formal accusations last week that could strip the seven-time Tour de France winner of his victories in cycling's premier race. Armstrong denies any doping. Federal agent Jeff Novitzky and his teams of investigators have obtained only two guilty pleas from athletes (Olympic track star Marion Jones and former NFL defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield); and two convictions (Bonds and sprint cyclist Tammy Thomas). Jones, who also pleaded guilty to making false statements about her association with a check-fraud scheme, was the only targeted athlete to serve a day in prison. Bonds' conviction still must survive an appeal. Clemens has no such worries. With a 354-184 record, 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, he would have been a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer when the votes are totaled in January. But since the day the Mitchell Report was released, his reputation has been tainted by suspicion. Still, Cleveland Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin was thrilled for Clemens, one of his boyhood heroes growing up in Texas. "If a case goes on that long and the jury decides he's not guilty, then obviously he's telling the truth," he said.

Fire Talk Podcast: Listen to Bastian Schweinsteiger's full introductory press conference

Fire Talk Podcast: Listen to Bastian Schweinsteiger's full introductory press conference

Bastian Schweinsteiger was introduced as a member of the Chicago Fire on Wednesday at a press conference at the Fire Pitch in Chicago.

The full press conference, which featured Schweinsteiger, Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez and coach Veljko Paunovic, can be watched in the video above or in podcast form embedded below:

Melo Trimble leaving Maryland for NBA Draft

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USA TODAY

Melo Trimble leaving Maryland for NBA Draft

A move several years in the making finally came Tuesday, with Maryland point guard Melo Trimble ending his collegiate career and declaring for the NBA Draft.

Trimble has been a candidate to depart the Terps for the NBA in each of the past two offseasons. He opted to stick around after a dazzling freshman campaign to join up with a group that entered the 2015-16 season as one of college basketball's national championship contenders. But his sophomore year saw a significant dip in his shooting numbers, and therefore a dip in his draft stock, bringing him back for his junior season.

Trimble was once again one of the best guards in the Big Ten this past season, and now his departure to the pros has finally come. In hiring an agent, Trimble is forgoing his senior season.

"I am confident and excited to pursue an opportunity to play in the NBA," Trimble said in Tuesday's announcement. "I am proud of what my teammates and I were able to accomplish these past three seasons at Maryland. I developed many great relationships and friendships, and together we able to create some very special moments for Maryland basketball.

"I want to thank coach (Mark) Turgeon for all of his support. He always believed in me. He challenged me and really helped in the development of my overall game. I am a more complete basketball player because of coach Turgeon and the coaching staff. To stay at home and attend the University of Maryland is the best decision that I ever made, and it was truly special to play in front of my family, friends and our amazing fans. Maryland will always be home."

In his three seasons, Trimble ended up in the top 15 in program history in scoring, assists, made free throws and made 3-pointers. Maryland won 79 games in Trimble's three seasons and finished in the top three in the Big Ten standings in each campaign.

As a freshman in 2014-15, Trimble averaged 16.2 points a game, shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range. He earned All-Big Ten First Team honors in his first year and was recognized as one of the country's top freshman guards, spurring speculation then that he would be a one-and-done player.

But with a trio of huge additions for 2015-16 — Robert Carter Jr., Rasheed Sulaimon and Diamond Stone — the Terps were looking like a national-title contender, and Trimble decided to stay for his sophomore season. While his scoring numbers decreased — he averaged 14.8 points a game and shot 41 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from 3 — Trimble helped Maryland reach the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in 13 years with nearly five assists a game.

His draft stock diminished, Trimble opted for one more season in College Park and saw his scoring average rise to a career-high 16.8 points per game while shooting 43.6 percent from the field. Trimble was once again named to the All-Big Ten First Team this season.

"Melo informed me that he has decided to enter his name in the NBA Draft," Turgeon said in the announcement. "Melo Trimble is a winner and helped change the face of our program. More importantly, Melo is a special person, and I thoroughly enjoyed coaching him. He is extremely humble and always puts the team first. Melo has grown as a leader and has done an outstanding job taking our program to new heights. Melo will be celebrated as one of the all-time greats in our program's history. We are very excited for Melo as he pursues his dream of playing professional basketball."