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February 23, 2008

Thoughts on Rusty and Pettitte

rusty hardin 022308This earlier post was one of the first to express reservations regarding Rusty Hardin's handling of Roger Clemens' defense to the allegations contained in the Mitchell Commission Report (previous posts here) and aftermath, but my reservations are nothing compared to those of Minneapolis attorney Ron Rosenbaum:

No one can really explain the strategy followed here," says Ron Rosenbaum, a local attorney and former talk-radio host on KSTP-AM, a station that still features him all too occasionally. "It strikes me as insane." [.  .  .]

"There's a difference of opinion in this town, but from the very beginning I thought this was a textbook case of how to not handle a legal situation like this," Rosenbaum says of his fellow lawyer, adding with incredulity that Hardin would allow Clemens to submit himself to a lie detector test, which the pitcher has said he would take. "At the end of the day, all you can do is recommend advice as an attorney. You can't tell your client directly what to do."

Rosenbaum is even harder on Clemens, who he characterizes as an ego-driven "buffoon."

pettitte 022308I know Hardin, who is a first-rate trial attorney. Thus, unlike Rosenbaum, I'm certain that Hardin has fully advised Clemens in writing of the considerable risks of the strategy that Clemens has undertaken in attempting to defend himself against alleged PED use. Nevertheless, the disastrous Clemens defense strategy to date reminds me of the best advice I used to pass along to young attorneys who I trained: "One of the most difficult, yet important, responsibilities of a good lawyer is to tell a potentially lucrative client 'No'."

Meanwhile, Clemens' former teammate and friend, Andy Pettitte, was widely praised across most of the mainstream media (the Chronicle's Jerome Solomon was a notable exception) for his "honesty" in admitting during a press-conference earlier in the week to use of human growth hormone at several times in the past. Now, I'm not much of one for simplistic morality plays being applied to complex issues such as steroids or other PED use in professional sports and society. Moreover, I certainly don't approve of the way ballplayers such as Pettitte and Clemens have been filleted publicly while Major League Baseball owners have largely received a pass on their culpability for promoting an almost pathologically competitive MLB culture that promotes use of PED's and other drugs. Nevertheless, as this C.J. Mahaney post points out, Pettitte's supposed adherence to his avowed Christian faith during his "confession" leaves much to be desired. Sometimes those simple morality plays aren't quite as applicable as they first appear.

Posted by Tom at February 23, 2008 12:00 AM |


Regardless of anyone's opinion of PED's, Pettitte once again proved that if you apologize right off from the start, don't drag things out, and don't lie and deny, then you'll be forgiven. America is unbelievably forgiving. Jason Giambi of the Yankees got popped for this back in 2003, and no one brings it up anymore. It's a dead issue.

If Pete Rose had come clean back in 1989 about the gambling, he'd probably have gotten reinstated and put in the Hall of Fame.

Posted by: bouj Author Profile Page at February 25, 2008 11:04 AM

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