PORT ARTHUR —
Jury’s ruling aside
difficult to believe
Anybody surprised that a Washington D.C. jury came back with a not guilty verdict on Roger Clemens must have already forgotten O.J. Simpson and Barry Bonds. Slick, high-powered attorneys, as we’ve seen time and again, can work wonders for wealthy clients in a courtroom. To believe Clemens is innocent of all charges is to believe Andy Pettitte didn’t hear what he said he heard before jumping through an escape hatch, that Pettitte and Debbie Clemens took HGH but Roger didn’t and that all the other evidence the government rolled out was manufactured. The good news for those of us who believe this was a miscarriage of justice is that Clemens will probably always be guilty in the court of public opinion, and that the Baseball Writers of America, who hold his Hall of Fame fate, aren’t likely to be swayed by anything his attorneys said or did. And wouldn’t it be interesting to see the bottom line on good old Roger’s attorney fees ? ? ? Opinions on how Memorial ex J’Covan Brown will fare in next Thursday’s NBA draft continue to be all over the place. Consensus seems to be middle of the second round, but I’ve also seen speculation that he won’t get drafted and one forecast that he might slip into the bottom of the first round. Probably not helping are some of the “measureables” coming out of the recent NBA Draft Combine. Brown had the highest percentage of body fat (12.5 percent), lowest max-vertical leap (29.5), smallest hands and fourth-smallest wingspan of the 60 invited players. He did, however, get good reviews for on-floor performance in passing, scoring, running the pick-and-roll and making good decisions with the ball in his hands. All it takes, of course, is for just one team to like what it saw.
Bet you didn’t know there is a baseball stat called “game score” with a formula to rate the most dominant pitching performances in history. Neither did I until reading about it in USA Today after the Giants Matt Cain threw a perfect game at the Astros.. Devised by statistician Bill James, the formula starts a pitcher off with 50 points, then adds one point for each out recorded, two points for each inning completed after the fourth and one point for each strikeout. Two points are deducted for each hit allowed, four are taken away for each earned run, two points are subtracted for each unearned run and walks cost a point. Applying that formula, Cain had 101 points to tie Nolan Ryan no-hitter for the Angels in 1991 and Sandy Koufax’s perfect game for the Dodgers in 1965 for the second most dominant performance ever. Unfortunately for the Astros, they were also the opponent for the most dominant game — Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout, one-hit, no walk shutout of them in 1998. Wood rolled up 105 points in that one . . . Southeast Texans now have another player’s progress to track in professional baseball. Former Nederland quarterback Alex Moshier, a 6-0, 190 pound right-handed pitcher coming off an impressive season as Stephen F. Austin’s closer, has signed with the Tampa Bay Rays as a non-drafted free agent. Moshier, 23, who thought he was headed to play with an Independent League team, had nine saves, a 2.19 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 37 innings with SFA. Opponents batted only .181 against him this past season and just .097 in 2011. He’s been assigned to Tampa Bay’s Gulf Coast League rookie team, which plans to use him as a two-inning reliever.
There’s a lot to like about the Houston Texans, starting with Wade Phillips’ defense and one of the NFL’s most productive running backs in Arian Foster. The high expectations of the fan base and the media, however, are one injury to wide receiver Andre Johnson away from a hard fall. It’s really scary to look at the Texans’ receiving corps and envision what it, and the team’s offense, would be without Johnson. Given his age and injury-history, it’s not a good place to be. More so even than QB Matt Schaub, Houston must have a healthy Johnson to deal with the league’s better teams. Wade’s defense isn’t going to shut everybody out . . . So how bad have things really been for the Dallas Cowboys over the past 15 years? We all know Jerry Jones’ team has one playoff victory to show for the last 15 years and that there’s been ongoing mediocrity. Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram took the trouble to add up the carnage since the Cowboys last won a Super Bowl. It added up to an overall record of 132-133. The only constant through all that, of course, has been Jones. Jethro, by the way, is due a cameo appearance in the 2012 version of the TV soap opera Dallas. The man who continues to screw over Jimmy Johnson on the Cowboys Ring of Honor certainly seems like a natural fit with J.R. Ewing . . . So who’s the odds-on favorite to follow Alabama as the BCS national champion? Vegas has USC at 4.5 to 1, with LSU a close second at 5-to-1. After that it’s Alabama (6-to-1), Oregon (12-to-1) and Oklahoma (13-to-1). Texas is 34-to-1. The over/under on how many games Texas A&M will win in its first year in the SEC is 7.5. Texas’ over/under is 8.5.
When the Astros signed supplement first-round draft pick Lance McCullers Jr. last week, the name should have registered with fans who date back to the Beaumont Golden Gators of the Texas League. Lance McCullers Sr., a right-handed power pitcher like his son, was an original Golden Gator in 1983. He would go on to spend seven years in the majors with the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers. Getting McCullers Jr. signed was a real coup for the Astros, who stood to lose him to the University of Florida if they hadn’t peeled off a $2.5 million signing bonus . . . Perhaps the biggest change in baseball over the years is the disappearance of the complete game. In 1974, which really wasn’t the dark ages, pitchers finished what they started a whopping 1,089 times. By 2011, with managers running to make a pitching change at the first hint of trouble, the number had dropped to 173. Thus far this year there have been only 55 and 10 pitchers account for 23 of them. The leaders are the Mets R.A. Dickey, Detroit’s Justin Verlander and Toronto’s Brandon Morrow with three each. Seven teams, including the Astros, don’t have a single complete game. Compare that to St. Louis’ Bob Gibson who threw 28 complete games in 34 starts in 1968 and had 255 overall in 482 career starts . . . Former Astros manager Larry Dierker was properly embarrassed when Houston Chronicle columnist Ken Hoffman called recently to inquire about the e-mail he’d gotten from Dierker’s address encouraging him to buy Viagara from a Canadian pharmacy. Turns out Dierker’s computer had been hacked. I’m guessing more than a few guys reading this have received a similar Viagara e-mail from a friend and wondered about it. I know I have. Chances are their friends had been hacked.
Due to a perfect storm of circumstances, including having two extra Southland Conference games added to the schedule, Lamar is looking at the possibility of opening the 2012-13 season with a minimum of 10 consecutive road games. Assistant coach Cliff Carroll, who handles scheduling for Pat Knight, is trying to salvage a non-conference home game with Tennessee Tech, but may not be able to do it. Already, he’s had to give Rice a pass on coming to Beaumont next season. Compounding the situation is the fact Lamar, with eight new faces and just one returning starter, will be in a major rebuilding mode . . . Vanderbilt head football coach James Franklin created quite a stir recently when he outlined qualifications to be an assistant on his staff. “I’ve been saying it for a long time; I will not hire an assistant until I see his wife,” Strong said on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville. “If she looks the part and she’s a D1 recruit, then you have a chance to be hired. That’s part of the deal. There’s a very strong correlation between having the confidence, going up and talking to a woman, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence to walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him.” Wonder if Vandy puts out a coaches’ wives swimsuit calendar ? ? ? Kids in Kentucky who can’t block or tackle, catch a pass, shoot a basketball, hit a baseball, play tennis or golf or run fast now have a new way to earn a letter jacket. The state’s high school athletic association, in an effort to get more kids involved, has made bass fishing a high school sport. Rules call for two student-athletes to fish from a boat captained by an adult. They will cast artificial lures and work toward a five-fish limit. Total weight of the catch determines the winner . . .
Port Arthur News sports editor Bob West can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PORT ARTHUR —
Jury’s ruling aside
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