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Foul Balls: The Legal Fixation On Athletes

The Washington DC juggernaut is at it again with the persecution/prosecution of athletes. Today it is announced that charges have been filed against Houston Astros, and former Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics, shortstop Miguel Tejada. From Yahoo Sports:

The charges against Tejada, who currently plays for the Houston Astros, were outlined in documents filed in Washington federal court on Tuesday.

The documents indicate that a plea agreement has been reached with Tejada, who won the 2002 American League Most Valuable Player award while playing for the Oakland Athletics and is a five-time All-Star.

Tejada faces as much as a year in jail if convicted on the misdemeanor charge of making misrepresentations to Congress. Under federal guidelines, he would probably receive a lighter sentence.

The charge came in a legal document called a “criminal information,” which only can be filed with the defendant’s consent and typically signals a plea deal. A hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. EST Wednesday in Washington, and Tejada and his lawyer plan to hold a news conference later in the day in Houston.

Now, as the article states, the charging document being an information certainly indicates a plea. Also, this being a misdemeanor for false statement not under oath, it is unlikely that Tejada will serve anything more than nominal incarceration, and, quite frankly, may well serve none.

The bigger point is that this undoubtedly signals Tejada’s cooperation with Federal authorities. That would appear to mean they are still furiously working to bail out George Mitchell and his bud, Selig, for the craptastic Mitchell Report and they are determined to criminally nail Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in that regard. And they are going after anybody and everybody significant in the path to try to break loose evidence on Bonds and Clemens. After all the commotion on the two All Star defendants, the prosecution evidence set, that would be admissible at trial, really still sucks for convicting them.

But wait; there’s more! There always is when it comes to our elected idiots and athletes. Yep, our intrepid Congress is back on the baseball oversight beat; from Newsday:

Alex Rodriguez soon might have to repeat his steroid admission on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) plans to recommend to the head of the congressional committee that has previously hosted baseball players that A-Rod receive an invite to testify about his steroid use, Cummings told Newsday last night.

"I think we’re going to have to see what Rodriguez will tell us," Cummings said in a phone interview.

Now, in fairness, the early word is that House oversight Chairman Edolphus Towns is declining Cummings’ suggestion for a hearing. That, in and of itself, is somewhat shocking; who’d a thunk that Towns would be a more responsible and reliable voice for sanity than Cummings? Towns reportedly said:

"The American people need leaders who will focus on stemming job losses and getting credit to flow in the marketplace before hearing from yet another person who cheated both himself and the game of baseball."

No shit Edolphus. Thank you. But, you know, that goes for the DC US Attorney’s Office and Department of Justice as well. Why are they wasting time on this penny ante bunk? Let’s ponder for a moment what other things they might could be focusing on.

Hey, I know, Alberto Gonzales! There is little question but that Gonzo perjured himself in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in July, 2007. Heck, talk about bi-partisanship, Senators from both parties on the SJC were outraged and totally convinced it was perjury. I would sure like someone from the DC USA Office to explain to me how in the world they can justify their dogged pursuit of Miguel Tejada and Roger Clemens, but can’t quite seem to find the time for the far more heinous offenses of a cabinet official lying to Congress, and the public, about wholesale evisceration of the Fourth Amendment and defiling of the Constitution.

Or how about the fact that the same USA Office couldn’t bring itself to enforce subpoenas against the Bushbots like Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten and Karl Rove? What about Monica Goodling, who not only violated her immunity agreement with her testimony, but didn’t produce squat in the way of help in return?

There are many other things that would seem to be far more pressing for the DC USA to be focusing their razor sharp prosecutorial skills on than baseball players pumping up. I hope you all feel free to list them in comments. Instead, they will be in court Wednesday morning working the big Miguel Tejada misdemeanor matter. Hooray!

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