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Lip Man 1
03-16-2005, 08:53 PM
Immunity and other issues...

Pretty eventful day regarding the steroid hearings. I’d like to recap some items that I heard today as well as participated in.
Listening to Fox Sports radio this afternoon, the Chris Myers show, he’s the only on - air person that I care for from that network. Apparently during a break in the Robert Blake trial, the Fox News legal reporter called in on his own to answer some questions about immunity and why Congress didn’t offer it to the players Thursday.

He said usually immunity is not granted because the body does not want to hamstring any future legal actions done by anyone from the U.S. Government to local D.A.’s. He said once immunity is granted to someone it is all but impossible to prosecute them in the future because the burden is then on the prosecution to prove that they got their evidence and so forth from other sources and not from any leads, testimony, allegations and so on that took place in the hearing.

That being said he went on to add something I felt was important. I paraphrase. "If Congress really wants to make an impact in this they would have granted immunity. By not doing so, what do they expect these players to say? (In fact Canseco’s lawyer was on later and stated that without immunity all Jose’ is going to do is invoke the 5th amendment.) If Mark McGwire shows up and doesn’t answer the question, ‘did you use steroids,’ all that’s going to come out on Friday are headlines...’McGwire takes 5th.’ If that’s what Congress is trying to do, to embarrass these players then this is nothing but grandstanding."

I later called in to talk with Chris and guest host Bryan Cox, who doesn’t communicate very well but is outspoken and won’t duck any questions. (He’s the NFL’s version of Charles Barkley...) I called because of a great quote that I saw on ESPN.com in a story by one of their columnists. He spoke with people familiar with Congress and how Washington works and this line was used from that source regarding the ‘why’ of these hearings. "This is how future Presidents and Senators (not Washington...LOL) are made."

The implication being this is all a show, that some of these representatives are trying to advance their own careers... period.

While holding to get on, you could hear the conversation and Cox said something that I had to clarify. He said, "the only person before these hearings that hasn’t been implicated in steroids is Curt Schilling."

After I got on and said the line from ESPN.com, I then added, "Bryan a point of clarification. You said Curt Schilling is the only person before the committee that hasn’t been implicated in using steroids. That’s not quite accurate. Frank Thomas is there because since as far back as 1999 he has been publicly saying there’s a problem, it’s going to be an embarrassment and it needs to be solved."

Myers then jumped in and said, "Good for Frank. I didn’t know he had been saying this from that long ago but I know when I interviewed him he was very outspoken against steroid use." Cox then said, "Thank you for educating me about this, I didn’t know that about Frank."
Which brings up my final point. I think if Congress is going to play these games then they need to have the gonads to publicly say why certain players were called. They need to clarify exactly that certain players like Thomas, Schilling and I think Palmeiro have nothing to do with steroids. They shouldn’t be lumped into the same boat as Giambi, Canseco, Bonds, Sosa and unfortunately it looks like McGwire.

By not doing so the ‘average’ or ‘uneducated’ fan (like in this case Cox) assumes that Frank and Curt are guilty by association. That’s blatantly wrong and unfair.

Lip

chidonez
03-16-2005, 08:59 PM
Good point. I wish someone would bring up the MVP issue, although I hope it doesn't have to be Frank, which, unfortunately, might make it seem disingenuous to the ignorant. Go Frank.

Daver
03-16-2005, 09:01 PM
This has been a dog and pony show since day one, but it has managed to get quite a few congressmen's names mentioned on ESPN, as well as every other media outlet nearly non-stop.

What do you think it would cost for them to buy this kind of advertising?

RichFitztightly
03-16-2005, 09:13 PM
=
What do you think it would cost for them to buy this kind of advertising?

Probably not as much as you think. There's a law where broadcasters must charge political candidates a rate equal to the lowest 30sec rate they've charged anybody else.

SoxyStu
03-16-2005, 09:38 PM
Am I mistaken or once you answer one question (besides identifying information), you may not plead the 5th? You MUST answer any and all questions thereafter?

Daver
03-16-2005, 09:40 PM
Am I mistaken or once you answer one question (besides identifying information), you may not plead the 5th? You MUST answer any and all questions thereafter?

You cannot be compelled to answer any question that you feel will incriminate yourself, no matter in what sequence the question is asked.

maurice
03-16-2005, 09:47 PM
Am I mistaken or once you answer one question (besides identifying information), you may not plead the 5th? You MUST answer any and all questions thereafter?

This is essentially true. For example, a criminal defendant cannot testify in his own defense and then refuse to answer the prosecutor's questions on cross-examination. Typically, a person taking the Fifth will answer a few general identifying questions and refuse to answer pretty much anything else.

Recent comments by Canseco's attorney indicate that he will illustrate this approach at the hearing. Other players may follow suit.

Daver
03-16-2005, 10:11 PM
This is essentially true. For example, a criminal defendant cannot testify in his own defense and then refuse to answer the prosecutor's questions on cross-examination. Typically, a person taking the Fifth will answer a few general identifying questions and refuse to answer pretty much anything else.

Recent comments by Canseco's attorney indicate that he will illustrate this approach at the hearing. Other players may follow suit.

This is a hearing, not a trial, no charges have been filed against anyone subpeoned to appear. There will be no cross examination.

gf2020
03-16-2005, 11:36 PM
From:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41793-2005Mar16.html

"All the guys they put on that list they suspect of steroid use -- except [Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt] Schilling," reliever Steve Kline said. "If they ask them the questions and they say the truth, then the truth will set them free. But it's a hard thing to clear up your name."

Steve Kline, you suck. That is all.

Ol' No. 2
03-16-2005, 11:43 PM
This is essentially true. For example, a criminal defendant cannot testify in his own defense and then refuse to answer the prosecutor's questions on cross-examination. Typically, a person taking the Fifth will answer a few general identifying questions and refuse to answer pretty much anything else.

Recent comments by Canseco's attorney indicate that he will illustrate this approach at the hearing. Other players may follow suit.It won't matter. The reason they're not offering immunity is because they're not going to ask incriminating questions. The players' lawyers and committee staff have been feverishly negotiating this for days. Have you noticed the screeching about how this was going to cause the end of civilization as we know it has stopped? No one is going to be asked "Did you ever take steroids?" Book it.

Chisox003
03-16-2005, 11:43 PM
From:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41793-2005Mar16.html



Steve Kline, you suck. That is all.

Who the hell is Steve Kline to say that? Give me a break, your a relief pitcher keep your mouth shut

I wonder how his new teammate Shammy is gonna take that statement....I cant wait to see that whole experiment fall apart....Good work Steve, get the ball rolling early!

Nellie_Fox
03-17-2005, 03:02 AM
I was pleased yesterdy to see Gammons on ESPN quite clearly state that he believed the reason Frank Thomas was subpoenaed was because he was a longstanding and outspoken critic of steroid use in baseball.

Ol' No. 2
03-17-2005, 11:00 AM
He still doesn't get it.

Linky (http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cs-0503170390mar17,1,4487421.story?coll=cs-home-headlines)

maurice
03-17-2005, 12:18 PM
This is a hearing, not a trial, no charges have been filed against anyone subpeoned to appear. There will be no cross examination.

Whether charges were filed is irrelevant. Questions from a congressional panel frequently are analogous to cross examination.

The attorneys for any player who takes the Fifth will keep him on a very short leash. We'll probably find out precisely what that will look like soon, unless ON2 is correct about the back room dealings.

Dan H
03-17-2005, 02:32 PM
This has been a dog and pony show since day one, but it has managed to get quite a few congressmen's names mentioned on ESPN, as well as every other media outlet nearly non-stop.

What do you think it would cost for them to buy this kind of advertising?

I agree. When it comes down to it, no on is acting in the best interest of baseball. Not Selig, not the players' union and certainly that lowlife body, the United States Congress.

If it takes granting immunity to everybody to get to the bottom of this mess, then do it. But if the mess can't be cleaned up, it is up to the fans to do something, like a boycott.

Frater Perdurabo
03-17-2005, 02:52 PM
it is up to the fans to do something, like a boycott.

Too many baseball fans - a disproportionate number of them are Cubs fans - enjoy the moon shot homers for this to happen.