Baseball Notebook

Clemens’s appeal is denied

Defamation suit not reinstated

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones is attended to after tearing his left ACL in a game Tuesday night in Houston. Braves third baseman Chipper Jones is attended to after tearing his left ACL in a game Tuesday night in Houston. (David J. Phillip/Associated Press)
Associated Press / August 13, 2010

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A federal appeals court yesterday refused to reinstate a defamation lawsuit Roger Clemens filed against his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, who claims he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone more than a dozen times.

In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a Houston federal district judge’s dismissal last year of most of Clemens’s claims against McNamee.

Clemens appealed the decision by US District Judge Keith Ellison, who said his court didn’t have jurisdiction over Clemens’s claims involving statements McNamee made in New York.

“The statements were not made in Texas or directed to residents of Texas,’’ the New Orleans-based appeals court said.

The three-judge court panel heard arguments in the case last month.

“We haven’t read it yet, but I can tell you what we would say,’’ Clemens’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said. “We understand that the vote was 2-1 and we’re going to look at it and see if we’re going to pursue it and make up our mind after we get a chance to read and digest it.’’

McNamee’s attorney, Richard Emery, didn’t immediately respond to telephone and e-mail messages from the AP.

Court appearance
Suspended Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was released without bail and ordered to stay away from his girlfriend’s father, whom he is accused of attacking outside a family lounge at Citi Field.

Rodriguez was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after New York’s 6-2 loss to Colorado Wednesday night. The team put him on the restricted list without pay for two days, costing him more than $125,000.

Rodriguez, 28, is accused of grabbing 53-year-old Carlos Pena, hauling him into a nearby tunnel, hitting him in the face, and banging his head against the wall. Pena went to a hospital with a scrape and swelling above his right eyebrow.

Rodriguez did not enter a plea in a Queens courthouse. He did not speak, but nodded as the judge spoke to him.

“Ownership and the organization are very disappointed in Francisco’s inappropriate behavior and we take this matter very seriously,’’ Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said.

Said Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran: “No one should act like that.’’

Cueto suspended
Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto was suspended for seven games for his actions during a brawl in the first inning of Tuesday’s game with the Cardinals, and both managers were suspended for two games.

Major League Baseball said that Cueto, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, and Reds manager Dusty Baker also were fined undisclosed amounts. Four other players were fined but not suspended — Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter and catcher Yadier Molina, and Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and reliever Russ Springer.

A statement from MLB said all three suspensions are expected to begin today. Cueto could appeal, and the suspension would be delayed until the appeal is resolved. Managers can’t appeal suspensions.

A scrum escalated into shoving that ended up with several players pinned to the backstop screen. Cueto began kicking those around him — he later said he was afraid and trying to defend himself.

Jones done for year
Chipper Jones may have played his last game in the major leagues after tearing up his left knee while fielding a ground ball. The Braves said the 38-year-old third baseman tore his anterior cruciate ligament and will need surgery. The estimated recovery time is six months, short enough to be ready for next Opening Day — if Jones decides to return in 2011. He had already said he would consider retirement after a season that’s now ended sooner than expected. “I’m sure as the next couple of days go by, those are things we’ll discuss and he’ll discuss with his family,’’ his agent, BB Abbott, said. “It’s not something he’ll decide immediately.’’ . . . Andy Pettitte’s simulated game in Tampa was called off when the Yankees lefthander’s left flexor tendon stiffened. Pettitte was placed on the disabled list July 20 with a strained left groin . . . The Brewers placed reliever LaTroy Hawkins on the 15-day DL because of weakness in his right shoulder. Hawkins is 0-3 with an 8.44 ERA. He was on the DL for 2 1/2 months this season with the same trouble. Hawkins will have an MRI next week to determine the extent of the problem . . . The Twins put reliever Jose Mijares on the 15-day DL because of a sprained right knee.

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