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Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Another nasty trial ahead

By Stacy Title

MLB: The National League won the All-Star Game 5-1 (for the second straight year) Tuesday, securing home-field advantage for the World Series. The Brewers' Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer and was named MVP. I wish all the all-star games had true stakes. The Pro Bowl is a snooze and the NBA All-Star Game feels like confected goo. Imagine if those games actually stood for something important?

In other baseball news, jury selection was completed in the Roger Clemens perjury trial. Ten women, two men and four alternates will listen to the case, which includes three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress. So let's sum it up, 'cause we've seen it before: There's a good bet that this high-profile case -- ca-ching, ca-ching -- will (likely) prove Clemens lied about taking performance-enhancing drugs. There'll be the usual media frenzy, his family will tweet insults. Accusations and empty threats will be hurled, scandals will ensue -- and for what? Because a very famous, (arrogant) player allegedly thought he could lie to Congress! Roger, what were you thinking?

Side note: Christian Lopez, the guy who retured Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit ball, may have to pay $14,000 in taxes on the gifts (worth approximately $50,000) he received from the Yankees in return. Really? Let's hope the Yankees take care of that little oversight -- and Jeter considers picking up the 23-year-old kid's $100,000 in student loans. That kind of generosity is rare.

NBA: Ironically, there's an overage on the NBA books this year: The players will receive $160 million in funds previously held in escrow, according to arcane contractual elements from their now-expired contract. The withholdings add up to about eight percent of each player's salary and help tweak their income to be below 57 percent of owner profits. This is the first year the escrowed funds will be returned. Based on an average salary of $5.7 million, the rebate is worth $456,000.

Side note: In light of the NBA lockout, Nate Robinson will pursue a spot on an NFL team. From one lockout to the next? Then again, he's right the NFL is closer to a deal, eyeing July 21 to ratify. Sadly, the NBA has no meetings planned right now. At 5-foot-8 and 200 pounds, the basketball-diminutive Robinson could transform into cornerback -- a position he played as a freshman at Washington! And if both leagues wind up in a lockout? Robinson says he'll head to the European Basketball League. Think all these options make the NBA owners tense? You betcha.