Clemens in Congress

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The baseball steroids saga continues today, with pitcher Roger Clemens giving private, sworn testimony to congressional lawyers before his big day on the Hill next week. The seven-time Cy Young winner will be testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Feb. 13.

With all the issues facing this country, from a failing foreign policy to looming energy problems to a bloated federal budget, do we really need the slow-moving dinosaur that Congress is turning its attention to overpaid athletes?

Even with the current commissioner, who some may say has been an absolute disaster, shouldn’t Major League Baseball be able to get its own house in order?

FRANCIS SMITH, Special Publications Assistant Editor

Above: Former New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens, left, followed by one of his attorneys, Lanny Breuer, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Orioles to Astros: Thanks for taking Tejada

When the Orioles shipped shortstop Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros for five young players in December — one day before the release of the Mitchell Report (PDF) on performance-enhancing drugs — the home team saved itself more than just money in the deal.

It would seem that the Orioles’ front office saved itself what must be a monstrous off-season headache for the Astros, who have pretty much clammed up since the FBI announced a preliminary investigation into whether Tejada lied in 2005 to a congressional committee investigating steroid use. (Tejada, a U.S. resident with a green card, has maintained his innocence and reportedly says the only supplement he’s used is Vitamin B-12.)

Now the Houston Chronicle is reporting the four-time All Star, currently spending the winter in his native Dominican Republic, may not be able to return to the U.S. if he admits he lied and obstructed justice or is found guilty of doing so.

“If Tejada is convicted,” it went on, “his chances of staying in the U.S. are stronger if he has had legal residency for more than five years” but that result is not always a given. The newspaper was unable to reach a source who could say how long Tejada has had a green card.

Even Foxsports.com baseball writer Ken Rosenthal berated the Houston management last week for its “impatience” in not waiting until the Mitchell Report came out before trading for “alleged steroid user” Tejada.

Now Houston is facing the possibility that its $13 million-a-year shortstop could be deported while the O’s are rolling the dice with some top prospects. Any chance that Houston could retaliate legally, either against Tejada or the Orioles?

LIZ FARMER, Legal Affairs Writer