February 14, 2008
So did Pettite sink Clemens?

I guess it depends on who you ask. Steve Campbell:

Clemens and his defenders can attack McNamee's credibility and motives all they want. But how can they explain away the damaging testimony of Pettitte?

Clearly, Pettitte had no desire to speak evil about an old teammate, friend, workout partner and traveling buddy. Pettitte didn't want to have anything to do with discussing the Mitchell Report. He also didn't want to lie under oath in a congressional hearing.

Pettitte reluctantly implicated his friend. In a Feb. 4 deposition, Pettitte didn't merely tell of a 1999 conversation in which Clemens admitted to using HGH. Pettitte made embarrassing revelations about himself -- things no investigator could have uncovered. For instance, Pettitte told of using HGH furnished by his father again in 2004.

"I have to tell you all the truth," Pettitte said in his deposition. "I mean I told y'all the stuff about my dad because I have to live with myself. And one day I have to give an account to God and not to nobody else of what I've done in my life.

"And that's why I've said and shared the stuff with y'all that I've shared with y'all today that I wouldn't like to share with y'all."

Keep in mind, Pettitte could have claimed he didn't remember any conversations with Clemens about performance-enhancing drugs. Nobody could have proved otherwise.

"I believe Andy has mis-heard," Clemens said. "I think he mis-remembers."

Richard Justice:

To believe Clemens is to believe that Andy Pettitte is a liar.

Sounds bad. Unless you also read Will Carroll:

A potential key to yesterday's proceedings was the inexplicable absence of Andy Pettitte. Several Congressmen, most notably Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), pointed to Andy Pettitte's testimony in sworn affidavits as the tipping point for their divinations. However, Pettitte's testimony is hardly the slam-dunk takedown of Clemens that it was made out to be. Pettitte, in many places, actually corroborates Clemens's version. Pettitte himself says that after discussing the use of PEDs with Clemens, he felt that "when Roger told me that he didn't take it [HGH] and I misunderstood him, I took it for that, that I misunderstood him" (Pettitte, p. 28). Pettitte barely recalls the initial conversation, but states that it was in passing--that Clemens "heard that it worked." At no point--no point--does Pettitte ever state, even in passing, that he knew or saw the use of any substance by Clemens. There are certainly elements of Pettitte's testimony that are problematic for Clemens, but I think as much as anything, the opportunity to hear Pettitte in person could have made or broken yesterday's hearings.


What is interesting is that the differences between Pettitte's statement and Clemens' statement are so easily reconciled. It's not without problems, but it's hardly the diametrically-opposed case that was presented.

Carroll, who is probably as knowledgeable about steroids and HGH as anyone writing about baseball today, would be my choice. He goes into some detail about other aspects of yesterday's testimony as well, including the matter of Clemens' gluteal abscess, which by his account sounds like nothing abnormal.

I'm ready for this to be over. I really don't see the point of all this. Tom, Steph, and Jay Jaffe have more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 14, 2008 to Baseball

I don't believe Roger's telling the truth. Maybe it's the Mets fan in me.

Posted by: Jeff N. on February 14, 2008 8:59 PM

My uninformed opinion on the issue of PED in baseball is that it is hardly the tempest that sportswriters are trying to make of it. One thing that strikes me about Carroll's thoughts (which I tend to favor) are that he seems to be one of the few, at least judging from the content of his reports, to have actually pored over the actual depositions and affidavits, compared to Justice, Ortiz and others who seem to be relying merely on what has been reported from them.

Posted by: lucas on February 14, 2008 9:50 PM

Clemens wants us to believe that Pettitte was dumb enough to confuse the conversation with one about a television show that focused on three older men who had used the growth hormone to improve their health.

Clemens threw his wife under the bus and called his best friend a liar. If you believe Clemens, you need to quit drinking the OJ jury juice.

Posted by: Sergio Davila on February 15, 2008 11:07 AM

Although not an avid fan, I do watch the games with my husband. Having lived life for awhile, I can understand some misunderstanding and forgetting so I wouldn't rule out that Clemens might be telling the truth and that Pettitte got things confused. Time does fog things up.

Posted by: Lana on February 19, 2008 10:26 AM
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