Steroids and Roger Clemens: Andy Pettitte Won’t Be There When Mr. Clemens Goes to Washington

The good news for Roger Clemens is that Rusty Hardin kept his mouth shut on Monday. The bad news for Roger Clemens is that Andy Pettitte has asked to be absent from Wednesday’s hearings because, quoting the New York Times, Pettitte “did not want to say something to hurt his friend and former teammate while in the glare of national television coverage, according to a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.”

Hardin can go on all he wants about the Jose Canseco affidavit in which Canseco says Clemens wasn’t at the party referenced by Brian McNamee in the Mitchell Report. And Hardin can go on all he wants about the video clips in which the Blue Jay announcers mention that Clemens was paying golf instead of being at that party. But none of that, none of it, disproves McNamee’s contention that Clemens took steroids and HGH.

What Hardin needs for Clemens, more than anything, is a witness who can disprove McNamee’s statements. He needs Andy Pettitte, who has so far served to validate McNamee’s statements, to shout from up high that the Rocket never used steroids and/or HGH and that Clemens and Pettitte never ever never discussed taking steroids and/or HGH. But it appears that Pettitte doesn’t want to do this. It appears that Pettitte wants to tell the truth, and that Pettitte has, indeed, told the truth to Congressional investigators, but that he doesn’t want to be present when Clemens finds that he has told the truth.

We still don’t know what it is that Pettitte has told the investigators, but it appears that Pettitte has at least said something about him and Clemens discussing steroids and/or HGH use, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe Pettitte has testified to something else, like maybe witnessing Clemens getting such shots, or Clemens admitting to getting such shots.

In fact, in excusing Pettitte from the hearings, Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Minority Chair Tom Davis praised Pettitte for his cooperation. Also excused from the Wednesday hearings are Chuck Knoblauch and Kirk Radomski. So we’re essentially looking at Clemens/McNamee cage match.

And for what it’s worth, I’m not the only one who thinks Hardin and Clemens will regret going to Jose Canseco for assistance. After all, as Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman reminds us, if not for Canseco’s book, we wouldn’t know that a “B-12 shot” was code for steroids. We also wouldn’t know that it was pitchers who used to talk about doing B-12, and that one Roger Clemens was one of the loudest talkers about B-12.

Enjoy your Congressional Hearing Eve. The fun starts bright and early tomorrow. I bet it’ll be just like Festivus – we’re definitely going to hear some airing of the grievances. So be sure to get plenty of sleep, you might need it. – John Royal