Clemens says he’s eager to begin trial
Roger Clemens says he’s eager to defend himself in federal court this summer.
The seven-time Cy Young winner says prosecutors have damaged the reputations of others as they’ve tried to prove that he lied to a congressional committee about alleged steroid use.
Clemens was serving as a caddie for PGA Tour player Ryan Palmer on Wednesday morning in the pro-am event leading up to this weekend’s Houston Open.
Clemens faces a trial in July on allegations that he lied to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in February 2008. Prosecutors say Clemens was not telling the truth when he testified that he did not use steroids or human growth hormone during his 23-season career.
”You almost hate to say you’re looking forward to it, but we’re looking forward to it,” Clemens said. ”We’re going to have our say in a fair setting. I’ve been great about not talking about it, and we’re going to handle it the right way.”
Two weeks ago, the committee and the law firm that investigated drugs in baseball filed motions in court to stall subpoenas filed by Clemens’ legal team to obtain evidence collected against him, a move that could delay the trial.
”You’ve got to deal with it,” Clemens said, ”and that’s the way I look at it, we’re going to deal with it.”
Clemens was among several players named in the Mitchell Report, a probe into steroid use in baseball conducted by former Sen. George Mitchell and the DLA Piper law firm. It was released in December 2007, and Clemens was defiant before the committee two months later, seated near his main accuser, former trainer Brian McNamee.
A federal grand jury convened in January 2009 to hear evidence of Clemens’ possible perjury, and he was indicted in August 2010. Clemens said the lengthy legal ordeal has not only been hard on his family, but also on friends and others who’ve been pulled into the federal investigation.
”The thing that’s most upsetting is the people who were hurt on the fringe,” he said. ”I told them to go out there and investigate whoever they’ve got to investigate, and they’ve ruined some people’s businesses. They’ve hurt a lot of people.
”Once it’s all said and done, I think there need to be some people who are responsible for that.”
Clemens says he’s not following Barry Bonds’ perjury trial, and says it’s irrelevant to his trial.
”Totally different,” Clemens said.
Before the steroids allegations arose, Clemens was certain for Hall of Fame induction. He won 354 games and finished with 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875).
Clemens says Hall of Fame recognition is important to him, but he has no control over how voters view him now.
”The writers vote,” he said. ”I’m going to be Roger Clemens, it’s not going to change. I’m not going to go around, shaking people’s hands, telling them I’m a Hall of Famer.”
Later Wednesday, Clemens planned to take a group of PGA tour players to Minute Maid Park, where the Houston Astros were playing an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox.
In the morning, Clemens was serving as Palmer’s caddie to raise money for Clemens’ foundation and Caddy for Cure, a PGA Tour charity. Peter Johns, a Naval officer wounded in 2006, also walked with the group.