Pettitte feels for his friend Clemens
Yanks lefty has hard time watching ex-teammate during ordeal
TAMPA, Fla. -- Andy Pettitte said that he has trouble watching Roger Clemens' ordeal, but is not surprised to see perjury charges being considered against his friend and former teammate.
"I don't like anything that's going on," Pettitte said Thursday. "I cannot stand it. I've told y'all how I feel about [Clemens]. It's like a part of my family that's having to go through this."
As doubts circulate regarding the truthfulness of Clemens' testimony at a Feb. 13 Congressional hearing, the Justice Department has been asked to investigate the seven-time Cy Young Award winner's repeated insistence that he never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone.
Those claims are contradicted by Pettitte's testimony provided for Congress, in which he said that Clemens admitted in 1999 or 2000 that he had taken human growth hormone. Clemens claimed at the hearing that Pettitte "misremembered" the alleged conversation.
At Spring Training with the Yankees, Pettitte said that he knew further charges against Clemens would be possible.
"To tell you the truth, as far in my mind, I was prepared it might happen," Pettitte said. "I hate it and there's nothing else I need to say. I think everyone realizes how I feel about this whole situation.
"I've got one concern right now and that's trying to help this team. That's what I'm trying to get my mind on."
Pettitte's testimony was not the only evidence against Clemens raising eyebrows on Capitol Hill. Former Yankees teammate Chuck Knoblauch also discredited Clemens, as did as medical records from the teams for whom Clemens has played.
The 35-year-old Pettitte has admitted to using human growth hormone on three occasions during his playing career -- twice in 2002 and once more in 2004.
Pettitte said he has not spoken with his lawyers about the possibility that he may be called again to testify. He believes that the Justice Department's investigation will be a lengthy process, which could spare him from having to leave the Yankees during the season.
"Until somebody tells me to go somewhere, I can't do anything," Pettitte said.
Teammate Mike Mussina said on Wednesday that Pettitte will have trouble avoiding the controversy even if he is not called away from the club.
"Every city we go to, it's going to be asked again," Mussina said. "I'm sure if they start doing an in-depth investigation, they're going to come up with more and more things and more questions. I'm just hoping he can deal with it and still do what he wants to do on the mound."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday that he hopes the Justice Department will schedule any potential appearance around the baseball schedule.
"It's unfortunate," Girardi said. "My hope is it will [happen] in the offseason and he'll be able to concentrate on his work. I know, obviously, we consider baseball extremely important and we would just hope that they'd do it in the offseason if he's going to be subpoenaed and testify."
Pettitte, who signed a one-year, $16 million contract with the Yankees shortly before the release of the Mitchell Report, said he is not concerned about how he will be received following his testimony.
"I don't feel like I'm some kind of hero in this thing at all," Pettitte said. "I've made mistakes and I've admitted to them. However people want to handle that, that's how they'll handle it.
"I can't change what they're going to think of me and how they're going to feel about me. I've been honest with everything, and whatever repercussions that brings me as far as fans or whatever, I'll have to deal with that. I know I feel better that it's all over and that I told the truth."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.