Calcaterra points out very clearly (and with the appropriate attached legal documentation one would expect from competent counsel) that if Roger Clemens is found innocent it is not because his old pal Andy Pettitte lied or conveniently forgot about a decades old conversation. It was because the prosecution either 1) did not do their homework or 2) thought that bringing in a close teammate of Clemens, who has admitted to using HGH on two occasions, would outweigh his own testimony. I suspect the prosecution’s decision to use Pettitte’s testimony had more to do with the latter of those two options. I hope that is true, after all, as I would hate to think that they have wasted our tax money by being so incompetent at their jobs that they failed to know what one of their key witnesses would say. They are also in a tough spot, as Brian McNamee has proven to be far from a reliable character and the defense should have plenty of ammunition to use when he takes the stand.
During his 2008 Congressional testimony, Pettitte stated that he had thought Clemens admitted to using HGH during a conversation they had in 1999. He also testified that in 2005 he had another conversation with Clemens where Roger stated that Andy misunderstood him in 1999 and that it had actually been Clemens’ wife who had used HGH. We can debate all day whether Clemens lied to Pettitte in 2005 about their earlier conversation and whether he lied to Congress, but let’s save that for another day. Pettitte’s testimony this week was completely consistent with his prior testimony, and as Calcaterra states, “it was freely available to the prosecution and the defense for the past four years. They all knew that Pettitte was going to say that he was unsure about Clemens’ 1999 comments after he heard what he heard in 2005.”
In fact, this information is available to the public, which includes the many members of the media who have rushed to write, comment or insinuate that Pettitte is flip-flopping or changing his testimony to cover for his old pal Roger. Take the NY Daily News’ blatantly wrong headline “Andy Pettitte backs off prior testimony on Roger Clemens’ HGH use, admits it’s ’50-50′ that he may have misunderstood Rocket.” The article goes on to state that Andy contradicted his 2008 testimony – nope, sorry, try again Daily News!
Yahoo! Sports’ headline rivaled the Daily News, however, as it states that “Andy Pettitte helps old pal Roger Clemens’ steroid case by backpedaling on the witness stand.” In an article that focused far more on how often Pettitte did not look at Clemens during his testimony, Les Carpenter doesn’t so much insinuate that Pettitte just committed perjury for his friend, as he just barely avoids stating it outright (let’s hope he at least knows a thing or two about libel). In fact, Mr. Carpenter succeeds most at showing his absolute naivete of both the law and the facts surrounding this exact case.
I probably don’t need to say this, but Jon Heyman should never be trusted for any legal analysis (and should probably not be trusted for baseball analysis). His tweet about Pettitte “suddenly misremembering” his conversation with Clemens is beyond ridiculous, but really, who is surprised? There have been other similarly misleading headlines and ignorant tweets – and I would assume there will be more. After all, everyone loves a scandal. I think Calcaterra summed it up best when he points out that people who do this are “not only…dead wrong, but they’re doing a grave disservice to Andy Pettitte. The only man in this whole case who has been honest and consistent all along.”
Now enough of this, let’s watch some baseball!