Yankees P Andy Pettitte took a break from his comeback attempt earlier today to take the witness stand in former teammate Roger Clemens’ federal perjury trial in Washington DC, with the former repeating under oath his allegation that decision to try Human Growth Hormone happened under Clemens’ counsel. From the New York Times’ Juliet Macur, who describes a comical courtroom scene that obliged Pettitte to “painstakingly explain even the most basic aspects of the game for the jurors,” (“at one point, (US Attorney Steve) Durham asked him if he ‘was familiar with something called the disabled list’ and the judge asked him, “Is there a connection between Boston and the Red Sox?'”).
“Roger had mentioned to me that he had taken H.G.H. and that it could help with recovery,” Pettitte said. “You know, that’s all I really remember about the conversation.”
And, Pettitte said without flinching, that Clemens accused him in 2005 of remembering that conversation inaccurately. Clemens said it was his wife, not him, who had used H.G.H.
“Obviously, I was a little flustered because I thought that he had told me he did,” Pettitte said. “My reaction after that was, well, no good asking him or talking to him about this now, and I just walked out, end of the conversation.”
It was only after more than two hours of questioning by Assistant United States Attorney Steven Durham that Pettitte began to look uneasy, shifting in his seat and taking deep breaths.
He was asked to point to Clemens, to whom he said he has not spoken in “a long time” because lawyers in the case advised them not to communicate. But now Clemens was seated at the defense table about 25 feet away. In a seemingly awkward moment for the two ex-teammates, their eyes finally met.
“Yeah, it is difficult,” Pettitte said when asked if it was hard to testify against Clemens, his boyhood idol and longtime mentor. When asked why, Pettitte said in a low voice, “Cuz, good friend.”