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Clemens trial absurdity: that Roger could be tainted by tie to Pettitte

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton ruled to limit the testimony of Andy Pettitte because he said he sought to curb the potential for Roger Clemens to be tainted by "guilt by association.''

Which is about the funniest thing I've heard this week. And probably also the dumbest.

Walton is suggesting Clemens, a great pitcher but fairly apparent scoundrel, shouldn't be tainted by his ties to Pettitte, a nice, religious fellow whose biggest failing as a Yankee was following Clemens around like a puppy dog in the Yankees clubhouse and doing whatever Clemens did.

Don't get me wrong, Pettitte probably prospered as a pitcher by doing whatever Clemens did. But to suggest association with Pettitte somehow puts Clemens in a worse light is nothing short of absurdity.

Yes, it's true Pettitte has admitted taking HGH, but that's only because that's what a normal, reasonably honest person does when called to testify under oath; he tells the truth. Meanwhile, under oath, faced with a mountain of evidence he took steroids, Clemens denied it.

Let's be real here. There is no reasonable chance Pettitte would change his story to lie and claim he took HGH to needlessly tarnish his own legacy and fit a story by a relatively unknown (at the time) trainer to conflict with his hero Clemens and possibly send his hero to jail. And Pettitte's testimony that he took the HGH is relevant because it supports that trainer Brian McNamee is telling the truth about that.

I am not a lawyer. But I can tell you from knowing both men that Clemens definitely is not worse for his friendship with Pettitte. If anything, it's the opposite. Those of us who saw the basically honorable Pettitte look up to Clemens, it made us wonder if Clemens was maybe not the cold, megalomaniac he seemed to be.


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