Sunday, March 14, 2010

Clemens lawsuit a pain for Yanks, Mo, Jeter

Roger Clemens defamation lawsuit against former trainer Brian McNamee has long been an annoyance for the New York Yankees organization. Now it's about to become a real pain for both the team and his former teammates.

McNamee just filed documents listing Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter as potential witnesses in his countersuit against Clemens. Now that doesn't mean they will actually see the inside of a courtroom on this issue. I'm sure Mo and Jeter will hire lawyers to fight any subpoenas. But it does make you wonder why they are being listed as potential witnesses. Is it a stunt by McNamee's lawyers to drag two legendary Yankees into the courtroom, knowing that Clemens former team and teammates will put intense pressure on him to drop or settle the lawsuit? Or is McNamee saying that Mo or Jeter actually know something, that they can testify they saw Clemens being injected with performance-enhancing drugs?

We know why Pettitte is likely to be called as a witness to support McNamee's version of events. Pettitte was officially outed as a user of human growth hormone in the Mitchell Report on PED use in baseball, which the Yankee pitcher quickly confirmed. A few months later, he disclosed that Clemens admitted to using HGH.

If the case ever does make it to trial, it would be a nightmare for the Yankees. Imagine the spectacle of Mo and Jeter, long celebrated for their accomplishments on and off the field and for not giving in to any peer pressure to use PED, having to testify at a trial that will focus on the use of PED by their former teammates. Knowing how humble those two are and how Jeter in particular fiercely guards his privacy, it could be an embarrassing spectacle for both of them. And they can thank their old pal Clemens for putting them through it.

Thanks to Keith Allison via Wikipedia for the photo.

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