Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens sat some 20 feet apart, Pettitte on the witness stand and Clemens at the defense table trying to avoid going to jail. The topic: a remark about human growth hormone Pettitte recalled hearing from his longtime teammate, mentor and workout partner a dozen years ago.
“Roger had mentioned to me that he had taken HGH,” Pettitte testified. “And that it could help with recovery, and that’s really all I remember about the conversation.”
The rest of the details are fuzzy. Pettitte went on acknowledge that the words were said in passing during an intense workout.
It’s a conversation that Clemens has famously claimed that Pettitte “misremembers.”
The right-hander on trial who won 354 major league games and the lefty on the stand with 240 wins had an awkward reunion Tuesday in Washington in the retrial of charges that Clemens lied when he told Congress in 2008 that he never used steroids or HGH.
Pettitte’s appearance enlivened the proceedings and came without warning. The government interrupted testimony from the trial’s first witness to call Pettitte just before noon. Wearing a gray suit, he walked into court a day after allowing six runs and 10 hits with eight strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings in an extended spring training game in Clearwater, Fla., as part his comeback attempt at age 39 with the New York Yankees.
Pettitte testified mostly with his hands clasped in front of him and rarely looked at Clemens, even during the lengthy delays when lawyers held conferences at the judge’s bench. Clemens frequently took notes. The two haven’t spoken recently because of the trial, but Pettitte nevertheless said he found it difficult to testify because he still considers Clemens a good friend.
FOOTBALL: Raiders sign Matt Leinart
Matt Leinart is back in a familiar role as Carson Palmer’s backup at quarterback.
The Oakland Raiders signed Leinart to a one-year contract, giving them two former Heisman Trophy winners from USC at quarterback.
Leinart reached the deal after working out for the Raiders to show that he has fully recovered from a broken left collarbone that cut short his 2011 season. Oakland also brought in Peyton Manning’s former backup, Jim Sorgi, for a tryout but decided to go with Leinart.
Leinart is the only backup on the Raiders roster who has thrown a pass in the NFL. Terrelle Pryor, who was taken last summer in the supplemental draft, played one game last season and committed a penalty his only time on the field. Rhett Bomar spent two years on the New York Giants’ practice squad.
Minnesota Vikings running back Caleb King was released from jail with no charges filed against him Tuesday, three days after being arrested in an alleged beating outside a birthday party last weekend, but that didn’t stop the Vikings from cutting ties with the former Georgia standout.
The Vikings cut King just hours after he was released from jail. The team did not comment on the decision, instead announcing it in a one-sentence press release.
The Washington Redskins have released veteran Jabar Gaffney, their leading receiver last season. Gaffney made 68 catches for 947 yards and five touchdowns in 2011
MISCELLANY: Predators suspend two
The Nashville Predators have suspended forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn for Game 3 on Wednesday night against the Phoenix Coyotes for violating team rules. The Predators announced the suspensions Tuesday morning and did not specify which rules the forwards broke. General Manager David Poile says in a statement that the Predators have a few simple rules and violating them is “not fair” to the club and their teammates.
Alexander Dale Oen, a world champion swimmer who was one of Norway’s top medal hopes for the London Olympics, died during a training camp in Flagstaff, Ariz. He was 26. “We’re all in shock,” Norway Coach Petter Loevberg said. “This is an out-of-the-body experience for the whole team over here.” Dale Oen won the 100-meter breaststroke at last year’s world championships in Shanghai.
Colombian qualifier Robert Farah upset defending champion Nikolay Davydenko, 6-3, 6-2, in the opening round of the BMW Open at Munich, Germany. The seventh-seeded Russian, who also won the tournament in 2004, dropped serve four times.
Roy Hodgson was hired as England’s national soccer coach Tuesday, six weeks before the European Championship. The 64-year-old West Bromwich Albion manager signed a four-year deal. He succeeds Fabio Capello, the Italian who quit in February in a dispute with the Football Assn. after John Terry was stripped of the captaincy. ... The New York Red Bulls’ Thierry Henry, Major League Soccer’s leading scorer, is going to miss up to four weeks with a strained right hamstring.
NASCAR has fined six Nationwide Series teams for failing inspection at Richmond International Raceway.
The penalties were levied against the three-car teams for Richard Childress Racing and Turner Motorsports. NASCAR said the front upper bumper covers for all six cars had been illegally modified.