The New York Times is reporting that Andy Pettitte has asked to excused from Wednesday’s Congressional hearing and that committee chairman Henry Waxman will agree.
The suggestion is that Pettitte does not want to say something damaging to Roger Clemens in such a public forum. Pettitte, you will recall, gave a two-hour deposition to the commitee last week.
The hearing promises to be riveting. Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel (a UMass guy) makes a great point: Clemens is either completely innocent or completely stupid given all of his denials.
I get the sense that fans want to believe Clemens is innocent. And it’s certainly hard to have much respect for Brian McNamee. But if any man has enough hubris to think he can get out of this because of who he is, it’s Clemens.
It seemed funny last season when Clemens designed a hat with his own logo on it and gave it out to all his teammates. Or when he showed up one day wearing a “Roger Clemens Foundation” golf shirt then changed into a Roger Clemens “Tough All Day” t-shirt.
It’s funny, but it’s also telling. Most people, even successful ones, realize they are who they are. But Clemens has adopted this Rocketman persona and wears it like a shield.
Maybe the Rocketman is powerful enough to win 354 games, charm a bunch of Congressmen and skate off into the Hall of Fame. In time, we will find out. But not having Pettitte by his side to confirm his denials won’t be helpful.
UPDATE, 9:51 p.m.: It’s official now, Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch and Kirk Radomski were dropped off the witness list for the hearing. That leaves only Clemens and McNamee, presumably in a steel cage.