|Brian McNamee says he'd go to jail for Roger Clemens|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 07 January 2008 14:33|
A recording of last Friday's 17-minute telephone call between Clemens' former trainer and the seven-time Cy Young Award winner was played at Clemens' long-awaited news conference Monday, the first time he faced a group of reporters since McNamee's accusations were made public in the Mitchell Report on Dec. 13.
McNamee asked Clemens that question - or variations of it - 21 times while they were on the phone.
``What do you want me to do? I'll go to jail, I'll do whatever you want,'' McNamee said.
``I need somebody to tell the truth, Mac,'' Clemens told him.
Never, though, did Clemens angrily confront McNamee during the call nor did he accuse the trainer of lying when he told Mitchell he injected Clemens at least 16 times with steroids and human growth hormone in 1998, 2000 and 2001.
Asked why Clemens never directly answered the ``what do you want me to do'' question, his attorney, Rusty Hardin, said:
``The last thing Roger wanted, just as we did, was any suggestion that we were trying to interfere or coerce a federal witness. So, yeah, all he kept saying (was) nothing. Except you hear him throughout saying, 'Tell the truth.'''
Under state law in New York and Texas, only one party has to give consent for a phone conversation to be taped.
Clemens' anger rising throughout the media session, his voice filling with more and more emotion, the 354-game winner abruptly walked out after fielding several questions from reporters.
``Do you think I played my career because I'm worried about the damn Hall of Fame?'' he told a room filled with many potential voters. ``You keep your vote. I don't need the Hall of Fame to justify that I put my butt on the line and I worked my tail off, and I defy anybody to say I did it by cheating or taking any shortcuts, OK?''
Hardin said the pitcher was willing to testify Jan. 16 to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. McNamee also has agreed, and the pair will have to repeat their assertions under oath on Capitol Hill.
``I'm going to Congress and I'm going to tell the truth,'' Clemens said.
The committee planned to ask Clemens' representatives for the complete recording of the telephone conversation played at the news conference, said Karen Lightfoot, communications director for the panel's chairman, California Democrat Henry Waxman.
Hardin said that because McNamee didn't deny Clemens' claims that he never used steroids, it amounted to proof that Clemens was telling the truth.
McNamee sounded distraught during the conversation.
``I'm in your corner,'' McNamee said. ``I'd also like not to go to jail, too.''
Late Sunday, Clemens filed a defamation suit against McNamee in Texas state court, another salvo in the escalating fight between the pair, who had worked together since they met while with the Toronto Blue Jays a decade ago.
Clemens was mostly expressionless while the tape played, even when McNamee said, ``You treated me like family.''
Clemens said McNamee initiated the conversation, which was laced with emotion and profanity.
``I'm firing my lawyers. I'm getting rid of everybody,'' McNamee said. ``My wife is gone. My kids are gone.''