|Talkin' baseball: Clemens provides pitching tips to prep coaches, not explanations|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 12 January 2008 10:55|
In a session before about 1,000 Texas high school baseball coaches Saturday, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner stuck to baseball and cracked jokes, making no mention of allegations against him in the Mitchell Report.
``He talked like nothing ever happened. It was a nonissue in there,'' Waco Midway High assistant coach Coby Meinzer said.
Clemens spoke for just more than an hour at the closing session of the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association, the nation's largest such group. He shared tips on techniques and took questions, all pertaining to the game itself.
``It was real warm, nothing negative at all,'' said Will Joiner, a coach from La Porte High.
The speech was closed to the media, and Clemens was driven in and out of the convention center through a private garage.
In a video of his session with the coaches, the 45-year-old Texan joked about the media attention. Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, has said he injected the pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone. Clemens vehemently denies the accusation.
But that was as far as it went - no mention of performance-enhancing drugs or the release last month of the inquiry by former Sen. George Mitchell. Clemens said teaching and coaching is what ``I enjoy talking about.''
Wearing a long-sleeved polo shirt, Clemens had to borrow and glove and a ball to demonstrate some of his techniques.
``He could be a high school or a college or a pro coach, the way he teaches and everything,'' said Mike Perez, head coach of Highlands High in San Antonio and a regional officer for the coaches association.
Perez said Clemens gave a similar presentation when he spoke to the group two years ago. Perez said the group fully supports Clemens.
``There was no awkwardness. We back him up 100 percent, we think he's a great individual,'' Perez said. ``If he says he didn't do it, I believe him 100 percent, and our association believes him 100 percent. We think he's a class act.''
Joiner said everyone applauded when Clemens was introduced, and laughed at his jokes, some about working with his sons.
``When everything comes out, we'll make our decision then,'' Joiner said. ``Until then, he's still Roger Clemens, one of the greatest pitchers that ever pitched in the game.''