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Making their pitches

Clemens lobbies; McNamee talks

Brian McNamee walked past reporters without speaking after giving a seven-hour deposition before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform yesterday. Brian McNamee walked past reporters without speaking after giving a seven-hour deposition before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform yesterday. (Manuel Belce Ceneta/Associated Press)
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Associated Press / February 8, 2008

Roger Clemens spent yesterday going door to door on Capitol Hill, lobbying congressmen investigating whether he used performance-enhancing drugs. His accuser, Brian McNamee, gave a seven-hour deposition behind closed doors, and the trainer's lawyers presented photographs of evidence they said prove the star pitcher was injected with steroids.

McNamee headed straight for an exit, not speaking to reporters, when he emerged from his interview with lawyers from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. His attorneys wouldn't discuss the deposition, but they did talk at length about two color photographs they showed the committee for the first time.

"Roger Clemens has put himself in a position where his legacy as the greatest pitcher in baseball will depend less on his ERA and more on his DNA," said one of McNamee's lawyers, Earl Ward.

Less than an hour later, and a short walk away inside the Rayburn House Office Building, Clemens held his own news conference, during which his lawyers repeatedly attacked McNamee's character and scoffed at McNamee's newly presented evidence.

"This man has a total history of lying," said Clemens's attorney, Rusty Hardin.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner's repeated denials of McNamee's allegations in the Mitchell Report about drug use drew Congress's attention. Clemens spoke to the committee Tuesday - the first time he addressed the allegations under oath and, therefore, the first time he put himself at legal risk if he were to make false statements.

A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, when Clemens and McNamee are to testify.

McNamee's attorneys said their client turned over physical evidence to a federal prosecutor for the Northern District of California last month, shortly after Clemens held a Jan. 7 nationally televised news conference at which he played a taped conversation between the two with conflicting accounts.

"At that point," Ward said, "[McNamee] decided there was no holds barred."

One photo shows a crushed beer can that Richard Emery, another of McNamee's attorneys, said was taken out of a trash can in Clemens's New York apartment in 2001. Emery said the can contained needles used to inject Clemens. That picture shows what Emery said was gauze used to wipe blood off Clemens.

The other picture shows vials of what Emery said were testosterone and needles - items the attorney said Clemens gave McNamee for safekeeping at the end of the 2002 season.

"We invite Roger Clemens to provide his DNA to the federal government," Ward said.

Hardin said the former Red Sox star would comply with any request of that type from a federal authority.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Kirk Radomski, the former Mets clubhouse attendant who implicated dozens of current and former major leaguers in the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the Mitchell Report, will ask a federal judge today for a sentence of probation rather than prison following his guilty plea to felony charges of distributing steroids and laundering money.

Rays sign Hinske

Former Red Sox first baseman-outfielder Eric Hinske agreed to a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. The 30-year-old infielder spent last season with Boston, batting .204 with 6 homers and 21 RBIs in 84 games. He also played in all three rounds of the postseason with the Red Sox, appearing in a total of three games . . . The Baltimore Orioles avoided arbitration with righthander Daniel Cabrera by agreeing on a one-year contract for $2,875,000 . . . A reportedly two-year-old video of Mets pitcher Pedro Martínez and Hall of Famer Juan Marichal at a Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, cockfight, posted this week on YouTube, was removed by early yesterday "due to terms of use violation." Martínez and Marichal laugh before releasing the roosters. They took part as honorary "soltadores," who put the animals to fight. The animal released by Martínez appears to be killed on the video. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent letters to both pitchers yesterday, calling on them to publicly apologize. The Humane Society of the United States said, "Major League Baseball should join us in condemning Martínez and Marichal for their shameful example." In a statement issued by the Mets, Martínez said, "I understand that people are upset, but this is part of our Dominican culture and is legal in the Dominican Republic. I was invited by my idol, Juan Marichal, to attend the event as a spectator, not as a participant."

Options outlined

Johan Santana would get to make the decision on his 2014 option if he finishes high in Cy Young Award balloting or pitches regularly in the latter stages of his $137.5 million, six-year contract with the Mets. The club holds a $25 million option for 2014 with a $5.5 million buyout. There are several ways the option could become Santana's: He wins one Cy Young Award and has another top-three finish from 2008-13; he finishes second or third in Cy Young voting three times from 2008-13; he is on the active roster for the final 30 days of the 2013 season and pitches 215 innings in 2013, 420 innings from 2012-13, or 630 innings from 2011-13. Whichever side holds the option must decide whether to exercise it by Nov. 15, 2013 . . . Right fielder Ryan Church and the Mets avoided an arbitration hearing, agreeing to a $2 million, one-year contract . . . The Royals signed their final two arbitration-eligible players, righthander Zack Greinke ($1.4 million) and outfielder Mark Teahen ($2.37 million), to one-year deals . . . Second baseman Robinson Cano and the Yankees completed their $30 million, four-year contract.

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