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Red Sox notebook

Pappas was interviewed in Clemens case

Email|Print| Text size + By Gordon Edes and Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / February 15, 2008

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A day before Roger Clemens appeared before Congress Wednesday to answer questions about his alleged use of steroids and human growth hormone, former longtime Red Sox medical director Arthur Pappas was interviewed by telephone by investigators with the committee conducting the hearings.

According to a transcript that appears on the website of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, investigators asked Pappas, who was the team's medical director from 1977 to 2004, a period that includes Clemens's tenure with the Sox (1984-96), a series of questions related to team policies regarding the injections of vitamin B-12 and lidocaine. Those are the substances with which Clemens said he was injected by former personal trainer Brian McNamee.

Pappas said only team physicians were authorized to give such shots, and Sox trainers were not authorized to administer injections, and he could not recall an instance in which they administered injections.

He said he would not have prescribed B-12 injections for Clemens. "Occasionally people would come in and have a prescription from another doctor requesting a B-12 shot," said Pappas, who added that he could not recall whether Clemens received a B-12 shot from him. Asked if Clemens had received such a shot from any team doctor, Pappas, who did not have an attorney present and said he did not have Sox medical records with him, said, "Not that I know of."

Pappas also said, when asked if any trainer had administered injections, "Not to my knowledge . . . I would be very surprised if they do it."

Pappas said lidocaine was administered only as a local anesthetic, usually in combination with a cortisone injection, and that it was possible Clemens had received such a combination of injections. Asked if he had ever administered a lidocaine shot by itself, Pappas said he could not recall doing so, and while it was possible he had, it would have been "very unusual."

All ears

Jonathan Papelbon was asked yesterday if he had ever come across talk of performance-enhancing substances during his time in baseball.

And though he said he has never used such drugs, the Red Sox closer heard whispers about banned substances, especially when coping with injuries.

"You hear things, you do," Papelbon said at the Sox' player development complex. "You hear things like, hey, you're bummed out a little bit on the shoulder, your knee is aching or whatever, and you know what these drugs can do and how they can affect you and how they can help you out. But at the same time, does the risk equal the reward? And to me, it doesn't.

"There's always a temptation to get better, to do this to get better, but there's always that risk, as well. Yeah, that comes up, but I've never really had to succumb to that."

Regardless, it wasn't easy for Papelbon to hear Clemens testifying.

"I feel sorry for him, to be honest with you," Papelbon said. "I mean, having to deal with all this, it kind of [stinks]. The one thing that I hope that comes out of all this is even though you have somebody like Roger Clemens going through this, hopefully he can help clean the game up."

Not happy that some players were being dragged through the mud, as he put it, Papelbon expressed a desire for an end to this chapter in baseball history. He wants to see the game move forward.

Manager Terry Francona said he wasn't able to watch Clemens's testimony because he was in meetings. But, like his closer, Francona said he would like to see baseball leave behind the issue of performance-enhancing drugs.

"Major League Baseball, as an industry, we may be guilty of burying our heads in the sand of some things that happened a long time ago," Francona said. "So now we're paying the price a little bit for that. There may be some black eyes along the way. I actually think, and I'm not in the minority, that baseball is in awesome shape. Maybe not perfect, but pretty good."

Root for the home team?

Papelbon, who was in the Bahamas during the Super Bowl, had divided allegiances. On the one hand, there was Giants quarterback Eli Manning, his friend and hunting companion. On the other, there was the Patriots.

"Eli's a good guy, and obviously I was rooting for Eli because he's a friend of mine," Papelbon said. "But also I wanted the Patriots to do what they could have done. It was kind of a double-edged sword for me. You've got a friend that's a quarterback trying to win a championship. And then you've got the Patriots, who are trying to do something special, which you hope for them to do because you're in the same city and you like the city to be vibrant and full of life. You know, they fell short and they've got to go back to work."

Tough to spot

Though yesterday was the official reporting date for pitchers and catchers, many members of the major league pitching staff weren't spotted at the player development complex. Notable arrivals included Papelbon, Curt Schilling, and Tim Wakefield. Kevin Youkilis was the first of the major league position players to arrive. He played catch with catcher George Kottaras in the morning.

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