Baseball notebook

Letter is drafted asking Clemens investigation

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Associated Press / February 26, 2008

A draft letter asking the Justice Department to investigate whether Roger Clemens made false statements to Congress has been written by House staffers, The New York Times reported on its website yesterday, citing three unidentified lawyers familiar with the matter.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held the Feb. 13 hearing at which personal trainer Brian McNamee repeated his allegations that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone - and Clemens repeated his denials. Both men spoke under oath during depositions and at the hearing.

Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for committee chairman Henry Waxman, would not comment when asked about the existence of the draft letter.

"We've not been told about a draft letter. We haven't been told to expect one. And we haven't been told about a process where anyone was supposed to draft a letter," committee Republican general counsel Keith Ausbrook said.

The Times later reported that lawyers for McNamee will file a motion next Tuesday to disqualify Clemens's lead lawyer.

McNamee's lawyers said the motion to have Rusty Hardin removed would be filed along with a second motion that would ask a federal judge to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by Clemens against McNamee.

Richard Emery, a lawyer for McNamee, said Hardin could not represent Clemens because he represented Andy Pettitte for several days before the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs was released Dec. 13.

Pettitte has admitted that McNamee, who trained Clemens and Pettitte, injected him with HGH.

Finally, Clemens's oldest son says his father will work with minor leaguers at Houston Astros spring training in Kissimmee, Fla., but he didn't say when.

"He'll be down here eventually," said Koby Clemens, a catcher in the Astros' farm system.

The elder Clemens has a personal services contract with the Astros that kicks in when he officially retires.

Rays talk Bonds

The Tampa Bay Rays have had internal discussions about the prospect of pursuing Barry Bonds.

Manager Joe Maddon said yesterday some thought has been given to the career home-run leader.

"A minor discussion was thrown out there a little bit, and it's really not gone any further than that," Maddon said. "That's all it is right now."

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he had an interest in signing Bonds the last two offseasons, but that each time the front office decided against it because of the player's asking price.

Also, Bonds's agent, Jeff Borris, told Metro News in Canada his client may end up playing in Japan.

"He's not retiring," Borris said. "If a door doesn't open for Barry in the major leagues, as unbelievable as that possibility sounds, then Japan certainly is an option."

DeRosa sees specialist

Cubs second baseman Mark DeRosa traveled to Chicago yesterday to see a cardiologist after being hospitalized for a rapid heartbeat during fielding drills over the weekend in Mesa, Ariz. . . . Phillies closer Brad Lidge had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus. Lidge, who hurt himself Saturday when he caught a spike in the mound, is expected to be sidelined 3-6 weeks . . . Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said he plans to talk about a new contract with general manager Brian Cashman before the regular season ends . . . Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano said he received his US visa and was preparing to travel from Santo Domingo to spring training in Florida. The lefthander was delayed in obtaining the visa because of a Florida drunken-driving plea . . . The Rangers hired former manager Jerry Narron as a consultant. The 52-year-old Narron, who most recently managed the Reds, will be a scout and fill other roles in the baseball operations department . . . Matt Klentak was hired by the Orioles as director of baseball operations after working in the labor relations department of the commissioner's office the past four years.

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