WASHINGTON — The Roger Clemens defense team liked government witness Kirk Radomski so much, they want to bring him back as their own witness.
Clemens lawyer Rusty Hardin told the judge in the former baseball pitcher’s perjury trial Wednesday that the defense has additional questions it wants to ask Radomski when it makes its case to the jurors.
Radomski, the most riveting witness so far, finished parts of two days on the stand for the prosecution with a feisty exchange Wednesday with another Clemens lawyer, Michael Attanasio.
Clemens is accused of lying to Congress in 2008 when he denied using steroids and human growth hormone, but Attanasio tried to portray Radomski as the liar, pointing to inconsistencies between what he said in his testimony and what he wrote in his book.
Radomski, a street-tough New Yorker, didn’t back down.
“Did you ever write a book?” he demanded. “Write a book! See how they turn things.”
Clemens’ legal team used the book Wednesday to try to raise doubts about an old, torn shipping label that Radomski said was used for a shipment of HGH to Clemens’ home about 10 years ago. Clemens’ Houston address is on the label — a seemingly tangible connection between the seven-time Cy Young Award winner and performance-enhancing drugs — and the name on the label is that of Brian McNamee, Clemens’ former strength coach, who often stayed at Clemens’ house.
McNamee, whose testimony is expected Monday, has said he injected Clemens with steroids and HGH.
Federal agents failed to find the torn label when they searched Radomski’s house in 2005. Radomski said he discovered it about three years later, under his bedroom television set along with some other shipping labels and autographed photos of Clemens and Clemens’ former teammate, Andy Pettitte.
“I have no idea how they got there,” said Radomski, theorizing they most likely slid under the TV at some point.
Attanasio wasn’t buying it. He read aloud a passage from Radomski’s “Bases Loaded: The Inside Story of the Steroid Era in Baseball by the Central Figure in the Mitchell Report” — a first-person book about selling steroids to professional baseball players. The book, for which he received a $500,000 advance, helped pay off Radomski’s debts. Concerning the label with Clemens’ address, the book states, “I’d obviously hidden it there when I began to worry that the government was going to come after me and had then forgotten about it.”
But when Attanasio asked Radomski whether he had hidden the label, he insisted, “I didn’t hide nothing.”
Radomski went on to indicate that some things in the book are exaggerated or overdramatized because he was told he needed nuggets that “would sound good.” He said the book was dictated to a writer in a series of interviews, not under oath as he was in the courtroom.
Defense lawyers didn’t read the preceding paragraph of the book, which paints Clemens in an unfavorable light: “Believe me, it was unbelievably frustrating for me to watch Roger lie so smugly about Brian, a man I respected deeply, in those congressional hearings,” before Radomski was able to find the receipt.
Radomski is a former New York Mets batboy who became a supplier of performance-enhancing drugs.
o major league players and then a cooperating witness after he got caught, said the shipment to Clemens’ house was for two kits of HGH with “about 50-100 needles.”
The label displayed in court reads “Hold for B. McNamee” and doesn’t mention Clemens. But in his book Radomski incorrectly wrote that the label said “Brian McNamee, c/o Roger Clemens.”
“That was a lie,” Attanasio said.
Radomski responded that it wasn’t a lie, because he might have written Clemens’ name on the box underneath the label. When Attanasio suggested that part of the book was inaccurate, Radomski agreed: “That’s not correct in the book.”
The trial continued Thursday with Dr. David Lintner, the Houston Astros team physician, who also held the post during Clemens’ three years with the team from 2004-2006. Clemens has said that during his career, he received vitamin B12 shots from non-physicians like trainers and strength coaches, and that teams would often line up four or five needles in the clubhouse after a game. Lintner testified that the Astros have a policy that only physicians can give injections to players, and said he never saw needles lined up after an Astros game.
Lintner also said the team doesn’t give B12 injections to players, because “it doesn’t work.” He said the mainstream medical community views B12 as a placebo. The government alleges that Clemens lied when he said he received B12 shots from McNamee, and that the injections were actually for steroids and HGH.
Under cross-examination from Clemens lawyer Rusty Hardin, Lintner said he never saw any evidence that the pitcher had used steroids or HGH. Hardin told Clemens to stand and asked the doctor to compare how the ex-pitcher looked now vs. his days with the Astros.
“He looks pretty similar, actually,” Litner said. “He’s aged well.”
AP Sports Writer Joseph White contributed to this report.