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Clemens' legal issues non-factor to Pettitte

Clemens' legal issues non-factor to Pettitte

Clemens' legal issues non-factor to Pettitte
NEW YORK -- There are numerous photos that capture the relationship Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens once had as teammates, like the one of them sprinting in the Florida sun, sweating through another grueling spring workout.

But as Pettitte announced his retirement on Friday in a Yankee Stadium news conference, the 38-year-old left-hander said that Clemens' current situation -- and Pettitte's involvement in it -- was not a consideration in walking away from the game.

"I would hope that anyone, any of you guys that have followed me through that whole situation, would know that that has not had any effect," Pettitte said. "I mean, zero in my decision. I would never let that interfere with a life decision that I'm going to make for me and my family.

"I feel like God has carried me through all that so unbelievably and he's going to continue to carry me through that, no matter what goes on with that situation. The way the fans in almost every city I've gone to have supported me since that stuff has gone on, it has just been absolutely amazing to me."

Pettitte is expected to be a witness this summer at Clemens' trial in Washington after the seven-time Cy Young Award winner was indicted on charges that he lied to a Congressional committee about using performance-enhancing drugs.

The two hurlers were mentioned in the Mitchell Report in December 2007, and Pettitte later acknowledged using human growth hormone on two occasions.

Pettitte told investigators in early 2008 that Clemens had admitted his own use of HGH to Pettitte in 1999 or 2000, but Clemens told Congress that Pettitte had "misremembered" the conversation.

It had been speculated that Pettitte might want to stay off the mound to avoid the media coverage of Clemens' trial, but Pettitte shot that theory down, adding that the investigation has had no impact on his life.

"I have not been spoken to again since all of that stuff has happened," Pettitte said. "It has not been an issue. I wouldn't sit here and say that if someone was speaking with me on a regular basis about that whole situation.

"Since all of that stuff first came up, I have not been spoken to. That never even entered my mind on what I would do or what I wouldn't do."

Pettitte has acknowledged that he and Clemens are no longer close, and Clemens told a group of reporters in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Thursday that he has not been able to speak to Pettitte because of the ongoing case. But he congratulated Pettitte on his decision to retire.

"If I know the age of his oldest one, I think he's a freshman or sophomore in high school, so it's a crucial time to be around. I'm sure that weighed on him for a number of years," Clemens said, according to The Associated Press.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["hot_stove" ] }