Feds' Last Chance Is Andy Pettitte's Last Chance, Too

Feds' Last Chance Is Andy Pettitte's Last Chance, Too

In case you're wondering why the U.S. Government is still pressing a case against Roger Clemens, think about it this way: years of work and millions upon millions of dollars have gone into investigations that have so far resulted in Barry Bonds being confined to his home for six months - and even that sentence is on appeal - and Lance Armstrong's case being discontinued (when that happens, the only explanation is that the prosecution knows it has nothing).

What it comes down to is Roger Clemens being the Feds' last chance to justify all the time -- and taxpayers' money -- that has gone into this ridiculous investigation. As Alan Dershowitz put it two nights ago on CNN, "Having gone this far after all that has happened, the government has to win the Clemens case. But they have to win fairly." Which means no more dirty tricks like the one they tried last summer when prosecutors played a tape, in which Democratic Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings made comments about Andy Pettitte's credibility, and reading an affidavit from Pettitte's wife, Laura, in which she said that her husband had told her that Clemens had confided in him about his use of human growth hormone.

The second part of that, as any pre-law student can tell you, is hearsay, and the first part, as anyone who watches Law and Order can tell you, is irrelevant.

Judge Reggie Walton already had ruled the tape as inadmissible evidence, and the arrogance and clumsiness of the Feds in defying the judge's order resulted in a mistrial -- and that doesn't bode well for the Feds' chances of nailing Clemens this time around.

Nor, in fact, does any so-called evidence that involves Andy Pettitte.

Back in 2008, Pettitte gave testimony, behind closed doors, to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, but his disposition was thought to be so vague and confusing that it was not mentioned again during the proceedings. Does anyone really think that in the four years since then Pettitte has remembered some new and interesting things to say about Clemens' alleged drug use?

If there's one person who probably wishes he'd stayed out of all this, it's Andy Pettitte. If the federal prosecutors had called on him during the first trial last summer - which they didn't, which tells you something about what the prosecution lawyers think of Pettitte's effectiveness as a witness - he would have no better place to be. Now he's working in Tampa to make a comeback, and anything that interrupts his training, conditioning and throwing stands a good chance of ending his comeback bid this year, thus putting a permanent end to Pettitte's career.

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