Ex-Red Sox GM who oversaw Clemens' departure mum on report
But in the wake of Thursday's release of the Mitchell report -- which includes nine pages of allegations linking Clemens' to use of performance-enhancing drugs -- Duquette is not taking the opportunity to proclaim himself vindicated.
Duquette, Boston's general manager during Clemens' emotional departure from the Red Sox 11 years ago, declined to address Clemens' alleged use of steroids or any other aspect of former U.S. Senator George Mitchell's 409-page report.
"I'm not commenting on that,'' Duquette said during a brief phone conversation on Saturday. "It's not appropriate for me to do.''
Clemens posted a 192-111 record and won three Cy Young Awards with the Red Sox before signing a three-year, $24.75 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays in December 1996. He had some harsh comments for Duquette on his way out of town, observing that the Boston GM "never really wanted me back.''
Clemens posted a 40-39 record in his final four seasons with the Red Sox before reviving his career over the next decade. He posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for Toronto in 1997 and 1998, and won four more Cy Young Awards after age 34.
Clemens is mentioned prominently in the Mitchell report. His former trainer, Brian McNamee, alleges that Clemens took performance-enhancing drugs during the 1998 season in Toronto and in 2000 and 2001 with the Yankees. McNamee told investigators that he injected the drugs into Clemens' buttocks on several occasions.
Rusty Hardin, Clemens' attorney, quickly denied the charges, calling McNamee a "troubled and unreliable witness'' who only came forward after being threatened with a prison term.
Duquette, more than a decade after Clemens' emotionally-charged departure from Boston, declined to address the parting in detail.
"The personnel decisions I made when I was the general manager of the Red Sox were in the best interests of the team and the fans,'' Duquette said.
The Red Sox fired Duquette in 2002, and he currently runs a sports academy in western Massachusetts and serves as director of baseball operations for the Israel Baseball League.
Duquette interviewed for the Pittsburgh Pirates' CEO job this year, but the team filled the position with former Major League Baseball lawyer Frank Coonelly.
Jerry Crasnick is a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com.
THE MITCHELL REPORT
The Mitchell report• Mitchell delivers his report | Read it (pdf)
• Players: Who's named in the report
• Recommendations from the report
• Report reaction: What they're saying
• Drugs listed in report | The Dope On Steroids
• Evidence may limit Selig's punishment choices
• Mitchell defends naming stars in report
• Owners praise Selig, support extended tenure
• Seligs hopes to finish review by spring
Clemens news• Reports: New name surfaces in Clemens saga
• Date set for Clemens, McNamee depositions
• McNamee unlikely to get congressional immunity
• Mitchell reportedly tried to contact Clemens twice
• McNamee's attorney defends immunity request
• Source: Clemens hedges on giving deposition
• Report of Clemens abscess raises more questions
• Astros unsure if Clemens to help at camp
• Clemens' accuser meets with federal prosecutors
• Rocket reps: McNamee 'avoiding' being served
• Source: No immunity expected for Clemens
• Laywer: McNamee 'avoiding' being served papers
• Clemens denies steroid use in taped conversation
• Trainer's lawyers alert Congress to second tape
Pettitte news• Pettitte undecided if he'll testify before Congress
• Pettitte gets new lawyer for congressional hearing
• Pettitte admits using HGH in 2002
Grimsley/Radomski documents• Unsealed documents: Radomski | Grimsley
• Federal agent Jeff Novitzky's sworn affidavit
• Watson denies allegations in Grimsley affidavit
• Hearst wants goverment. to explain conduct
Other News• Players, owners try to modify drug agreement
• Fehr: Foreign players deserve equal drug penalties
• Pujols bans TV station that erroneously named him
• MLB establishes drug investigations unit
• Report: Knoblauch ends silence on steroid report
• Kent: Players should undergo blood testing
• Rose investigator says Mitchell undermined report
• Report: Congressional hearing postponed
• MLB to crack down on clubhouse security
• Congressman blasts Selig on steroids policy
• Report: Players may still testify at hearing
• Report: MLB players won't testify for Congress
• Rose says users 'making a mockery' of game
• Selig defends baseball's drug-testing program
• Post-'03 cases face most MLB scrutiny
• Congress calling new hearings on steroids, HGH
• Report: Deal with feds led to McNamee testimony
• Report: Roberts admits one-time steroid use
• Nats prez: Team had no advance copy of report
• Indians' Byrd discusses HGH use with MLB
• Vina admits HGH use, but disputes steroid claims
• MLB's man: Progress in urine test to detect HGH
• O's respond to Mitchell findings
• A-Rod's reply to Canseco: I never doped
• Bush: MLB must take report seriously
• Pujols sets record straight on inaccurate report
• Reliever Donnelly 'sick' over inclusion in report
• Former D-back Cabrera denies using steroids
• Lowell calls for stronger steroid testing
Analysis• Munson: Delay means Congress serious
• Wojciechowski: Rocket's logic fizzles
• Assael: Clemens throws up and in at McNamee
• Munson: Clemens' lawsuit is part propaganda
• Olney: There's one thing Clemens can't change
• Crasnick: A tale of two Rockets on "60 Minutes"
• Neyer: Time to stop behaving like a child
• Bryant: Odds are against Clemens in interview
• Munson Q&A: Clemens, McNamee on the hot seat
• Neyer: Investigate all players
• Wojciechowski: Time for Clemens to speak up
• Neyer: Does HGH enhance performance?
• Hill: Pettitte's apology was a joke
• Stark: Pettitte no different than Pats' Harrison
• Stark: Clemens, Bonds tales similar, yet different
• Bryant: Selig must address steroids era records
• Santangelo admits HGH use; will 'face the music'
• Helyar: Not good for short-term business
• Fish: Baseball's steroids crisis management
• Crasnick: Clemens' Hall of Fame chances?
• Gammons: Drug culture quite slimy
• Hall of Fame voters speak out on Clemens
• Stark: Indelible impact on the game
• Wojciechowski: Thaw needed in cold war
• Bryant: Mitchell report flat without feds
• Fainaru-Wada: Report sheds light on Bonds
• Crasnick: Recently acquired players named
• The man behind Clemens, Pettitte bombshells
• Munson: Legal challenges troublesome
• Fish: Congress reacts quickly to report
• Helyar: Anti-doping experts don't agree on report
• Nelson: Fehr, MLBPA kept in dark on report
• Neyer: Non-surprising names
• Neyer: Scout's telling take on Gagne
Video• Complete coverage
Audio• David Justice on The Herd
• Best of Mike & Mike, on report's fallout
• PTI discussion over report's release
• Michael Kay Show
• ESPN.com's Keith Law
SportsNation• SportsNation reacts to Mitchell report
• What do you think of it?
• Fan blogs: How fans are reacting
More• Mitchell investigation timeline
• Kirk Radomski timeline
• List of suspended MLB players