Texas high school group to meet Tuesday regarding Clemens' planned speech
Roger Clemens' inclusion in the Mitchell report sent shock waves through Major League Baseball, and the pitcher's popularity in his home state of Texas might be taking a hit.
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The Houston Chronicle erroneously reported on its Web site Monday that the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association had removed Clemens as its keynote speaker at its state convention next month.
Instead, Jim Long, president of the THSBCA, said his group plans on holding an executive meeting Tuesday to decide if Clemens will remain as one of the presenters at the meeting in Waco.
"Nothing is final, but we will be meeting in regards to the issue," Long said, according to the Chronicle. "We would like to talk with Roger, and then decide on a course of action from there."
Long said the organization has not made any decisions about whether Clemens will speak at the 37th annual convention. But Clemens' name does not appear on the convention's agenda on the group's Web site.
The association is hoping to speak with Clemens for a few minutes on Tuesday during its executive meeting, Long said. The group plans to make a decision by 3 p.m. that day.
Clemens, who pitched for the University of Texas and came out of retirement after the 2003 season to pitch the next three seasons for the Houston Astros, is slated to be the convention's keynote speaker on Jan. 12, with the topic being "my vigorous workout, how I played so long [in professional baseball]," according to the Chronicle.
The right-hander, who pitched for the New York Yankees last season, was the biggest name linked by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell to illegal use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Mitchell's report was released Thursday.
"A dark cloud has been put over Roger's head and 99.9 percent of the media says he's guilty even though he says he's innocent," said Long, the coach at Brenham High School, located about 70 miles northwest of Houston. "That presents a problem for our association. It has to come first over a player or coach."On Monday, Clemens, when approached by reporters staking out his son's elementary school in the Houston area, declined to talk about the Mitchell report.
"I'm not talking to y'all about it," he said , according to the New York Daily News. "We'll handle this our way."
Asked how he was doing, Clemens said, "I feel great." But as he walked to his car, he added "I would appreciate you not being here," the Daily News reported.
Clemens, long thought to be the greatest pitcher of his era, is a winner of seven Cy Young Awards, eighth all-time in victories and a former MVP who has been considered a lock for the Hall of Fame. Since Thursday, whether he is deserving of the Hall of Fame has generated passionate debate.
Clemens' agent, Randy Hendricks, did not immediately return a telephone call Monday from The Associated Press seeking comment.
At 45, Clemens has not said whether he hopes to pitch next season. Through his attorney, Rusty Hardin, Clemens denied he used performance-enhancing drugs.
" ... I respectfully suggest it is very unfair to include Roger's name in this report," Hardin said last week in a statement. "He is left with no meaningful way to combat what he strongly contends are totally false allegations. He has not been charged with anything, he will not be charged with anything and yet he is being tried in the court of public opinion with no recourse. That is totally wrong."
Long, referencing the three former Duke lacrosse players who were charged with rape but later cleared of all charges, was adamant that the association was not jumping to conclusions or was being pressured to retract its invitation to Clemens.
"We're not saying anything negative about Clemens," he said. "He's been a great supporter of our association."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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