Torre says he saw nothing suspicious with Clemens, Pettitte
"I didn't see anything that made me suspicious," Torre said Thursday. "But I don't investigate players. I get to know them. If they want to talk, then you're available for them and stuff like that."
Clemens and Pettitte were among the players implicated in last month's Mitchell report on doping in baseball. Their former trainer, Brian McNamee, told investigator George Mitchell that he injected Clemens at least 16 times with steroids and human growth hormone in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Clemens has denied the accusation, and he filed a defamation lawsuit against McNamee.
Pettitte acknowledged McNamee injected him twice with HGH as the pitcher was trying to recover from a sore elbow in 2002.
All three have been asked to testify at a Feb. 13 hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Before the hearing, the committee plans to take depositions from them along with two other witnesses: former Yankee Chuck Knoblauch and ex-Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, who has admitted supplying players with performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens vehemently denied McNamee's allegations this month in a news conference and an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes."
"As far as what Roger's doing, I can't address it because I don't know -- good, bad or indifferent. I don't know what the right thing is. But that's the way he feels, and I respect him for feeling that way," said Torre, preparing for his first season as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. "Roger is a very proud individual, and I know he's very forthright. He's always been that way with me."
During his news conference in Houston, a defiant Clemens said he wasn't concerned about the steroid allegations jeopardizing his Hall of Fame candidacy.
Torre said he has no reason to doubt him.
"I do believe it when he said, `It's your choice. Do what you want with it.' Of course, he got a little more colorful than I did, but I do believe that -- because that's not why you start playing this game," Torre said. "You start out playing this game because you love it and you're trying to help teams win. You do things you can control, like playing the game and putting on the uniform. As far as when and if you've accomplished enough to get to the Hall of Fame, that's in somebody else's hands."
One of Mitchell's recommendations was that baseball needs more independence in its drug testing, but Torre has faith in commissioner Bud Selig and players union chief Donald Fehr.
"I think the commissioner and Don Fehr understand what has to be done. And I'd really like to see them solve it," said Torre, at Dodger Stadium to watch several of his new players and prospects work out. "I think they can do it on their own. I don't think they need help from anywhere else. I think baseball understands how dangerous this time is. The most important thing is earning the trust of the fans again."
That won't be easy, with talk of steroid abuse dominating the headlines all winter and no baseball games to serve as a distraction.
"I would rather say, `Yeah, there were some mistakes made. Let's move on and let's find a way to keep this from happening again.' But that's pie-in-the-sky stuff. It looks like it's going to get more involved," Torre said.
"I'm saddened by the fact that names are being brought out now. Are all the names brought out? It's doubtful, and I think that's concerning. Let's just find a way to solve it instead of pointing fingers and finding a way to punish people. I don't think we're gaining anything, other than finding out more information that you think is going to help you."
As far as the big picture is concerned and the cloud that hangs over baseball at the moment, Torre can't pinpoint one thing that will turn things around.
"That's something baseball's going to have to work on -- and make sure that when the ball is hit, somebody's not going to say, `Well, I wonder what he's on.' I mean, that stuff is something we need to get away from," Torre said. "And this phase that we've gone through is something we just have to endure at this point in time."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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