WACO, Texas -- Roger Clemens talked about pitching and
conditioning. What he didn't talk about was steroids.
In a session before about 1,000 Texas high school baseball
coaches Saturday, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner stuck to
baseball and cracked jokes, making no mention of allegations
against him in the Mitchell report.
"He talked like nothing ever happened. It was a non-issue in
there," Waco Midway High assistant coach Coby Meinzer said.
Clemens spoke for just more than an hour at the closing session
of the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association, the nation's
largest such group. He shared tips on techniques and took
questions, all pertaining to the game itself.
"It was real warm, nothing negative at all," said Will Joiner,
a coach from La Porte High.
The speech was closed to the media, and Clemens was driven in
and out of the convention center through a private garage.
In a video of his session with the coaches, the 45-year-old
Texan joked about the media attention. Clemens' former trainer,
Brian McNamee, has said he injected the pitcher with steroids and
human growth hormone. Clemens vehemently denies the accusation.
But the joking was as far as it went -- no mention of
performance-enhancing drugs or the release last month of the
inquiry by former Sen. George Mitchell. Clemens said teaching and
coaching is what "I enjoy talking about."
Wearing a long-sleeved polo shirt, Clemens had to borrow a
glove and a ball to demonstrate some of his techniques.
"He could be a high school or a college or a pro coach, the way
he teaches and everything," said Mike Perez, head coach of
Highlands High in San Antonio and a regional officer for the
Perez said Clemens gave a similar presentation when he spoke to
the group two years ago. Perez said the group fully supports
"There was no awkwardness. We back him up 100 percent, we think
he's a great individual," Perez said. "If he says he didn't do
it, I believe him 100 percent, and our association believes him 100
percent. We think he's a class act."
Joiner said everyone applauded when Clemens was introduced, and
laughed at his jokes, some about working with his sons.
"When everything comes out, we'll make our decision then,"
Joiner said. "Until then, he's still Roger Clemens, one of the
greatest pitchers that ever pitched in the game."