Yanks discuss Roger Clemens verdict

Updated: June 18, 2012, 10:29 PM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter believes that Roger Clemens' not guilty verdict of perjury is not only good for Clemens, but it is good for Major League Baseball.

"I'm happy for Rocket," Jeter said. "I'm happy it is over with. I think that it is good for baseball that it is over with. We can stop talking about it for a little bit. I'm happy that everything turned out well for him."

Jeter said he still texts with Clemens, but did not discuss the trial with him. The two were teammates for a total of six seasons, two of which ended in World Series titles.

When the verdict was read, the Yankees were taking batting practice and the official media access was over. Andy Pettitte declined to speak on the matter.

"I don't even care to talk about that," Pettitte replied when asked his reaction to the verdict in the Yankees clubhouse Monday night.

Pettitte received human growth hormone from Brian McNamee, the trainer that Clemens and Pettitte shared. In previous testimony, Pettitte said he and Clemens had discussed their use of performance enhancing drugs. Pettitte said at the perjury trial that he may have misremembered and now was only "50 percent" sure it took place.

Pettitte and Clemens were originally mentioned as PED abusers in the Mitchell report in December of 2007.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who caught Clemens as a Yankee catcher, echoed Jeter's thoughts about the need to move forward.

"It is good for the game of baseball," Joe Girardi said. "We are trying to move on from all of the stuff that we have went through the last 10 years with the PEDs. We can focus on the game at hand. There is a lot of focus on this trial."

While Girardi and Jeter were happy to speak about the Clemens verdict, Yankees brass Brian Cashman and Randy Levine chose not to comment.

Jeter and Girardi said it wasn't for them to say if Clemens belonged in the Hall of Fame. With 354 victories, Jeter thought that Clemens' place in the game was assured.

"He had one the best careers of any pitcher to ever play the game," Jeter said. "That's how you look at his career. He is someone I enjoyed competing against. I enjoyed playing with. He is going to go down as one of the greatest pitchers of all-time."

Chipper Jones, whose Atlanta Braves are in New York to face the Yankees, said he'd have no problem seeing his contemporary Clemens make it to Cooperstown.

"Roger was a great player during our era," the future Hall of Fame third baseman said. "Regardless of steroid use or no steroid use, whatever, I think he was a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and I don't have a problem with Roger Clemens being in the Hall of Fame regardless."

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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