Andy Pettitte's testimony is top-notch. Really high-quality stuff.
Asked by Clemens' lawyer if it was fair to say it was "50-50" that Pettitte misunderstood the conversation from 1999 or 2000, Pettitte responded, "I'd say that's fair."
They referred to Pettitte's 2005 conversation with Clemens, at the time of earlier congressional hearings on steroids in sport but involving different athletes. Pettitte had asked Clemens at spring training what Clemens would say if asked by reporters about HGH use. According to Pettitte, Clemens told him he must have misunderstood the earlier conversation, and that in fact Clemens had been referring to his wife's using HGH.
"He told you that in 1999 or 2000?" prosecutor Steven Durham asked.
"I didn't think so," Pettitte said.
But after Pettitte's testimony, with jurors out of the room, one of Clemens' lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to strike Pettitte's testimony as "insufficiently definitive."
Walton asked the lawyer for a filing on that but made it clear he had doubts about Pettitte's testimony.
Durham said that Pettitte's recollection is that his original memory of the 1999-2000 conversation is accurate and truthful, and that Clemens' version was not. But Walton retorted: "I didn't hear it that way," adding, "He is conflicted, he doesn't know what Mr. Clemens said."
Pettitte's hedging on the conversation shouldn't have come as a surprise to prosecutors. Back in his 2008 deposition, Pettitte mentioned a few times he might have misunderstood Clemens. At one point, under prodding from a congressional investigator, Pettitte said, "I don't think I misunderstood him," but even then added, "six years later when he told me that I did misunderstand him, you know, since '05 to this day, you know, I kind of felt that I might have misunderstood him."