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Jon Heyman once again falsely accuses Andy Pettitte of changing his testimony in the Clemens case

Nov 16, 2012, 5:43 PM EDT

andy pettitte getty

Jon Heyman has a silly and superfluous column up today in which he attempts to turn a couple of random recent news stories involving PED-associated ballplayers into some big trend piece about PEDs in baseball.  He references two guys — Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi — whose PED stories are years old, and then name-checks Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon.  But heck, even he’s only half buying it:

 It seems half the positive news so far regards folks with positive tests. Technically, that isn’t true. But it does seem that way.

Whatever. Everyone’s gotta write a column. It’s not even the worst one we’ve seen from a famous national writer today.But it does contain one passage which is as odious as it is wrong, and Heyman should know better:

Meanwhile, the Yankees are waiting on former HGH user Andy Pettitte, who is due to tell them any day whether he’d like to return for what promises to be a substantial raise from the $2.5 million he made last year after he announced his comeback in spring training.

That’s no surprise. He performed very well on the field after he came back, much better than he did in the courtroom, where he testified he couldn’t really recall whether Roger Clemens told him he had used HGH only one day after testifying Clemens did, in fact, tell him he used HGH.

Odd that he recalled a 10-year-old conversation one day, then couldn’t remember the same 10-year-old conversation the next day on the stand.

This is flat wrong.  The “Pettitte changed his testimony” line was widely parroted (including by Heyman himself) last spring when Roger Clemens was acquitted.  Some even went so far as to accuse him of perjury.  But as I demonstrated the very day it happened, Pettitte did nothing of the sort. He didn’t change his story. Not one bit. You can read the details of that here. The short version: Pettitte was consistent for years. The prosecution overreached, mischaracterized what he said and tried to contort it to its own ends, but Pettitte’s story never changed.

Heyman should have known this then.  He should definitely know it by now. The fact that he still clings to the idea that Pettitte lied under oath or changed his story is repugnant and demands a retraction.

  1. sictransitchris - Nov 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Heyman has a hate-boner for Pettitte.

    • bozosforall - Nov 16, 2012 at 9:13 PM

      A very tiny boner, at that. Makes him a very bitter “man”.

  2. dcfan4life - Nov 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Jon Heyman probably just “misremembers” what actually happened, thats all…

  3. vpettibone57 - Nov 16, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Jon Heyman your such a bit##. somebody needs to give you the beat down. half the crap that he says i dont pay attention

  4. alexb64 - Nov 16, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Geez what did Pettitte do to tick off Scott Boras this bad?

  5. pisano - Nov 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Heyman, leave it alone, it’s over!

  6. drewsylvania - Nov 16, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    At what point does Pettitte just slap Heyman with a libel suit?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 16, 2012 at 6:54 PM

      Unfortunately one of the problems of being a public figure is it’s almost impossible to prove slander. I’m sure a lawyer/Craig can chime in as to the legal reasons behind it, but it’s why you almost never see a famous person move forward with a slander lawsuit.

      • badintent - Nov 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        Goggle the libel suit Johnny Carson hit the Tabloids with back in the 80’s. He won , they lost, and Johnny bought a $5 million yacht shortly thereafter. England has much stricter laws that the U.S. does on libel and slander.We could use some of them here for the TMZs of the world. and some of the bloggers here as well.

  7. humanexcrement - Nov 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    I’m really getting the impression that Craig despises John Heyman.

    • lazlosother - Nov 16, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      You are correct. But to be fair, almost anyone possessing the ability for critical thought despises Heyman as well.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Nov 17, 2012 at 7:23 AM

      Yes, the Heyman hatreed does seeem a bit sillly and superflous, to borrrow CC’s phrase. I was wondering when Craig would get back to work bashing Heyman. My perception is that the Heyman hate had died down, or at least it’s not a daily topic.

      • humanexcrement - Nov 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        Every field has people who rise to the top despite what many of their peers deem a rather glaring case of ineptitude, lack of talent, and being an all-around unlikeable hack. In the sportswriting world, Mitch Albom is another reviled figure. Naysayers claim the dislike is entirely rooted in jealousy, but I tend to think it’s rooted in the fact that certain people operate within the confines of artistic and professional integrity, while others take the easy way out and nonetheless attain success, whether it’s Heyman’s phony trumped-up controversies or Albom’s ridiculously saccharine, maudlin novels that are basically 200-page Hallmark greeting cards that make Nicholas Sparks look like Proust or Voltaire. It’s frustrating as hell that you can get stinking rich by exploiting the endless market of stupid, lowbrow, shallow people. Hence the Twilight Series. Heyman sits at the very apex of the bell-curve of mediocrity, and I can see why that might drive a guy like Craig up the wall. Or I could be wrong–wouldn’t be the first time.

      • humanexcrement - Nov 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        Mere seconds after posting about Mitch Albom, I encountered this. The guy truly is a fucking moron, and a hack. That alone is okay, but the fact that he has such a repulsively large audience for his idiocy makes me lose faith in the human race.

        http://www.freep.com/article/20121116/COL01/311160108/1050/sports02?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed:+FreepDetroitTigers+%28freep.com+|+Detroit+Tigers%29

  8. paperlions - Nov 16, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Heyman is a jackwagon…he has all the same characteristics of all of the sports reporter jackwagons.

  9. b453841l - Nov 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    “Jon Heyman has a silly and superfluous column up today”

    -Redundant

  10. bozosforall - Nov 16, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Hey an should instd focus on why Dvid Ortiz still hasn’t explained away his positive PED test result fom 2003. No there’s an open story begging for resolution.

  11. danindelray - Nov 16, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Inconvenient FACTS Craig doesn’t acknowledge:

    Pettitte and his wife signed affidavits for Congress, attesting to the conversation about HGH. Those affidavits said nothing about “maybe he said it and maybe he didn’t” or “maybe I misunderstood what he was saying.” They left no room for doubt: Clemens told him he used HGH, and he told his wife about the conversation that very day.

    Pettitte could have stuck to his guns and to his original story. He chose not to when led down that path by Clemens’ attorneys. Given the chance to soften his statement and castrate it, he ran that way with a smile on his face, all to help his close “friend”.

    • sabatimus - Nov 16, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      These “facts” are cited where exactly?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 16, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      Pettitte testified before Congress in 2008. His testimony focused on statements Clemens made on two occasions: 1999 and 2005. In the affidavit before his testimony he spoke about the 1999 conversation. Later, before Congress,he was probed about the 1999 conversations and also about later conversations in 2005. He said in his testimony that Clemens said he did PEDs in 1999, but then he said he didn’t in 2005. When asked to explain the discrepancy he said he must have misunderstood Clemens when Clemens said he took PEDs in 1999.

      So, four years prior, Pettitte’s testimony was that he wasn’t sure which was right. He was told one thing in 1999, another in 2005, and he wasn’t sure. Flash forward to 2012 and the Clemens trial and Pettitte says the exact same shit. And when asked on cross examination how sure he was what Clemens had actually communicated to him, he said “50/50.”

      This is not a change of testimony. This is, for the first time, someone asking him how sure he was.

  12. danindelray - Nov 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Wow you really like to make shit up.

    He gave an interview, under oath, to congressional staffers. He did not testify the way Clemens and McNamee did. More importantly, the affidavit didn’t come before the interview with the staffers, it came after – and was explicitly to avoid public testimony. And again, you have no answer for his explicit, no ifs, ands or buts, affidavit about the conversations in question.

    You also ignore a telling bit from the testimony about the second conversation, the one where Pettitte said Clemens claimed he misunderstood and he never said he used HGH. Pettitte stated that he chose not to challenge Clemens on his insistence that he didn’t say what he said. Pettitte said that when Clemens makes a statement like that, its best to let the matter drop. Because in Roger’s world, you don’t contradict what he says. It will just end badly.

    Do I really have to look up the depositions? Its in there.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 16, 2012 at 10:07 PM

      No need. Here it is:

      Q What was your reaction to what he said?

      A Well, obviously I was a little confused and flustered. But after that, I was like, well, obviously I must have misunderstood him.

      Q But he had never told you before that his wife had used HGH, that was the first you’d heard of that, is that right?

      A Yes.

      Q Did you understand that he was saying that as a way or sort of a strategy to handle the press inquiries? I mean, was that the nature of your conversation?

      A Not really. The conversation wasn’t very long. That was really the end of the conversation. Just when he said that, I was like, oh, just kind of walked out. I wasn’t going to argue with him over it. You know.

      Q It sounds like when you — it sounds like your recollection of the conversation you had with him in 1999, you are fairly certain about that, that he told you he used it. Do you think it’s likely that you did misunderstand what Clemens had told you then? Are you saying you just didn’t want to get into a dispute with him about it so you
      dropped the subject?

      A I’m saying that I was under the impression that he told me that he had taken it. And then when Roger told me that he didn’t take it, and I misunderstood him, I took it for that, that I misunderstood him.
      —————————————————————-

      Any prosecutor who puts a man who just testified to that on the stand expecting him to say, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Clemens told him X is insane. He is clearly equivocating here, leaving open the possibility that he misunderstood Clemens. And he was primed and wide open for a question four years later about how sure he was, to which he answered “50/50″

      Heyman says that’s a change of testimony. There is no possible way that’s a change. He was unsure before, he was unsure now, and no lawyer on the planet with a lick of sense would claim otherwise. Well, except the prosecutors in the Clemens case for some reason. But that’s on them. Not some imaginary flip-flopping Andy Pettitte.

      • anxovies - Nov 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        I am not a big Clemens admirer but I don’t like grandstanding D.C. prosecutors who misuse their position to gain press coverage. Clemens was obviously selected for prosecution because of his name and notoriety. The trial was more fizzle than sizzle and Pettitte’s testimony was one of several events that killed the government’s case. As Craig has more than adequately pointed out there was nothing in Pettitte’s testimony for the jury to latch on to. The puzzle is why the prosecutor thought his testimony would be convincing, but he is not be the first lawyer to fool himself on the value of his evidence. Heyman, if he is sincere and not just trying to fabricate a story on a slow day, is proving that sports journalists are also not immune to self-delusion. Heyman is from my home town of Santa Fe, an adobe theme park where fantasy is a way of life. Apparently he has not strayed far from his roots.

    • djpostl - Nov 16, 2012 at 11:34 PM

      I think Craig looked up the depositions lol. You got owned buddy.

      EVERYTHING he said about how incredibly stupid a prosecutor would have to be to put Pettitte on the stand despite him clearly not being certain which story from Clemens was the truth of the matter adds up.

      At best he was 50/50. That just screams reasonable doubt, unreasonable doubt & every other form of doubt one could have about it.

  13. lroc20 - Nov 16, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Craig n John should remake the end scene of thelma n louise

  14. lusdawg - Nov 16, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_sports/baseball08/clemens_congress/deposition_pettitte.pdf

    Seriously, Calcaterra?!?! So, McNamee was upset with Pettitte because Clemens’ wife used the stuff?!?!
    Pettitte was originally sure that Clemens had told him that he (Clemens) had used HGH, and Pettitte couldn’t remember anything else about that conversation. Again, it was clear to Pettitte about Clemen’ usage of HGH at the time of his first testimony.
    Now, it’s suddenly “obvious” that Pettitte had mistaken Clemens words? C’mon, man! Either you are a complete Clemens lover/Yankee homer, or you believe Lance Armstrong is also innocent … meh …

  15. kappy32 - Nov 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Jon Heyman is a complete jerk off. He has a scary, obsessive man-crush on Derek Jeter & he is constantly making stories out of nothing. No one should pay attention to the garbage he writes & I think everyone who follows him on Twitter should fill up his feed with tweets letting him know how much of an unprofessional idiot he is.

  16. willclarkgameface - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Jon Heyman is a dingleberry on the ass of MLB.

  17. damnyankee13 - Nov 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    why dont they focus on David Ortiz, manny ramirez? Oh, ya mean they dont play for the yankees?Hummphh.journalistic predjudice. Aint that something. Least Pettite manned up to it. did ortiz? ramirez?

  18. serbingood - Nov 17, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Who is this Jon Heyman you speak of? I tried to find him with Bing! and Dog Pile but alas, the screen showed no results. I was going to Google him, but realized that in certain parts of the USA one can’t Google a Heyman without facing possible legal repercussions.

  19. bozosforall - Nov 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Rumor has it that Heyman likes it up the keister.

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