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Andy Pettitte’s Teammates Rally Behind Him

by @ 5:07 pm on February 19, 2008. Filed under Baseball, Mitchell Report, New York Yankees, Roger Clemens, Sports

When Andy Pettitte spoke yesterday, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, and Derek Jeter were in the front row supporting him and today, more Yankees are speaking up for him:

TAMPA, Fla. — As veteran position players reported to Yankees’ training camp on Tuesday to join the pitchers and catchers, the conversation about the use of performance-enhancing drugs did not end despite Andy Pettitte’s discussion the day before of his use of human growth hormone.

Jason Giambi, who has alluded to past steroid use, said “it’s not good to be the first,” as he was, four years ago, in apologizing for unspecified transgressions. He said he greeted Pettitte Tuesday with sympathy and understanding.

“I just saw him and asked him if he was O.K. and gave him a hug and told him I understood,” Giambi said. When asked whether he believed Clemens, who denied all steroid use under oath before a Congressional committee, Giambi turned wary.

“I’m not going to discuss that,” Giambi said, quickly turning away from a questioner. Referring to Pettitte’s one-hour session with the news media on Monday, Giambi said “that’s the best you can do, handle it like a man and move forward. You can’t keep living in the past.”

Giambi said he hoped baseball could move on but that this would be difficult. “Everybody’s hearing about it,” Giambi said. “It’s constantly out there.” For Pettitte personally, Giambi said: “It’s going to be tough, but it’s not going to be impossible. The hardest part’s over.”

At least until the first pitch is thrown.

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