Andy Pettitte’s testimony just became pretty useless to the prosecution in the Clemens case

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This morning we ran down Andy Pettitte’s testimony on direct examination in the Roger Clemens case. The upshot: (1) Clemens told him he did HGH back in 1999; but (b) Clemens said he did NOT do HGH in 2005, and that Pettitte was wrong about the 1999 conversation.

Fine, as far as that goes. The prosecution is implying strongly that, when the PED heat started to get ratcheted up, Clemens began to lie about it, and that the 1999 conversation was the truth.  The only problem:  Andy Pettitte, on cross examination this morning, admitted that he may actually have been wrong about that 1999 conversation. “Attanasio” is the Clemens defense lawyer cross-examining Pettitte:

Obviously Brian McNamee still has to testify and his testimony is key, but Pettitte’s testimony creates way more than reasonable doubt about whether Clemens ever said that did PEDs of any kind.

This, in my mind, renders Andy Pettitte’s testimony completely useless for the prosecution, because really, all that he was there for was to testify that Clemens admitted to PED use. And now that’s blown away.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.