A young man was called to the stand earlier this week to testify that in 1998, at a pool party at Jose Canseco’s house, he saw Roger Clemens. While seemingly insignificant, the issue involves one of the false statements prosecutors claim Clemens made during his 2008 congressional testimony.
Prosecutors this week asked 25-year-old Alexander Lowrey who he was standing next to in photos taken at the party when Lowrey was only 11. Lowrey said he recalled the evening and that it was Clemens, whose hair was died bleach-blond at the time. Back in the late 1990s Clemens and Canseco were teammates on the Toronto Blue Jays.
Lowrey told the court that he was invited to the party by a handyman who worked for his family’s business as well as Canseco.
Lowrey admitted to being star struck at the time, saying that he played baseball as a child and that he looked up to Clemens as “one of the best pitchers in the game.”
Clemens’ lawyers fought back by playing up possible faulty memory. The defense hammered at the point that Lowrey could easily have a foggy recollection of a party that occurred almost 14 years ago. Lowrey played into their hand on a few occasions by saying that he couldn’t remember some details of events that evening and by saying that he had to estimate the times he came and went from the house. He did emphasize though that he had a clear memory of meeting both Canseco and Clemens.
Brian McNamee, Clemens’ strength and conditioning coach, previously testified that he saw Clemens and Canseco talking to a mysterious third person at the pool party, a person McNamee said he felt had a connection to steroids.. McNamee further claimed that he injected Clemens with HGH between 1998 and 2001. It’s Clemens’ on-the-record denials of these claims that have him in hot water. In his 2008 testimony before a House committee Clemens said, “I never was at the party.” He went on and later said, “I wasn’t here at this — at a party that he had. I could have gone by there after a golf outing. So — but I was not at this party.” Clemens’ lawyers have previously maintained that Clemens was out golfing that day.
Prosecutors tried to drive the point home by playing jurors a video of Clemens before Congress where he says he might have dropped off at the party his wife or a relative who had golfed with him. “But at the time of the day that I would have expressed it to be, I was on my way to the ballpark. I would have had to have gotten to the ballpark extremely early. I know one thing. I wasn’t there having huddled up with somebody trying to do a drug deal. I know that for sure.”
(Lee Davis is a Chattanooga attorney who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 266-0605.)