Massage therapist Cheryl Redfern of Toronto testified Thursday she gave former Blue Jays pitcher Roger Clemens massages from 1995-2003.
Redfern said she never saw acne on Clemens's body or noticed any changes in his upper body. The jury has heard that both are possible by-products of steroid use.
Prosecutors say Clemens used steroids and human growth hormone to help prolong his career. That claim is supported first-hand by only one witness, Clemens's former strength coach, Brian McNamee. Clemens is charged with lying when he told Congress in 2008 that he never used either substance.
To counter McNamee, the defence has called friends and associates of Clemens from high school, college and his years with the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and now the Astros.
Phil Garner, the longtime infielder and Clemens's manager for 2 1/2 years with the Houston Astros, gave "The Rocket" a boost Thursday as he testified for the defence in the perjury trial of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.
Garner became the latest in a string of witnesses to speak glowingly of Clemens's leadership and work ethic. The testimony is part of an effort to portray the former pitching star as an athlete who achieved great success late in his career through hard work, intelligence and unrivaled intensity.
"Did Roger Clemens ever cut corners?" Clemens' lawyer Rusty Hardin asked Garner.
"Cut corners?" Garner replied with a taken-aback look and a smile. "No."
Prosecutors say Clemens used steroids and human growth hormone to help prolong his career. That claim is supported firsthand by only one witness, Clemens' former strength coach, Brian McNamee.
Clemens is charged with lying when he told Congress in 2008 that he never used either substance.
During Garner's first spring training with the Astros in 2005, he recalled seeing Clemens at the ballpark at 7:30 a.m. working out in a heavy flak jacket, then going for a run before returning outside after lunch for some "PFP" (pitchers' fielding practice). Garner thought it all "totally weird" because Clemens was supposed to pitch that day.
"Rocket, what in the world are you doing?" Garner asked.
"Skip, I'm trying to get my legs as tired as possible so it's like it's the ninth inning when I'm out there today," Clemens replied, according to Garner.
Clemens was in his 40s by the time he was playing for the Astros. Garner said Clemens's fastball wasn't as fast as it used to be, but the pitcher made up for it by pitching smarter. Clemens won his seventh Cy Young Award with Houston in 2004.
Another defence witness, Houston orthopedic surgeon Larry Likeover, a longtime friend of the Clemens family, testified he used to give the painkiller Vioxx to Clemens. Clemens has said he used to eat "Vioxx like it was Skittles," a statement the government has used to imply that Clemens would have no aversion to abusing drugs to remain competitive.
'I don't think he'd cheat.'— Charlie O'Brien, who caught for Clemens with the Blue Jays
Two catchers who were teammates of pitcher Roger Clemens said he played with integrity and refused to cut corners, the opposite of the image painted by prosecutors of a man who cheated to gain an edge and then lied about it to Congress.
"I don't think he'd cheat," said former journeyman catcher Charlie O'Brien, who caught Clemens's games for much of the 1997 season with the Toronto Blue Jays. O'Brien portrayed Clemens as such a stickler that he'd refuse to throw scuffed baseballs because he considered it cheating.
The former catcher testified Wednesday he once approached Clemens on the mound during a game with a scuffed ball and said, "This is a great ball to use." He said Clemens responded, "I don't need that."
O'Brien also said he had seen vitamin B12 "shots lined up ready to go" for players, a claim also made by Clemens and for which he was charged with obstructing Congress. The government maintains that Clemens concocted the B12 account as a cover for steroid injections.
During Clemens's trial, prosecutors have asked several government witnesses associated with major league teams whether they've ever seen B12 shots lined up, and all of them have said no. But O'Brien replied "Yes, sir" when Hardin posed that question.
The other backstop was Darrin Fletcher, Clemens' catcher with the Jays in 1998. When Hardin said good afternoon, Fletcher replied, "How we doing?" and frequently called the lawyer by his first name.
He said Clemens was a "big strong man" who set the standard for work ethic.
"Did Roger Clemens ever cut corners?" Hardin asked.
"Cut corners?" he replied with a taken-aback look and a smile. "No."
Also called by the defence was the woman who used to clean Clemens's New York apartment when he played for the Yankees — she happened to be there on the day of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The woman said she never saw needles or vials in the apartment during the half-dozen or so times she cleaned the place, but, under cross-examination, she said she didn't look through Clemens's personal things and was never there at night. McNamee has testified that he injected Clemens with steroids at the apartment during the 2001 baseball season.
Finally, in an unusual display of efficiency in a trial that's been going on for seven weeks, both sides rushed through the testimony of FBI expert Richard Vorder Bruegge.
Vorder Bruegge said he determined that a June 9, 1998, photo of Clemens and a boy in a pool at Blue Jays teammate Jose Canseco's house in Florida was taken between 2:55 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. The boy in the photo, Alexander Lowrey, testified he thought the photo was taken around 3 p.m.
A more intriguing name on the defence witness list is McNamee's estranged wife, Eileen McNamee. The McNamees are in the midst of a contentious divorce, and the defence wants to call her to continue its attack on Brian McNamee's integrity. But first there are legal entanglements to sort out.
Eileen McNamee had been granted immunity as a possible government witness, although she never took the stand, and her lawyer wants assurances that the immunity remains intact if she testifies on behalf of Clemens. That's because Brian McNamee, during his testimony, may have implicated her in a number of criminal matters, such as possible mail fraud.
At the judge's urging, Eileen McNamee's lawyer planned to speak with prosecutors to discuss the matter on Friday, when the trial will be in recess because of a juror's schedule conflict.
While the jury won't return until Tuesday, Walton intends to deal with some pending motions, like the one involving McNamee's wife, on Monday afternoon.