WASHINGTON — Scolded by the judge for putting on a slow and “boring” trial, prosecutors in the Roger Clemens case livened things up by introducing a fast-talking convicted drug dealer.
Kirk Radomski, the former New York Mets batboy who provided drugs to dozens of Major League Baseball players, took the stand Tuesday and described a shipment of human growth hormone he sent to Clemens’ house about a decade ago.
Radomski showed the jury an old, torn shipping label he found under his television set in his bedroom in June 2008. Federal agents had failed to find the label when they searched his home three years earlier – because they apparently didn’t look under what Radomski called his huge, old-model “dinosaur of a TV.”
The label was addressed to Brian McNamee, Clemens’ former strength coach, at Clemens’ home address in Texas. Radomski said the shipment was for two kits of HGH – “about 50-100 needles” – that he estimated occurred in 2002.
McNamee has said he injected Clemens with HGH and steroids. Clemens denied to Congress in 2008 that he took either drug, which led to the perjury charges against him. The first attempt to try the 11-time All-Star pitcher last year ended in a mistrial.
The defense is expected to emphasize that the label lists McNamee, instead of Clemens, as the recipient. McNamee would often stay at Clemens’ house during training sessions.
On a relatively busy day at the trial, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton also ruled that the government could not introduce Clemens’ contract with the Boston Red Sox as evidence that he was motivated by money to extend his career. The jury heard from five witnesses – more than have appeared in the rest of the trial combined.
The judge said showing the multimillion-dollar salaries to a jury that knows little about baseball could be prejudicial against Clemens because some people think professional athletes make an “obscene” amount of money.
“I just think we don’t put someone on trial for the amount of money they make,” Walton said.
This trial was supposed to last four to six weeks, but it is now Week 4.