KISSIMMEE, Fla. Roger Clemens declined to say whether he was aware Congress had asked the Justice Department to investigate whether he lied in sworn testimony about steroid use.
A letter drafted by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis was sent to Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Wednesday. They asked the Justice Department to look into Clemens' recent statements in a sworn deposition and at a public hearing that he "never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone."
Clemens was working with minor leaguers at the Houston Astros' spring training camp when the congressional request became official.
When he was finished, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner emerged from an indoor batting cage to a large group of autograph-seekers, reporters and photographers. He was asked several times if he was aware of the request and never answered.
"Guys, the big team is up that way," Clemens said, referring to the Astros, whose spring training clubhouse is about 200 yards from the minor league complex.
Later in the afternoon, a clubhouse assistant backed Clemens' black Hummer up to a service entrance to the building, which helped the pitcher keep away from about two dozen reporters and photographers who tracked him all day.
Clemens came out just after 2 p.m. and as he was asked about the congressional request one more time, he responded, "See y'all tomorrow," hopped into the Hummer and drove away.
The congressmen wrote in a letter that Clemens' testimony directly contradicted that of Brian McNamee, his former personal trainer, who said he injected Clemens with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.
"Mr. Clemens's testimony is also contradicted by the sworn deposition testimony and affidavit submitted to the committee by Andrew Pettitte, a former teammate of Mr. Clemens, whose testimony and affidavit reported that Mr. Clemens had admitted to him in 1999 or 2000 that he had taken human growth hormone," the letter said.
Clemens arrived at the Astros' minor league clubhouse just before 11 a.m. Wednesday. The minor leaguers, including Clemens' oldest son, Koby, opened a minicamp on Monday and Clemens has permission from the team to participate.
Wearing a white baseball cap, a long-sleeved black shirt and blue jeans, Clemens walked toward the horde as the Astros' major leaguers were practicing on an adjacent field.
"Wow, you guys need to get a life," Clemens said, shaking his head. "There's a big league team to the left, I think."
Clemens refused to stop and answer questions before briskly walked into the clubhouse.
"I did all I'm gonna do yesterday," he said.
On Tuesday, Clemens would not answer direct questions about Andy Pettitte or reports that Congress was considering the request that it made to the Justice Department on Wednesday.
Once he took the field, Clemens didn't seem distracted by the news from Washington. He came out of the clubhouse just before noon, dressed in gym shoes, black warm-up pants, a red Astros jacket and a black Astros cap.
He tutored Astros prospect Brian Bogusevic on his pitching form, then shed his jacket and took the mound on one of the team's practice fields.
Underneath the jacket, Clemens was wearing a gray T-shirt that had an Astros' star logo on the front and read "There is Only One Star" on the back.
Koby Clemens, a catcher in the Astros' farm system, was the first batter, hitting several deep fly balls off his father as about 100 fans watched from behind a steel gate and yelled encouragement.
"The fans are behind you!" said one. "We love you, Roger!" said another.
Two Clemens supporters wore T-shirts that read "Rocket Fuel Has No HGH."
"I believe him," said Guy Rabich, who made the shirts at his home in nearby St. Petersburg. "He is the greatest of all time. I do feel bad for him. He's really a nice guy, nice to fans, nice to everybody."
Clemens threw on the outdoor field for about 45 minutes, giving advice to batters between pitches.
"Get your eyes working, come on," he said after infielder Danny Klassen swung and missed.
A few pitches later, Klassen smacked a line drive to left-center.
"There you go!" Clemens said.
He cracked a smile when infielder Chris Johnson swung and missed at a a breaking ball.
"Threw you a dead fish," Clemens said. "That came out of my hand funny."
Clemens threw in the indoor cage for about 30 minutes. He planned to pitch to the minor leaguers again on Thursday and Friday.