WASHINGTON — The complexity of the Roger Clemens perjury retrial showed itself in many ways Monday — before a jury that knows little about baseball.
The prosecutor's hour-long opening statement was a rambling hodgepodge of dates and anecdotes that attempted to portray the seven-time Cy Young Award winner as a man who told lies and "other lies to cover up lies." A ruling was issued about Clemens' former teammate Andy Pettitte: He can testify about taking human growth hormone, but can't say where he got it from.
In between, there were numerous motions as attorneys for both sides fussed over which words and facts can be used and which ones can't. Finally, as the clock passed 5 p.m., an impatient U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton admonished both sides for making their cases too complicated for a jury to understand.
On the fifth day of the trial, the court finally seated 12 jurors and four alternates. The 10 women and six men mostly said they didn't follow baseball or know much about Clemens. In fact, seven said they'd never heard of him.
Their first task was to try to digest prosecutor Steven Durham's description of Clemens' 10-year relationship with strength trainer Brian McNamee, which Durham said became a "story of deceit and dishonesty and betrayal" because Clemens wouldn't acknowledge using steroids and human growth hormone.
Clemens is accused of lying at a 2008 congressional hearing and at a deposition that preceded it. Last year's mistrial was called after the government showed the jury a portion of videotaped evidence that had been ruled inadmissible. The costly process of bringing the case back to court has drawn criticism from those who regard it as a waste of government money.
The case largely will hinge on the believability of two contradictory witnesses — Clemens and McNamee. McNamee says he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone; Clemens said he never used either.