Andy Pettitte was unequivocal. No, Roger Clemens' upcoming perjury trial and the lefthander's presumed role in it had nothing to do with his decision to retire after 16 seasons.
"I would hope that anyone that has followed me through that whole situation would know that that has not had any effect, I mean zero, in my decision," Pettitte said Friday during the news conference at Yankee Stadium officially announcing his retirement. "I would never let that interfere with a life decision that I'm going to make for me and my family."
Although Pettitte's immediate plans are to step out of the spotlight and head back to his home in Deer Park, Texas, where he'll immerse himself in the lives of his wife and four children, the pitcher very well could resurface in the spotlight this summer.
And it will have nothing to do with pitching.
Pettitte admitted to using HGH after being named in the Mitchell Report in 2007 - something he referred to later Friday in a radio interview as the "low point" of his career - and he is expected to be the star witness in the perjury trial of Clemens, whom he once counted among his closest friends. The trial is scheduled to begin in July in Washington.
Pettitte told a congressional committee in a 2008 deposition that in a private conversation nearly 10 years earlier, Clemens spoke of his own HGH use. Clemens responded by telling the committee: "I think he misremembers.''
Toward the end of the 2010 season, Pettitte told Newsday that the prospect of being a witness in that trial would have no impact on his decision, and he reiterated that several times Friday.
"That has literally had no impact on my decision. It's had no impact on my life," Pettitte said. "Has it been weighing on me? It has not been an issue. Never even entered my mind on what I would do or what I wouldn't do."