New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens throws against the Detroit...

New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens throws against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit. (Aug. 24, 2007) Credit: AP

Yankees manager Joe Girardi hopes the focus can return to the game on the field now that Roger Clemens has been acquitted of lying to Congress.

"I think it's good for the game of baseball," Girardi said before last night's game against the Braves. "We get all these trials out of the way and we move on. It seems like every time someone was brought up before a grand jury or went on trial, it focused on what was going on the last 10-15 years. Now we're beyond that and we can focus on what's going to happen the next 10 years."

Derek Jeter left little doubt where he stands regarding Clemens' standing as a potential Hall of Famer.

"He had one of the best careers of any pitcher to ever play the game," Jeter said. "He was someone I enjoyed competing against, someone I enjoyed playing with. He's going to go down as one of the greatest pitchers of all time . . . I've always said you have to be careful to rush to judgment. I'm happy for Roger."

Girardi said it was for "the voters to decide" on Clemens' Hall of Fame credentials. Members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, to this point, have shown little inclination toward enshrining players who have admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs or who have been linked to them.

"I don't know," Girardi said. "When you look at his numbers, they're absolutely incredible."

Andy Pettitte and general manager Brian Cashman were both called as witnesses during the trial.

Pettitte said, "I don't care to talk about that," when asked after last night's game for his reaction to the Clemens verdict.

"Obviously I participated in the trial so I won't comment," Cashman said by phone. "There's nothing for me to comment on."

With Laura Albanese

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