WASHINGTON - Roger Clemens' denial of steroid use warrants further investigation, Congress said Wednesday in asking the Justice Department to determine whether the star pitcher lied under oath in testimony to a House committee.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, urging more scrutiny of Clemens' statements in a Feb. 5 sworn deposition and at a Feb. 13 public hearing where he said he "never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone."
"That testimony is directly contradicted by the sworn testimony of Brian McNamee, who testified that he personally injected Mr. Clemens with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone," the congressmen wrote.
"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 declined to comment Wednesday when approached by reporters at the Houston Astros' spring training camp in Kissimmee.
BREWERS: Outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. was hit in the nose by a baseball while attempting to steal second base during an intrasquad game Wednesday. Gwynn was attended to by team trainers on the field for about five minutes after being struck by catcher Vinny Rottino's throw in the fourth inning, but he was able to finish the five-inning game.
CARDINALS: Utilityman Scott Spiezio was cut Wednesday after police issued a six-count warrant for his arrest following a December car crash.
The warrant, filed Tuesday by Irvine, Calif., police alleges driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more, hit and run, aggravated assault, assault and battery.
Spiezio missed more than a month last year while getting treatment for substance abuse.
Police said the accident occurred Dec. 30. The maximum penalty is two years in state prison.
CUBS: Second baseman Mark DeRosa will undergo a heart procedure today in Chicago to correct an irregular heartbeat.
Team doctor Stephen Adams said DeRosa is expected to return to Arizona on Sunday, be back on the field as early as Monday and ready to play in spring training games by March 8.
The infielder experienced an irregular heartbeat Saturday during a workout.
DeRosa, who turned 33 on Tuesday, said he has had the condition since he was a teenager.
INDIANS: Pitcher Jake Westbrook was scratched from his scheduled start in today's spring training opener against Houston because of soreness in his right arm.
Westbrook will throw a bullpen session today and see how his arm responds.
TWINS: Now that Francisco Liriano is back in camp - 16 months since undergoing Tommy John surgery and nine days after Twins pitchers and catchers reported for spring training - he can finally get to work trying to regain that nastiness that made him an All-Star in 2006 before arm problems derailed a breathtaking rookie season.
"I feel good," Liriano said Wednesday after a 10-minute bullpen session.
Liriano, who had a DUI in 2006, was late to camp because of visa problems.
RED SOX: After two days of playing catch with his new pitching coach, Bartolo Colon has impressed Manager Terry Francona.
"Very pleased," Francona said Wednesday. "Probably a little bit ahead of where we expect him to be."
Those throwing sessions with John Farrell put Colon on schedule to pitch in a game in less than two weeks, probably March 9, the pitcher said.
Colon was limited to 29 games the past two seasons by shoulder and elbow injuries. He missed last year's playoffs because of an inflamed elbow.
Farrell said the burly right-hander needs to lose weight, but Colon said Wednesday his conditioning already is good enough to pitch in a game.
ROCKIES: Neifi Perez's homecoming with Colorado isn't going to happen.
Perez and the Rockies had agreed to a $750,000 minor-league contract Tuesday, a goodwill gesture that Manager Clint Hurdle called a lifeline for one of the more popular players in club history who has hit hard times of late. But the team later had second thoughts and decided against bringing him back.
The first player suspended by baseball for stimulants since they were banned before the 2006 season, Perez has 18 games remaining on an 80-game suspension he received last season after testing positive for a third time.
OBITUARY: Former Cincinnati Reds scout and farm director Sheldon "Chief" Bender, who spent 64 years in professional baseball, died Wednesday. He was 88.
The Reds' minor-league player of the year award is named for Bender. He retired in 2005.
Bender spent 39 years with the Reds and headed their minor-league operations from 1967-89.