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Lost in the frenzy of the final day of the career of Yankees great Mariano Rivera, which included an on-field ceremony Sunday at Minute Maid Park, was a quick hug that was exchanged between former teammates and friends Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens.
The two Houston-area pitchers had been close friends for years and followed each other from the Yankees to the Astros in 2004 and then back to the Bronx three years later, only to see their friendship sour when Pettitte testified in Clemens’ federal perjury trial that Clemens admitted using human growth hormone.
Clemens sought out Pettitte on Sunday and was asked Monday about the exchange.
“I just told him ‘Congratulations,’” Clemens said. “He proved it in his last start [Saturday] that he probably could continue on and pitch and help a lot of ballclubs if he wanted to continue to play. Andy is 41 and the big left-hander put himself, as far as I’m concerned, right there with Whitey Ford…with the Yankees.”
Pettitte had previously testified Clemens told him he had used HGH, but later said he may have been mistaken.
Pettitte threw a complete game on Saturday to beat the Astros in the final game of his 18-year career.