'Scrap Iron' boosts 'The Rocket' at Clemens trial

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"Roger walked up on the mound and said, 'Home plate's turned a little bit,'" Garner testified.

Garner was puzzled. So was the grounds crew. After all, the field had been laid out using a laser.

Nevertheless, the plate was checked again.

"Sure enough," Garner said, "it was turned one-quarter inch off."

Another defense witness, Houston orthopedic surgeon Larry Likeover, a longtime friend of the Clemens family, testified he used to give the painkiller Vioxx to Clemens. Clemens has said he used to eat "Vioxx like it was Skittles," a statement the government has used to imply that Clemens would have no aversion to abusing drugs to remain competitive.

Reinforcing that point, Durham asked Likeover if the doctor would ever put "eat like Skittles" on a Vioxx prescription. Likeover said no.

A more intriguing name on the defense witness list is McNamee's estranged wife, Eileen McNamee. The McNamees are in the midst of a contentious divorce, and the defense wants to call her to continue its attack on Brian McNamee's integrity.

But first there are legal entanglements to sort out.

Eileen McNamee had been granted immunity as a possible government witness, although she never took the stand, and her lawyer wants assurances that the immunity remains intact if she testifies on behalf of Clemens. That's because Brian McNamee, during his testimony, may have implicated her in a number of criminal matters, such as possible mail fraud.

At U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton's urging, Eileen McNamee's lawyer planned to meet with government prosecutors Friday to discuss the matter.


Associated Press writer Frederic J. Frommer contributed to this report.


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