Friday, February 1, 2008

Chuck Knoblauch Testifies Before Congressional Lawyers

Former major-leaguer Chuck Knoblauch carried his toddler son in his arms on his way out after speaking for about 1½ hours Friday with congressional lawyers investigating drugs in baseball.

Chuck Knoblauch

Former major league player Chuck Knoblauch, with his toddler son, Jake, and his wife, Stacey, take the elevator after meeting with lawyers from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Accompanied by his wife and a lawyer, Knoblauch did not reveal specifics of what he was asked or what he told staff members from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Knoblauch was among more than 80 baseball players cited in former Senate majority leader George Mitchell's report on drug use in the sport. Asked after leaving the interview whether there were questions about himself or other baseball players, Knoblauch replied, "I only know about myself."

His lawyer, Diana Marshall, said: "Everything was fine. He answered all the questions."

Knoblauch's closed-door interview was part of the committee's preparation for a Feb. 13 hearing. That public session is expected to focus on Roger Clemens' denial of allegations in the Mitchell Report made by Brian McNamee, the pitcher's former personal trainer. McNamee said he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing substances.

Knoblauch, a Houston native and former teammate of Clemens' on the New York Yankees, and McNamee told Mitchell he injected Knoblauch with human growth hormone.

Knoblauch, a four-time All-Star who played for the Minnesota Twins, Yankees and Kansas City Royals, ended his major-league career in 2002. He agreed Monday to speak to the committee after initially failing to respond to an invitation to testify.

"It's an important thing that they're doing here in Congress," Knoblauch said while walking through a marble hallway in the Rayburn House Office Building. "I want baseball to be fair and healthy, just like everybody else."

At one point, he told his 3-year-old son, Jake, to say "Hi!" to the cameras tracking them as they headed for an exit.

"Maybe one day, when he grows up, he won't have to be worried about drugs in sports," Knoblauch said. "That's why I have him here today, to learn a very valuable lesson: If you do something in life, be prepared to talk about it openly and honestly. That's it."

Through a spokeswoman, committee chairman Henry Waxman declined to comment on Knoblauch's appearance. Keith Ausbrook, Republican general counsel for the committee, also declined to comment.

Knoblauch's initial silence when invited to speak to the committee prompted lawmakers to issue a subpoena, but federal marshals were unable to track him down right away. The 1991 AL rookie of the year eventually did make contact, the subpoena was withdrawn and his interview was rescheduled for Friday.

Silence can only mean two things folks. Either he's guilty and can't articulate the truth or a lie, or he's playing them cool. Bringing his child in has symbolic value, however Knoblauch greatly contradicted himself. He said he brought the child in "to learn a very valuable lesson: If you do something in life, be prepared to talk about it openly and honestly. That's it." However, he didn't speak openly about anything! He was silent.

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