Torre won't pick sides between Clemens, McNamee

NEW YORK -- Joe Torre won't pick sides between
Roger Clemens
and Brian McNamee, the former New York Yankees strength coach who
accused the Rocket of using performance-enhancing drugs.

"You're not going to get me in that jackpot," the former
Yankees manager said Wednesday. "I'd rather just stay away from
making any in-depth comment about the whole steroid-HGH thing."

Torre, who managed Clemens for six seasons, spoke during a Golf
Channel conference call ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Championship in
Kapalua, Hawaii, where he will be honorary starter.

In George Mitchell's report last month on performance-enhancing
drugs in baseball, McNamee claimed Clemens used steroids and Human
Growth Hormone and accused Andy Pettitte of using HGH. Clemens
denied the charge, while Pettitte admitted using HGH on two
occasions while rehabbing an injury.

"I'm very close to Roger. When I say close to him, he was a
great competitor for me. Andy the same way. And I certainly know
they're two proud individuals that only like to do the right
thing," Torre said. "I'd just like to leave it at that."

Torre managed the Yankees for 12 seasons, winning the World
Series four times in his first five years, before leaving at the
end of last season and becoming manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

A total of 20 current and former Yankees were identified in
Mitchell's report. Torre said the high total likely was due to two
of Mitchell's primary sources being from the New York area: McNamee
and former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski.

"It made it look like a lopsided report," Torre said. "Plus,
don't forget, the Yankees have so many people coming through there
on a year-to-year basis. We changed over quite often, whether it
would be a player for the month of May, a player for the month of
September. But I think the big part of it was the access, where
these two people were both based in New York."

Torre suspects use may have been more widespread.

"When you're talking about 80 players that supposedly were
using one thing or another, to me it may be an incomplete report,"
he said. "The only thing I do know is that the most important
thing for us in baseball is to make sure that when we take the
field, that the fans trust us. So whatever we have to do to make
that happen, I think that's important."

Clemens, who issued a video denial of McNamee's accusations, is
due to appear on CBS's "60 Minutes" on Sunday and hold a news
conference the following day in the Houston area.

Torre, who spends much of the offseason in Hawaii, joked about
his golf game, calling it "ugly." The former catcher, who limped
when he made trips to the mound last season, had a knee replaced
last month.

"The knee is four weeks old today and it's OK," he said.
"It's just a little achy, that's all."