TAMPA, Fla. -- With two teammates and friends embroiled in Major League Baseball's steroid scandal, Derek Jeter says it's "a bad time for the game."
"I don't want to make it seem that it disappoints me more than someone else," the New York Yankees' shortstop, speaking with New York-area media at the team's minor-league complex, said Tuesday. "But it's disappointing for everyone who plays baseball -- not just the players, but the management, ownership, commissioner. It's a bad time for the game."
Jeter's former teammate Roger Clemens is expected to testify before Congress on Wednesday on whether he used performance-enhancing drugs. Jeter's current teammate, Andy Pettitte, who has admitted using human growth hormone, will not testify, but his sworn affidavit reportedly implicates Clemens as having used HGH.
Jeter told reporters he has kept in touch with Clemens and Pettitte during the offseason, but didn't characterize their conversations.
But he said it's realistic to expect the tumultuous offseason has bothered Pettitte, who is Clemens' friend and worked with Clemens' former strength trainer, Brian McNamee.
"Yeah, he's human," Jeter said of Pettitte, according to media reports. "I'm not speaking for him, but I can only imagine -- he's human, so it'd bother him."
"It's disappointing. You feel for what their families have to go through," Jeter added, according to media reports. "But in terms of Andy's situation, he's admitted it, it's over with, it's done with. I'm sure he'll address you guys [reporters] whether he wants to or not when he gets to spring training, but other than that, it's a dead issue."
Jeter, the Yankees' captain, said Pettitte did not have to address the team about the issue. Pettitte is expected to arrive at spring training on Thursday and start working out Friday.
"He can handle it the way he wants to handle it," Jeter said, according to reports. "I don't think it's necessary he address the team. I've talked to him. It's entirely up to him. It's something that was a long, long time ago. There aren't too many people who are here who were here then [in 2002, when Pettitte has admitted he used HGH to recover from an elbow injury].
"If he wants to address the people who were there, that's one thing, but as far as the team now, it should have no effect on the team now."
Jeter, whose father is a drug and alcohol counselor, said he was never offered performance-enhancing drugs and has never been tempted to use them.
"I realized a long time ago that I wasn't going to hit home runs, so it was never an issue," he said, according to reports. "It's never been an issue, no one's ever talked to me about it. Some people say, 'You're on the same team, you're in the clubhouse, you had to hear something.' But it's not like it's a topic."