Congress, Clemens to chat before hearing

SUN WIRE SERVICES

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

Roger Clemens will give the U.S. Congress a deposition or transcribed interview next Saturday in advance of the House hearing where the pitcher and his former trainer, Brian McNamee, are to testify.

Letters were sent to Clemens, McNamee and three other people by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis.

The letters ask the witnesses to meet with committee staff on specific dates leading up to the panel's scheduled Feb. 13 hearing. Clemens' lawyer said he would accept.

McNamee, who has been seeking immunity for his congressional testimony, was asked to meet with committee staff Jan. 31.

"The committee asks that you provide testimony about allegations in Senator George Mitchell's report ... that you and other Major League Baseball players used performance enhancing drugs during your professional baseball career," Waxman and Davis wrote to Clemens.

The witnesses were given the choice of a deposition or a transcribed interview.

Among the differences is that a deposition is delivered under oath and an interview is not, although that isn't a major distinction, because it is a crime to lie to Congress.

SOME SIGN, SOME DON'T

Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau of New Westminster, B.C., avoided arbitration yesterday by agreeing to a $7.4-million US, one-year contract.

Morneau, the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2006, received a raise of nearly $3 million. He is not eligible for free agency until after the 2010 season.

A flurry of deals were completed just before the exchange of arbitration numbers. Colorado's Matt Holliday ($23-million, two years), Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena ($24,125,000, three years) and Scott Kazmir ($3,785,000, one-year) and Detroit's Miguel Cabrera ( $11.3 million, one year) were among the stars who avoided arbitration.

However, Ryan Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies remained $3 million apart in negotiations.

The 2006 NL MVP asked the Phillies for a $10-million contract in salary arbitration.

The Phillies offered Howard a $7-million salary. The $3-million gap between the sides was the largest among the 48 players who exchanged proposals with their teams.

Los Angeles Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez requested $12.5 million, while the club offered $10 million.

Baltimore ace and Navan, Ont., native Erik Bedard asked for $8 million, while the Orioles proposed $6 million.

Hearings are scheduled for the first three weeks of February in St. Petersburg, Fla.


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