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Segui could be forced to testify against Clemens

WASHINGTON — Prosecutors finally have some momentum in their perjury case against Roger Clemens, even if it means dragging in former major leaguer David Segui, a witness who is apparently so reluctant to testify that the judge threatened from the bench: "If he doesn't show up, he'll be arrested like anyone else."

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton indicated Wednesday he was leaning heavily toward allowing prosecutors to call Segui and another witness to counter an overall impression left by Clemens' lawyers during the 6-week-old trial. Segui is expected to say that sometime around 2001 he was told by Clemens' strength coach, Brian McNamee, that McNamee had saved evidence from injections of players to placate a nagging wife.

That would be consistent with McNamee's testimony last week — that he kept waste from an alleged steroids injection of Clemens in 2001 and stored it in a beer can to soothe things over at home. McNamee's wife, according to McNamee, was concerned that he would become the fall guy if his involvement with drugs-in-baseball were ever exposed.

But there's a catch. Prosecutor Courtney Saleski said Segui, who retired in 2004 after 15 major league seasons, "doesn't want to come" even though he's under subpoena.

Judge Walton's response: "You just tell him if he's under subpoena, he'd better be here." Or else, added the judge, "he'd better be on the run because the marshals will be after him."

Clemens is accused of lying to Congress in 2008 when he said he had never used steroids or human growth hormone, and a trial that appeared to be going so well for the seven-time Cy Young Award winner has this week thrown him a few curveballs. When Clemens' lawyer Rusty Hardin shared a laugh with the judge while fighting an uphill battle against Segui's testimony — "I don't want to beat a dead horse," Hardin said — Clemens sat at the defense table and didn't so much as crack a smile.

Essentially, Hardin is paying the price for his three days of aggressive cross-examination of McNamee, who says he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001 and with HGH in 2000. On Monday, the judge ruled that Hardin had opened the door for McNamee to name other players to whom he had supplied HGH, something the defense had fought vigorously to keep from the jury.

Now the government — and the judge appears to agree — says that Hardin went too far in trying to build a case that McNamee started making up charges and fabricating evidence against Clemens around 2007 as a way to appease federal agents.