Pettitte, Gagne apologize; Schilling talks about rehab

Andy Pettitte and Eric Gagne each issued apologies, and they couldn't have sounded more different. Curt Schilling talked about following Boston's advice regarding his bad shoulder, but worried it might end his career.

Pettitte arrived at spring training Monday and repeatedly took the blame for using human growth hormone, saying he'd set a terrible example. Whether he upset Roger Clemens is anyone's guess &

they haven't spoken in more than a month.

"Obviously it's put a strain, I think, on our friendship," Pettitte said at the New York Yankees' camp in Tampa, Fla.

At Phoenix, Gagne said he was sorry that he'd caused "a distraction that shouldn't be taking place" for his new Milwaukee Brewers teammates.

Gagne said he felt "bad" for what his family and friends went through in the offseason and lauded baseball for its efforts to deal with performance-enhancing drugs.

Identified in the Mitchell Report as an HGH user, the 32-year-old closer declined to answer questions and never addressed the specific accusations against him. Gagne acknowledged the Mitchell Report only once, in a separate statement in French to three Canadian media outlets.

At Fort Myers, Fla., Schilling spoke for the first time about his desire to have surgery on his ailing right shoulder, and his subsequent decision to honor Boston's preference for rehab.

"I don't have any choice. If their course of action doesn't work I don't pitch this year, and I may never pitch again," Schilling said. "I have to mentally get behind it and do everything I can do to make it work."

Pettitte spent nearly an hour explaining why he took HGH and his role in corroborating HGH allegations against Clemens.

"I felt like I need to come out, be forward with this," Pettitte said. "Whatever circumstances or repercussions come with it, I'll take and I'll take like a man and I'll try to do my job."

Other baseball players have ducked tough questions about allegations of drug use, using evasions and nonspecific replies. Pettitte admitted his mistakes and several times patiently asked reporters "did I answer your question?"

Wearing a polo shirt and jeans, and flanked by manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman, Pettitte went into far greater detail than most accused athletes have about their transgressions.

"I know that once I have this press conference and talk to everybody about this and share everything with you, I think the truth will set you free," Pettitte said. "I think I'm going to be able to sleep a lot better at night once all this gets by."

Brian McNamee, the former personal trainer to Pettitte and Clemens, said in December's Mitchell Report that Pettitte used HGH in 2002 while with the Yankees. Pettitte confirmed McNamee's account two days later in a statement.

In a deposition and an affidavit to a congressional committee two weeks ago, Pettitte said he injected himself with HGH for one day in 2004 while with the Houston Astros after obtaining two syringes from his father.

"I am sorry for not telling the whole truth in my original statement," Pettitte said. "I testified about my dad in part because I felt in my heart I had to, but mainly because he urged me to tell the truth, even if it hurt him."

Clemens denied claims by McNamee that he used steroids and HGH from 1998-01, and all three were among those called to give depositions to a congressional committee. Pettitte was excused from testifying at last week's hearing and said he didn't watch the proceedings.

Pettitte told Congress that Clemens had discussed nearly a decade ago using HGH. Clemens claims Pettitte "misremembers."

"I think Roger knows how I feel about him. He know that that I've admired him and that I continue to admire him," Pettitte said. "The situation was a horrible situation. Mac's an extremely good friend of mine, also."

Red Sox owner John Henry said he thought rehabilitation was the best treatment for Schilling and, from what he's heard, there's "a reasonably good chance" that Schilling will pitch this season.

The club and the pitcher hope he can return around the All-Star break.

"He shouldn't be upset because we're trying to do what's in the best interests of Curt and the team," Henry said. "So I heard the arguments and I felt we were doing the right thing."

Red Sox team physician Dr. Thomas Gill recommended rehab for the tendon injury. Schilling sought a second opinion from Dr. Craig Morgan, who operated on the right shoulder in 1995 and 1999. Morgan felt strongly that surgery was best and that rehabilitation would fail and end Schilling's career.

A third doctor, New York Mets team physician Dr. David Altchek, was consulted. He said Schilling had a rotator cuff injury as well as the tendon problem and he felt surgery would sideline the pitcher for the season, according to Morgan.

"When you understand the depths of the different diagnosis, the incredible variations in potential treatments and timetables you should be able to understand to some degree why I might be upset at being forced to take this course of action," Schilling said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "That being said, that process is over and right now I am focused on trying to find out as quickly as possible whether or not this course of action will work."

At Viera, Fla., Bret Boone made it a family affair in Washington's clubhouse.

Out of the majors since 2005, he joined his brother, Nationals infielder Aaron, and his dad, Nationals assistant general manager Bob, for a surprise news conference at Space Coast Stadium.

Bret Boone, who turns 39 in April, said he's coming out of retirement.

"My dad being here, and Aaron being here &

if I was going to extend my career a year or two, I think it would be pretty cool playing with him," said Bret, a three-time All-Star who signed a non-guaranteed, minor league contract. "At this stage, I didn't have 30 teams banging my door down. It's an opportunity, and I'm very appreciative of it. Everybody doesn't get to do this."

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