It was an intriguing matchup, one of baseball's greatest pitchers facing a federal judge, Reggie Walton, who's known among lawyers as "longball" for imposing lengthy prison terms.
On the mound, Clemens fed off intimidation, a nasty, mean bull of a man with the overpowering stuff to match.
In federal court the seven time Cy Young Award winner as baseball's best pitcher affected a different attitude, relaxed as he pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied to Congress about his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.
"Lying to Congress, like lying to a court, is a serious and felonious offense and we take it very, very seriously," said former congressmen Tom Davis, the co-chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
In a February 2008 Congressional hearing Clemens repeatedly, often heatedly, denied - under oath - the use of anabolic steroids or human growth hormone, both banned by Major League Baseball.
"Let me be clear," said Clemens during his testimony. "I have never taken steroids or HgH."
The government wasn't convinced. A federal grand jury ultimately believing former Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte, who testified Clemens told him he had used HgH, and Clemens' former personal trainer, who charged he injected Clemens with illegal performance-boosting drugs at least three dozen times between 1998-2001.
"I injected those drugs into the body of Roger Clemens at his direction," said his former trainer Brian McNamee.
A trial is now set for April 2011. If convicted, Clemens likely faces between 15 and 21 months in prison, a prospect the pitcher appeared to be tuning out as he left for a golf tournament in South Carolina.