Pat Sullivan / Invision/AP 1 / 13
Pat Sullivan / Invision/AP 1 / 13

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Former baseball great Roger Clemens is calling the death of country star Mindy McCready "sad news."

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Clemens, now a special instructor with the Houston Astros, handed reporters a written statement Monday at the team's spring training camp in Kissimmee, Fla. It says he'd heard "she was trying to get peace and direction in her life." He said McCready and her manager/agent were "extremely nice" the "few times" he saw her.

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McCready made headlines in April 2008 when she claimed a longtime relationship with Clemens. Published reports at the time said she met the pitcher at a Florida karaoke bar when she was 15 and he was 28 and married. Clemens has denied the relationship.

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Authorities say McCready died Sunday at her home in Heber Springs, Ark., of an apparent suicide.