Jeff Pearlman

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Roger Clemens: American Fool

roger_clemens_wife

So this morning Roger Clemens decided to celebrate the release of the new book, American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America’s Pastime, by breaking his lengthy silence to appear on Mike & Mike, ESPN’s wildly popular morning radio show (that also airs on ESPN2).

A dumber decision has rarely been made.

Before today, American Icon was languishing on Amazon, hovering from anywhere between 1,000 to 4,000, looking like yet another steroid-related book that would come and go without much thought (Now it’s No. 98). That’s what’s starting to happen in the world of books and, to a lesser extent, newspapers and magazine—people are tired of steroids; of the disappointments and the finger pointing. It’s a topic that no longer seems to interest people. They need to be given a reason to read such a book. A reason to pay attention.

Thank you, Roger.

In case you missed it, this morning Clemens was a joke. Blathering, babbling, inane, nonsensical. He is perhaps the worst interview in the history of organized sports—and that’s in the context of postgame quotes on the Tiger-Yankees game. Here, with PHDs, he’s just outclassed. Whatever he utters sounds foolish and contrived. He backs himself up by repeatedly mentioning his foundation (As in, how could I have used? I have a foundation!). He seems to think by resorting to the ol’ ballplayer trick of calling media folks by their nicknames (“Well, Greenie …”) he’s forging a bond. That might have worked 20 years ago in the Red Sox clubhouse.

It ain’t working anymore.

** PS: For more on my take of Clemens, check this out.

  • http://www.bradmarley.com Brad

    You mentioned a few posts ago that you were pleased with your new book publicist?

    This, I’m afraid, is an example of the anti-publicist. No publicist (or similar professional) worth their salt should have allowed Clemens to get in front of that microphone.

  • Dave B.

    Listening to the Clemens interview this morning was like listening to a 14 year old try to explain he wasn’t the kid that egged the principal’s car. Does he really believe that his stepfather’s heart disease will effect his health? I have to admit that having read “The Rocket…..” I really did enjoy listening to Roger this morning. Probably not a dean’s list student at UT.

  • evan g.

    I missed today’s Clemens interview, which made me happy. I prefer to hear Manny Ramirez’s thoughts, as they will probably have more insight and clarity than the Rocket’s!

  • Chad

    “He is perhaps the worst interview in the history of organized sports—and that’s in the context of postgame quotes on the Tiger-Yankees game”

    Since when did it become an athlete’s job to be a good interview? How you feel he is an interview should have no bearing on how people view him.

    Also, Clemens lied.

    So does Selena Roberts. Repeatedly. With facts proving her lies to be wrong.

    Why no criticism for her?

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life