Jeff Pearlman

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Why Sports Illustrated didn’t excerpt my Clemens book


So I saw today that some people at were curious as to why Sports Illustrated excerpted the new Daily News-generated Clemens book, and not mine. I am, after all, not only a columnist for, but also a guy who spent six years with the magazine, many of those as a senior writer.

Well, there’s no controversy here. First, I didn’t seek out an SI excerpt, the reason being that, in this area, print is (to cite Dr. Egon Spengler) sorta dead. Given the choice, I always go for the online excerpt, because readers can click directly from what they’re reading to the Amazon order page. In this era, it’s a huge bonus. Hence, I had four excerpts—, Yahoo, and Deadspin.

Second, Teri Thompson, one of the four authors of the book, is married to an SI editor. I’m not saying that’s the reason why the magazine ran the excerpt, but it surely at least provided an in. There’s certainly nothing wrong or unethical about that.

Third, maybe the editors at SI simply liked what they received from the Daily News folk.

Clearly, this isn’t my most interesting post. But I just wanted to make clear that I’m not angry, frustrated, upset at SI. Only surprised, because, as I said yesterday, I felt like the excerpt lacked something.

PS—Final thought: The Daily News and the book’s publisher is hyping the thing as “the definitive book about the dominant pitcher and his Hall of Fame-caliber career.” Again, no beef—but I must disagree.

  • Dave S

    Jeff –

    I had the same exact reaction when I received my issue on Wednesday. I was quite surprised the mag was touting another Clemens book, when they have a writer in their “stable” who just published a book reagarding the same topic. Interesting indeed.

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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