JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Roger Clemens: American Fool

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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.