The Steroid Era hasn't been great for baseball's perception among fans and the media, and it won't do much to burnish the Hall of Fame credentials of many players who have been fairly or unfairly tagged as users. It has, however, been a boon to the publishing industry.
Books about Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens keep coming down the pike, with more sure to follow in the years to come. "American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime" will be excerpted in this week's Sports Illustrated in advance of a May 12th release date. It's the second book on Clemens to hit stands this year, and neither one is in the business of making him look good.
The book is written by four writers from the Daily News who have spent the last couple of years following Clemens after his name was included on the Mitchell Report. This is the same group of writers that uncovered Clemens' affairs with several women, which also figure into the book, and the same group that has consistently broken stories about the federal investigation into perjury that's grown out of Clemens' testimony before Congress.
That perjury investigation rolls on, with no end or court date in sight, but it's mostly insignificant. Lying to Congress is certainly a bad thing that should be punished, but there's nothing worse that could happen to Clemens at this point. He's a pariah in baseball, which makes him a pariah in society because he didn't have any future outside of elder statesman of the game. Getting convicted of perjury won't convince anyone who hasn't already banished him from their good graces, and his acquittal won't salvage anything but a future outside prison.
Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.