Neither Clemens's dwindling supporters nor his growing legion of detractors are apt to be wholly satisfied with Pearlman's even-handed treatment. Pearlman, who had eviscerated Barry Bonds in an earlier book (Love Me, Hate Me), has noted that "Clemens turned out to be a surprisingly complex, layered character study. . . . My goal wasn't to write Game of Shadows II, but to uncover the real Roger Clemens." And he enumerates the charitable side of Clemens's personality, from Roger's alleged accessibility to fans to his post-9/11 activities in New York.

But the fact of the matter is, as my old sports editor Bob Sales figured out back in the early '90s when Clemens declared war on the Herald, the Legend of Roger Clemens knows no greater threat than "the real Roger Clemens." In creating a regular Herald feature called "The World According to Roger," reasoned Sales, if one really wanted to show the world just how stupid Roger Clemens was, all one had to do was to quote him accurately and let him hang himself.

Retired Herald columnist and former Phoenix sports editor George Kimball is the author of  Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran, and the Last Great Era of Boxing (McBooks Press) and the co-editor, with John Schulian, of the forthcoming boxing anthology Sweet Scientests.

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