(if you had to pay Jay’s legal fees, you’d struggle to find a competent book cover designer, too)

“Whether he’s maneuvering through the corruption of the Chicago media industry, covering the rock-star career of Jordan, enduring a heart attack while on assignment in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans or dealing with a homophobic slur that became a national story, Mariotti recounts his three decades in journalism, including his travels around the world while following the biggest events, greatest athletes and most notable stories.” That’s just part of the hyperbole served up in an introduction to “The System”, the one time Chicago Sun-Times/AOL Sports fixture Jay Mariotti’s pseudo-book electronic tome that just happens to be available moments after the former “Around The Horn” bellower plead no contest to charges of stalking and assault. According the LA Times’ Tom Hoffarth, Jonathan Demme’s 1987 comedy “Something Wild” serves as “a starting point” for Mariotti’s side of the story. I’m guessing Jay is supposed to be Jeff Daniels and not Ray Liotta.

Mariotti describes his something of a mid-life crisis, escapes Chicago for L.A., gets involved with a woman, and his life is turned upside down because he stepped in a trap.

This is his account of the whole thing, starting with a chapter that reads “Used and Abused” and begins:

At this point I might suggest children turn away and watch ‘Glee.’ I am exposing intimate details of a difficult relationships, a hard lesson for those too trusting about romance and shortsighted motives.”

Mariotti explains how between the legal system and this woman, he probably spent more than $700,000 to try to get himself free — that includes losing three jobs along the way, including a sports-talk gig at 710-AM KSPN.

You can follow him on a new (for legal reasons) Twitter account — @MariottiJ — where just a few minutes ago he wrote: “The book should answer all questions and serves as a cautionary tale for those in the public eye in the 21st century.”