The ESPN Ombudsman Tackles A-Rod

Monday, February 16, 2009

This could very well be LeAnne Schriber's last column with the "Leader", but at least she had a lot to talk about. The Ombudsman tackled all things A-Rod, and more importantly, the Peter Gammons-Larry King talk....

My own assessment is that Gammons asked the hard questions -- Did you take steroids? For how long? Where did you get them? Did you lie to Katie Couric? -- but that after getting Rodriguez' opening admission of guilt, he did not press hard enough when Rodriguez gave evasive or self-serving answers to the what/where/when/why questions. I also think Gammons' lack of follow-up was attributable, in large part, to his genuine sympathetic engagement in the human drama of what the viewer somewhat cynically called "Rodriguez's first step toward personal redemption."

Gammons told me, as well as other interviewers, that he was stunned by Rodriguez' admission that he had taken banned substances for three years.

"When I talked informally with Alex the night before," Gammons said, "I got the impression he was going to say whatever he tested positive for in 2003 was related to prescription drugs he had taken for a back injury in spring training."

When Gammons returned the next day for the interview -- which Rodriguez had first rescheduled from Sunday night to Monday morning, and then postponed again to early that afternoon -- he was prepared, with input from several ESPN producers and reporters, to do a more prosecutorial interview than the one that transpired. But Rodriguez offered his unexpected admission of guilt after the first question, and, Gammons says, "Obviously, there was a shift in direction."

"I realized right away that this was the first surefire, by his performance, Hall-of-Famer to admit this," Gammons said, "and therefore I thought keeping him talking, and getting as much as I could out there, was very important. I really felt my first duty was to get his words onto my employer's network."
Interesting. I still think Gammons did a fine job, but this certainly sheds some light on his mindset during the sitdown. It's always hard to conduct something like this under so much scrutiny and pressure, and you usually get a sense of revisionist history after the fact, but people criticizing Gammons should just give it a rest.

Gammons/A-Rod was no Frost/Nixon (ESPN)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 1:31 PM


Ted Williams would have told that idiot to shove it up his ass.

I really do have a hard time considering an interview with a douche like ARod worthy of ANY attention. I find the idea of the interview ridculous.

hollywood wags said...
Feb 16, 2009, 2:01:00 PM  

I found this part of her column more interesting

- '' I have been remiss in not using this column to relay to ESPN the unanimous dislike my correspondents have expressed for a certain Interactive Tuesday feature employed during college football and basketball games. They have called the top screen scrolls of text messages from viewers silly, bothersome, worthless and "the dumbest, most distracting gimmick I've ever been subjected to." After the Feb. 10 Marquette-Villanova game, fed-up fans of both teams mounted a write-the-ombudsman campaign that outweighed, by far, any mail I received about the A-Rod coverage. Thanks for the feedback, but you can stop now. You have been heard, loud and clear ''

Cory said...
Feb 16, 2009, 3:40:00 PM  

I am just SHOCKED that she liked to the HuffPo.

Just SHOCKED. I mean, journalists like her are totally unbiased and sullied by politics!


And no mention yet of the barnacle that is Tony Korny...

hollywood wags said...
Feb 16, 2009, 4:06:00 PM  

For as many horrible employees that ESPN has, no one is more worthless than LeAnne Schreiber whose legacy as ombudswoman is...nothing.

GMoney said...
Feb 16, 2009, 4:10:00 PM  

I do agree with her about Interactive Tuesday. of course, ESPN will probably just ignore her advice, but at least it's out there (not that that's saying much, though).

/Rimjob Larry does not agree with us about Interactive Tuesday.

JFein said...
Feb 16, 2009, 4:36:00 PM  

Her articles have been one of the bright spots on that site. I really hope they retain her, but I suspect they won't.

Heef said...
Feb 16, 2009, 8:57:00 PM  

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