SI writer Jeff Pearlman criticized ESPN's Peter Gammons for the way he handled the Alex Rodriguez interview, accusing the venerable baseball writer of "softball questions and limited inquisitiveness."
In his blog post, Pearlman said that ten years ago Gammons interviewed John Rocker immediately following the SI dust-up and "just sat there" while Rocker trashed him and his story. He offers a similar complaint about the A-Rod interview, regarding Selena Roberts:
This evening, I was watching Alex Rodriguez's interview with Gammons on ESPN. Here is what A-Rod had to say about Selena Roberts, Sports Illustrated's excellent writer, and the person who broke the steroid story: "What makes me upset is Sports Illustrated pays this lady Selena Roberts to stalk me. This lady has been thrown out of my apartment in New York City. This lady has, five days ago she was thrown out of the University of Miami police for tresspassing. And four days ago she tried to break into my house while my girls are up there sleeping, and got cited by the Miami Beach Police. I have the paper here. And this lady's coming out with all these allegations, all these lies, because she's writing an article for Sports Illustrated. And she's coming out with a book in May. And really respectable journalists are following this lady off the cliff, and following her lead. And that to me is unfortunate."
So what did Peter Gammons say? Again, absolutely nothing.
Awkward disclosure out of the way: Jeff Pearlman is a friend of this site and most of the writers who have worked here past and present are fans of his work. However, it seemed only fair to contact Mr. Gammons to see what he thought of Pearlman's criticism. Not surprisingly, Gammons was very courteous in his email response and admitted he regrets not sticking up for Selena as much as he could have:
I think in retrospect, I should have interrupted the Arod rant. My first question asked if Selena's story were true, he essentially admitted it was, and I believed she was therefore vindicated. I usually don't get into grudges, and felt he was promoting her book, which will be her response. I was trying to get Alex in his own words, but Jeff's criticism has merit that I accept.
So there you have it. Oh, also Gammons has yet to hear the new Pearl Jam "Ten" reissue, which is just wrong. Get on that, Ament.
Peter Gammons Is The Larry King Of Sports Television [Jeff Pearlman]