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Posts Tagged ‘Mark McGwire’

‘No One’ Elected to 2013 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame

National Baseball Hall of Fame Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to take a moment to introduce to you the newest inductees into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame:

Nobody.

Yes, that’s correct. Not since 1996 has the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted to elevate absolutely no one to the hallowed halls of the game’s most prestigious institution. On paper, there were plenty of qualified candidates, most notably former superstars/current sad sacks Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who became eligible for the first time this year.

Nevertheless, in their cases not enough time has passed for baseball’s press—and the public in general—to forgive them for sins committed during the notorious Steroid Era (they tell us this Era is over; pardon us while we roll our eyes).

Barry Bonds hit more home runs than any other player in history and Roger Clemens won a record seven Cy Young awards. Yet both have earned the dreaded “cheater” tag due to steroid use–and neither of them handled those accusations with much grace, humility or public relations savvy. They came off as defensive jerks and indignant liars, and the public knows that this is how cheaters typically react to being caught.

In other words: You’re not alone, Lance Armstrong.

Nor were Clemens and Bonds this year’s only black sheep: Steroid Era poster boys Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were, once again, denied entry to the Hall, and they should probably abandon all hope of ever making the cut.

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Tiger Woods Hires Ari Fleischer

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First it was college football’s Bowl Championship Series. Then it was baseball slugger Mark McGwire during his steroid admission use tour.

Now, Ari Fleischer is handling the most high profile sports scandal of the past year, and maybe even the decade: Tiger Woods.

The former White House Press Secretary to George W. Bush was hired by Woods, the The NY Post reports, citing “two sources in the golf community.”

PRNewser was not able to confirm if Tiger had hired PR help before his recent press conference. However, with an upcoming appearance on March 25th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Woods clearly needs to be thinking about his public image.

One PR agency head we spoke with who has handled many high profile clients in situations similar to Woods told PRNewser today, “it’s about time they hired somebody, what were they waiting for?”

“Unlike his press conference he’s going to have to answer questions,” the agency head said.

Fleischer recently told ABC News that sports PR is “more relaxing” than politics. Will he think the same after his work with Woods?

Ari Fleischer: Sports PR ‘Definitely More Relaxing’ Than Politics

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Former George W. Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has stayed busy by moving into the sports PR world after his stint in politics.

Along the way, he’s picked up high profile clients such as NCAA Football’s Bowl Championship Series and former baseball star Mark McGwire during his current steroid use admission process.

Despite the high profile sports clients – it’s definitely easier on him than politics, he said.

“When I left the White House I said I was going to do something more relaxing like dismantling live nuclear weapons…This is definitely more relaxing. The fact is I love them both – I loved the intensity and pressure of the White House, I loved being there, but I love this too,” he told ABC News in a profile published this week.

Sports PR Execs Debate Effectiveness of Mark McGwire’s Quick Confessional Tour

Mark McGwire Winter Warmup Interview from JoeSportsFan.com on Vimeo.

A little over a week since Mark McGwire sat down with MLB Network’s Bob Costas to begin his “I used steroids while breaking baseball’s home record” confessional tour, the baseball star is trying to get back to his previous stance of not wanting to talk about the past. Sports PR executives debated the media strategy in Sports Business Daily:

Sports and entertainment marketing and communications consultant Joe Favorito praised the decision to lead with the AP and follow with Costas. “It was a very good way to manage the news cycle and get the main message — about the use of steroids — out very clearly,” he said. But MGP & Associates President Mike Paul disagreed with the approach. “I don’t think a one-day-and-done strategy ever works,” he said. “Not in politics and especially not in sports and entertainment. If McGwire were my client, I would have had the exact opposite strategy.”

As Kevin Kaduk of Yahoo! Sports writes, “No way are the local writers going to let a couple of hand-picked interviewers ask the first and final questions about McGwire’s steroid use, nor should they.”

The proof is in the pudding. As one can see via the above video of McGwire fielding questions from the media this past Sunday in St. Louis, he clearly is giving off a terrified “deer in headlights” look, as opposed to a confident one.

RELATED: Ari Fleischer Handling Mark McGwire Steroid Admission

Ari Fleischer Handling Mark McGwire Steroid Admission

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Former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer is in the sports PR business, in a big way. First came news he was handling the NCAA College Football Bowl Championship Series, or BCS, which continues to face scrutiny from fans who would prefer a playoff system.

Now, Fleischer is handling Mark McGwire as he embarks on his steroid use admission tour. The Times outlined the process as it unfolded yesterday, from statement to several phone interviews, to a full sit down interview with Bob Costas on MLB network.

“I like the door-to-door strategy, in that he is telling his story in long form and in less confrontational settings,” Kevin Sullivan, a former White House communications director who has his own agency, told the Times.

While it took Pete Rose twenty years to admit he placed bets on baseball, McGwire doesn’t have that same luxury as he had to come clean before he begins the season as a hitting coach with his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Drew Kerr, president and founder of Four Corners Communications, has represented sports brands including the Sporting News. He told PRNewser that while “it takes guts” to go through with the admission, this admission is challenging because “this is a career” rather than a “one time incident.” The same sports writers were around back then said Kerr, referring to McGwire’s hey-day in the mid and late nineties, and “their memories are long.”

Also, there is a corporate connection to McGwire doing his first televised sit down with Bob Costas, as pointed out by the Times: “Costas is represented by IMG, which owns half of Fleischer’s company.”