In his new book, Chipper writes that former teammate John Rocker was “exploited” by writer Jeff Pearlman in his infamous SI profile. That’s just silly. Rocker was a grown man who knew he was speaking to a reporter. No one forced him into being a racist Neanderthal.
Chipper, responding on Twitter to Pearlman, asked if he let Rocker or any of his reps proofread the article. He should know better. As Pearlman states, journalists never allow the subjects of an article to read it before it’s printed.
Equally irksome is Chipper’s claim that he would read profiles before they ran; that publications would permit such a thing. I worked at SI—never allowed. I worked for ESPN.com—never allowed. I write for Bleacher Report—never allowed. I wrote for a Gannett newspaper—never allowed. I wrote for Newsday—never allowed. Some of my best friends in the business write for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution—not allowed. You never, ever, ever, ever, ever let a subject proofread an article before it runs. It compromises about 832 different journalistic bylaws, and only happens with fan and team publications. And not even always in those circumstances.
So either Chipper is full of crap (on this point) or he engaged with some really shitbag journalists.
I like Chipper, but he’s dead wrong on this one.
As for Rocker, I’d love to forgive and forget but he’s never made amends for embarrassing the organization. He sure does love to play the victim, though, as evident in this passage from his book, “Scars and Strikes”:
I died on a Sunday evening. While dining at a restaurant in Melbourne, Florida, on December 19, 1999, I came face to face with the grim reaper, who appeared before me in the form of media’s biased scrutiny and rabid lust for the sensational, and watched as my soul was put to death right before my very eyes. There was no discretion taken, there was no objectivity considered, there was no truth sought: A mafia-style murder with a proverbial bullet to the back of the head to appease the godfather.