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Denver Post shoots its wad too early on A-Rod

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The February 9 More Messages blog "What's Up With the Denver Post's A-Rod Obsession?" noted that the Post splashed reports that New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez had tested positive for steroids in 2003 all over its Sunday front page, and followed up with a jumbo page-one banner and a huge spread on its sports-section opener the following day, despite the lack of a specific local hook. This overenthusiasm for the story came back and bit the broadsheet when, yesterday, Rodriguez actually admitted to using performance-enhancing substances in an interview with ESPN's Peter Gammons.

Having gone so overboard the two previous days, the Post couldn't really justify a three-peat, even though the latest development was actually the most significant. After all, the only way to run a bigger headline than Sunday's would have been to use the font employed on banners like "ROOSEVELT DECLARES WAR." Hence, today's cover reference, seen above, includes only a modest Rodriguez quote, sans a photograph -- and while the A-Rod story, as penned by the Post's Troy Renck, does top the sports section, it, too, is photo free. Moreover, the link to the article on the Post home page is bured -- likely because to prominently feature Rodriguez again would make it seem as if the paper had turned into Sports Illustrated.

The results serve as a reminder not to pull the trigger prematurely...

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