What's up with the Denver Post's A-Rod obsession?

The banner above the main headline on the cover of today's Denver Post's focuses on New York Yankees standout Alex Rodriguez, who allegedly tested positve for steroids in 2003 despite public claims that he never used the stuff. An even larger A-Rod photo accompanies "Time for A-Rod to Come Clean," a sports-section-leading analysis piece by Troy Renck, who also penned "Steroid Report Implicates A-Rod," an article that appeared on page one of the Post's Sunday signature edition on February 8 alongside "Reaction News Stings Fans, But Not Because It's a Shock," a man-on-the-street type offering from the paper's Michael Booth.

As noted in the October 2007 Message column "Rockies Score Front-Page Saturation," the Post isn't shy about putting sports stories on page one -- a philosophy often associated with Sunday-edition overseer Kevin Dale, who used to be the broadsheet's sports editor. Usually, though, these efforts have boasted local hooks. Not so in this case, unless we're talking about the shadow A-Rod's alleged steroid use will cast over baseball in general. But by that standard, just about every big national story can be considered local...

In general, the Rocky Mountain News plays local happenings more prominently, placing Colorado stories ahead of national ones in the physical paper and putting together more ambitious reports -- a point made by the February 6 blog "Unemployment Project Shows Rocky Mountain News is Still Slugging." Granted, the Post's sports section is consistently strong, and it deserves to be seen up front on occasion. But given what's going on in our community and our country right now, the question of whether A-Rod has ever gotten personal with a hypodermic doesn't seem worthy of dominating the front page of what could soon be Denver's only daily newspaper.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts