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12,000 Words About A-Rod, And Not A Single One From Him

Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees works out on the field before the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 27, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees works out on the field before the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 27, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer spent more than 100 hours with the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez and wrote a 12,000-word piece for ESPN The Magazine, but included not a single quote from the baseball player.

In the profile, called “The Education of Alex Rodriguez,” Moehringer writes, “Quoting Rodriguez is like dropping a Mento into a Diet Coke. It makes a big whoosh, everyone gets excited, for about three seconds, and then it’s just a mess, and you wonder what’s been accomplished, besides some stickiness, and maybe a permanent stain.”

NPR Media Correspondent David Folkenflik talks it over with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson, including how A-Rod foiled the great profile writer Richard Ben Cramer, when he tried to write a biography about him. Folkenflik also talks about the state of long-form journalism in the age of short Internet articles and media spin.

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