Clemens Debates Success of Retirement
Roger Clemens has yet to make a decision about his pitching future this season but with spring training looming just over two weeks away a decision could be made soon.
The story printed in The Houston Chronicle detailing the cities favorite baseball son was one of mystery and intrigue. The story, by Associated Press baseball writer Ronald Blum, had a very interesting problem to deal with. While baseball fans across the country are wondering where â€śThe Rocketâ€? might land there wasnâ€™t a definitive answer given by Clemens. With an audience awaiting the word, it is Blumâ€™s goal to be there if Clemens makes a decision. The difficulty in this story was whether there was enough information to generate interest from the baseball audience despite the lack of a decision by Clemens. In this type of situation Blum worked hard to get as many quotes to create some idea of what Clemens might be leaning toward.
Roger Clemens talked about his plight and laughed. "I'm failing at retirement," he said. "Let's just face it. I'm failing miserably at it."
Blum thought that without a decision to drive the story that the quotes from the interview were the most important part of the story. Blum actually opened the story with the section listed above. This is one of the rare times that I think a quote is acceptable in a lead, because it is the quote here that will drive the story.
Earlier in the week the Associated Press wrote a story that was published in The Dallas Morning News that had essentially the same thing to say. This story, however, had a different approach regarding the quotes. This story, despite its length, details the reasons that Clemens might return and what teams he might return to. This story was a quick interest story meant to create interest. This story does so through the quotes.
Overall, both stories were acceptable and did a very good job at what they were intended to do, which was to create interest and intrigue. I felt that the length of the Blum story made me feel more aware of Clemensâ€™ situation and made me feel like I learned more from the story than from The Dallas Morning News version.
Both of these stories relied heavily on quotes to drive the interest of the story. In both cases quotes were used to lead paragraphs whenever possible. When the situation did not allow the quote to lead the paragraph it was because it was the lead or the subjectâ€™s first introduction to the story. Both stories used quotes in an appropriate way, always using said. Even when another word might have been used in literature, said was still kept in these stories which made them both informative and entertaining to read.