Michel M. Haigh. "'The Cream,' The 'Clear,' BALCO and Baseball: An Analysis of MLB Players Image." Journal of Sports Media 3.2 (2008): 1-24. Project MUSE. Web. 21 Jan. 2011. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
The article above is one of the many articles I reviewed for my final project for my Tech 621 class involving image repair theory. Again I'm reviewing articles on IRT for my paper on good ole Uncle Charlie (Sheen that is).
This article touches on how baseball became so impure as many of baseball's brightest stars fell due to their involvement with performance enhancers. Some of the topics it covered ranged from the athletes stats before, during, and after their involvement with performance enhancers, to what/if any thing they did to try to get back in the public's good graces.
The methodology that Haigh employed was by using code readers for content analysis of over 292 articles that were reviewed featuring statements from the accused. The one thing I really enjoyed about the methods were the articles were compromised from The NY Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and Sports Illustrated. The researcher's method of choosing the newspapers were they were the 4 biggest in differing parts of the United States which made sense, the others were chosen due to their appeal to a national audience as well as SI being one of the leading publications for sports related material. Dates were chosen from Sep. 2003-March 16, 2006 and even then, those were chosen for significance. September due to that being the time BALCO was raided (hq for being the company that was giving out steroids like candy) and March being right after the time of the congressional hearing regarding the case.
The researcher later expanded on the keywords that were used and all keywords were relevant to the matter at hand. The issue I have with is that the content analysis was done by two undergraduate assistants. Though they agreed on findings for the majority of the time, and could incorporate statements from the accused into varying levels of Benoit's IRT there still remained problems. Some of the analysis could not be fit into the IRT and either had to be directed into a category that was deemed appropriate or dismissed. Though that may seem problematic, my problem is that I believe either high level graduate students should have done the analysis or professor's themselves. My reasoning for this is even though the undergraduate students may be pretty good at content analysis, I know in my particular case, it wasn't until I was a graduate student where I learned more regarding research methodology and gained a better impression on how to conduct proper research.
Never-less, the findings were the most interesting part of the research. An overwhelming majority of the accused came out and offered attempts for forgiveness and apologized for their actions. Others, like Mark Mcgwire, refused to acknowledge that they took performance enhancers. Then there is the story of Barry Bonds, who basically breaks the mold. Bonds was seen as the one person who not only didn't acknowledge taking any enhancers, but was trying to blame everyone else (teammates, coaches, media) for the hoopla and placed none of the blame himself. The researcher makes note that Bonds was one of the few whose case was not resolved by the time of publication, 3 years later and the Bonds trial is just now possibly coming to an end, and again Bonds is not taking responsibility.
Overall, I felt like the article was pretty well conducted and the findings were interesting. Of the articles I read for IRT, this was one of the few that tried to combine findings with stats and I felt that the use of stats helped punctuate the researcher's main points and question at hand. It is def worth a read for anyone who is into sports and particularly what has been labeled as the "steroid era" of baseball.