The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is asking readers if they think that ESPN was unfair to Braves second baseman che in a recent “Outside the Lines” segment, when the show suggested that the sole reason for LaRoche’s second half turnaroundis his decision to start taking attention deficit disorder medication.
From the AJC:
ESPN unfair to LaRoche?
By AJC | Sunday, September 17, 2006, 09:55 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
An ESPN Outside The Lines program credited medication for attention deficit disorder as the sole reason for Adam LaRoche’s statistical improvement this season.
LaRoche has hit .344 with 20 home runs and 52 RBIs in 69 games since June 24.
In edited interviews with LaRoche and other Braves players, no mention was made of LaRoche’s opportunity to play every day, instead of being benched vs. left-handed pitchers.
Was ESPN unfair to LaRoche? Do you admire the first baseman for being willing to discuss his ADD? LaRoche told the AJC’s David O’Brien: “The reason I wanted to do [the show] was really for kids who might not think they can play sports or be successful with ADD.
For his part, LaRoche takes some offense at any insinuation that his sudden surge is completely due to the medication, which was cleared by a specialist in Atlanta and approved for his use by Major League Baseball.
“They want to make it out to be strictly the medication,” said LaRoche, who takes his medication in the early afternoon. “Whatever they turned it into, that’s out of my control.”
He credits his improvement at the plate more to getting the opportunity to play against lefties and righties than to the medication.
“I said for years that I could hit if I played against lefties,” LaRoche said.
What do you think? Has ESPN sensationalized the story? Does ESPN make a habit of manipulating stories? Or could LaRoche’s improvement really be due to his ADD medication?