Baseball's Steroid Era put many different high-profile athletes under pressure to explain steroid allegations that were made against them. This thesis used textual analysis of news reports and media portrayals of the athletes, along with analysis of their image repair strategies to combat those allegations, to determine how successful the athletes were in changing public opinion as evidenced through the media. The contexts, media reports, and strategies of Jason Giambi, Mark McGwire, Andy Pettitte, and Roger Clemens were analyzed and revealed important implications involving effective use of image repair strategies. They provided a deeper framework for the success of mortification strategies. An authentic, sincere mortification strategy has more power to change the media's reporting and portrayal of the athlete, while stunted or incentivized mortification strategies provide diminishing results. The four different situations of the players and the different combinations of strategies used provide insight into how much a public persona matters in confronting allegations. They show how ineffective the strategy of minimization is against allegations that involve on-field performance. The situations reveal how the promise of future on-field actions, along with actual on-field success can help repair an athlete's image without a solid rhetorical strategy. They show the amount of information offered, along with the strategies used, influences the amount of persuasion that occurs. The different situations also showed how a complete image repair strategy is successful in ending news coverage of the allegations and not just changing the media portrayal.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Communications



Date Submitted


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textual analysis, apologia, image repair strategies, baseball, steroids, HGH, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens



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Communication Commons