Putting out the fire
NBC, Yankees work out differences with Gray
Posted: Thursday October 28, 1999 12:34 PM
Alhtough he was snubbed after Game 3, Gray encountered no problems after Game 4. AP
NEW YORK (AP) -- NBC reporter Jim Gray finally was able to do his job without becoming the story.
After grabbing headlines throughout the World Series for his controversial interview with Pete Rose, the reaction by fans across the country and being snubbed on live TV by Chad Curtis, Gray did his job without a hitch on Wednesday night.
He conducted pregame interviews with New York Yankees manager Joe Torre and second baseman Chuck Knoblauch and was even inserted in a late switch by NBC as the host of the trophy ceremony after the game. Hannah Storm had presented the trophy in previous years.
Everyone talked to Gray without hesitation.
After team owner George Steinbrenner and commissioner Bud Selig intervened, Gray interviewed Steinbrenner, Torre, World Series MVP Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Roger Clemens after the game with no difficulties.
At Game 3 Tuesday night, some members of the Yankees wouldn't talk to Gray because of a contentious live interview he had with Pete Rose on Sunday night regarding accusations Rose gambled on baseball.
After Chad Curtis hit his game-winning homer, he refused to talk to Gray, who shouted after him as he walked away: "Don't you want to talk about your home run?" Curtis did not turn around.
NBC and the Yankees worked out their differences after Steinbrenner and Selig stepped in.
"We talked about it late last night and they both jumped into it," NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol said. "George walked into the situation and took control. ... He made it abundantly clear that nothing like that would happen again."
Ebersol, who admitted the Rose interview might have gone on too long, especially considering the circumstances, called Gray "the best reporter in the business, maybe ever."
Gray, who apologized for the Rose interview on the air before Game 3, was unavailable for comment before Wednesday night's game. While fans shouted insults at him, Gray was escorted by security men as he left the stadium for the NBC trailer before the game.
Torre, who had criticized Gray's interview of Rose, confirmed there wouldn't be any more problems.
"We have a certain obligation to NBC that we will fulfill," he said. "I just wish Chad would have said it was his choice."
Before Game 4, Curtis, who said it was a decision made by the team, said Gray shouldn't take his actions personally.
"I hope it didn't come across that way," Curtis said. "It seemed to me that he stepped out of bounds on the interview with Pete. It was something that needed to be done. ... I don't think we'll do it again because my personal feeling is we've made our point."
NBC World Series analyst Joe Morgan, who played with Rose with the Cincinnati Reds, refrained from putting blame on either side.
"All this stuff is taking away from the World Series, and none of this is good for the game," Morgan said. "All the players are individuals. I heard they took a vote, but I don't believe it."
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.