Yesterday, big-time talk radio host Colin Cowherd claimed that A.J. Burnett went through a nasty divorce last season and implied that led to his trouble on the mound. Cowherd said:
“A.J. Burnett went through a terrible divorce and he still might (be) going through it. His wife was vindictive and spiteful. I don’t even feel comfortable telling you everything.”
Which would be way more interesting if it wasn’t for the fact that Burnett and his agent said a few hours later that the report was a flat out lie:
“A.J. is ticked. He is not going through a divorce, and if he was, it would not be anyone’s business. They are happily married … This is irresponsible and reckless on Cowherd’s part. His reporting inaccuracies should be brought to light. This must be his idea of shock jockery.”
Last week we had premature reports of Bob Feller’s death. Yesterday an apparently inaccurate report of Burnett’s divorce. Unlike a lot of people I don’t think that gossip is, in and of itself, a bad thing. But I think there’s a big difference between a potentially inaccurate trade rumor or humorous anecdote on the one hand and stuff dealing with real life and death issues on the other. In the former case strive to be accurate and stand accountable for your mistakes in the event that you are wrong. In the latter case? Boy, you had better be right.