Someone else tell me if this is bizarre:
- On Sunday, a story appears on Philly.com — Internet home of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News — reporting that Cliff Lee has a muscle strain;
- In the next 12 hours, the Internet picks up the story, people start blogging about it, tweeting about it, etc. Philly.com/The Inquirer is proud of this story, and understandably gets annoyed when they’re not immediately credited for it.*
- The next day, it is revealed that the story is non-story. Cliff Lee is fine. The muscle strain was a thing of the past, not the present, and his spring training program will go on, uninterrupted.
- The day after that, a writer on Philly.com tut-tuts us all for believing everything we read on the Internet and uses it all as a cautionary tale about the Internet, blogging, Facebook and Twitter.
- Oh, and Philly.com has since removed the initial report about Cliff Lee. Or at least moved it. I can’t find it anywhere on their site. (UPDATE: here it is. New URL).
Look folks, this isn’t hard: The Internet has changed the game a bit, but the game isn’t unrecognizable: report what you think is true, and yes, feel free to report it quickly if you feel it necessary. This is baseball after all, not national security. If the story turns out to be wrong or different or whatever, correct it. But do so in a transparent manner. Don’t delete your earlier, erroneous or misleading report and pretend that you’ve been right all along because to do so misleads readers who have an even tougher task today than they ever have had in judging a source’s credibility.
Likewise, bloggers: credit and link those who do the actual reporting and don’t block quote too much.
And newspaper people: think hard about writing that “beware of the blogs and social media” column. It’s a tired topic even if it’s right, but it’s downright galling if the primary example you use is one of the newspapers’ doing in the first place.
*That tweet, BTW, was in reference to HBT’s own initial post on the Lee thing which had ommitted the link and reference to the Inquirer at first. We fixed that as soon as it was brought to our attention and apologized to the Inquirer for the error. We’re not above any of the rules of the Internet and, no, we’re not perfect either.
Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.
Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.
The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.
If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.
If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.
Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.
Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.
It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.