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.
Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.
While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.
When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.
Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.
More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.
Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)
It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.