MLB Trade Deadline: Fake Trades Overshadow Real Trades
If you live in Houston, there's a decent chance you didn't notice that the MLB trade deadline yesterday was pretty damn awesome.
With 12 trades involving a total of 37 players, with the defending World Champions among the key sellers, with the Oakland A's looking to corner the market on starting pitching and wrap up the American League in late July, Thursday was a reminder of the transactional excitement that the pennant races in baseball can generate.
In Houston, Astros fans are still trying to figure out how they feel about Jarred Cosart being sent packing in a deal with the Miami Marlins that brought back a gaggle of players including top third base prospect Colin Moran.
I mean, wasn't Cosart supposed to be part of this rebuild going forward? So now the Astros are already flipping guys who they landed in the Hunter Pence trade?
When does it end? (Answer: Who cares?)
All right, now I haven't even gotten to the best part of trade deadline day, the newest development and product of the era we live in -- major media outlets getting duped by fake Twitter accounts.
Ignoring the blue "verified" check mark (or lack thereof) on purported MLB "insiders" Twitter accounts is something I would expect out of a shitty intern or my great aunt. It's not something I would expect out of the production folks at MLB Network (who in actuality may or may not be shitty interns...or my great aunt).
Here's what I'm talking about.
On MLB Network, they reported a trade between Tampa Bay and Detroit that would send pitcher David Price and infielder Ben Zobrist to the Tigers, as reported by @Ken_Rosenthal_....
There was only one problem with this. Well, actually, two problems. First, the "trade" was reported by a phony version of longtime baseball scribe Ken Rosenthal, the difference between their Twitter handles being a stray underscore after the last name. Second, the actual Ken Rosenthal was apparently in the MLB studios while this trade was being read on air.
Then there was the case of poor Jim Bowden, former MLB executive turned expert for ESPN and Sirius XM.
Early this afternoon, a Twitter account impersonating the New York Post's Joel Sherman tweeted out that the Phillies had traded outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Yankees. (Apparently, the lowercase "L" in Sherman was an uppercase "I" on the fake account.)
A couple of minutes later, a Twitter account that was definitely Bowden's tweeted out about the fake Byrd trade as if it were real, and with no attribution of sources. Bowden's hope was obviously that he would get "breaking news" type credit from his followers even though he obviously was just copying off of the fake Joel Sherman's paper.
Shortly thereafter, the real Sherman set the record straight...
There is a fake account that has me saying Marlon Byrd to the Yankees. I am not reporting that— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 31, 2014
...which sent Bowden into a full-on panic, as outlined by Deadspin:
- He first deleted his twitter photo so @JimBowdenESPNxm had an egg avatar and looked fake.
- He then transferred his account to @JimBowdiv, perhaps thinking no one would find him? (His Marlon Byrd tweet is was still there.)
- His original, @JimBowdenESPNxm account was nuked, but it is now back--with 25 followers at press time. Someone is cybersquatting the account, is using Bowden's old avatar, and is following fake Joel Sherman and no one else.
- And just now, since I've been typing, @JimBowdiv has disappeared. We don't know where Jim Bowden went, and he's probably not going to receive the DMs we sent him. (Update: @JimBowdiv is back. For now. Here's a screengrab of his page, because he's a slippery Bowdiv. There's an updating thread in the comments below.)
I'll be honest here, it was nice to have a story of some MLB botches wind up on Deadspin and have the Astros nowhere near involvement in the screwup.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.