Barstool Carl was a thing yesterday. For a minute or two Thursday afternoon it appeared that Yu Darvish had signed with the Cubs. Just for a minute or two.
A guy co-hosts a Chicago sports podcast was the first to report yesterday that Darvish had signed with the Cubs and that the deal was complete “after being evaluated by team docs.” The only problem was that he was the only one to report it. A secondary problem was that Carl has over 15,000 Twitter followers, so the report spread pretty like a game of digital telephone tag and had some of baseball’s best writers checking their sources (and checking them twice) to verify the news.
Nobody could verify it so Carl, real name is Michael Carl Sterk, jumped up to defend himself: “I’ll go to war with baseball writers over my sources any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The most dangerous thing in the world is a man with nothing to lose.”
Of course there is plenty to lose, and just off the top of my head I’d say that includes: face, dignity, reputation, professional courtesy, credibility…you see where I’m going here. Well the rumor quickly came to a screeching halt when Darvish himself caught wind of it and replied “#FakeNews.”
The fallout from the ridiculous incident was that Sterk was trending for about 15 minutes and has been subject to a barrage of hate tweets and cyber-bullying that continues today. Some think his faux pas may have cost the Cubs an opportunity to sign Darvish. That’s highly unlikely, but the backlash will be significant if the big right-hander signs elsewhere.
Sterk did issue a public apology and maybe he has learned a lesson in social media courtesy and viral communications. In defense of all those who have ripped into him, yesterday was Festivus, so the airing of grievances is allowed. Let me be the first to challenge the “radio host” to the feats of strength portion. I’d bet on me. Unless the dude talks me to death.
In defense of Barstool Carl, he could have deleted the tweet and his subsequent posts defending said tweet, but he didn’t. So at least he is handling the situation without cowardice.
Unfortunately this is not fake news
It was reported overnight that veteran broadcaster Dick Enberg had passed away. Enberg’s daughter, Nicole Enberg Vaz, confirmed the death to The Associated Press. She said the family became concerned when her father didn’t arrive Thursday on his flight to Boston, and he was found dead at his home in La Jolla, a San Diego neighborhood, with his bags packed.
Cubs News & Notes
Speaking of digital telephone tag, Roch Kubato posted yesterday that the Cubs and the Orioles were deeply engaged in talks surrounding SS Manny Machado. According to Kubato, those “discussions with the Orioles included shortstop Addison Russell, center fielder Albert Almora Jr. and left-hander Mike Montgomery,” though he did not indicate that it was a 3-for-1 trade. No matter how the combination in which they were discussed, that’s a pretty big overpay. The sequencing of small messages on Twitter and the mass interpretation of those messages is simply fascinating.
Jessie Rogers’ bro-love for Kyle Schwarber has been one of my favorite parts of Twitter for the last 5-7 days. He had shared little bits here the there, but published the long form version of the story the other day. Schwarber is a highly motivated individual to say the least. A great read.
Here’s a cool story about the very brief major league career of former Cubs pitcher Mike O’Malley, who is just one of eight pitchers since 2000 to throw at least eight innings with zero runs allowed in his major league debut, and it reads like a modern day version of the fictional Moonlight Graham from Field of Dreams.
The Cubs signed RP Anthony Bass yesterday.
The Yankees and Pirates continue to discuss Gerrit Cole.
Like the Cubs, the Yankees, Dodgers and Astros have interest in signing Darvish. Los Angels and New York would be facing luxury tax implications to acquire the pitcher, however.
Darvish had dinner with former boss and good friend Jon Daniels yesterday.
Macahado is presumably no longer available since no teams have been willing to meet the Orioles insanely high asking price.
Free-agent relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak officially signed a two-year deal with the Mets.
The Blue Jays have every intention of battling the Red Sox and Yankees for the AL East Division title in 2018.
Will Leitch takes a look at this decade’s MLB champions and analyzes their post-championship offseason moves.
Dee Gordon called this offseason’s moves by the Marlins “embarrassing.”
Personally shocking news for me: though I had greatly admired the man as a professional peer, I’ve never met Bob Bowman. The media executive represented the gold standard in streaming television as the driving force behind Major League Baseball Advance Media. Bowman was removed from his position yesterday for repeated conduct violations in the workplace.
The last thing baseball needed was another credibility hit on the heels of Commissioner Rob Manfred’s appearance on the Dan Lebatard Show the other day.
Friday Walk Up Song
Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. We could use a shot of real news in these troubled #FakeNews times.