Yesterday, Barstool Carl, a blogger for Barstool Chicago, falsely reported that Yu Darvish had agreed to a contract with the Chicago Cubs.
As soon as he sent out the tweet announcing the Darvish deal, an army of seasoned baseball writers responded with tweets of their own. Their responses to Carl’s breaking “news” ranged from “unconfirmed” to “a blatant lie”. Even Darvish himself got in on the fun, quote-tweeting Carl’s original tweet with the caption “#fakenews”.
Carl’s actions rubbed me the wrong way here for a LOT of reasons. Not to be the grumpy old man in the room, but a relatively anonymous part-time blogger has no business trying to break huge free agent news unless he is 110% confident in its accuracy (verification from multiple sources). I get that he’s trying to nail scoops and build his personal brand, but the guy is CLEARLY just throwing shit against a wall and hoping it sticks. Breaking fake news is lazy, irresponsible and has a real impact on Darvish, his family, and his support staff.
If this, in any way, hinders the club’s pursuit of Darvish (and I can’t imagine it helping), Carl is a GIANT asshole. If it doesn’t hinder the club’s pursuit of Darvish, he is STILL an asshole.
Reporters report the news. Bloggers offer their commentary on the news. Neither one is more valuable than the other. But the thinking that part-time blogger Barstool Carl beat out the most experienced and well-connected writers in the baseball universe suggests an INSANE amount of arrogance on Carl’s part (and an absurd and misplaced amount of trust in the source who misled Carl).
Stick to the opinion pieces, Carl. Let the people who have devoted their professional lives to breaking baseball news handle that.