Friday afternoon was bananas. Trustworthy people (and some not-so-trustworthy people) sharing insight via the app formerly known as Twitter that painted a rather clear picture that Shohei Ohtani was going to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays. How did we get it so wrong?
Firstly, we'll ignore the false info shared by unknowns. That includes the Kikuchi reservation at the Sushi restaurant for 50 and the private jet that arrived at YYZ with Robert Herjavec on board. Let's zero in on a couple of tweets from people who should know better.
First, the big one. A tweet from MLB insider and frequent Fan 590 guest Jon Morosi. While that aforementioned Bombardier Global 5000 private jet was in the air, Morosi wrote "Sources: Shohei Ohtani is en route to Toronto today." It was even shared by an official MLB account.
At this point, who could blame a fan for buying into the hype. A private jet is flying from John Wayne Airport near Los Angeles to Pearson Airport and Morosi has confirmed Ohtani is en route. This is happening!
Then there was that bullshit footage of Ohtani at Pearson, confirmed by a former morning radio host, and the next very wrong Tweet of the afternoon. Adam Seaborn tweeted "Press conference 6pm Ohtani 🤝 Jays"
This ends the brief reporting career of Adam Seaborn who got this very, very wrong. But on the heels of the Morosi tweet, you couldn't blame a Jays fan for being all in. This was happening!
Until it wasn't. And it never did happen. Robert Herjavec got off his own private jet with his name on the tail and Shohei Ohtani never left California, announcing the next day that he was sigining with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
His signing was made public while we were wrapping up our live recording from Palma's Kitchen for TMLX14, and the Ohtani fiasco was discussed early and often by people who popped on the open mics. I shared the audio here and then read this tweet from Mike in Boston, a man I was famously mistaken for by Bob McCown himself.
lot of fringe writers have been churning out nearly identical copy on the extremely complex Jays-Rogers-Ohtani fiasco.
There are two people whose opinion I found myself wishing I could read this morning:
1. Stephen Brunt
2. John Lott
Sorely missed on days like today.
As it so happens, Stephen Brunt was with me at TMLX14. In fact, we opened the show with him to discuss Ohtani and the misinformation from Friday. We brought him back when Junkhouse's Tom Wilson popped on the mic, but there was little Ohtani talk in that segment.
And one more thing... this tweet by Sportsnet's Shi Davidi links to an article he wrote that suggests we Jays fans need to be more savvy with regards to "unchecked gossip", which conveniently ignores the fact Jon Morosi is a respected MLB insider who often appears on Sportsnet's flagship sports radio station and was RT'd by MLB itself.
And Rogers itself fanned the flames of hype by changing their programming to include an unscheduled baseball show hosted by Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker. If Shi Davidi ever comes on Toronto Mike'd, I'll make sure he knows how unfair that article was to all Jays fans.
At least we don't have to miss Brunt's take on all this. He shared it during an amazing TMLX14.