The Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to send outfielder Yasiel Puig to the minors Monday after trying and failing to trade him wound up creating a media controversy, as Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal initially reported both on Twitter and on Fox’s site that Puig showed up at Dodger Stadium and stormed off when he found the news. Puig’s agent Adam Katz sent out a statement that Puig never went to the park, and Rosenthal subsequently issued corrections in both places. Here’s his Twitter correction:

And his online correction:

Puig’s agent, Adam Katz, and Dodgers officials said that my initial report — that Puig stormed off after arriving at Dodger Stadium and being given the news — was inaccurate.

“I’m told he never went to the park,” Katz said. “The club informed me and the player understood clearly that they were making every to trade him and that if they were unable to come to terms with another club on a trade — and successful in acquiring another outfielder — that he likely would be demoted. My understanding is that transaction will happen tomorrow.”

Rosenthal’s misstep here illustrates both the problems that can arise with anonymous sources (when a source isn’t named, their credibility then rests on the reporter and the outlet, and that can damage the reputation of both when the source is wrong) and how quickly an error can spread when made by someone with a large platform. Rosenthal’s generally very reliable, so his report was understandably passed on through a lot of channels (both on Twitter and on other sites, by both fans and media outlets).

Rosenthal deserves credit for correcting this publicly and in detail on both Twitter and Fox’s site, and keeping a reference to his inaccurate initial report in the copy there. Many would have just updated the post and eliminated mention of their mistake, but in a case like this, it’s absolutely appropriate to mention it. This is one misstep, and everyone makes mistakes, but Rosenthal handled the correction well. However, this should serve as a further warning for readers to be leery of anonymous sources, even if the reporter presenting them is generally quite credible.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.