A José Ramírez at-bat on Bally Sports Great Lakes on April 5, 2023. A José Ramírez at-bat on Bally Sports Great Lakes on April 5, 2023. (Bally Sports Great Lakes via Awful Announcing on Twitter.)

Many athletes, coaches, and media personalities frequently complain about aggregation, the way stories and quotes get picked up and spread around on websites and social media. Not all of those complaints are fair, but there are valid points in at least two areas: one is where aggregation removes important initial context from a story or quote, and another is where the origin of the story or quote isn’t properly cited. That often gets worse when it gets to a second level of aggregation, or a summary of a summary. And the Cleveland Guardians’ social media team did that to themselves with a tweet on third baseman José Ramírez Wednesday that got wildly ratioed before it was deleted (but it doesn’t appear to have been deleted until Thursday morning). Here’s a screenshot of it:

How in the world did a team Twitter account tweet those words in that order? Well, they don’t make it explicitly clear in the text of the tweet itself, but that tweet is an attempt to summarize what Bally Sports Great Lakes broadcasters Matt Underwood (play-by-play) and Rick Manning (analyst) are talking about in the attached video clip. And Manning and Underwood themselves are summarizing an upcoming feature on Ramírez from reporter Andre Knott, which is set to air on the channel after Friday’s Guardians’ game. Here’s their full discussion (which even starts with a reference to Lee Trevino, of all people), and a transcription:

Manning says “Up comes José Ramírez.” Underwood says “You know, we used to talk about a great quote from the golfer Lee Trevino where pressure is concerned. And Trevino used to say ‘Pressure isn’t a big putt in the majors. It’s a putt for $20 with a guy named Rocko when you’ve only got $5 in your pocket. And Andre Knott has a great upcoming special on José Ramírez titled ‘Revealed’ that will air after the home opener Friday in Cleveland. And one of the things that José talked to Andre about is that kind of pressure. He said when he played winter ball in the Dominican, when there are people screaming at you that they will do harm to you if you don’t play well, he said ‘You play in the big leagues, that’s a walk in the park.'”

Manning then says “And one of the stories you’ll hear in the ‘Revealed’ is him talking about, not even in winter ball…good catch right there [of a foul ball], that guy’s got a dance for you there, is that the guy in the Reggie Jackson jersey?” Underwood says “No, it’s #45.” Manning says “Ah, I can only see the front.”

Knott then chimes in with “The story goes that one of the leagues he played in, he was playing with adults, he was only 13 years old, and there was a machete behind home plate. That’s the type of intimidation that he dealt with as he grew up. And his father and grandfather told him you’re going to have to take care of the family, so you’ve got to figure this game out. It’s a great story.”

Underwood says “3-1. I think when you asked that yesterday, what one word best describes José, I think that’s probably why I said fearless. Because nothing on a big-league field can scare or intimidate him after what he went through to get here.” Manning says “What he’s endured. I know there was a video, that I hope gets into the film, that I sent you, Tito [Guardians’ manager Terry Francona], and a couple others. We had tears in our eyes when we went to the ball field he actually played on as a kid, and you saw the surroundings. It wasn’t running water. To him, it doesn’t faze him. To the rest of us, we go ‘How the heck did you make it out of this?’ And you know, he’s like ‘This is my home and this is what we had to do.'”

There are potentially some criticisms of that on-broadcast discussion. In particular, it’s reasonable to question the timing of the “it’s a great story” line. Even if that was referring to the “Revealed” piece as a whole, that’s maybe not ideal to drop in right after discussing the threats of violence and the poverty Ramírez faced.

And it’s reasonable to question first revealing the details of this particular story as a mid-game announcer discussion rather than in the full context of the feature. It obviously makes sense for the announcers to see that feature in advance and promote it during games ahead of its airing to let fans know it’s coming and entice them to tune in. But their summary of a particular incident like that is maybe not the best way to initially present that story. And that hits at some of the context issues some bring up with aggregation.

With all that said, though, the announcers’ discussion here was much better than the summary of it the team account tweeted. And it’s completely unclear where the team account got the “chased home by gamblers with machetes and guns” (Ramírez may have said that in the full feature, but with that feature not yet aired, we don’t know; Manning and Underwood certainly didn’t reference guns or chases home in their discussion.) The clip the team account tweeted also isn’t great, because it starts with just “One of the things that José talked to Andre about,” so it misses the context of this being part of the upcoming special. And that led to a whole lot of reaction before they deleted the tweet. Here are some of those reactions:

The “Revealed” feature on Ramírez certainly sounds interesting. But it’s maybe unfortunate that this particular story from it was selected for an in-game summary during an at-bat, one without the full context of Ramírez’s exact comments or what else surrounded it. And it’s particularly unfortunate that the team account then tweeted a summary of that summary with even more lurid details than what was discussed on air, and then kept that up overnight before eventually deleting it.

Correction: this post initially attributed Knott’s comments to Manning. 

[SportsKeeda; image from Bally Sports Great Lakes, via Awful Announcing on Twitter]

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.