Darren Rovell (L) and Andrew Marchand (R).

The latest Twitter exchange over sports media reporting comes from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post (seen at right above) and Darren Rovell of The Action Network (seen at left above). On Friday, Rovell tweeted a “Sources inside Bristol say” report about ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball cast for next year:

What’s interesting about that is that Rovell’s construction of the tweet emphasizes that the main news is in the first sentence: “Sources inside Bristol say Matt Vasgersian is out of Sunday Night Baseball next season.” But that was not only reported weeks ago (on Oct. 5) by Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, but confirmed by Vasgersian himself in comments to Marchand the next day. There, Vasgersian said “I decided to call it a wrap on ‘Sunday Night Baseball. I can’t do everything I enjoy with MLB Network and the Angels, while still being away for nearly 30 weekends a year.” So Vasgersian’s exit definitely isn’t anything requiring “sources,” unless you went to the Chris Broussard School Of Journalism. And that led to Marchand tweeting this:

If it was in fact Rovell’s intention to present weeks-old, on-the-record (from the principal subject, even) information from another media outlet as his own scoop, that’s not great. While the actual sports media world is well aware by this time that Vasgersian is moving on and that Marchand reported it weeks ago, there are plenty of more casual baseball fans who this may be new information to, many of whom may be among the two million people that follow Rovell on Twitter. (Marchand, by comparison, has 72,000 followers, a lot for us mere mortals but not in a Rovellian stratosphere.) And Rovell’s social media following has long been cited as a reason that Action Network employs him, and he’s been blasted for “repackaging” (rather than just retweeting) others’ photos before. (Even that approach tends to come with at least an in-tweet credit, though, and Rovell offered no credit whatsoever for Marchand here.)

What’s interesting about this, though, is that the later parts of Rovell’s tweet would actually be slightly new. Marchand’s original reporting from Oct. 5 was that ESPN was “expected to keep” Rodriguez, with Ravech mentioned as one of many potential new candidates for the play-by-play job, and Perez not mentioned at all. Marchand went on to note that he had discussed Ravech and Perez last week (Ravech as “the favorite” for the play by-play job, Perez as “in the mix” for an analyst job) but that he didn’t have them confirmed yet. However, he added that that doesn’t match his own reporting.

That’s quite the call-out from Marchand, and from at least a literal reading of Rovell’s tweet, it’s deserved. Writing the sentence of “Sources inside baseball say Matt Vasgersian is out of Sunday Night Baseball next season” on Oct. 22 when that was publicly discussed by Vasgersian himself on Oct. 6 is absurd. The later part of Rovell’s tweet there could be actual reporting requiring a “sources say,” though; it would be news that Ravech and Perez are “in,” and that Rodriguez is “unlikely” to join, as that’s all at least a slight shift from what’s been reported so far.

If Rovell was trying to report that, though, he should have worded that tweet much differently. And he should have emphasized that part rather than the two-weeks-old, fully-public on-the-record news on Vasgersian. At any rate, though, Marchand’s tweets here suggest he isn’t hearing the same things on those latter reports. So it will be interesting to see where this goes.

[Darren Rovell and Andrew Marchand on Twitter, photos from their respective Twitter profile pictures]

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.