Trevor Bauer apologizes to ESPN as baseball's 'fake news' saga grows

Over the weekend, Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer called out ESPN and the MLB Network for taking seriously and broadcasting a joke tweet about his self-treatment methods as he recovers from a stress fracture in his right fibula.

The false methods cited were “a course of blood transfusions and colloidal silver supplements to rid his body of CIA nanites,” as thought up by The Ringer’s Michael Baumann. 

Bauer tweeted that he saw ESPN run the news in its on-screen ticker, and MLB Network aired the tweet itself with a reporter reading it, seriously, in its entirety.

At the time, the furious All-Star demanded an apology from both networks for spreading false information, and added in a series of tweets that a teammate even asked him where he gets his blood transfusions.

But the plot thickened Monday, as ESPN apparently found no record of ever having spread the false information. So Bauer, who is obviously strongly against the spreading of false information at this point, issued an apology for his own error.

“It appears the information I was given, and believed to have seen, was wrong, and ESPN never aired the fake tweet,” Bauer said. “Spreading misinformation is wrong, and is what I was originally angry about. I wanted to set the record straight and apologize to ESPN for wrongly accusing them of broadcasting this misinformation.”

Why did Michael Baumann joke about Trevor Bauer’s methods in the first place?

Bauer has always carried an unusually vocal online presence for a professional athlete, and it tends to skew hostile toward parts of the media. Along this line, he once sent out 135 tweets defending an original tweet he posted accusing the media of liberal bias.

He’s also known publicly for going about his business in an off-beat manner, hence Baumann’s fake treatment options. Bauer has claimed he only signs one-year deals because a multi-year deal would result in him getting shot in the groin with a paintball gun because of a bet, and once missed a playoff start after cutting his finger on a drone, among other things. He also accused the Astros of doctoring baseballs earlier this year.

So the recent incident was basically the perfect storm to confirm Bauer’s expectations for media he was predisposed to dislike. But you have to hand it to him for sticking to his morals and publicly apologizing.

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