While I love Twitter and enjoy following baseball writers (at least those who will let me), this is a perfect example of why Tweeting as you are reporting on a fluid story may be a bad idea:
nyp_joelsherman (9:33 p.m.) Trying to get 2d confirmation, but hear that Beltran had microfracture knee surgery today without #Mets permission
Holy cats. That seems like a problem. A big one. Microfracture knee surgery is all the rage these days, but still has a recovery time of at least four months. And without permission, to boot? I'd like to hear more about Carlos Beltran and his broken knee.
(click "read more" below for the full article)
nyp_joelsherman (9:39 p.m.) 2d source is describing this as "scope clean up" for beltran. but #Mets are acting like this was more than routine
"More than routine" meaning "more serious"? I'd still like to know more.
nyp_joelsherman (9:46 p.m.) another source insists it was not microfracture surgery, but standard scope and Mets team phys Altchek and were OK on this
Well, that is very different from what was Tweeted at 9:33 p.m. Let's learn some more.
nyp_joelsherman (9:52 p.m.) Beltran had worsening osteoarthritis in rt knee and Dr. Steadman in Colo did artho cleanup today, according to #Mets
Joel Sherman's initial Tweet to his 7,514 followers used the scary words of "microfracture knee surgery" and "without Mets permission" - and was retweeted by 55 people to their thousands of followers. Yikes.
It's a tough balancing act for reporters who are constantly seeking to be first and maintain relevance in the second-to-second news cycle. But this is where it can go badly wrong (especially on things of more consequence than Carlos Beltran's knee).
If Sherman had simply waited for the second source - a staple of journalism, by the way - the misinformation about Beltran's surgery would have never made it any farther than Sherman's ears.
Updated: But wait! There's more!
At 10:15 p.m., Sherman is partially back to where he started:
nyp_joelsherman (10:15 p.m.) #Mets are definitely claiming Beltran procedure done without their blessing, and are threatening some form of action
Good grief. How about you stop Tweeting for a few minutes, put the story together, and we'll read it in the Post in the morning. Or online later tonight.
Or maybe not.