Although the Broncos eventually defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, they performed poorly for a majority of the game. When describing the Broncos’ play, Saunders compared it to Kendrick pitching late in a game at Coors Field, a simile he tagged as "juvenile" and "classless" upon reflection:
I was trying to be funny and draw attention to myself. It was a low blow and I regret it. It was unprofessional and petty. I heard through the grapevine that Kendrick read my tweet, and I imagine it bothered him.
Kendrick’s first and only season with the Rockies in 2015 was the worst of his nine-year career. The right-hander posted a 7-13 record with a 6.32 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, and allowed 33 home runs.
While Kendrick’s less-than-stellar season in Colorado is no secret, Saunders notes that he was a class act in his interactions with the media:
Let me add that Kendrick always treated me with respect and class. He answered my questions, and though he dodged the media a few times, he was a gentleman during a tough time.
Kendrick has been picked up by the Atlanta Braves in free agency this offseason, which means he and Saunders will only cross paths a few times next season.
However, in an era in which social media hosts a no-holds-barred, ruthless environment where compassion often has little influence, Saunders’ apology is refreshing.
"I’ll stand behind my stories about Kendrick’s struggles as a pitcher, but he deserved better than my cheap shot via Twitter," Saunders writes. "I learned a lesson and I’m going to be a better journalist, and a better person, in the future."