But could we have done a better job explaining that the trade needed to pass an important barrier before completion? Yes, even though it turns out that the player seemingly at risk – Wheeler, recovering from Tommy John surgery – was not the one who raised a red flag. I was among those who speculated that Wheeler might have been the issue after Alderson revealed that the deal had fallen apart, only to learn and report that he was not.
A 140-character tweet offers little room for context, but I’m not sure context was the initial problem Wednesday night; the problem was more of portrayal, of creating an opportunity for misinterpretation. The information had to be specific, had to include the necessary caveat. And once the Twitter wheel began to spin, too many reports did not.
Fans ask me all the time: Why are reporters so obsessed with being first? Easy answer — it’s what we’re trained to do. But while the competition pushes us, and ultimately leads to sharper coverage, we are also trained to be accurate. And by accurate, I’m talking not just about the facts, but also about context.