Yesterday, I reported that sources were telling me that Gregory Polanco would be called up to the Pirates on Friday, after joining the team today. My sources told me that Polanco would leave for Pittsburgh today, and would be activated for Friday’s game. Shortly after, Ken Rosenthal, Dan Zangrilli, and Chris Cotillo confirmed the report. It was after this happened that Pirates officials started calling around, texting, and e-mailing that the sources being reported were wrong.
I can’t speak to everyone else who reported the rumor. I don’t know if they had the same sources, or different sources saying the same thing. I came out with the information first, and I don’t know if that sparked their reports, or if someone else would have had it if I waited longer.
Earlier today, it seemed like the Pirates were trying to really drive the point home that Polanco was still with the Indians. Three minor leaguers posed for pictures with him in New York, in a way that didn’t seem coincidental. Tonight, he’s in the Indianapolis lineup, batting leadoff. So it doesn’t seem like he’s leaving today, as the sources said.
I guess it is possible that he could leave tonight after the game, or leave tomorrow morning. That’s what Starling Marte did when he was called up. But at this point, I don’t think that will happen. I was sent a text and an e-mail from two different front office officials last night saying my sources were wrong on this one.
At this point, I believe my sources were wrong.
This is not a position I’ve ever been in. We’ve reported plenty of draft signings, free agent signings, trades, promotions, and other transactions. Up until this point, we’ve been right in every case.
I got a lot of criticism last night, saying that I only cared about being first. That’s never my goal. My goal is to be correct. We’ve passed on breaking news previously because we didn’t have full confirmation. And the truth is, there’s really no value in breaking news anymore. We don’t see any increase in traffic when we break stories than when we’re following the news. The Polanco article got a lot of traffic yesterday, but no more than any other transaction. So if you think the goal here was to rush to be first, going on weak information, or even making up information, then that’s incorrect.
The information I got seemed valid at the time. That’s the only reason I went with it. I don’t know what happened, whether it was a miscommunication, a change in plans, or just bad info. What I do know is that, at this point, the information no longer seems valid.
I finished my articles last night and went to bed around 3, which is the normal time I go to bed during the baseball season. I woke up around 4. I was wide awake, and felt sick. I felt depressed. I was disappointed in myself. I spent the 5:00 hour thinking about other work, contemplating whether I wanted to even do this job anymore. But most importantly, I felt ashamed and regretful.
I’m in a unique situation. Most reporters work for established outlets. I run my own outlet, and that’s a concept that is only starting to grow. It’s still rare to see independent journalists, and as a result, it leads to a lack of trust. My first year of breaking news was met with distrust, and a lot of “let’s see who else reports this before we believe it.” After that, we had built up trust that everything reported would be accurate, without a second of thought.
The thing about that trust is that it’s fickle when you’re an independent guy. No one is going to remember a national guy getting it wrong. Even a local guy who works for a paper, TV station, or radio station can get something wrong, and it won’t have a big impact. But an independent person really only gets one shot. Or at least that’s what I’ve always thought, and still think. And if you ruin that shot, it not only hurts you, but other independent writers as well.
I’m hoping I’m wrong on that one too. I know that the people who generally hate me are going to celebrate this mistake. I know I’m going to get bashed on the radio. I may lose trust from people who previously trusted me. What I’m hoping is that I can build that trust back up.
I’m not giving up. This is just a mistake, one that I regret. It’s also one that I will improve upon. I’ve spent over five years building this site up, and will continue that process. I believe that this mistake will eventually help make this site stronger.
The most important thing here is that I apologize to you, the readers, old and new, for this mistake. A lot of people want to see Gregory Polanco in Pittsburgh right now, myself included, and I’m sorry I got your hopes up. I’m sorry that you got bad information, and I’m sorry if I lost your trust.
All you need to know is that the next time you see on this site that Gregory Polanco is coming to the majors, it will be true, and not a bad report.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Tim , this is that first site I pull up everyday and the last one to be closed. Please keep up the good work . This could have happened to anyone. especially because every one else reported it to. You know more about this organization than any other writer on the planet. Keep it up!
Great Site! If you need a Spanish-speaking contributor, let me know! I love the Pirates!
Jeez man stop whining. You got it wrong, it’s part of the job. Wipe yourself off and keep going.
Still love you and the site Tim. I’ve been reading since the site was ” bucco fans” I think 2007?-2008? Never left never will. And fuck Colin Dunlap and pgh media in general they are so jealous that you started this all on your own and your opinion is valued more then there’s when they went to school and so on. Fuck them. Keep it up.
I’ve lived in this town all my life and I can say that baseball journalism & radio talk hosts for baseball has basically sucked most of the time, outside of maybe Charley Feeney of the old Pittsburgh Press and a few others intermittently over the past 50 years.
I come here first for all Pirates news and will continue to. I wouldn’t care if this site had 10 things wrong like Polanco coming up/not coming up. There has not been a source of dedicated Pirates player news like this in my lifetime. It is THE ”go-to’ source and will remain thus.
Tim, don’t beat yourself up. We all know that you are a stand-up guy and that you run one of the best sites on the net (not just for baseball or sports). What you reported wasn’t wrong. You reported that sources said Polanco was coming up. That the sources said this is a fact. You can’t help that the sources were wrong. It happens. Whether it was a timing thing, or a misinformation thing or whatnot. It happens. Polanco will be up soon enough. Heck. It could have been an intentional false leak to generate buzz. You report what you find out through trusted sources, but the fact is every now and then even trusted sources are going to be wrong.
Stating the obvious I would be careful using those sources in the future . However sometimes you just have to say whoops and move on . I think this is one of those times .
Tim, I come to this site everyday and have done so for the past three years. One miss on a callup won’t change that. Thanks for all you do. There’s no other site that goes into the depth you do on the Bucs organization and we appreciate it!
Tim I have known you for a short time and never been disappointed in your reporting and breaking news. I don’t believe you are in it to be the first in something. You are here to report as accurate news and you can possibly report. Sources get it wrong. False information gets put out there. I was a STAR WARS fans for years and do you now how much false information was leaked over the years? TONS. Don’t take it personal. Those that support you know that you can only report what you trust your sources to tell you about. They may have been fed false information to pass along to you. Still behind you and the staff and the website 110%
Love the Passion Tim!!! I love this site!! You are in it for the right reasons!! ESPN folk are wrong like the Weather Channel….so turn the page and keep it moving!! Remember the Haters are your fuel for Motivation!!! Love ya Pimp Daddy!! Go Polanco!!!
Everybody’s said it, but I’ll add my concurrence. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m completely confident in your integrity as a reporter, and the seriousness with which you take this matter only adds to that confidence. I find it difficult to believe that anybody who follows this site will abandon it because your sources were wrong this once, and, hey, any publicity is good publicity, right? As a fan, I enjoy hearing the rumors, but know how to take them for what they’re worth, and so am not disappointed if they turn out to not be true.
Tim, you and I have butted heads on here and Twitter multiple times. So we obviously don’t always see eye to eye. That said. There is still no outlet for news on call ups in the Pirates’ system I trust more than you. Don’t worry about this, mistake are made by everyone. Those of us that read this site regularly still will. Beside, it takes a big man to admit when you’re wrong.
Been reading this site for 3 years. This is maybe my 5th comment in that time. This site is hands down the best Pirates info around. I come here daily and will continue to do so. It’s not your fault management changed their minds. Keep up the great work Tim.
BTW…. I just watched a Game of Thrones episode where Tyrion Lannister figured out who was the queens spy…. tell everyone in the front office Polanco is coming up on a different day. See what day gets reported and there’s your spy. So be warned, your source has now been outed lol.
So….no Polanco this weekend and an un-sexy draft? Damn. I stayed up and got buzzed for this? Going to the game Sunday, and still holding out hope for some excitement in RF in front of me.
Throwing your sources under the bus isn’t something a journalist would do. Especially in such a public manner.
Good thing Tim didn’t do that and that there isn’t a hint of that in his article. Isn’t it now? Kent.
None of that is an example of throwing someone “under the bus”. He didn’t call out any names, didn’t say they lied to him – all he’s saying is Polanco’s not coming up today. Might want to look up the definition of “throwing someone under the bus”. Bit of a fail, and uncool to be tossing around allegations like that.
“So it doesn’t seem like he’s leaving today, as the sources said.”
“I’m not giving up. This is just a mistake, one that I regret.”
“What I do know is that, at this point, the information no longer seems valid.”
“At this point, I believe my sources were wrong.”
WTH Tim! Its your job to report what you hear, and we all believe that you had a reliable source, and reported it as you should. Things may have changed at the last minute which changed the information. Don’t go beating yourself up over it. At least you didn’t report Dewey won the presidency 🙂
I never comment on here but I read every article as this site is the only site that I visit religiously.
I wish I could think of something more profound to say but I want to echo the sentiments of all the supportive comments. The shear volume of comments on this post alone should indicate that all of us readers are standing by you and that you haven’t lost an ounce of our trust.
Your reporting and analysis on this site is truly unparalleled and besides, like many others have already said, you were probably right and for some reason or another, they changed their mind.
Thank you for the hard work that you and your staff put into this site. It does not go unappreciated.
No harm,no foul Tim.The best Pirates site going in my book.
Hey Tim, don’t worry about it man. Perfection is hard to achieve. We aren’t going to leave this site for 1,2, or even 3 wrong reports. Noone can always be right because things happen, things change.
Are you kidding me Tim? You are not even wrong yet and you are feeling sick? No reporter gets every story correct. Not the nature of the business. Your work product is outstanding overall. This is my go to site for Pirate analysis.
It’s alright Tim! Keep up the good work! Everyone loves your site, and one mistake won’t change that!
Tim you do a great job and I am with everyone else here on this site. Keep up the great work. You and John are powerful writers and keep us all up to date with information about the Pirates and all the prospects.
In 2008, a hoax that originated on CNN’s iReport circulated around the web: Steve Jobs had died of a heart attack. The result was that Apple’s share price fell 10% before the hoax was exposed. That’s a lot of money.
Also, Judith Miller.
Tim, your previously reliable sources made a mistake. The result is that you incorrectly called the date when a baseball player would arrive in the majors. There’s a good chance that he’ll still be up within a week. In the grand scheme of things, that’s seriously small potatoes.
I, too, have read your work for a couple years now but never commented before. I’ve stopped reading other Pirates coverage because of the superior quality of yours. In the opinion of this reader (who holds an MA in Journalism and Mass Communications, for whatever it’s worth), you’re doing excellent work. The Pittsburgh sports world would be more than a little impoverished without you out there. Get back out there and keep being what you are: the best.
In conclusion, Hoka hey.
Loved the site yesterday.
Love it today.
Will love it tomorrow.
You do a great job.
What I don’t love is losing a game when you
only give up an infield bunt single.
No worries, Tim. this article says a lot about you and your values.
We got your back, Tim! I cant imagine you and Ken Rosenthal and Chris Cotillo were making stuff up.
And as we’ve all heard, you ain’t wrong til your wrong!
I stuck up for you on the radio today because this is the #1 site for anything Pirates related. I know that when you throw your hat into the ring you want to be proven legitimate by your peers, but that already happens nightly on this site. You can’t find your quality of work/insight you bring to Pirates baseball anywhere else. Keep up the good work.
No worries Tim. Keep up the excellent work that we all love. (or love to hate if that’s their thing, hey those hits count too!)
Double down Tim. You run the best damn pirates site on the Web. You are my go to source 365 days a year. Frankly it is not even close. The miss will not change my reading habits.
Heh Tim, you reported what your sources told you, turned out they were wrong, or at least premature. It’s quite possible that it was the plan, but then management changed their minds. Could be with the draft going on, with trade possibilities being discussed that they thought it was in the best interests of the club to wait. Suppose they had a deal lined up to move Snyder, opening up a roster spot for Polanco, then it fell through so they had to cancel their plans? There are lot’s of things that happen which will never be reported, and we’ll never know.
I am touched that you felt the impact of a mistake, and that you value your reputation so highly. That’s a great quality to have, as honor is in such short supply generally. Don’t worry so much about it. Those who bought tickets expecting to see Polanco will still see a great game!
The real strength of your site lies in analysis and in the depth of coverage of all things Pirates. That’s not affected by whether you are the speediest with breaking news, or if one of your sources gets it wrong.
So now you know how Bush must have felt about the lack of WMD in Iraq.
Can only echo those who commend your work and this site. Do not fret, mistakes happen. It’s easily my primary source for all things Bucco
I was amazed at the Sharkey/Mueller show this afternoon, talking about which would be the bigger story to piss off Pittsburgh this weekend: Polanco not being called up or Pierre McGuire being named Pens GM. To me it’s no contest. McGuire all the way.
We all know Polanco will be up soon. But unless the Pirates are willing to play Harrison and Polanco in the OF, IMO offensive production will actually decrease in the short term. Playing Marte instead of Harrison is a net negative right now. And GP will have some growing pains, although I expect those to be brief.
That said, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see GP make a start in LF this weekend before coming up on Monday.
As far as being wrong, do you really think Ken Rosenthal or any other name journalists who got this wrong are on the hot seat? I wouldn’t worry about it, other than to perhaps be more dubious about your sources going forward. Personally, I think they might have been right at the time, but something changed… maybe there was a deal for Snider that fell through or something similar.
Stick to the process that has worked for you Tim. One failure is no reason to question your journalistic practices. Let the fact your readership continues to grow be the ultimate judge of your performance, not the peanut gallery.
Tim, man… it’ll be cool. You’ve got a great site, and you were going on solid information. You’d be screwed if you grasped at straws, reported it, and then were exposed. You had sources, others said the same thing. And if you end up being wrong, it’ll be, what, by a matter of days? It’s not like you reported Polanco is being traded to the Marlins for a bag of peanuts and their 2056 comp pick. Keep up the good work.
PLEASE – don’t give the BMTIB any suggestions!
You’re the best, man.
Tim…you know how I feel about this site and your work. You have NOTHING to be ashamed about. You trusted your sources and they were wrong. Chit happens. You’ll be okay because YOU CARE!!!
Man up and quit being a pussy. No one will care about this in two weeks; your self-pity is embarrassing and childish. Get tougher….
oh bother. What a tough guy you are. Did you stand in front of your girl flexing as you pounded out this Special Forces response? Talk about being a pussy….and embarrassing….
kinda harsh doncha think?
Eh, probably. But, most thought it, I just said it. He’s being over dramatic and fishing for compliments and pity. I think he’ll come to regret typing this article more than being wrong on Polanco’s arrival. He does a great job; now he just needs to be tougher.
He apologized to you, the reader. The fact that you see pity and weakness says more about you than it does anything about Tim.
Tim, long time reader first time commenting. With the work you have put in, you will at least get three strikes until you loose my trust. Keep doing what you do and I will keep reading.
A trusted source got one wrong. The info could have been good, but the Pirates didn’t like that it leaked so they’re holding him a few days. The site is still great. So much info on the Bucs system and it is all free. This is an incredible resource, keep up the good work.
A similar thought crossed my mind as well. Is it too crazy to consider that Tims source was right when the news came down, but the organization changed its mind later that day? Of course jagoffs like Colin Dunlap will jump all over it trying to be the 1st guy to break the contrasting story, all the while running his mouth like he’s some media superstar, where he gets that idea only he’ll know. I wonder what he would say if we see GP in black and gold tomorrow.
it’s free, but feel free to donate anytime you want thru that little paypal thingy at the top.
just a plug for the best Pirate site around.
Tim — you do great work. I visit the site several times a day and find your articles to be very interesting and informative. Now that I know you’re capable of making a mistake, I feel comfortable that you’re actually human and not a machine that merely aggregates news from the internet. Of course, the fact that you’re capable of admitting your mistakes makes me think that you’re not human. What a dilemma! Seriously, keep up the great work (and don’t be afraid to make the occasional mistakes). Pulitzer prize winners with the most reliable sources and the most careful fact checkers still are wrong from time to time..
If I wanted absolute certainty about who is coming up, I’d wait until the official announcement from the club. Your site keeps us readers in the mix. Keep on going.
Tim, I love the work you do here and I’m thrilled that you care so much. Don’t be too hard on yourself & keep up the good work! Besides, you had two separate sources, and you said as much. That’s more than a lot of news outlets do.
Don’t worry about it Tim. This is the first time you’ve been wrong and you’re really only going to be off by a few days, so it’s no big deal. It’s not like you announced Polanco was traded for Zach Duke and cash considerations.
Also, Colin Dunlap sucks.
You have the best coverage of the pirates period. I rarely even ever go to the actual pirates website for anything. Please keep up the great work I have read your work since you started and will continue to read your stuff first. Thanks Tim.
I think and always thought it’d be Monday. Those misers want to squeeze every penny out of this and Monday against the Cubs is a good day to try to maximize attendance.
Not a big deal that you were three days early. You’re certainly not a yellow journalist- I trust that the sources you had seemed reliable. You’re still the go to guy when it comes to the Bucs and the inside news. Don’t sweat it- you’re still aces in my book- thanks for the mea culpa.
Don’t let the assholes like Colin Dunlap get to you, Tim. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, and mistakes happen to the best of them. This is easily the best site I’ve seen for pirates info, and one bad report changes nothing
I’ve moved on already. I visit this site multiple times a day and will continue to do so. Let’s talk about the draft.
I’ll keep reading daily. Don’t sweat it, Tim. Happens.
I do not think you lost anyone’s trust Tim. Keep up the great work, this is just a blip on the radar.