If you imagine the news Philadelphia Phillies fans are hoping to get to be a hittable, belt-high fastball, the info they keep getting via Twitter is a wicked curveball.
Though Major League Baseball All-Star Bryce Harper could very well sign with Philly any day now, the coveted free agent has not inked a deal with the Phillies yet despite circulated rumors.
Some Phillies fans have fallen for fake news like an anxious hitter whiffing at a slower-than-expected pitch.
A tweet by someone pretending to be a contributor to an ESPN radio station in the City of Brotherly Love duped thousands of Phillies fans. The fake account — @JeffEvansMLB, which is now suspended — claimed that the Phillies had agreed to a deal that would be finalized this week.
“He does not work here, never did. I have no knowledge of who he is,” 97.3 ESPN program director Mike Gill told The Philadelphia Inquirer of Evans. “We are aware and have contacted Twitter, and the Phillies have been in contact.”
The post was retweeted more than 730 times and had racked up more than 80,000 impressions — not counting how widespread it likely went off the Internet — before it was taken down by Twitter on Tuesday morning, the Inquirer reported.
Harper and Manny Manchado, both 26-year-old baseball superstars, are two of the biggest names still available in MLB.Comment on this story
Harper could make an announcement about his future on Tuesday, according to MLB The Show.
Harper, a six-time All-Star and the 2015 NL MVP, played for the Washington Nationals from 2012-18.
The Las Vegas native is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He wrote about meeting President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, on his Instagram account in October after attending the church’s 188th Semiannual General Conference.