When Jim Pohlad declared the Twins organization a “Total System Failure” last May, I’m not sure he knew how deep that analogy ran. Apparently, it goes right down to the people running the scoreboard at Target Field.
While walking near Minnie and Paul’s on the second deck during last night’s Twins-Orioles game at Target Field, my Mom mentioned to me, “Oh, Beltran was traded to the Indians?” I said I hadn’t heard that, and my Mom pointed at the scoreboard. Sure enough, it read “NYY Beltran to Indians.”
This prompted me to text my friend Greg Kirkland from Pinstripe Alley, who responded with some variation of “What the [redacted] are you talking about?” At that point I sincerely doubted the veracity of the scoreboard’s claim, so I did what any sane person does in such a situation: I tweeted it.
The Twins are reporting on the scoreboard here that Carlos Beltran has been traded to the Indians...— Twinkie Town (@TwinkieTown) July 29, 2016
And then I waited until the Twins showed it on the scoreboard again, took a picture, and tweeted that.
Then, to prove I wasn’t just tweeting this somehow out of context to spread rumors, I took a dang video to show how this was being displayed on the scoreboard as if it were a real trade.
FYI: The Twins scoreboard in to way prefaced any of this as not actual trades. pic.twitter.com/tUQHmwooJX— Twinkie Town (@TwinkieTown) July 29, 2016
Nice root beer float cameo, am I right?
As we now know, the supposed Carlos Beltran to the Indians trade was not real, nor were the other trades mentioned on the scoreboard. So why were they on the scoreboard in the first place?
Ever-faithful MLB.com Twins beat reporter Rhett Bollinger had the answer. Rhett messaged me after my initial tweet asking where this trade was being shown on the scoreboard (Mom: “In-between the Twins Raffle Jackpot ad and the Toro Lawn Mower ad DUH.”) After a few minutes of research he told me it was apparently some auto-feed that picks up news and headlines from MLB.com, and all these “trades” were from an article going over possible trades, not actual trades. The problem was there was not enough space on the scoreboard to explain that.
So there you have it. Carlos Beltran was not, in-fact, traded to the Indians. Some scoreboard operator might be out of a job, but don’t worry—he’ll probably just be fired and be rehired as the Twins’ new GM.