For a few minutes Thursday morning, it sure seemed like the San Diego Padres were signing Eric Hosmer. It had to be true. Their Twitter and Instagram accounts pretty much confirmed it.
Moments later, those posts were gone, leading many to believe a social media employee hit send a little too soon.
But the team is saying that’s not the case. The Padres turned to the oldest trick in the book and claimed their accounts were hacked. And based on their response, they are taking the matter seriously.
The Padres social media accounts were inappropriately accessed last night, and messages that were inaccurate and unauthorized were posted. MLB Cybersecurity is now investigating the matter, and we apologize for any confusion.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) January 25, 2018
Ohhhhhhhhhh, MLB Cybersecurity. That’s how you know they mean business.
Nine times out of 10, 999 times out of 1,000 and 999,999 times out of a million we would say the Padres are totally lying. Anyone who has ever made a mistake on social media claims they were hacked, and no one ever believes them.
This may be the first time it’s true.
On Instagram, the team just posted a picture of Hosmer in a Royals jersey. Definitely weird, but we could see a team announcing a signing that way. But check out how they hinted at the signing on Twitter:
— MarcoGHST (@MarcoHuinquez) January 25, 2018
No team breaks news that way. No team teases its fans with a “stay tuned” tweet, and then waits six minutes later to just tweet at the athlete with no context.
Team media accounts exist partially to confirm news reports. They aren’t there to cryptically tweet at current free-agents. That leaves way too much mystery, and team social media accounts do not want that. Imagine the fan outrage if clubs just did that all the time.
So, yes, we are actually buying the “my account was hacked” excuse. There’s a first time for everything.
And just in case you need further proof of that, here’s San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Dennis Lin giving you the real scoop on who the Padres are after.
The Padres do not have anything imminent with Eric Hosmer, I'm told. They have continued examining options to back up Freddy Galvis. Ryan Goins might have been one before he signed a minor league deal with the Royals. The stove is not exactly hot.
— Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) January 25, 2018
If one person tells you the Padres are signing Hosmer and another tells you they are looking for backup options behind Freddy Galvis and wanted Ryan Goins before he signed, who are you going to believe?
One of those things sounds like peak Padres. The other involves signing Hosmer.
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik