ESPN was so prepared for the Red Sox to make an announcement on Thursday about the future of Bobby Valentine that they had Tim Kurkjian create two television reports: one in case Valentine were fired, and the other in case the Red Sox brought him back. Even though it was like 99.99999% certain Valentine would not be back, the network wanted to make sure they were prepared for either scenario.
Unfortunately, after the Red Sox announced Valentine would not be back, SportsCenter aired the report saying he would be returning. The result was a humorous conflicting message from ESPN; the scroll on the left side of the screen read “Bobby Valentine fired,” while Kurkjian was telling us in a prerecorded report that he’d be receiving a second chance.
“Valentine is getting a second chance because he never had his A-team on the field for even one minute this season,” the report said. “Major injuries to (Carl) Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew Bailey and others, had Valentine juggling new lineups everyday. He’s getting a second chance because the vaunted rotation once led by Josh Beckett and Jon Lester was terrible.”
ESPN quickly realized the error and pulled the report before it was done running. This sort of mistake is nothing new in broadcasting and print, but it sure produced a funny moment.