Twitter is a wonderful thing. It can also be an evil game of “telephone” gone mad. The latter struck the Raysiverse last night when a rumor spread like wildfire that the Mayor of Nashville said during a radio interview that he is pursuing the Tampa Bay Rays to move to his city.

Here is how it happened:

4:00pm: Somebody named @JohnBakerFSU sends out a tweet saying:

“Nashville mayor tells @1025TheGame there that the city wants to pursue the #Rays.”

As with any false rumor, it’s life expectancy is dependant on the right formula and the right person hearing it. In this case, @JohnBakerFSU used a radio report which is not as easy to verify as a newspaper or online report.

He also sent his tweet to Buster Olney of ESPN who just happened to live in Nashville for eight years and apparently got excited by the idea. Only 200 followers read @JohnBakerFSU’s Tweet, but Olney redirected (retweeted) the same tweet to his 260 thousand followers. And hundreds of those people redirected the same tweet to their followers.

After Olney relays the report to all of his followers, he then sent out several of his own tweets expressing how great of a baseball city Nashville would be.

At this point, the fire is out of control.

There was only one small problem: The original tweet was not true…

Austin Huff, a producer for 1025 The Game tried to correct the situation with several of his own tweets directed at the two men that started the rumor…

@JohnBakerFSU The Mayor never said anything about going after the #Rays. So I ask again, did you even listen to the interview?

@JohnBakerFSU …The Mayor never said he wants to pursue the Rays. You put out false information.

@Buster_ESPN I was in studio w/ the Mayor this morning. He never said anything about wanting to pursue the #Rays. It was mere hypothetical.

@Buster_ESPN We were discussing a new [Nashville] Sounds stadium and the idea of an MLB team came up. The #Rays were just thrown out randomly.

From someone who was there in person, there’s NO truth to rumors of Nashville Mayor Karl Dean wanting to pursue the #Rays. Did not say it.

The problem? Huff only has 200 followers. And of course, Olney did not send any of Huff’s tweets to his thousands of followers. So very few people saw Huff’s tweets. And most people today still believe that Nashville is pursuing the Rays.

When staff at the St. Pete Times contacted the office of the Nashville mayor, his press secretary said “They were joking…It was just typical sports radio talk joking around. There’s nothing going on.”

With great power comes great responsibility. And @JohnBakerFSU and Buster Olney abused their power.

In the meantime, are you following @RaysIndex on Twitter? We’ll always try our best to make sure you get the whole story. Not just the part Buster Olney wishes were true.



  1. Blake says:

    I doubt they'd get the Rays, but I also don't think they'd have any more problem than we do at filling a baseball stadium.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I think that is a big thing helping the Rays in these situations. Nashville could be a very good baseball city. It is definitely a decent sports town. But the demographics dont look any better or worse than Tampa-St. Pete. That is, I would say most of these cities that get associated with the Rays are similar to Tampa-St. Pete. So if anything, a move is a lateral move, and just a move for movings sake. Now maybe Stu and Co. at some point think they just need the proverbial "change of scenery," but that is a very expensive gamble on something that could just end up being the same as where they are now.

  2. Caity says:

    Thank you Cork!, one of my friends on Twitter told me that yesterday that Nashville wanted the Rays. And I was like: "They are not moving out of Tampa!". Therefore, I asked you about it, and then this was published.

    Honestly. we just need to get out of St.Pete, not the state of Florida. But then again, Im just someone who watches the Rays, Im not Stu Sternberg (though Im considering writing a letter to him trying to prove we have fans...) I think I will cry if the Rays decided to move to Charlotte or Nashville. I wouldnt know what to do to be honest.

  3. JT says:

    *out of St.Pete .....

  4. NashVegas Ryan says:

    I just moved to Nashville. Selfishly I would love for the Rays to move here. I could go to games in person instead of just watching them on TV. But being born and raised in Tampa, I like my teams to stay where they are. It will make it a little sweeter when I go home to visit and get to go to a game.
    I have noticed some Rays gear around town thanks to Mr. David Price being from the area. Going to get a Price Vanderbilt jersey soon!

  5. An ESPN guy lied about the Rays? *gasp* How shocking. -.-


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