It’s interesting how some stories in the media take on a life of their own.
As I took my Wingate University sports reporting class to the Charlotte Knights’ game with the Norfolk Tides tonight, it was against the backdrop of a story that actually started national and then went local.
The Chicago White Sox had announced earlier in the week that veteran right-handed pitcher Bartolo Colon would make the first of several planned starts Thursday for the Charlotte Knights to rehabilitate a sore knee. Problem was, there was about a 24-hour period of time where Colon, who had been in Arizona doing some conditioning, wasn’t reachable. (Colon doesn’t exactly have a reputation as The Great Communicator anyway — according to an AP story, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said it took three days to get in contact with Colon after the team signed him as a free agent in the offseason.)
This became a major story this morning, as the Knights PR staff said they started receiving calls from Chicago media trying to determine if Colon had arrived in Charlotte. It made it to ESPN, and according to Knights PR staffers, that national validation sparked interest from local TV and radio stations, who then also jumped on the story.
But there was nothing to tell until shortly before the start of tonight’s game, when apparently Colon checked in to let the Knights know he was on the way. Now in a major league rehab assignment, the minor league manager is usually a fairly passive participant, letting the big league team set the agenda for their player. I asked Knights manager Chris Chambliss about all this after the game, a lackluster 5-1 loss by Charlotte to the Tides.
It provided a tiny moment of levity on a night when his team, which lost for the sixth time in seven games, hadn’t given him much to be happy about. Here’s the video:
Thanks to class member Chris Siers for shooting the interview.