#BBCtrending: Baseball trade prompts Detroit-bashing tweet
The 31 July trade deadline can be a trying time for US baseball fans. A favourite team could land key players to help win a championship or throw in the towel for the season by offloading high-priced talent.
It was just such a tale of two cities on Thursday when the Tampa Bay Rays shipped star pitcher David Price to Detroit in a blockbuster deal.
Fans in Detroit were thrilled. Those in Tampa were less than happy.
The local Fox affiliate station expressed its dismay with the following ill-advised tweet to its 40,000 followers:
The image, which was retweeted thousands of times, prompted immediate outcry. While sports rivalry talk between US cities is nothing new, picking on Detroit - which has seen its population plummet and recently had to file for bankruptcy - was seen by many as a low blow.
"Making fun of urban decay and poverty to make a #joke about #sports," writes SBNation's Grant Brisbee. "Very, very classy."
Yahoo Sports's David Brown writes that Detroit's economic hard times makes it an easy target for potshots, but St Petersburg, Florida - where the Rays play - actually has a higher property crime rate.
He adds: "If you've ever actually been to Detroit, and interacted with the people who work and live there, you'd never consider hurting their feelings like this."
Renee Monforton, director of communications at the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, told BBC Trending that the Tampa TV station's tweet was disappointing and that Price will be pleasantly surprised when he arrives in the Motor City.
"When we get people to come here, their perception completely changes," she says. "Detroit is a surprising place. If they haven't been here in a while, they really haven't been to Detroit."
Detroit prides itself on being a baseball town. Last year the Tigers drew 3,083,397 fans to their stadium, ranking it sixth in the league in overall attendance. Tampa Bay was dead last, with 1,510,300 tickets sold. That gave the local Detroit Fox station more than enough material for the following rebuttal:
After weathering the uproar, the Fox Tampa station issued an apology and deleted its original tweet.
Reporting by Anthony Zurcher
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