Similar stories often pop up in the world of beat writers. Right now, for example, the not-happening Jonathan Papelbon trade is the top Phillies story. So it makes sense that all the beats would have something to write about it. What doesn’t make sense, is why something that is based on fact looks to have been plagiarized.
Ryan Lawrence noticed that the third to last paragraph in his “Papelbon-to-Brewers looks dead” and the second to last paragraph in Matt Lombardo’s “Jonathan Papelbon trade rumors: Talks between Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers appear dead” look indistinguishable.
Ryan Lawrence, posted this morning at 3:01 AM:
Matt Lombardo, posted at 10:24 AM, updated at 7:11 PM:
In case you can’t see those pictures, here’s the text as originally written by Lawrence:
Papelbon has a limited no-trade clause – he’d have to approve a deal to 17 teams, including Milwaukee – and he has a burdensome contract, too. The 34-year-old is in line to make $13 million this season and has a vesting option for another $13 million in 2016 that kicks in if he finishes 48 games in 2015.
In that second screengrab (from Lombardo), which I just snapped, the word “clause” is missing. It was in Lawrence’s original screengrab.
It’s one thing if Lawrence and Lombardo both presented Papelbon’s contract details in a similar way, or if there was a blockquote citation (which we do all the time). In this case, Lombardo linked to Lawrence’s story [UPDATE: not when the post first went live] but copied the entire paragraph in a way that wasn’t obvious. That’s straight lifting. Lombardo hasn’t responded to the Tweets.
UPDATE: Matt Lombardo has since edited his post to feature the offending graf as a block quote: