Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 5/28/12

The Chicago Cubs AAA affiliate, the Iowa Cubs, made a huge PR department blunder tonight; their media relations employees appear either a.) incompetent or b.) manipulative. When the organization itself (the insider of all insiders) gets the news wrong, as they did regarding top prospect Anthony Rizzo, it’s either gross negligence or a desperate play for publicity.

You tell me Iowa Cubs, which is it?

Rizzo, an MLB super-prospect and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor, was removed from tonight’s game in the sixth inning fueling rumors that he was called up to the major league club. Twitter went absolutely nuclear. This series of tweets by the Iowa Cubs official account was the core reactor.

“We have no further information on Rizzo. FWIW: All transactions involving Iowa Cubs players are always announced first in Chicago” the first tweet said around 8 pm.

Ok, so you’re saying, we should focus our attention on @Cubs for news on this, right?

“Radio report: Rizzo leaves Iowa Cubs dugout, heads to clubhouse” was the next Rizzo related tweet.

Wait, so the team’s radio broadcast? Or is it an external radio reporter, knew something that the team didn’t? Huh? Is this possible?

“Radio report: Rizzo exit did not appear to be due to injury” said the next tweet.

And boom goes the dynamite. This “reporting” of falsehood, by the team itself nonetheless, sent the rumor mill spinning out of control, Twitter exploded, and the Cubs’ own media relations department got word to media members to clarify the situation.

Later the Iowa Cubs tweeted:

Chicago Cubs report: “Anthony Rizzo left tonight’s game with right wrist soreness. He is currently listed as day-to-day.”

I hope someone @IowaCubs was fired over causing a stir like this. See this is why you’re in the minors and not up in the big leagues. So again, error or publicity stunt? ESPN national Major League writer Buster Olney was the among the first to report the actual story, and I’m guessing he wasn’t at that ballpark. I don’t think he covers AAA ball.

So when is Rizzo coming for real? The Cubs are in the midst of their worst losing streak in 15 years, and are on pace to lose 110 games. So there’s no time like the present to see about the future. Maybe ESPN Chicago gives us the best clue as to when the slugging first baseman will get here:

Cubs manager Dale Sveum suggested during the Cubs last homestand that Rizzo could be called on to help when the club begins the road portion of their interleague schedule and a designated hitter is utilized.

It isn’t known if the injury would alter those plans. The Cubs begin a three-game series at the Minnesota Twins on June 8. They also have a three-game series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field that begins July 18.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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