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Wild Internet Story Of The Day - Baseball Prospectus Writer Fired After Being Outed As A Catfish That Harassed Women Online

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(FULL STORY AT AWFUL ANNOUNCING) A baseball blogger who went by the name Ryan Schultz has been fired from gigs at Baseball Prospectus and Beyond the Box Score amid allegations that the writer harassed women on Twitter while posting under an assumed identity.

Schultz’s alleged catfishing ploy, and the harassment that accompanied it, came to light thanks to a Twitter user named Erin, who shared a long note Wednesday night accusing the since-deactivated account of emotionally abusing and harassing her and several of her friends. She claimed that Schultz was not the married man he purported to be but was in fact a 21-year-old woman.

Reached by Awful Announcing on Wednesday night, Erin (who requested we withhold her last name) explained that she met “Schultz” through mutual friends earlier this year and became close with someone she believed to be a male baseball writer. Over time, Erin said, Schultz became “emotionally dependent” on her, resisting her attempts to pull away from the relationship. Erin said Schultz solicited nude photographs from one of her friends and repeatedly harassed her in a way she found manipulative and misogynistic. Erin claims to have discovered Schultz’s supposed true identity by searching through Facebook and tracing the phone number Schultz used to contact her.

Well this is fucked up. First of all I genuinely feel awful for anyone that was duped by this teenage girl pretending to be a grown man (I didn’t include their tweets because they probably would prefer to not have more attention brought to this shitty experience). The internet is a shitty cynical place that drains you of your faith in humanity almost every single day. So to have what you think is a real relationship end up being completely fabricated and actually a vulturous catfisher, that’s brutal. I can’t imagine what that moment must have felt like and that sucks beyond belief. The victims in this don’t deserve the emotional pain they’re probably going through right now, and it’s one of those things where a crime may not have been committed so justice may never be served to their satisfaction. Just brutal.

Now with all that said, the real story to me is the websites that had this person writing for them. I don’t understand how a site employed a teenage girl/now woman pretending to be a grown man without anyone figuring it out? Did they not pay her/him? Did they never talk on the phone? Did they ever do a little bit of a background check? That feels like the story here. How do you not do 2 seconds of research to figure out the person you employ and that is writing under your website’s name is actually a completely fabricated person? So fucking bizarre.

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But good news is, “Ryan” has been let go. This from Nate Greabe, who is the Co-Editor in Chief of BP-Wrigleyville

I guess that means the story is over now. Nate Greabe said they fired the person as soon as they found out about the catfish, even though the person had been writing for them for what looks like at least a year if not 2. Case closed. That’s all we needed, a simple statement, 1 tweet, no explanation, no how the hell did this happen and whether or not they ever dug deeper than a 5 minute google search. Way to own it guys. Proud of you.

Now let’s just hope Nate or someone from Baseball Prospectus Wrigleyville never gets the chance to sing the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley, otherwise I may have to write something like this. Hypothetically speaking of course.

Last night, the Cubs invited Nate Greabe of Baseball Prospectus Wrigleyville —a website that employed a catfisher that harassed and emotionally abused women online —to sing the seventh inning stretch.

 

Many fans met this news with a familiar discomfort. Others, many of whom are women that were viciously duped by the catfish writer from Baseball Prospectus – Wrigleyville met this news with a familiar pain. There is no need to rehash the catfish offense of Baseball Prospectus Wrigleyville and its affiliates (the catfish also wrote for Baseball Prospectus – South Side) over the years, but the pain was another example of something people have experienced—now in many contexts—as they root for the Cubs.

Wait, that sounds too familiar, hmmmmmm

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