Detroit TV newscast mistakes A-Rod for Nelson Mandela

David Brown
Big League Stew

Nelson Mandela, a man of resolute character, vast accomplishment and immeasurable influence died Thursday at age 95. He also looked nothing like New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. And yet, NBC station WDIV-TV in Detroit confused one for the other during a newscast segment that was meant to pay tribute to Mandela by putting up a graphic of A-Rod holding a bat.

What happened probably was just a glitch. Somebody in a studio pressed a wrong button and a digital file of A-Rod appeared where there should have been Mandela. Live TV, folks! Sorry! Does it seem strange that a TV station (in Detroit, at that) would electronically "file" a photo of A-Rod near one of Mandela? Without knowing how a TV station works beyond "Broadcast News," a little. A-Rod is appealing a 211-game suspension in Major League Baseball, not a 27-year prison sentence in South Africa. He's not really a political prisoner, his calls for justice aside. Getting him mixed up with Derek Jeter, or Don Kelly, OK.

Granted, the shot of A-Rod made him look pensive, as though he was "remembering Nelson Mandela" while (presumably) in the on-deck circle. Perhaps he was. We'll never know.

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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