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How I debunked the Cillian Murphy baseball photo (it honestly wasn’t that hard)

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by Adam Moynihan

A photograph of an MLB player who looks identical to Cork actor Cillian Murphy went viral last weekend. If you were online then you probably saw it.

The Twitter account @CodifyBaseball posted the picture just after midnight on Friday night (GMT) along with the caption: ‘tyler glasnow looking great so far today vs. the rangers’ (sic).

By Saturday morning, the image was everywhere. The post itself has around 6k retweets, 17k likes, and it has been viewed over 32 million times.

Several high-profile personalities with large followings were among the thousands of Twitter users to ‘quote tweet’ the original post, and these new posts were also seen by millions of people.

A number of well-known media outlets including tabloids in Ireland and the UK ran articles on the story. Sports Illustrated, the largest weekly sports magazine in the USA, published a piece on their website under the headline: ‘Sports World in Disbelief Over Rays Pitcher Bearing Striking Resemblance to Cillian Murphy’.

The reaction was consistent across the board. People were amazed. Glasnow and Murphy are identical. How could this be real?

As it turned out, the answer was pretty simple: it wasn't real at all.

When I first saw the tweet, I initially assumed that it was a photo of Cillian Murphy in a baseball uniform. I guess he must be doing a baseball movie, I thought to myself. Or maybe it's a guest spot on Eastbound & Down.

But when thousands of replies and quote retweets indicated that this was, in fact, a real baseball player called Tyler Glasnow, I was confused.

It’s one thing for two people to look alike but this was different. They had exactly the same face. I know doppelgangers exist in the real world but what are the chances? I was skeptical and decided to dig a little deeper.

The first thing I did was examine the photo a little more closely. I noticed an imperfection around one of the eyes that could possibly indicate that it was doctored in some way, but I didn’t feel as though it was definitive.

Then I googled the name ‘Tyler Glasnow’. Straight away - within a second - it became very obvious that the viral image was fake. Glasnow and Murphy are not identical.

Tyler Glasnow

I did, however, discover that baseball fans have been saying that the pair look like one another for at least three years. In certain photos there is some resemblance, but they are not identical.

The next step was to find the original image of Glasnow that I believed had been altered to make him look like Murphy. A reverse image search pulled up no results. This led me to believe that the image was a still or a screenshot taken from a video. This might make it harder to trace.

The original tweet implied that the image was taken from the Tampa Bay Rays’ match against the Texas Rangers on Friday, June 9, so I went to YouTube to find footage.

Scanning through a few different highlight packages, I was able to find several close-up shots of Glasnow, but they didn't match up with the viral image. For one thing, the seating in the background was sloping downwards left to right in the video and right to left in the image.

This was worrying as far as my investigation was concerned as it made me think that the image might be from a different game. I was pretty sure it was fake but it would have been a big ask to sift through dozens of Tampa Bay Rays matches to prove it. Especially when I was off the clock.

At this point I decided to check how many games Glasnow had played in this season. He recently recovered from injury so he had only made three appearances.

I noticed that the Rays appeared to be wearing a throwback jersey in the viral image. They wore the same jersey against the Rangers. I did a Google image search for the other two games that Glasnow played in this year and in both games the Rays wore their regular uniforms. It now seemed likely that the image was, indeed, taken from the Rangers game.

Next, I found a database with full broadcasts of all MLB games, including the one in question. Jumping forward five seconds at a time, I scanned for close-ups of Glasnow. There were plenty but, again, the background didn’t match. I was beginning to get disheartened.

But then, in the 33rd minute of the video, the camera cut to Glasnow as he walked off the field. I almost missed it but the blurry figures in the background looked right.

I went back to the start of this close-up and slowly went forward, frame by frame, until it all clicked into place. The background, the body position, the uniform, the shadows, even the outline of the head, everything matched up perfectly with the viral image.

Except, of course, for the face.

In reality, Glasnow barely looks like Murphy at all. The still image had been doctored somehow to replace his face with Murphy’s.

I shared my findings on Twitter and a couple of the media outlets backtracked and said that Cillian Murphy fans had been "tricked". (Note how it was the fans who were tricked, not the media outlets with massive audiences, or their journalists who didn’t bother to do any research).

One paper deleted their article and the rest just left it as it was.

To be honest, I don’t think they care. They got their clicks. On to the next one.

Many of the prominent Twitter accounts who shared the fake image were alerted to the fact that it was fake. From what I can tell, the vast majority didn’t relay this information on to their followers.

It’s only a photo of a baseball player who looks like an actor. No one got hurt. But it’s a perfect example of how willing we are, even in this age of misinformation, to believe the things we see online without really questioning whether or not they’re real.

With AI becoming more prevalent and more accessible, distinguishing fact from fiction is only going to get harder.

Unfortunately, if people in the media aren’t willing to spend 30 minutes conducting basic research before spreading a lie, I’m afraid we’re fighting a losing battle.

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Kerry Camogie vow to back players in shorts/skorts controversy

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by Adam Moynihan

The Kerry County Board will back their players if they decide to defy the rulebook and wear shorts after officials at the Camogie Association’s National Congress voted to keep the controversial skort.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, Kerry Camogie chairperson Ann Marie Russell confirmed that she is fully behind the players, the vast majority of whom want the skort to be binned.

“I know there have been calls for a protest, that they would all go out the first weekend of the championship and wear shorts,” Russell said. “If the players felt that was something they wanted to do, Kerry Camogie would absolutely support them.

“It should be up to the people who it affects. It doesn’t matter to me what the players wear or what they look like. They should be comfortable.”

The punishment for not wearing the correct playing gear is a yellow card which can be followed by a red card for dissent if not rectified.

Players say the skirt-like garment is not comfortable and they were hopeful that it would finally become a thing of the past when the issue was raised at Congress in Kildare last weekend.

However, a motion by Tipperary and Kerry to replace it with shorts was defeated by 64% to 36%. A similar proposal by Great Britain and Meath which would have given players the option to choose between skorts and shorts also fell well short of the two-thirds majority required (55% against, 45% in favour).

Voting was carried out by delegates from the various county boards as well as members of central and provincial councils. The majority of voters were female.

As one of Kerry’s two delegates, Russell confirmed that she voted in line with the players’ wishes, but she fears that delegates from some counties didn’t do likewise.

“Our job as delegates is to speak on behalf of the players and I definitely felt as though that wasn’t reflected by some of the other counties. I don’t know any girl in any age group at any level that goes to training in a skort. That, in itself, should speak volumes to the powers that be. Even the counties that wanted to keep the skorts, there’s no way their girls go training in skorts. I know they don’t.

“When camogie first started, women weren’t allowed to wear pants, so they had no choice but to wear skirts. They were longer at the time and things have evolved since then. The design is better. But there is a misconception that there are shorts underneath the skirts so ‘what’s the big deal?’ They’re not shorts, they’re compression shorts. That’s not the same thing.

“And look, I’m not wearing the skorts so it doesn’t matter to me. You have to listen to the players. That’s what I feel.

“We’re making decisions that really have little relevance to us, so we really have to take our players’ opinions into it. I’m not sure how many delegates go back and ask their players about these motions before they vote on them.”

Also speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, Kerry senior player Niamh Leen outlined the specific issues players have with the skort.

“If you went around the country, I guarantee you that you’d only find a handful of girls actually training in a skort,” the Clanmaurice woman said. “I’ve never been to a training session where someone was wearing a skort. We’re all in shorts.

“The practical side of it is that they’re really uncomfortable. They’re constantly rising up and I spend the majority of the match pulling the skort down instead of concentrating on the game. It shouldn’t be that way.”

According to Leen, the discomfort felt by players is not just physical. There is also a psychological discomfort involved.

“I am very paranoid about the skort, especially the length. You spend a lot of time bending over to pick up the ball and I am conscious of it. Even if you size up, it’s still too short. The only way to counteract it is to wear Skins (base layer) underneath which I don’t really like doing because that’s not overly comfortable either.

“It should be a players’ vote at the end of the day. We’re the ones who actually have to wear them and we should be the ones having the say. But, unfortunately, it’s not up to us.

“It’s very, very annoying. I could use harsher words but it is just frustrating, you know? We’ve wanted this motion to be passed for so many years.

“Nobody I know likes playing in a skort and it’s frustrating that our own organisation aren’t taking the players into account.”

This is not the first time a proposal to replace the skort has been rejected and players will have to wait another three years for the next Congress to try to alter the rules on an official basis.

Leen believes that she and her colleagues should not have to wait that long and questions the reasoning of those delegates who voted to keep the status quo.

“Honestly, I think it’s to keep the tradition and to keep us unique, and maybe they see the skorts as being more feminine, which is just mind-boggling for me. I just don’t understand how that could be a reason to keep something that’s making girls uncomfortable.

“I understand that it’s the tradition, but sometimes traditions have to move on.”

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MATCH PREVIEW: Kerry name strong team for league final showdown with Armagh

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by Adam Moynihan

Lidl National League Division 1 Final

Kerry v Armagh

Sunday 3pm

Croke Park

Live on TG4

The Kerry ladies return to Croke Park on Sunday hoping to retain their Division 1 crown and managers Declan Quill and Darragh Long have named a strong-looking line-up for their battle against Armagh.

Kerry mostly used the league for experimenting but they still managed to win five of their seven matches, enough to secure a top two finish.

Now almost all of The Kingdom’s big hitters are back in play, as evidenced by the team they have selected for this weekend’s Division 1 decider at HQ.

Eleven members of the side that lost to Dublin in last year’s All-Ireland final have been selected to start against Armagh. The four “new” starters are goalkeeper Mary Ellen Bolger, full back Deirdre Kearney, midfielder Mary O’Connell and full forward Emma Dineen.

Dineen has rejoined the panel following a spell abroad and has slotted seamlessly into Kerry’s full forward line. She will be flanked by Footballer of the Year Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh and the skilful Hannah O’Donoghue, who scored 1-2 against Galway a fortnight ago.

The only really notable absentee – apart from veterans like Emma Costello and Louise Galvin who haven’t yet featured for the team in 2024 – is Síofra O’Shea. The dynamic attacker, who heroically came off the bench in last year’s All-Ireland despite damaging her ACL in the lead-up to the game, is still rehabbing that serious injury.

Meanwhile, the return of All-Star defender Cáit Lynch bolsters Kerry’s back six. The Castleisland Desmonds woman has been used sparingly so far this year and she came on at half-time in that final regulation league game versus Galway.

Quill and Long are likely to call on substitutes Amy Harrington and Danielle O’Leary to make an impact if and when required.

Kerry’s sole loss in the league came at the hands of their final opponents, Armagh, who are looking to emulate what The Kingdom achieved last season by winning Division 1 at the first attempt after gaining promotion from Division 2 the previous season.

The Orchard County beat Kerry by 3-14 to 1-13 at the Athletic Grounds just over a month ago.

They flew through the regular phase of the 2024 competition, winning six games in a row before losing to Dublin in Round 7 with many key players being rested.

Star forward Aimee Mackin has been in blistering form. She has racked up 6-21 (4-15 from play) to date, including 2-6 (1-6 from play) in that meeting between the eventual finalists in March.

Armagh had not yet named their team for the final as this article was being published.

This match forms part of a double header with the Division 2 final between Kildare and Tyrone (1pm). Both games will be televised live on TG4.

Kerry team to play Armagh:

1. Mary Ellen Bolger (Southern Gaels)

2. Cáit Lynch (Castleisland Desmonds)

3. Deirdre Kearney (Na Gaeil)

4. Eilís Lynch (Castleisland Desmonds)

5. Aishling O’Connell (Scartaglin)

6. Ciara Murphy (MKL Gaels)

7. Kayleigh Cronin (Dr Crokes)

8. Mary O’Connell (Na Gaeil)

9. Anna Galvin (Southern Gaels)

10. Niamh Carmody (Captain – Finuge/St Senan’s)

11. Niamh Ní Chonchúir (Corca Dhuibhne)

12. Lorraine Scanlon (Castleisland Desmonds)

13. Hannah O’Donoghue (Beaufort)

14. Emma Dineen (Glenflesk)

15. Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh (Corca Dhuibhne)

Subs: Ciara Butler, Danielle O’Leary, Amy Harrington, Ciara McCarthy, Ciara O’Brien, Katie Brosnan, Aoife Dillane, Bríd O’Connor, Kate O’Sullivan, Eilís O’Connor, Fay O’Donoghue, Jess Gill, Róisín Smith, Siobhán Burns, Keri-Ann Hanrahan.

Follow Adam on Twitter/X for all the latest updates from the Ladies Division 1 final at Croke Park

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