Yesterday RJ Anderson of DRays Bay reported that a source informed him of a trade that would send Boof Bonser to the Rays was close to being made.

I have from a reliable source that Boof Bonser has told people close to him that a deal with him heading to Tampa is imminent.

Later in the day, Marc Topkin dismissed the report as just another internet rumor.

One [trade possibility] that made its way into Internet rumors that [the Tampa Bay Rays] are not discussing involves Minnesota pitcher Boof Bonser, a Gibbs High product.

There is only one small problem…Anderson’s source? It was Boof Bonser.

Boof Bonser is in the area for a golf tournament and while speaking to a group of people, he mentioned that the Twins were close to completing a deal that would have him pitching for the Rays in 2008. Among the group of people that Bonser was speaking with, was JP Peterson of WFLA. Somebody from Peterson’s radio show contacted Anderson to relay the quotes from Bonser. The potential trade was then reported on DRays Bay and also apparently on the radio show Hot Lunch with JP Peterson (we heard about the latter from more than one of our own sources, but have yet to actually hear a tape of the show).

We assume that Topkin then contacted his sources within the Rays organization to verify or refute the trade talks. We are forced to assume this because Topkin does not tell us why he believes the trade rumor is not true. His source is most likely from within the organization and may in fact have been Andrew Friedman, as Topkin’s claim comes at the end of an article with several quotes from Friedman.

It is not surprising that a major league general manager would deny the veracity of a trade rumor. It is surprising that an experienced journalist, or anybody with a heartbeat, would assume that the general manager was telling him/her the truth. Marc Topkin took what the Rays said as being truthful and then smugly dismissed Anderson’s report as just another internet rumor, as if he just pulled it out of his own ass.

Trade rumors are a common topic among baseball blogs. Most often it is simply relaying something that was reported elsewhere and sometimes a blogger will speculate on trade matchups. Is it possible that RJ Anderson or his source made up the quotes attributed to Bonser? We have no reason to think he would make them up. No more reason than we ever think that Marc Topkin makes up his reports.

At least Anderson reported that he had a source. Topkin dismissed the rumor without even telling us if he had a source or if it was own speculation. And in doing so, came off as an elitist that thinks bloggers just sit around in their parents basements making shit up. We have read a lot of these so-called “internet rumors”. 90% are probably not true. 99.9% of those rumors were started by professional reporters like Marc Topkin.

Does anybody have the phone number for Marc Topkin’s parents basement? We have a rumor for him.

[Ed. note: Marc Lancaster of TBO is also reporting that it is his “understanding that there’s nothing to” the Bonser trade rumor. Like Topkin, Lancaster does not tell us if he checked with his sources or if he is just speculating. At least he did not dismiss it as just another rumor that is floating around the internet.]

Boof coming to Tampa? [Drays Bay]
Friedman: The time is now []



  1. Anonymous says:

    Topkin threw another one out there today (about the Twins shortstop) without telling us where he gets his info.

    It's as if he is sitting in on the trade talks with Friedman.

    Of course maybe he got it from FoxSports which reported it earlier in the day. We will never know, because Topkin doesnt tell us, unlike this site and DRB which always list their sources.

  2. Anonymous says:

    there is an irony to dismissing a rumor as just being something that blossomed on the internet...when Topkin writes for the internet version of a newspaper which is essentially copying the medium of which he is subtly criticizing.

  3. Robert Rittner says:

    As worthwhile as this site is it suffers from the same malady that sports talk radio and other pandering media outlets have. To get attention it exaggerates and huffs and puffs.

    Topkin does not suck. You may or may not like his columns, but they are the work of a professional columnist who respects the more progressive analytical community and writes balanced and fair minded opinion pieces. Both he and Romano, who I think is particularly thoughtful, are excellent writers who eschew the more common inanities of journalists like Plaschke or Chass, for example.

    I cannot comment on his dismissal of the Bonser rumor which was discussed at length at DRAys Bay, generally with less hyperbole. Perhaps he ought to have been more respectful; perhaps he should be more forthcoming about his sources, although I am guessing he cannot do so and retain them. In any case, if it was an error, it is hardly proof that he sucks any more than some of the tendentious philosophizing in War and Peace makes it a "sucky" book.

    I know contemporary discussion accepts rude and ugly phrases as the norm. I know that it is expected that writers attack and appear uncompromising in their opinions. It remains, in my view, a style that is unconvincing and unproductive and frankly shameful.

  4. Anonymous says:

    i must say that this post is the most assanine thing i have ever read. do you forget that topkin has been the beat writer for the rays since day 1. do you think he would have any reason to make a statement that he did not believe was true. if you do, you idiacy is transparent. in the future i would advise you to keep your comments to yourself or you may end up with a devils ray bat stuck straight up your ass.

  5. Elijah's 6th Love Child says:

    there is something humorous about somebody referring to somebody else's "idiocy" and spelling the word wrong.

    And The Prof's point was a valid one. There is no reason for Topkin to dismiss a rumor so casually without telling us why he is dismissing it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Topkin is just all-knowing. He doesn't have sources. He just knowssss man!

    In fact, Marc Topkin is probably conducting all the negotiations himself. Friedman and Co. are sitting on a beach in Bora Bora sipping Margaritas.

    Who are you to question him?

    He will tell you what you need to know.

  7. The Professor says:

    wow. my first physical threat.

    not sure what to tell ya. facts are facts.

    it was NOT just a rumors making the rounds on the internet. Anderson had a source and a pretty good one.

    Topkin did indeed smugly tell us that the report was not true without telling us how he knew that, or if he was just speculating himself.

    ps why a "Devil Rays" bat? Didnt they change their name? and besides i thought only delmon young threatened people with bats and the Rays just traded him.

  8. Robert Rittner says:

    Again, my criticism is not that you think Topkin was wrong but that using this incident to support the incendiary headline is simply invalid.

    As a matter of fact, it seems he was probably right. And it is unusual for reporters or columnists to identify their sources. More often they say "informed sources" or nothing at all. Topkin did nothing unusual in casually dismissing a rumor.

    There is little comparison between bloggers and journalists. The latter have different standards to meet and different expectations from their readers. If I post on a blog I assume people will not credit anything I say unless I provide specific sources because I have no particular access. But unless long experience proves otherwise, newspaper readers assume reporters have such sources and will not name them in most cases. Their credibility derives from their reliability alone and the reasonableness of their essays.

    Internet rumors are viruses. It does not mean all are meaningless, and as a matter of fact I have enormous respect for R.J. Anderson and believe he posts only after checking his sources. But no matter how many verify it, they are not trustworthy. Topkin did nothing wrong in dismissing that particular rumor, and even if he did err that is hardly a significant point to castigate him as your headline does in a most vulgar way.

    Perhaps it is a stylistic point, although I do think it is more serious. But whatever it is, I object to writing that invites invective as a normal kind of discussion. (I have no objection to it is some selective cases.) Notice by the way how in this case it led to a silly digression about threats and more overheated attacks instead of encouraging real discussion. That sort of writing ("Topkin sucks") turns back on itself.

  9. Anonymous says:

    well i must admit that i am rather surprised that you replied to my comment, just didnt think you could read. anyway buddy, did you see today's news? big trade for mthe rays, withe the twins, 3 players but none of them with the name bonser.

    did you mever think that topkin didnt tell you his source because he doesnt give a fuck what you think. AS ALWAYS YOUARE WRONG AND HE WAS RIGHT. TYPICAL VERY TYPICAL.

    oh, and by the way if you would prefer i choose a differnt teams bat to shove up your ass, i'm taking requests

  10. Anonymous says:

    oh and please keep your grammatical comments to yourslf they are so childish. some of us just have the luxary of a secratary and others dont...

  11. Robert Rittner says:

    While he does identify a source- a file-he would not identify the person involved, and if you read more into the article you will see that as a rule journalists will not name sources. As I said, sometimes they do not even claim a source. To criticize Topkin for making a statement without identifying how he knows it is unreasonable.

    Incidentally, if you read Topkin's article today about the Percival signing, you will see what I mean that he respects progressive analysis. Look at his remarks on Bartlett's defense. They refer to fielding bible metrics as important means for assessing his performance.


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