This is what we hate about baseball’s new “Hot Stove League”…
By now most of you have heard about the Rays supposed interest in Oakland’s Joe Blanton.
From the report:
At least two teams are showing significant interest in Blanton, one of which figures to be the Reds…The Twins, desperate for a veteran starting pitcher, could be one possibility for Blanton. The Rays, deep in prospects, could be another.
It was just a guess. Pure speculation. Never mind that there are about 20 reasons not to make this trade.
In Anderson’s defense, he actually takes the stance that the trade would be a bad idea (he is right), but both RA and DRB write their pieces as if the Rays are indeed talking to the A’s about a trade, despite a lack of evidence to suggest this is true.
from Rays Anatomy:
Having made one move for Matt Garza earlier this off-season, general manager Andrew Friedman is once again in the mix for another possible arm to add to the starting staff.
from DRays Bay:
I’m not going to divulge into the price for him, because like everyone outside of the Oakland and Tampa offices I simply have no clue what it is or will be.
Anderson does refer to the talks as “Joe Blanton rumors”, but the only reason it is a “rumor” in the first place is because these sites misrepresented the words of one person. Besides, does a rumor that has zero merit require 750 words? For comparison, most Rays columns in the Tampa Tribune and the St. Pete Times run between 500-600 words, and those are rarely based on the whimsical guessing of a FoxSports.com writer.
This is not meant as a referendum on either of these two sites. If a writer thinks trading for Blanton is a good idea or a bad idea, they should tell us that and why. But there is no need to present this as something that may actually happen when there is zero evidence that it actually could.
This is something that is not restricted to blogs. In fact journalists are also guilty, more so because of their wider audiences. Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote an article in which he speculated that the Rays would trade Scott Kazmir this off-season. His source? “An executive familiar with Tampa’s thinking”. For all we know, he talked to the VP of a Starbucks. Next thing we knew the rumor was everywhere, that the Rays were seeking to trade Kazmir.
In today’s baseball landscape, everybody loves a good rumor. But many are not careful as to how they handle those rumors, turning something as simple as one person’s “guess” into a full-fledged trade negotiation between two teams.
We understand it is a slow news week, but we owe it to Rays fans to report the happenings in the Raysiverse accurately and fairly. A typical fan that reads these sites should not have to take the time to read the original source. They should be able to read articles like these and know that the “rumor” was never so. Otherwise, we have to deal with a dozen emails asking us what we think about Blanton, which makes us write 600 words on why the rumors are toilet, when we would rather be talking about how hot Ben Zobrists’ wife is.
By the way…the second team that Rosenthal was trying to guess? It was the Dodgers.
Why Trade For Joe Blanton? [Rays Anatomy]
Rays Interested In Blanton? [DRays Bay]
A Game of Large, Grotesque Shadows [DRays Bay]
Scott-Stove League [New York Post]
Blanton May Be Traded [MLB Trade Rumors]