Last night after Baby Prof went to bed we decided to dive into one of our favorite rites of spring, Baseball Prospectus 2010. We were neck-deep in baseball statistics bliss when we came across Carl Crawford’s write-up which included this statement…

The Rays picked up Crawford’s $10 million option for 2010 amid reports that the move upset the outfielder, who allegedly had a handshake agreement that management would renegotiate a long-term deal instead.

First of all, there were no “reports.” There was one report. And the statement is of course referring to this post on New York Baseball Digest. In that report New York Baseball Digest claimed to have a source that said Crawford was “livid” over the Rays picking up his option based on a “handshake agreement” that the team would never pick up the option.

Of course the holes were big enough for Dioner Navarro to fit through and the story was debunked at several sites (including this one).

Let’s look past the idiocy of thinking both sides would first agree to a team option as part of a contract and at the same time have a “handshake agreement” that it would never be picked up. And let’s ignore how ridiculous it is for somebody to think that picking up an option means the two sides can’t continue to negotiate (something both sides say they are doing).  No, the post fails the “shit test” by not realizing the “management” that gave Crawford the deal (and the option) is no longer running the Rays. It would be impossible for Crawford to have a “handshake agreement” with Andrew Friedman in 2005.

We have yet to talk to a Rays fan or anybody that covers the Rays that thinks there is even an ounce of truth to the story*. Add that to the fact that New York Baseball Digest has zero track record of reliable sources in or near the Rays and there is absolutely no reason to think the story is true and even less reason to perpetuate a story from an unverified source.

But to our astonishment Baseball Prospectus did.

We have the utmost respect for the guys over at Baseball Prospectus. But to regurgitate this fecal matter in an actual book is beyond amateurish. We expect better from them. And you can be damn sure we are not reading the rest of the book as it now has about as much credibility in our eyes as New York Baseball Digest.

Shit is shit, no matter whose ass it comes out of. But the shit smells worse when we have to pay $15 for it.

*unless of course you think New York Baseball Digest were breaking the story that the Rays would not be able to extend Crawford, something that New York Baseball Digest and 32 million other sources have written.

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4 Comments

  1. Got to give you props for this line: "But to regurgitate this fecal matter in an actual book is beyond amateurish."

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  2. sweez says:

    unbelievable.

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  3. roarke says:

    I'm not saying this happened (and I doubt it did), but isn't is possible that the deal was signed in 2005 and then later in the course of attempting to re-negotiate the deal, Andrew Friedman agreed with Crawford's people that they wouldn't pick up the option (hence the "handshake agreement"). Like I said, I don't think that's probably the case, but it at least makes a little more sense that way. So, in that scenario the handshake agreement wasn't done at the same time as the contract with the team option, which, as you say, makes no sense at all.

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    • NYBD's original "report" says: "which was agreed upon by the two sides when Crawford first signed his contract."

      But even if they are implying that the handshake agreement happened after-the-fact...why? Why would the Rays ever agree to do that? What would they stand to gain?

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