Trades and Seamheads
Bob Finnigan, everyone’s favorite beat writer and incorrect rumor monger extraordinaire, has two pieces in the Times this morning. The daily notebook column and Terrible Trip Muddles M’s, nominally a game recap but really more of a Crazy Rumors From Bob’s Secret Sources piece, one of which we’ve grown accustomed to reading. Some of Finnigan’s claims had me shaking my head, so here’s a brief response to a few of the comments.
CLEVELAND Ã¢â‚¬â€ Seamheads Ã¢â‚¬â€ fans of baseball who get very deep into the game, history and statistics Ã¢â‚¬â€ will be pleased to know that the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) will hold its 2006 convention in Seattle.
Did you know Pat Gillick is a member of SABR, but none of the authors of this blog are? Do you think Finnigan would call Gillick a seamhead? Me neither.
A recent report that the Yankees had a scout here watching Winn is not exactly correct. New York had two scouts at Jacobs Field all of last week, watching Grady Sizemore, among others, on the Cleveland club.
This kind of comment bothers the heck out of me. There’s a huge misunderstanding in the role of professional scouts among fans, and this doesn’t help at all. It’s technically correct, as I’m sure that the Yankees did have scouts at Jacobs Field all week, and I’m sure they did watch Grady Sizemore, since he was playing and all, but the connotation that Finnigan is making is that the Yankees scouts were there to evaluate Sizemore as a potential acquisition. The Indians aren’t trading Grady Sizemore. No way, no how.
The New York Post ran a story yesterday headlined, “Just Winn, Baby.” It reported that the Mariners had scouts Dan Evens and Bob Harrison watching the Yankees in Anaheim. Harrison and Evans are based in Southern California and watch a lot of teams play the Angels.
And here, Finnigan actually gets it right on the button. The presence of scouts at a certain ballgame can often mean nothing other than “they were in the area”. Harrison and Evans may have been scouting the Yankees at the request of the front office, but more likely, they marked this series on their schedule weeks ago as one they would cover as part of their regular duties.
Yet, Winn going to the Yankees remains an intriguing possibility. What would Seattle get in return? One guess is pitcher Carl Pavano, who is on the disabled list but someone the Mariners had great interest in as a free agent last winter.
At least he used the word “guess”. Because there’s nothing to this at all. It’s speculation of the worst kind, no more informed than the made-up trade ideas that populate message boards and threads here that involve Ryan Howard. The Yankees currently have a rotation that includes Johnson, Mussina, Pavano, the shell of Kevin Brown, and the remains of Al Leiter. If they dealt Pavano, they’d get to enjoy the Darrell May experiment again.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the M’s and Yankees discuss Pavano in the offseason, as those who were at the feed heard Bavasi speak highly of Pavano and how well they felt he would have fit in at Safeco Field. But the Yankees, in the midst of a pennant race, aren’t trading one of the three major league starting pitchers they have for Randy Winn.
So why did Finnigan “guess”? I guess it makes for better copy than saying that the M’s are interested in Sean Henn, who most fans have never heard of, and posted an 11.86 ERA in three starts with New York.
Note to Bob: The trade deadline is crazy enough without a man who has access to the front office “guessing” in the local papers. If you’re not going to bother using the credibility that “Seattle Times Beatwriter” still carries with most of the fanbase, then give up the post. Lord knows the sportspage over there could use a shakeup, probably moreso than the Mariners.