Ichiro traded for magic beans!

DMZ · November 11, 2005 at 12:21 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Ichiro to New York! Griffey to Seattle! Cuban vampire baby pitcher throws 104mph escapes to Costa Rica, Yankees interested!

It’s baseball off-season time. We’ve already seen a huge amount of hysteria around a dumb New York Post rumor that Ichiro’s available, in particular, so I wanted to offer this:

– writers have to write about something
– front offices are trying to work deals
– front offices use the writers

This is important to remember. Let’s say your team wants to pick up Player A. You might spread rumors he’s looking to get out, wants to play for a contender, whatever, and that the team’s thinking about trading him.

Then you let the rumor mill churn for a bit, and you call up the other team and say “I read you might be shopping Player A. What would you want for him?”

Some teams are hoooooooooooooooooorrrible about this. Both New York teams, with the city’s massive media, are the worst. Some random under-assistant to the guy who stocks the vending machines thinks they should go get Felix Hernandez, and bam! It’s in the tabloids: “A Yankee front office source confirmed the team is interested in trading for Mariner pitching prospect Felix…”

If you follow baseball for long enough, you’ll get a feel for what other teams do this, and for that matter, what other teams use the media for (character assasination, for instance, rather than rumor-mongering).

And think about sourcing. Baseball’s a small game, and information gets around, but “an NL scout” knows as much about what Bavasi & Co. are talking about as you or me: zippo.

Which is to say, there are a couple questions you should ask when you come across these rumors:
– Does this rumor make any sense?
– Reading the rest of the article, is it well-written and thought-out (do it have a bunch of players going to teams that don’t need them, for instance)?
– Is the writer known and generally dependable?
– Is the paper known for good coverage or sensationalism?


Larry Stone or Morosi writing that the team’s considering whether they should try to move Ichiro is worth something.

The NY Post writing that Ichiro wants to go to New York because he wants to win a World Series is worth *nothing*.

A random internet site filled with half-crazy trade speculation (Delgado traded to Arizona in a 12-player, eight-team trade that sends Jamie Moyer to the moon!) is worth nothing.

Don’t waste your time on worthless rumors. Don’t waste other people’s time on worthless rumors. Thanks.


74 Responses to “Ichiro traded for magic beans!”

  1. JMB on November 11th, 2005 4:56 pm

    Vazquez reportely wants to be closer to his home in Puerto Rico, as well as east of the mountain time zone, so Arizona to Seattle doesn’t really seem like an improvement.

  2. lisa on November 11th, 2005 5:19 pm

    When I opened the main page the words “Ichiro traded” burst from the page and my stomach immediately galloped into my shoes. Whew.

  3. Gregor on November 11th, 2005 5:27 pm

    The only hitter who used to have Vampire Baby’s number was Chuck Knoblauch, but he’s retired now. (Sorry if this doesn’t make sense to non-German speakers.)

  4. GunnarT on November 11th, 2005 5:48 pm

    Sorry folks, according to the Cuban vampire baby’s agent, signing with Seattle has hit a snag. His agent has requested that management stop selling garlic fries on the days he would pitch and no mirrors in the clubhouse.

  5. wabbles on November 11th, 2005 6:18 pm

    RE: 31 Well I guess the Yankees being masters of the pump-and-dump strategy also would explain why we fell for Nelson and Martinez for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock. If that’s true though, then what does that mean for the assertions this past summer (mighta been you, can’t remember) that the Yankees actually did have prospects worth trading for? RE: 39 The vampire baby pitcher was FROM CUba, he escaped to Costa Rica. So are you saying he went Haiti-Cuba-Costa Rica to increase interest because people would regard him as Cuban and not Haitian?

  6. roger tang on November 11th, 2005 6:42 pm

    RE: 31 Well I guess the Yankees being masters of the pump-and-dump strategy also would explain why we fell for Nelson and Martinez for Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock. If that’s true though, then what does that mean for the assertions this past summer (mighta been you, can’t remember) that the Yankees actually did have prospects worth trading for?

    Not that much; pump-and-dump just means hype. Just because you’re hyping all your prospects doesn’t mean you don’t have something of value; the trick is to cut through the hype to find the gems.

  7. Pete on November 11th, 2005 7:16 pm

    JayVS said “ESPN.com is generally known for good coverage.”

    I’m not sure ESPN has been known as a reliable source for real sports news for a number of years. I wouldn’t say that they never get anything right, but I’ve learned to think twice about most of what is said and written by ESPN.

    They really are more of a hype-machine now than anything else. I watch highlights on ESPN, and look at box scores on ESPN.com, but beyond that, it’s not much use. I would take a lot of what they report with a grain of salt.

    Just a suggestion.

  8. You Got Cut In High School on November 11th, 2005 8:32 pm

    I really can’t get excited about the offseason until I see one thing in print: “Mariners release starting pitcher Ryan Franklin.” Please. Do it. Now.

  9. Andren on November 11th, 2005 9:31 pm

    Cuban vampire baby pitcher throws 104mph escapes to Costa Rica, Yankees interested!

    ROTFLMAO. Easily the highlight of my day. Now off to the pub.

  10. Sir TopHam Hatt on November 11th, 2005 9:41 pm

    This quote from Bavasi seems to definately go against an Ichiro type deal…

    general manager Bill Bavasi said of potential trades, “We’re not going to carve one hole to plug another,”

  11. Bela Txadux on November 12th, 2005 1:24 am

    I might add that the New York Post is worth considerably less than it’s purchase price on a daily basis. Consider the source, as Derek says . . . .

  12. matthew on November 13th, 2005 1:01 am

    why would we trade for the temp? (ryan howard)

  13. Ed in Texas on November 13th, 2005 10:52 am

    Heh … if you think the Steve Phillips mayonnaise on ESPN’s hotdog omits Seattle, check his Texas analysis … the undead are not just in Cuba, they must also inhabit Texas .. wait .. that’s “the dead”.

    Great article, I found it referenced on Adam Morris’ LoneStarBall.

  14. Jeff K. on November 13th, 2005 6:20 pm

    [deleted for extremely long text link which messes up comments]

  15. Jeff on November 13th, 2005 6:25 pm

    I assume that MLB.com got it from the NY Post, and that the NY Post got it from thin air.

  16. DMZ on November 13th, 2005 6:28 pm


  17. Jeff K. on November 13th, 2005 6:32 pm

    LOL Well Jeff and DMZ, I’ll take that as a resounding “NO” then that there’s not an article that I’m missing out on (in reference to MLB’s post). Cheers.

  18. Mat on November 13th, 2005 7:08 pm

    I think we wouldn’t hear quite so many far-fetched stories about Ichiro in the general media or MLB/mlb.com propaganda if he was a more talkative public figure. Not that it’s his fault, or that he should change, but the media has never liked guys who don’t give them something easy to write about.

    If Ichiro was constantly in the media with a happy face on, the media would look a little sillier for saying that Ichiro is unhappy, because it would be surprising in light of his would-be happy-all-the-time image. As it is, with his fairly quiet persona, I don’t think most people spend much time thinking about whether he his happy or sad or out partying or at home, they mainly just think about how he’s doing on the field. Personally, I’d rather have the media keep it that way.

  19. msb on November 13th, 2005 11:27 pm

    gee, then the note I read in Newsday this aft. while killing time at JFK isn’t true??? and it seemed sooooooo plausible… 🙂

    “The Yankees’ $50-million bid to Hideki Matsui meets his original goal of “a dollar more than Ichiro” (who got $44 million). However, if agent Arn Tellem holds a grudge for being called the f-bomb in spring training by George Steinbrenner, he could take him to the Dodgers, the Mariners or the White Sox. The smart money says the Yankees keep Matsui. Word is, Ichiro tried to get Mike Hargrove fired and Hargrove tried to get Ichiro traded. So far Mariners ownership isn’t complying with either request.”

  20. msb on November 13th, 2005 11:44 pm

    #16– as mentioned before, re: ESPN’s 50 top free agent lists– in 2002-03 ESPN got 12 out of 50 right (Thome, Clemens, Olerud & Moyer, Matsui Hideki, Byrd, Frank Thomas, Urbina, Trachsel, Ventura, W. Williams, D. Bell). 2003-04 they got 9 out of 50 (Sheffield, Pettitte, S. Stewart, Ponson, Cameron, Shige, W. Alvarez, Randa, Castilla) 2004-05 it was 6 right out of 50 ; their correct predictions included the no-brainers of Morris back to the Cards, Varitek back to Boston, Benson back to the Mets, Clemens back to the Astros, as well as Sexson to the M’s (some said that was also a no-brainer) and Delgado to the Marlins.

  21. Brian Rust on November 14th, 2005 8:52 am

    Why would an old-school manager dislike a player who:
    1. has un-coachable hitting style
    2. won’t dive for a fly ball
    3. bunts on his own with men on base
    4. swings at too many pitches outside the strike zone
    Gee, how could anyone believe that rumor?

  22. Rob B on November 14th, 2005 9:39 am

    Peter Gammons is reporting the Braves might trade Ryan Klesko for a LOOGY during the upcoming Winter meetings.

  23. John Brooks on November 14th, 2005 12:08 pm

    #68- Well put, the media will write or print anything to sell papers, and the NY Post is the biggest one to do this. Also, ESPN.com isn’t worth the two cents it’s printed on either. We hear these same Ichiro trade rumors in the press year in and out, and they are always wrong.

    The major point, Seattle is a worse team with Ichiro by far. Offense, Defense, and Marketing(most Importantly). Most people forget or don’t understand Ichiro’s marketing ability and the value of it to the Seattle Mariners’ organization. Also, Ichiro as a player is also too valuable to trade, there isn’t one player on the M’s that is better than Ichiro. Not Sexson or Beltre. Seattle batted a AL-low .256. Only Ibanez batted .280 or higher(at .280). Even in a off-year for Ichiro, he easily outhit the rest of the M’s, who gave him little chances for RISP’s and even have the 3rd highest team OPS.

    #69- Nope that Newsday report was false, bummer isn’t it. Just like that Oakland Tribune article a couple weeks ago. Though the papers do make good birdnests though.

    #72- You also forgot that ESPN is trading the remaining smart people for the NY Post Sports Staff. Also there going for my home state’s Baltimore Sun idiot Laura Vescey too.

  24. DMZ on November 14th, 2005 12:18 pm

    The major point, Seattle is a worse team with Ichiro by far.

    I think you mean “without”