If you’re keeping score at home

DMZ · January 19, 2010 at 10:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

National news organizations, specifically Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, have nearly run the table this off-season. The M’s aren’t talking to the local press (the one exception being USSM Endorsed Larry Stone).

Move Broken by
Felix Hernandez contact Keith Law, ESPN
Franklin Gutierrez extension Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Casey Kotchman-Bill Hall trade Chris Crawford, Prospect Insider/Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Brandon League-Brandon Morrow trade Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Milton Bradley-Carlos Silva trade Larry Stone, Seattle Times
Cliff Lee Blockbuster I’m going with Rosenthal here, though this timeline gets really confusing quickly. Rosenthal & Morosi of Fox Sports had the trade, and then later they have the teams and details.
Chone Figgins deal Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Ken Griffey, Jr. re-signs Larry Stone, Seattle Times

Update: You can raise the count to two if you wish to count Geoff Baker reporting Aardsma’s 1y deal.
Update update: As others note, Brock & Salk actually scooped Baker.
Update update update: added Griffey

Comments

59 Responses to “If you’re keeping score at home”

  1. robbbbbb on January 19th, 2010 10:20 am

    Which is weird. You’d think that the Zduriencik administration would want to curry favor with the local media, as a hedge against moves that go wrong.

    Of course, the moves they’ve made so far have been overwhelmingly positive. It’s tough to argue with them.

  2. greymstreet on January 19th, 2010 10:22 am

    Wasn’t the Gutierrez extension broken by a guy in Venezuela?

  3. Zero Gravitas on January 19th, 2010 10:24 am

    Is this helping raise the profile of the team as a well-run organization attracting top talent? I hate to go all Bullshit Bingo here, but this seems to me like a well-integrated media strategy that generates operational synergies while boosting mindshare. On a going-forward basis.

  4. luckyscrubs on January 19th, 2010 10:25 am

    All I can say is poor Geoff Baker.

  5. skjes on January 19th, 2010 10:27 am

    Is the leaking of these stories actually coming from the Mariners, or from the assorted players’ agents and other front offices?

    We don’t know their sources, but I’d have a hard time believing that our FO is the one providing the leads. That would probably put a damper on Stone and Baker’s abilities to be the first with the news.

  6. skjes on January 19th, 2010 10:27 am

    [dupe]

  7. skjes on January 19th, 2010 10:31 am

    Apologies already for the double-post. I made the mistake of posting from my work computer, which has issues with this site for some reason.

  8. joser on January 19th, 2010 10:32 am

    Poor Geoff Baker. It must be frustrating.

    Which is weird. You’d think that the Zduriencik administration would want to curry favor with the local media, as a hedge against moves that go wrong.

    If the other side of these deals were as tight-lipped as the M’s front office, they could do that because it would break locally in both cities first. But nobody runs as tight a ship as Zduriencik, so the leaks always occur elsewhere.

    Of course, the moves they’ve made so far have been overwhelmingly positive. It’s tough to argue with them.

    And yeah, then there’s that. Which is better: currying favor so that your critics are lapdogs who give you a pass when you fuck up, or just not fucking up?

    And there’s a far greater benefit to running a tight ship. Right after the Lee trade, in an interview on 710 AM, Zduriencik suggested that one of the reasons Ruben Amaro talked to him was because the latter knew that the M’s would be able to keep it quiet. They already have a reputation for that, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get “exploratory” phone calls that some other teams don’t get in cases where it would create problems if word got back to the player involved.

  9. robbbbbb on January 19th, 2010 10:34 am

    And yeah, then there’s that. Which is better: currying favor so that your critics are lapdogs who give you a pass when you fuck up, or just not fucking up?

    I like door #2 much, much better.

  10. diderot on January 19th, 2010 10:36 am

    Jack can’t control who the agents talk to.

  11. Leroy Stanton on January 19th, 2010 10:36 am

    Poor Geoff Baker. It must be frustrating.

    That’s what happens when you disrespect Edgar. :)

  12. Bilbo on January 19th, 2010 10:40 am

    I believe Churchill over at Prospectinsider.com was first with the Lee deal. But your point still stands.

  13. Pete on January 19th, 2010 10:41 am

    Can’t wait to hear the Baker rebuttal to this post. Pretty sure I will want to vom.

  14. Glen on January 19th, 2010 10:45 am

    Baker stated that he couldn’t get anyone to call him back last night. It sounded quite sad.

  15. rxoper on January 19th, 2010 10:52 am

    I think the reason that the Z admin is talking to the national press is to raise the exposure the team gets. Honestly we are a Local market team, and it hurt Felix in the CY voting. I’m not even going to get into All Star voting

  16. PositivePaul on January 19th, 2010 10:53 am

    This FO is definitely waaaaaay tighter lipped than the previous one. A lot of this breaking news is coming from outside the organization…

  17. dw on January 19th, 2010 10:54 am

    Wasn’t the Gutierrez extension broken by a guy in Venezuela?

    Yeah, Francisco Blavia, who also tweeted about the Felix extension. Point stands that the local media’s being shut out of the rumor mill, but we should at least give credit to Blavia for bird-dogging the Guti and Felix scoops, even if they were in Spanish.

  18. PositivePaul on January 19th, 2010 10:55 am

    I believe Churchill over at Prospectinsider.com was first with the Lee deal. But your point still stands.

    Rosenthal reported the pending trade first, Churchill broke the news of the details to his subscribers.

  19. henryv on January 19th, 2010 11:05 am

    This FO is definitely waaaaaay tighter lipped than the previous one. A lot of this breaking news is coming from outside the organization…

    This is what I see it as.

    Usually it is the front office that breaks information to the local press. But if a front office isn’t talking, then it will the be agents and players than break the news. And agents aren’t going to talk to the local press. They’re going to find the national source. Agents need to be seen at the national level to get new customers, not in the local papers.

  20. Chris_From_Bothell on January 19th, 2010 11:11 am

    This should also counter some of the “Drayer is just an Ms organization mouthpiece” sort of talk too, shouldn’t it? If the Ms wanted something said locally, they’d go to her if she was as supposedly non-reportery and all-spokespersony as some people make her out to be.

    Also, spot on, henryv:

    agents aren’t going to talk to the local press. They’re going to find the national source. Agents need to be seen at the national level to get new customers, not in the local papers.

    It’s entirely likely this isn’t about the press one way or the other at all, it’s entirely about how agents and FOs communicate with each other. Local press means lower networking opportunities.

  21. Alex on January 19th, 2010 11:18 am

    Francisco Blavia was first for the details on both the Guti and Felix extensions. Churchill had the details first on Cliff Lee.

  22. DRFelix on January 19th, 2010 11:20 am

    Dave – Hate to burst your bubble, but I was repeatedly calling the Silva/Bradley trade WAY BACK in October & November on Geoff Baker’s article message boards.

    Of course EVERYONE was calling me nuts, and kept telling me that there is NO WAY Silva’s contract could be moved at all. I kept on mentioning to everyone not to underestimate the Z Man.

    The Z Man is GENIOUS! Geoff also has been saying since July that he thinks Seattle will probably have to resort to trading Felix rather than losing him. I didn’t think Z would let Felix get away, knowing how he is building this team around solid defense and pitching.

    And now a 5 year $78M Felix deal…unbelievable! I was pretty excited last month with the Halladay extension, becuase I personally thought it was going to lay the way for a reasonable Felix contract extension. BUT I was one that was thinking it would be in the 6 year $100M range. $78M is just another Z Genious Moment!

    Now, even though ESPN reported yesterday that Seattle are in “negotiations” w/Washburn, I still want to believe that Z will be in on the Sheets signing instead. And since they are still keeping tabs weekly with Bedards progress, I’m hoping or a minor league deal with a base + incentives when he hits the MLB 25-man roster. “If” Sheets is signed, I can see a trade that could involve Snell & Lopez still. There’s still a LOT of offseason left for the Z Man, and at this point I wouldn’t even put it past him to still find someone miracle in landing Gonzo.

    Whatever happens happens, but today I’m just soaking in the miraculous Felix Extension at a HUGE discount!

  23. DRFelix on January 19th, 2010 11:24 am

    [long link]

  24. DMZ on January 19th, 2010 11:24 am

    In terms of the table, we can discuss whether we should track “reported that there was a detail” and “reported all the players and amounts involved” which can alter what goes where, exactly. What I wanted to talk about, though, was that in this event-filled winter the Seattle press can be credited with breaking one of those stories.

  25. Mike Honcho on January 19th, 2010 11:44 am

    DRFelix – I called for a Felix extension about 2 years ago. Guess I get credit for that…

  26. Jeff Nye on January 19th, 2010 11:49 am

    The word is spelled “genius”.

  27. DRFelix on January 19th, 2010 11:55 am

    [spelling, attempted derail]

  28. frontstreetfan on January 19th, 2010 12:02 pm

    It was definitely Rosenthal who broke the Halladay-Lee three way trade story and also hinted on Saturday Dec. 12th significant details for the three way deal fairly accurately. He had the basics of the deal well before anyone else as that was a morning release too. He initially put it out there as a speculation since he was probably in the know but couldn’t formally release the information as concrete in order to likely protect his sources. I love Prospect Insider and I’m a subscriber but Jason will tell you he didn’t break the story himself. He’s had his breaking stories and his analysis is very good but I’m sure Rosenthal got the word out there first on the Three way trade.

  29. joser on January 19th, 2010 12:07 pm

    Dave – Hate to burst your bubble, but I was repeatedly calling the Silva/Bradley trade WAY BACK in October & November on Geoff Baker’s article message boards.

    Hate to burst your bubble, but a lot of people were suggesting such a trade made a twisted kind of sense (in a “fresh start”/”swap of boat anchors” way) during the season last year, way back BEFORE October. It wasn’t hard to notice the contracts matched up and both players had worn out their welcomes. You were neither the first nor the only one, among fans or the press. But if you want to wear your “GENIOUS PROGNOSTICOR!” hat around your house, go right ahead.

  30. pareto on January 19th, 2010 12:20 pm

    Looks like Baker is the first to report the Aardsma deal.. $2.75M/1 yr

  31. joser on January 19th, 2010 12:22 pm

    Speaking of pride of place and Milton Bradley, I think Dave wins since he suggested it back in 2008 before Bradley signed with the Cubs.

    This should also counter some of the “Drayer is just an Ms organization mouthpiece” sort of talk too, shouldn’t it? If the Ms wanted something said locally, they’d go to her if she was as supposedly non-reportery and all-spokespersony as some people make her out to be.

    Really? Who’s been saying that? It’s the first I’ve heard of it (though I don’t visit the facepalm M’s forums — ie everything except here and LL).

    Drayer does her thing, which isn’t frontline reportage per se but background stuff that improves our understanding of the players as people and the clubhouse as a milieu rather than just a room or a metaphor. She doesn’t do breaking news; the immediacy she brings is one of place, not time. The players seem to relax and tell her things they don’t share with the other reporters (and in some cases things the team almost certainly wishes they wouldn’t). The fact that she’s a woman and very petite probably helps, of course, but she’s also just a really good journalist. It’s a valuable perspective that she offers, and it’s not one that the fans of many other teams regularly get (from what I’ve seen). We should feel lucky to have her.

  32. joser on January 19th, 2010 12:24 pm

    Looks like Baker is the first to report the Aardsma deal.. $2.75M/1 yr

    Knick-knack paddy-whack. Throw the dog a bone.

  33. srm07 on January 19th, 2010 12:26 pm

    Baker DID just break the Aardsma deal though. Good for him.

    Edit: Actually, Jim Street tweeted about 15 minutes before Baker posted anything. Nevermind.

  34. wescottr on January 19th, 2010 12:33 pm

    regardless of who breaks the news, it seems like Jack Z is seriously of the get-things-done mindset, especially rewarding our guys who performed well last season (lowe, DA). I much prefer getting contracts done rather then taking them into arb, i think is shows players/agents that Jack is a win/win guy and that Jack will continue to be a guy that players and agents want to deal with.

  35. DMZ on January 19th, 2010 12:34 pm

    I’ll add that.

  36. Hassleberry on January 19th, 2010 12:45 pm

    You should give a few extra points to Blavia, he’s helped quite a bit w/ Felix & Guti.

  37. vertigoman on January 19th, 2010 12:45 pm

    Looks like Baker is the first to report the Aardsma deal.. $2.75M/1 yr

    Actually, i think Brock and Salk got it first. At least on twitter…

  38. vertigoman on January 19th, 2010 12:48 pm

    Well, maybe they just beat Geoff to the twitter page.
    Geoff gets AA.
    Throw a dog a bone

  39. robbbbbb on January 19th, 2010 12:53 pm

    Knick-knack paddy-whack. Throw the dog a bone.

    Have I mentioned, joser, just how much I enjoy your comments? You consistently crack me up.

  40. bellacaramella on January 19th, 2010 12:55 pm

    Ha. I’m still getting a kick out of the “move” column. It’s just so f’ing awesome on its own…

    It’s way more difficult for a beat reporter to break a big story about contract issues (signings, trades, firings, etc.). With a superstar-level contract, leaks are a negotiation tactic. The higher-profile outlet, the better. The agents know Law, Heyman, Rosenthal, et. al. well enough and know they’re ultra-competitive. And based on a history of valid info, the reporters know they can trust what they get from an agent (or FO or league-office source) without having to scrounge up three sources to verify it before it runs.

    With contract stories, it’s the local reporter’s job to provide context and get the interviews that flesh out the breaking story (that’s the “win” for the local reporter).

    Part of the reality here is that there’s almost no media competition here. There just aren’t as many local reporters and columnists sniffing around anymore. Nor is there a national-level baseball reporter/syndicated columnist based here (someone akin to John Clayton) giving special attention to the Mariners.

    The stories the local guys break are clubhouse-related: so-and-so is hurt, this dude’s grandmother is sick, etc. Maybe once a year a reporter does something enterprising or investigative and unearths a storyline that the national media pick up. But it’s rare.

    Thank God for USSM, PI, LL, etc. There’s an appetite for intelligent analysis and baseball coverage in Seattle, and I think the blogs here have had an impact on the quality of coverage we see from our beat reporters.

  41. gapper on January 19th, 2010 1:12 pm

    Consider this the organization’s vote for our local beat writer… I will!

  42. DMZ on January 19th, 2010 1:33 pm

    That’s a fine-sounding explanation, but I don’t think that’s the case, either nationally where there is a strong local press, or historically here. The local folks have (theoretically) far better and more connections, and get to break those

  43. MKT on January 19th, 2010 1:47 pm

    Have I mentioned, joser, just how much I enjoy your comments? You consistently crack me up.

    Yeah, one of the reasons USSMariner is my favorite blog to check daily is the high quality of the comments — there’s a ton of places with good articles, but few with good comment threads — and joser’s are the best. If the USSM crew ever recruit a commenter to become an author, I hope it’s joser that they recruit.

  44. shadow_watch on January 19th, 2010 2:39 pm

    [ot]

  45. bcsimons on January 19th, 2010 2:50 pm

    [dupe]

  46. bcsimons on January 19th, 2010 3:03 pm

    [dupe of dupe]

  47. awestby51 on January 19th, 2010 3:17 pm

    Baker DID just break the Aardsma deal though. Good for him.

    Looks like the Mariner’s FO reads USSMariner… You post about how they give no love to the local media and then minutes later Baker gets a story? Interesting…

    Financially, where do these extensions leave the Mariners this offseason? Can we count ourselves out of the Sheets sweepstakes?

  48. Chris_From_Bothell on January 19th, 2010 3:32 pm

    joser:

    Really? Who’s been saying that? It’s the first I’ve heard of it (though I don’t visit the facepalm M’s forums — ie everything except here and LL).

    You should lurk on such for a laugh. You’d be surprised what some people think. Or, perhaps, “think”.

    Definitely agree with your assessment of her work and perspective all around. I’ve just encountered other opinions in some forums, trivializing her contribution, or outright being abusive in comments on her own blog.

  49. Liam on January 19th, 2010 3:35 pm

    Dave’s twitter feed of Mariner writers has BrockandSalk announcing the Aardsma deal just before Baker. They both link to their blog entries, posted at 12:03 and 12:08 respectively.

  50. msb on January 19th, 2010 3:53 pm

    I’ve just encountered other opinions in some forums, trivializing her contribution, or outright being abusive in comments on her own blog.

    Glad I’ve missed that.

    My, some … interesting … comments over there.

  51. dchappelle on January 19th, 2010 4:28 pm

    Tough to be a reporter… isn’t this post a little bit of a slap in the face of our local media? Sure, it’s all true, but hopefully we don’t lose any more of our local reporters.

  52. DRFelix on January 19th, 2010 4:54 pm

    [dupe]

  53. DRFelix on January 19th, 2010 4:56 pm

    [it wasn't, but you posted it in the actual relevant thread anyway]

  54. Techno_Viking- on January 19th, 2010 4:56 pm

    Tough to be a reporter… isn’t this post a little bit of a slap in the face of our local media? Sure, it’s all true, but hopefully we don’t lose any more of our local reporters.

    I know I’d be pissed, especially if I was Baker. It kinda makes me sad :( …. kinda

  55. Dave.S on January 19th, 2010 7:53 pm

    [ot]

  56. TomC on January 19th, 2010 7:55 pm

    Joser:

    It’s a valuable perspective that she offers, and it’s not one that the fans of many other teams regularly get (from what I’ve seen). We should feel lucky to have her.

    Amen to that. I have never been very impressed with the competition to break a story a few minutes before it is announced publicly anyway. Ms. Drayer’s ability to get stories that would otherwise go unreported/undiscovered is far more valuable to me.

  57. joser on January 20th, 2010 5:09 am

    Have I mentioned, joser, just how much I enjoy your comments? You consistently crack me up.

    I don’t know if you have or not (I’m not good at keeping track of who said what, and am always surprised when people do that with my comments). But thank-you: I have little ability to do actual baseball analysis so I fall back on wit and a thesaurus.

    If the USSM crew ever recruit a commenter to become an author, I hope it’s joser that they recruit.

    Cough. Ok, now this is getting silly. I suspect that Felix contract giddiness is infecting everyone, and we’re all going to wake up in the morning with a metaphorical empty bottle, splitting headache, and dead hooker.

    That may be metaphorical for some of us, anyway.

    I appreciate the compliment, and I’m glad I can entertain some of you some of the time, but this right here is about the most I do. I’m not even amusing in real life as far as I know, and I don’t think I could initiate an article. At best I could do goofy imitation analysis. It’s like those old westerns: Dave and Derek are the nameless drifters with the fast draw and sketchy pasts, who fortuitously arrive just in time to protect the town from the desperadoes. When the final showdown happens there’s always a town drunk with a rifle who shoots at something and misses…and when that happens there’s a guy in a recording studio making the fake pu-tui noises for the ricochet. I’m that guy.

  58. davepaisley on January 20th, 2010 6:46 am

    Of course, “guy currently on team avoids arbitration by signing for a couple of million bucks” is hardly a national press-worthy move.

    So the local press gets the re-signs and the arb-avoiding moves, but anything involving other teams – not so much.

    Baker may be better than what we had before, but he’s getting quite tiresome now with his transparent attempts to manufacture news and/or controversy.

  59. Paul B on January 20th, 2010 7:32 am

    To customize twitter feeds on breaking news, I stole Dave’s idea and created my own list for Northwest baseball news from the reporters and bloggers I want to follow. I suppose if I wanted to catch news items a few seconds earlier I could follow some of the National writers (like the ones on the table at the top of this blog post) but I don’t need up to the second news.

    I have removed a couple of the feeds that Dave has on his page, and I added about three that he does not have. Completely personal preference of course, but now when I want to get my update of NW baseball tweets, I can just ping that web page.

    It’s an idea for anyone like me who wants to just see tweets on the web periodically and not all the time on a smart phone.

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