URL Weaver: Breaking the News

Is this a hand-off? What is he holding???

Is this a hand-off? What is he holding???

Nobody should feel guilty about casting a skeptical eye towards the recent “Dog and Pony Show” report that several big name Major Leaugers — Ryan Braun, Curtis Granderson, and Robinson Cano among them — will be suspended by MLB for positive drug tests in the coming weeks and months. The authors of the report seem to understand, as much as anyone, the skepticism surrounding their story.

The story is rather fantastic, almost too crazy to believe. That two hobbyists are running with it stretches the credulity of even the most eager conspiracy theorist. To break a story of this size takes contacts, sources and moles high up in the league and organizations, well-placed agents. It takes something do self-admitted jokers tend not to possess.

Yet this story comes along in a time where, no matter how implausible a PED story seems, it can never be dismissed as impossible.

It is that rich vein of steroid cynicism that this story mines with ease. Breaking trades and signings is, by comparison, easy as it requires a wink or nod from a team source and maybe the silent assent of a trusted agent. As corruptible as that simple system appears, the baseball marketplace is unwilling to suffer pretenders and fools gladly.

The Yu Darvish posting fiasco flushed a great number of fools out into the open, exposing those straining for notoriety for its own sake. Unlike hockey, there simply is not as much of a market for baseless trade talk from outlets lacking credibility or accountability. MLB Trade Rumors provides an invaluable service, one that sucks the oxygen from those striving to fill the room with hot air.

Should we just dismiss the DAPS story as opportunistic bunk? Probably. The shrugged shoulder approach engenders some good will, as though these guys don’t take themselves so seriously as to ignore how ludicrous them breaking a huge story sounds to just about anyone who reads it.

Because it does – it sounds crazy. It IS crazy that such sensitive information, plausibly born from ongoing legal action, would end up in the public domain in such a way. But again, crazy and impossible aren’t the same thing.

Like Stoeten said yesterday, it would be incredible if it ended up true. Big time reporters with everything to lose can’t run with a story like this, if they’re wrong it will cost a lot more than their credibility. If the DAPS dudes are wrong, they go back to posting shitty videos in the dark. No harm, no foul.

That’s the thing with the kind of people who are willing to trade in questionable news – the discerning reader probably wouldn’t didn’t give them the time of day in the first place. If rampant rosterbation or salacious news is your only interest, you might be more willing to indulge one man’s Ken Rosenthal fantasy because it is you who is entertained in the end.

The democratization of the printed word and the rise of blogs and whatever should make stories like Joe Bisceglie’s more believable, not less. But therein lies the difference between junk and news. I don’t know the first damn thing about news, I couldn’t even attempt the legwork required to break trades like Jon Heyman or construct the chronological timelines like Bob Elliott. The internet gave everyone a voice, to its eternal credit. It didn’t give everyone a source. Sexy as this story sounds, it’s going to take more than Joe Ball’s voice shouting it from the rooftops before I buy it.

And the rest

Have you read about Oscar Taveras yet today? [Cardinals.com]

A roundtable discussion on the financial state of the Padres. They’re kind of a mess! [Padres Public]

Breaking: Spring Training is a publicly-funded ballpark scheme just like the real stadiums. Oakland moves their spring home after Mesa, Az kicks in $17.5MM in ballpark upgrades while the Nats hold Lee County, Florida hostage. [Deadspin]

A little more insight into BABIP from this past weekend’s Sloan Analytics Conference [Fangraphs]

Dylan Bundy hurt his groin on the weekend. Given the size of his lower half, this seems impossible. [Balmer Sun]

WBC Tune Up Run Down!

Canada beat the Brewers, which is strange as nearly the entire Canadian team plays for the Brewers. Split squad, amirite? Michael Saunders hit a home run because he’s p kool. [Canadian Press]

The Dominican Republic laid waste to the Phillies and Cole Hamels. Jose Reyes hit a home run. [Philly.com]

Team USA played the White Sox to a tie. Ryan Braun notched three hits because he’s unstoppable. [WBC.com]

Mexico shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks, which is delicious on multiple levels. Yovanni Gallardo pitched without pain, much to the relief of Brewers fans. [WBC.com]

Mark Teixeira is OUT of the World Baseball Classic with a wrist injury he sustained hitting off a tee. Ugh. [Bats]

Comments (8)

  1. Does he get no credit for breaking the Melky suspension? Why couldn’t the same source leak again?

  2. Just out of curiosity, and I’m not trying to lead this anywhere, or make any judgement, but what would your reaction be if you received a simliar text? Again, I’m not trying to make any aspersions to your journalism or writing style, I am genuinely curious to know what you think would happen if you, Stoeten, or Parks, etc. received similar information.

  3. This guy is just trying to get Braun and Cano in the 3rd and 4th rounds of his fantasy draft :)

    Of course I would not be completely shocked if anyone of these guys were to be suspended, however I do think we should take this story with a lot of skepticism.

  4. I think it’s probably 2:1 it’s substantively correct. The call on Melky indicates he’s either (a) lucky or (b) has a contact. All it takes is a cousin or a high school friend or a guy from your bible study who works in the lab or at MLB headquarters who is either a talkative drunk or just willing to help a guy out.

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