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
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]
WBC Tune Up Run Down!
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]