Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Silly Season Is Here

With the end of the World Series, the baseball season is over and the silly season has started. Every media outlet needs to find stories to keep its audience interested.  There are a couple of things I hope folks will do:

Take ourselves seriously. The fact that something can be imagined does not mean it is worth considering. When I was a kid I used to get into this thing with my older brother "What if ... But what if ..." Eventually this ended with me getting slugged in the shoulder and told to "STOP IT".  I feel that way sometimes when reading some of the stuff in the Twins blogsphere. The Twins are not going to go after Alex Rodriguez. Speculating about it just makes you look silly.

Don't take ourselves too seriously. Lets be clear, we are fans. Even the guys who get paid to follow the team are amateurs when it comes to almost every task performed in a professional baseball organization except public relations. We can question Terry Ryan's decision,  but we have no business seriously believing that we know better than he does. If we think a move is "stupid", the problem is probably our thinking more than the move. It doesn't mean we are wrong. It just means we ought to go with Terry Ryan's judgment over our own.

Don't treat rumors as facts. The Twins are very closed mouth. Those who are in the know aren't talking and those who are talking aren't in the know. Understand that neither teams, nor managers, nor players, nor agents, nor anyone else in baseball is required to tell us the truth if it isn't in their interest. And sometimes it isn't.

I remember the "humorous" story a chief of staff for a political leader related about their boss:

Boss:  "Rumor has it ..."

Knowing staff:  "Where did you hear that rumor Boss?"

Boss:  "I just started it."

Later the aid heard the rumor repeated by one of the people who heard this exchange. And later still had the rumor passed as back to them as insider gossip. Baseball rumors work the same way.

There are agents, back office folks, players and other teams who all engage in inventing rumors. Not to mention sports writers and bloggers. We shouldn't treat any rumor as being true until it happens. Its unlikely the Red Sox ever offered the Twins all their best young prospects in exchange for Johan Santana, no matter how often that rumor was repeated.

So over the next few months I intend to write when I have something to say. But you probably won't hear much gossip here. You also probably won't see much wild speculation. I may raise concerns about Terry Ryan's choices. But I won't imagine my concerns weren't given their proper weight in the decision.

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