About a week ago, rumors cropped up that the Chicago White Sox were looking into dealing for San Diego Padres stud Adrian Gonzalez.
There didn’t seem to be much to the rumors. The Chicago Tribune gave credence to a report that the White Sox, Angels and Padres had discussed a three-way deal that would send Gonzalez to Chicago and Paul Konerko to Anaheim. Then the Chicago Sun-Times trashed the idea, and the whole thing kind of went away.
But then just the other day, a Chicago White Sox blogger wrote about his “Evening With Jake Peavy,” in which the White Sox pitcher allegedly dropped this bombshell during a friendly encounter at a bar:
“We’re trying to get Adrian Gonzalez right now too.” I was like…”Really? I heard about that, but didn’t know if it was true.” He nodded and took another drink.
Peavy, of course, is a former teammate of Gonzalez, so it’s possible he has some inside information on trade talks. It’s also possible he simply saw the reports that everyone else saw. And thirdly, it’s possible that Peavy didn’t say it at all.
Even the author admits that “I’m sure there are some things about the meeting that I might be forgetting. I’ve tried to remember as much as I can, but I was also slightly buzzed at the time.”
It reminds of an encounter I had with a big-league pitcher back in 1997. I was out with some friends drinking beers, watching a cover band play classic rock tunes and having a nice, mellow night. I remember the band had a guest guitar player who didn’t really fit in with the rest of the scruffy group.
This guy wore a blue sport coat, had a $100 haircut and flashed a million-dollar smile. And although he strummed his Fender and moved his lips into the mic, my ears couldn’t pick out either his voice or his instrument. Clearly this band had an astute sound man.
During a break in the action, the band introduced their guest as Mark Langston, a 13-year veteran at the time who would hang on for a couple more years before calling it quits with a 179-158 record and 3.97 ERA.
My friends and I being Mariners fans, we couldn’t miss a chance to talk to our former hero after the show, even though he had left the team eight years earlier in the famous trade that brought Randy Johnson to Seattle.
We chatted with Langston for a bit, asked him how he was doing, and if he was going to play in 1998. He said he felt good, and that it looked like he would be with the San Diego Padres in the upcoming season, which turned out to be true. Then he autographed my buddy’s shirt and said it was a pleasure meeting us. On his way out the door, he stopped and turned back to us, offered us his phone number, and told us to give him a call if we ever made it down to San Diego. Free tickets were ours for the taking.
Of course, it’s possible it didn’t quite happen that way. That was 12 years ago, and I was slightly buzzed at the time.