Crazy season is upon us. The semi-annual rumor-fest, in which people hear this and that and run wild with speculation. Occasionally — very occasionally — there is actually some hard news in all of this nonsense.
But as Jeff Sullivan of Baseball Nation notes in an on-point column today, the least valuable of all of the rumors are the ones in which a team is said to be “willing to listen” to offers:
What general manager would ever not be willing to listen to listen to offers for a player? Do you understand how little effort it takes to answer a phone call? This isn’t even like checking your voicemail. Everybody hates checking their voicemail. This is like pressing the “answer” button and putting the phone on speaker while the other person talks. How stubborn, lazy, and closed-minded would a general manager have to be to not want to listen to offers?
As Jeff notes, everyone loves trade rumors. It’s one of the reasons why, for all of their faults, we keep track of them here.
But you gotta keep your critical-thinking skills handy when it comes to this sort of thing.
As we noted, Bryce Harper was ejected in the Phillies-Mets game for arguing balls and strikes, punctuating the ejection with a fairly aggressive argument in which he sorta shoved his manager into the ump, had to be held back by teammates and may very well have earned himself a suspension.
We’ll see about the suspension part, but even if he didn’t anger Rob Manfred over all of that, he did annoy his teammate, Jake Arrieta, who was on the mound last night. Here were Arrieta’s comments after the game:
“Look, I mean, [Harper’s] got to understand we need him in right field,” Arrieta said. “I don’t care how bad the umpire is. He wasn’t great for either side. I’m out there trying to make pitches, and he misses some calls. So what? We need him out there. I need him in right field, I need him at the plate, and he wasn’t there. So that hurts.
“We were flat from start to finish. Two-hour delay, it doesn’t matter. We have to be ready to play. We weren’t, and it showed. The dugout was flat. The defense wasn’t good. Didn’t throw the ball well as a staff overall. We got beat. We started at 8:45. I don’t think our guys were ready to play. We’ve got to come out tomorrow ready to play.”
For Harper’s part he was contrite after the game, echoing Arrieta’s words about needing to keep a level head and about him being more useful in the game than in the clubhouse. Still, he got told by his teammate. And seems to know he got told.