Happy Thanksgiving HBT Nation/Universe

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Thanksgiving may be the most unbaseball holiday.

It’s far enough removed from last season to where the taste has left our mouths, still too far from the next season for our appetites to be rewarded. It’s usually cold, often gray. Someone always has a football game on.

It’s probably still my favorite holiday, though.  Yes, there’s a lot of karma to it. The amount of attention paid to food in a world that wants is troubling if you think about it. Then I got Old Gator sending me emails telling me to have a Happy Native American Memorial Day. But forget him, I like stuffing.  And of course pie.

The thought behind Thanksgiving — or at least the thought I think we’re supposed to have — is what I like the most. It’s become a bit of a cliche for people to say what they “give thanks” for, making lists and all of that, but in a year full of holidays that celebrate either materialism or an unsettlingly-imposed orthodoxy of sentiment, there’s a simple warmth to it.

I’m thankful for all of you people coming by the blog every day. It keeps Aaron, Drew, D.J., Matthew and me off the streets, of course. But it’s also a validation that our weird obsessions aren’t too terribly singular.  It’s nice to share a virtual conversation with all of you people every day.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Please trade Manny Machado already, will ya?

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Manny Machado has been on the trading block for some time now, and he’s obviously a highly sought-after player who will command a nice haul for the Orioles if and when they deal him. Until they do that, however, let us talk for a moment about how to read a given trade rumor that gets tweeted or reported out into the ether.

Let’s look at the latest one, shall we? It goes like this:

At the outset, let me be clear about something: I do not doubt this reporting. Heyman is well-sourced, and I’m sure he’s hearing this exact thing. But so too are other reporters reporting other things, such as a rumor that floated around yesterday that the Phillies were in the lead. And so too are the guys who, several days ago, reported that a Machado trade was “on the 10 yard line.” Yesterday some random person on Twitter, claiming they had inside info, reached out to me to tell me that the O’s and the Phillies had a “handshake deal” in place. It’s all so imminent and urgent-sounding.

It’s urgent-sounding not because fast-paced and urgent activity is happening. Some GMs are texting one another, just like they always do. Some are making offers and waiting to hear from the Orioles, some are getting counters from the Orioles and are considering them. The GMs of two teams competing for Machado are not, themselves, in communication. In that respect it is decidedly not like a horse race or a football game.

The Orioles want it to be one, though, and make no mistake, that’s where these rumors are coming from.

The Orioles have a vested interest in the Dodgers, Brewers and Phillies upping their bids to beat out the other suitors, and it’s hard not to see all of these reports as stuff the Orioles are telling reporters in order to get the other clubs to think they’re going to miss out. It’s the Orioles and the Orioles alone who have a vested interest in this appearing more like a horse race — or a football game — and thus are cultivating horse race coverage. Whether it’s coordinated or whether it’s just random people in Baltimore telling what they know to reporters I have no idea, but that’s what this is.

That’s interesting to me as a media guy, and I guess it’s interesting to fans of the teams involved, but it’s probably good to remember that it’s less baseball news, proper, than it is a team using the media to get leverage.