Great Moment in Fake Trade Rumors From Teen Reporters Who Aren’t Reporters

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That’s in all caps because I assume it will be a running feature that requires a formal title.

In case you missed it — and God, I hope you did — someone who styles themselves a teenage “baseball insider” tweeted a fake “Matt Kemp traded to the Orioles for Bud Norris and Dylan Bundy” thing late last night. In the past this sort of thing would probably be totally ignored, but with the emergence of MLB Daily Dish’s then-in-high-school Chris Cotillo last year — who actually reports stuff — and that flukey scoop on the Billy Butler signing by those young kids not too long ago — the idea of a 14-year-old kid getting a big piece of transactional news is not beyond the scope of plausibility, even if this one was phony.

Thus, on the Sunday night after Thanksgiving, actual people who would be required to write quickly about such rumors were, presumably, on the phone with their sources, trying to figure it out and then, later, when it turned out to be fake, grumbling about it all on Twitter. Some thoughts:

  • As we’ve noted many, many times around here, a huge percentage of the real transaction news comes from a handful of reporters whose business it is to get those things. We may question whether any one scoop along those lines is valuable, but the fact is that certain folks — Heyman, Olney, Rosenthal and others with pretty recognizable names to people who care about such things — specialize in this. And, if someone else breaks such news, you can be assured that in very short order, one of those guys will confirm it with their own source. So, with the full understanding that we all find trade and free agent rumors fun and really like to talk about them when they happen, perhaps we shan’t go crazy about any rumor unless it comes from one of those guys.
  • While putting out fake trade “news” is pretty weak sauce, 14-year-old boys are made up of about 79% weak sauce. Think about the stupid crap you did when you were 14 and thank God that there wasn’t an entire segment of the media who gave a crap, because boy you’d have been in deep. Which is to say, if you get burnt by a 14-year-old’s “news” to the point where you publicly and seriously take them to task for it, how in the hell would you have reacted back in the day when 14-year-olds would simply make prank calls? I sort of feel like, back then, a newspaper would not have issued an editorial about the perils of being asked if your refrigerator was running, so maybe now nothing more than an eye roll is in order now too.
  • Finally, as I always do at these times, allow me to remind everyone that news like trades and free agent signings are, by definition, commodity news that will get out eventually and thus the need for people to have it first — be it reporters who fight to get it first or readers to read about it ASAP — is not as great as we have all been led to believe. Breathe a bit and worry more about what that kind of news means, not where it came from first. Besides, eventually the media will be entirely bypassed by this stuff anyway, with teams and players reporting it directly, so let’s get used to that world.

Now, let us all calm down and focus on the important things in life. Like why a baseball player who hit damn near 800 home runs won’t make the Hall of Fame again this year.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.