The “Mystery Team” thing was invented by Jon Heyman at the 2010 Winter Meetings in Florida. That’s when he published a rumor in Sports Illustrated that then-free agent Cliff Lee was being courted by “the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and a third mystery team.” He added — and I am not making this up — that “the mystery team remains a mystery and is also seen as a long shot.”
The very next day Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies who were, in fact, the “Mystery Team.” And with that a meme was born.
The Mystery Team things is almost 100% ironic now as no one since then, I don’t believe anyway, has ever reported a Mystery Team rumor at face value. There’s always a wink to it and a tacit acknowledgement of that crazy Cliff Lee Mystery Team rumor. I think anyone who actually uses it is obligated to pay Heyman royalties or something. With this, Jayson Stark just cut Heyman a check, methinks:
An unidentified fourth team is making a “very strong” bid to trade for Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, sources told ESPN. Other clubs say they believe that mystery team is the Houston Astros, but neither team would confirm that Tuesday morning.
As Stark notes, the Dodgers, Dbacks, and Yankees have all talked to the Marlins about Fernandez. And the Marlins keep saying Fernandez is not available. As we’ve noted in the past, however, there is some bad blood between Fernandez and the Fish, so the notion that they wouldn’t consider trading him for a hefty offer seems a tad far-fetched. The Marlins, eventually, trade everyone.
Why they’d take a different approach now would be, well, a mystery.
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.
The entire camp was placed in quarantine.
“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”
Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.
“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”