One of the best things that has happened in the nearly ten years this site has existed was when the Braves’ signing of A.J. Pierzynski was broken by a guy in line buying a ham. Yes, that happened.
I loved it because of the sheer randomness of it all. It’s not quite the same anymore, but when I started in this business the scoops guys — Rosenthal, Heyman, Olney, Passan, etc. — were considered rock stars. They still are to some degree, but the industry has, wisely, I think, moved away from thinking scoops matter in and of themselves and focuses more on what scoops mean. Reporting about their context and significance matters more now than it used to. Luckily for most of the old scoops guys, they do that well too, so no worries.
Still, I’d like to think that the day the guy at the ham store broke real news was when the shift truly happened. That now, less than five years later, you can take an elevator up to Bryce Harper‘s suite in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the scoops wave finally broke and rolled back.
If the ham thing didn’t change everything, what has happened in the past 24 hours might. That’s when Smash Mouth — yes, the band Smash Mouth — took to Twitter and, quite possibly, may have begun the process of breaking news about an All-Star. Hey now:
Some more traditional members of the media — like, actual reporters, not Sugar Ray or Sum-41 or something — politely tried to walk that back. They suggested that, with all due respect to Smash Mouth, they were not hearing that the Giants had come off the notion of a short-term offer to Harper.
Then a few minutes ago my NBC colleague Alex Pavlovic — who is probably far too young to have enjoyed prime “Fush Yu Mang” or “Astro Lounge”-era Smash Mouth — confirmed the band’s report a bit more specifically:
All along, the Giants have been viewed as a short-term solution for Bryce Harper. That’s not actually the case.
The Giants and Harper’s team have discussed a 10-year contract, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned. That would match the deal the Padres gave Manny Machado earlier this month and likely give Harper a chance at the record dollar figure he has been looking for.
So, yes, the big takeaway here is that Harper may be entertaining a ten-year offer from someone besides the Phillies. I think it’s also worth noting that Smash Mouth, even if they aren’t the ones who will eventually report the details, was on the story before anyone else.