I’ve been thinking more about Patrick Flood’s “Too Much Bacon” post from the other day — not the down-the-road stuff about paying for Web content so much as Flood’s very valid point that the glut of hot-stove information is overwhelming and very likely driven by the pursuit of page views.
And it led me to another food metaphor, or at least a food-related metaphor. Anyone remember this incredible sequence from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution?
Every part of it is amazing, obviously. Oliver thinks he’s going to shock these kids out of eating chicken nuggets, so he shows them the disgusting way in which some processed chicken nuggets are made. The kids appear duly grossed out until he puts the nuggets in front of them, when they all ultimately admit they’re hungry and want to eat the nuggets no matter how they were prepared.
So when considering the way I want to approach this blog during the hot-stove season, since it is nominally a sports blog affiliated with a sports network and since I do want to maintain some sort of sports-based bent on this site, I wonder: Who do I want to be, in this equation?
I don’t have the stomach to peddle nutritionally devoid nuggets to the hungry masses, no matter how tempting the profit line. And though I can understand the urge to scarf down those nuggets, I don’t really want to be the children either, chewing up and digesting everything in sight without considering the source.
But I also have no strong desire to be Jaime Oliver, tilting at windmills, preaching in vain to try to prevent people from catering to their most base instincts.
Most of my heroes are, well, trolls — those content to remain detached from the action and make fun of it. That probably reflects poorly on me, but it is what it is. Oliver’s show and this segment were introduced to me by Stephen Colbert, whose take on the nuggets bit was absolutely perfect.
All of that is a long-winded, sausage-factory (and excuse the mixed food metaphor) way of saying I probably shouldn’t ignore all the hot-stove stuff even if I think most of it is tiresome. And I think most consumers of offseason rumors would admit that they recognize how few of them come to pass and how little it all means, sort of like the way Oliver’s nugget-eating children guiltily smirk away their trans-fatty transgressions.
So I want to start indulging just a few of a the rumors a couple of times a week here: To examine their sources, their likelihood, and their potential benefits to the actors involved. Because hey, it’s baseball. It’s supposed to be fun. And we’re hungry.
I’ll probably settle into some sort of regular format eventually. Or I’ll get bored with the whole thing and scrap it entirely. Who knows? Check back often to find out!
Here we go:
Wait, but are the A’s also talking about it or are the Reds simply talking about it amongst themselves? And are we talking the Reds’ front-office decision-maker types here, or just like, members of the Reds, sitting around talking about how great it would be if they could make a deal for Andrew Bailey because they heard he makes awesome chili or is easy to fleece in poker or something?
Oh wait! The A’s are very willing to trade Bailey. Maybe the chili gives you disgusting gas. Actually the odds of Bailey being traded are about 100 percent, and he’s even more available than Gio Gonzalez — which makes sense because Gonzalez is younger, way better and under team control for longer, and maybe also, you know, seeing someone.
Anyway, it strikes me that maybe the A’s would be best served hanging on to Bailey, not just to troll reporters everywhere but also because there are a slew of free-agent closer options available this winter — many of whom are coming off injury or frequently injured. Let all those chips fall where they may, then when the chips get hurt, you’re holding the only chip. That’s just Moneyball, or something.
Jack Wilson can’t hit at all. I’ll confess I haven’t seen a ton of Wilson the last couple years and I don’t put too much stock in small-sample UZR data, but he’ll be 34 on Opening Day and he’d have to be among the best defensive middle infielders in baseball to be worth carrying his bat.
Seems hard to believe a half dozen teams would have more than a passing interest in the man, except maybe on a Minor League deal or in terms of like, “oh hey Jack Wilson’s still going? That’s interesting.” Of course it’s certainly possible, because more than a half dozen teams have done stranger things.
Red Sox sign Chorye Spoone: Wait, that’s a real guy? Dickens team? Dickens team.
Obligatory. Lyrics NSFW: