Testy Copy Editors

The gang that couldn't swap straight
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Author:  Wabberjocky [ Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:05 pm ]
Post subject:  The gang that couldn't swap straight

From an ESPN.com story on the delayed Erik Bedard-Adam Jones trade between Seattle and Baltimore:

The conversations progressed to the point that the Mariners informed two players central in the deal -- Jones and Sherrill -- that they needed to go to Baltimore for physical examinations.

When Jones was quoted as saying the deal was completed, this created a rules question, sources say: If the Jones went for his physical examination, would the Orioles then be beholden to accept him, even if the physical exam did not go well.

The Orioles have asked the Mariners for written language that Seattle will submit Jones and Sherrill for a physical examination by the Orioles -- and if they pass physicals, then and only then will Baltimore be obligated to finish the trade. The inherent risk for the Mariners is that if either Jones or Sherrill were to flunk their physicals in Baltimore, then the respective value of the players would be diminished within the industry.

This is ridiculous. This is like saying that if a newspaper offers a job to a copy-desk candidate and he or she flunks the drug test, they'd still be obligated to hire that person.

Author:  Vanderhoof Viking [ Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

I agree. I would note, though, the only person saying the deal is complete appears to be Jones, who may be putting the cart before the horse.
"I have to go to Baltimore for a physical, so the deal must already be complete."
Not, "Baltimore doesn't want to complete the deal until they know I'm healthy," which would be the more logical assumption.
I would call this another case of "Consider the source" and then write accordingly, something ESPN.com decided not to do, apparently.

Author:  Wabberjocky [ Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

Then again, it could be argued that Jones was told something to the effect that the deal was done — and, in his naivete, said as much to the reporter in Venezuela. That, in turn, forced the Mariners to shut him up. I've heard the audio of the interview, and it's clear Jones believed that he was being sent to Baltimore for the physical to complete the trade. He was not misquoted, as he later claimed — because, I think it's likely, he was told by Mariner brass to backpedal from that interview.

I'm more inclined to think Jones said what he was told, and, as a pragmatic PR move, the Mariners had to back away Jones' words so as not to needlessly antagonize the Orioles. Of course, by that time, it was too late.

Author:  Wayne Countryman [ Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

According to the Baltimore Sun, the physical was cancelled and has not been rescheduled. Nothing else is clear.

Check ESPN again tonight to see if a mob of Orioles fans waving torches and pitchforks descends on the offices at the stadium.

Author:  Wabberjocky [ Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

I love how so many people are so willing to blame this whole fiasco on a 22-year-old kid who did nothing but play it straight. And the reporters caught between backpedaling, double-speaking sources.

What about McPhail, the de-testicled GM? Or Angelos, the Charles Foster Kane of baseball owners? Or Bill Bavasi, who seems willing to mortgage his organization's future against an 83-win season in 2008?

Update: The Mariners just signed Brad Wilkerson to fill the outfield position that had been held for Jones. That certainly seems to indicate the Seattle-Baltimore trade is a likely go.

Author:  Wayne Countryman [ Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

Orioles-loving Baltimorons are suggesting that MacPhail resign if it turns out Angelos is impeding this trade.

And people assume Angelos is to blame.

Author:  Wabberjocky [ Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

The deal is finally done. There's probably a book to be written about all the bullshit that led up to this trade — not the least of which why Seattle felt they had to give away the future for a 2008 that almost certainly will not result in a playoff appearance.

Congratulations, Baltimore. Enjoy Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Tony Butler, Chris Tillman and Kam Mickolio as we who follow prospects in Seattle have. All five are likely to have above-average major-league careers. Erik Bedard is equally likely to spend long stretches on the disabled list.

Author:  Crabby Editor [ Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The gang that couldn't swap straight

Wabberjocky wrote:
This is ridiculous. This is like saying that if a newspaper offers a job to a copy-desk candidate and he or she flunks the drug test, they'd still be obligated to hire that person.

I am waiting for someone to chime in with "Hey, it worked for me."

Author:  Wayne Countryman [ Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The gang that couldn't swap straight

So, the trade went through. Orioles GM Andy MacPhail says owner Peter Angelos was not the cause of the delay (though no reason was given that I know of).

The O's have signed Steve Trachsel to a minor league contract to fill that itty bitty hole in the pitching staff.

Most Baltimore sports fans will await the NFL draft and the Ravens' training camp with a little less bitterness than they would have if the trade had fallen through.

(Baltimore fans revel in bitterness: The NFL has been dead to many since the Colts left town. The move of the Ravens from Cleveland is seen by some as an abduction worthy of civic shame. It's a football town. Those who pay high prices to sit in Camden Yards to watch Angelos' clodhoppers are seen as chablis-and-brie-filled poseurs.)

Author:  Wabberjocky [ Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, Seattle is well-positioned to fill the bitterness void:

— The Mariners suck, and just sold off the future to ensure a non-playoff present.

— The Sonics, one of the two or three worst teams in the NBA, are suing to get out of their arena lease so they can relocate to Oklahoma City.

— The iconic University of Washington football program is reeling from a series of recently published revelations in The Seattle Times that its beloved 2000 Rose Bowl team was populated with accused rapists, gun-wielding thugs and traffic scofflaws — all of whom were protected from scrutiny by university leaders, police and county prosecutors. (Best part of the series was learning that football players enrolled in Swahili language courses, taught by a football-program apologist, to get easy high grades.)

— And the Seahawks are in pretty good shape, actually ... unless you don't happen to think that good but not good enough to win the Super Bowl is good enough.

Author:  Wabberjocky [ Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Early Baltimore-Seattle trade results:

Adam Jones: Three hits, great defense
George Sherrill: 3 saves in 3 opportunities

SEATTLE: 0 wins
Erik Bedard: Start scratched due to hip injury


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