Damon sits in spin central
From ESPN‘s Buster Olney:
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the kind of all-out spinning that is going on with the Johnny Damon negotiations. The White Sox are reported to be in the negotiations … but maybe they’re not really in them at all, except for the purpose of due diligence, as Joe Cowley writes; Kenny Williams might be playing a game of chess.Along the way Thursday, I was told by someone in baseball that he was asked to leak word of a particular two-year offer to Damon — to stir the pot and artificially nudge those involved in the bidding.
It’ll be interesting to see, after the smoke clears, where the final numbers are on Damon. As of Thursday night, the wide expectation of rival executives was that Damon would wind up back with the Tigers.
Olney is just highlighting a practice that many of us are already aware of as hot stove enthusiasts. Some writers, not all of course, but some – like SI‘s Jon Heyman, who often tries to help Scott Boras – are used by agents to drum up artificial interest in their clients. Sometimes these writers do this unknowingly, thinking that they’re simply leaking a juicy story, and, in some instances – again, I point to Heyman – the writers release disinformation knowingly, and do so in exchange for legitimate breaking news at a later date. Portraying oneself as a news source and then engaging in this sort of deceitful behavior seems reprehensible, however, these writers are fighting for name recognition in a saturated business. While it is not at all condonable, I admit that I understand the reasoning behind it (to a degree).
Anyway, just be careful what you read out there and I’ll try and be careful with what I “report.”
Photo via Stephers77