Feb
02

Open Thread: How much does that scoop cost?

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Ever wonder how SI.com’s Jon Heyman ends up breaking so many signings? Sounds like Rich Lederer of The Baseball Analysts has a reasonable explanation (h/t The Yankee Universe). He starts off by noting Heyman’s recent breaking of the Jason Varitek signing, and then makes an observation regarding Heyman’s biography:

If you’re wondering how Heyman got wind of the news before any of the Boston beat writers or columnists, be aware that he had Mark Teixeira going to the Yankees before anyone else and, according to his biography, also “broke the story of Barry Bonds going to the Giants in 1992…Alex Rodriguez going to the Yankees in 2004, A-Rod opting out of his $252-million contract in 2007 and Manny Ramirez going to the Dodgers in 2008.”

Let’s see here. Is there a common thread among Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek, and Barry Bonds? There’s got to be something. What could they all have in common? Oh yeah! They were all represented by Scott Boras at the time of those respective transactions. Is Heyman then a media puppet, used by Boras to hype up his clients in exchange for scoops on those clients signing? Lederer apparently thinks so.

You see, Boras throws Heyman a bone on a Tek or Tex signing but also uses him to spread rumors about the level of interest and terms in ongoing free agent negotiations to create a false sense of demand. Teams that fall for this trick wind up competing against themselves, which is exactly what Boras desires.

While Boras is no fool, Heyman is a tool for the Scott Boras Corporation. Boras knows how to game the system to get the best deals for his clients and will gladly use Heyman as long as the latter plays along or until the market realizes what is going on. As it stands now, it’s almost as if Heyman, who is no stranger to the Boras suites during the winter meetings, is on the SBC payroll.

Lederer goes on to chronicle Heyman’s work regarding Manny Ramirez, starting with his trade to Los Angeles last summer and going all the way through January 28. Given the emphasis Lederer puts on certain lines, I can completely understand why he comes to the puppet-master conclusion.

This does work out for us fans in some way. We hear about signings rather early, as we saw during the Teixeira saga. Since it’s information we crave, this works out well. However, it also creates a mass of false information in the interim, which can be bothersome. We can filter out this noise, however, and just concentrate on Heyman’s “this is a done deal” reports. In other words, I’d recommend subscribing to his blog so you can find out about things like the Mets agreeing in principle with Oliver Perez. For the rest of the material, though, you might want to familiarize yourself with the “Mark as Read” button.

This is your open thread for the evening. The local teams are off in hockey, the Knicks host L.A. in the only local pro hoops action, and new No. 1 UConn heads to No. 7 Louisville (Go Huskies, right Matt?).

Categories : Open Thread

101 Comments»

  1. Manimal says:

    Boras is one sneaky bastard.

  2. Matt says:

    Let’s go Huskies!

  3. Ivan says:

    Tough luck for Bynum and the Lakers. Out for 8-12 weeks with a torn MCL….without surgery.

  4. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    Great find Joe, you always wonder how these things happen.

    While I don’t doubt Heyman is a sock puppet for Boras, I also get the impression he reads MLBTR like the rest of us. On weeks when he has nothing, he sounds like he’s reading off the front page sometimes.

  5. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    One reason I’ve never been a big fan of Heyman, is his reports are always so intentionally ambiguous. “An AL exec says ____” “I’m hearing a lot of ___”

    Its like he doesn’t want to name any team, because someone will simply go to them and ask them if his report is true, and then he will wind up with egg on his face. So he fudges everything, which makes him tough to take seriously.

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      Here’s a few typical Heyman lines from the Lederer piece

      “according to someone familiar with their thinking”

      “There are those suggesting”

      “some baseball people”

      I mean, really. That could mean anybody from the owner to the groundskeepers.

  6. Doc says:

    Heyman is a national beat writer. I hope he has sources like Boras. What writer wouldn’t?

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      Yes, but you’re supposed to cross check your info, which isn’t difficult to do. That is, if you want to get it right. If you carry some agent’s water all winter to get a few scoops here and there, then most of your info is negotiating-driven crap. It exposes Heyman to have little to no ethics as a journalist.

  7. Steve H says:

    I believe about 10% of what Heyman says, but for some reason I like him.

  8. Paulie says:

    Is CC starting opening day of the new stadium definite, or is there a chance someone else actually does?

  9. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    For those who listen to WFAN and/or ESPN, Torre will be on Francesa’s show @ 4:00. But Michael Kay said in his first hour today that HE will have Torre on @ 2:00, scooping Mike and WFAN.

    For anyone who doesn’t know the background to any of this, Francesa carried Torre’s water for YEARS, fighting off caller’s (like me) attacks on his moves. He defended him at every turn, as much as humanly possible while maintaining some credibility. He went out of his way to defend Joe, who he has often said he has a good relationship with.

    Kay was one of Levine’s hatchet men with Torre. He attacked him at every turn, made the case daily for letting him go, credited his success more the Yankee brass than Joe’s managing. He derided his status as ‘Saint Joe’ as being phony and undeserved, and openly admitted to having a bad relationship with Joe.

    Why on earth would Torre do Kay’s show at all, and especially give him the FIRST live radio interview, which is the more desirable one to have?

  10. The Evil Empire says:

    According to Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News, the Dodgers have made another offer to Manny Ramirez. This time it’s a one-year deal worth $25MM.

  11. I liked breaking the Super Bowl porn story to half the internet last night. Woohoo!

  12. Somebody needs to tell Danilo “Big Cock” Gallinari to shave that neckbeard. It’s disgusting and downright Pedroidian.

  13. jim says:

    the manny 1 yr for 25 article has a quote from Coletti “we hope he is happy”

    That is really starting to sound like a disaster for LA.

    LA seems like they are breaking under the Boras pressure. They may just end up signing Dunn.

    • Mike Pop says:

      I think they are playing it just right. He should be signed by now but don’t outbid yourself.

      • Steve H says:

        And if he’s on a 1 year deal he’s motivated and worth $25 mil.

        • Mike Pop says:

          48 hours. Time to swoop in. Deal Nady in 23, then you have 25 to negotiate with Manny. By negotiate, I mean say “Manny 2 years 46 million, take it now or it’s off the table.”

    • Reggie C. says:

      Manny may want another year, but he’s not going to get that AAS anywhere else. He should take it and help the Dodgers get to the playoffs. Or at least make Torre’s life hell…

    • A.D. says:

      The happy comment is that Manny at a bargain is no bargain, if they sign him for below market 2 year deal he could just throw another temper tantrum like he did in Boston.

      1 year they get the slugger fully motivated

  14. Reggie C. says:

    Kobe just exploded at the Garden tonight!! 61 pts in 36 minutes… Wade who?

  15. Mike Pop says:

    Oooo Manny got a deadline.

  16. Mike Pop says:

    I think Manny rejects it.

    • Reggie C. says:

      I think Manny has to come to us and say he’ll be a Yankee if we match… I doubt Cashman picks up the phone.

      • Mike Pop says:

        He goes to Giants. 1 year deal with a club option. But more gauranteed money than 25.

        • Reggie C. says:

          If so then what a freaking waste of a hall-of-fame bat!! SF is a shit team. Manny will get more pple to the bay , but that lineup needs so much more.

          • Mike Pop says:

            I don’t think so. If Sandoval can hit like he can, Bengie keeps it up, and Rowand hits alright. The team can win that division. Pitching staff is incredible. Heh, Lincecum will probably win 26 games with Manny driving in runs.

  17. A.D. says:

    Why would the Mariners trade Jeff Clement & Washburn for Delmon Young. I get duping salary, but trading one of your best prospect who can play now and you’re rebuilding

    • Mike Pop says:

      They need a 3b right? Why not Young for Beltre? Or something to that effect, doesn’t that make more sense.

    • MattG says:

      Does this rumor make anyone want to rethink the Pettitte signing?

      I would love to see Clement backing up Posada, and I am certain the Yankees would be able to offer a pitcher the Mariners would like as much as Delmon Young, who’s stock has really fallen.

      Washburn sucks, but the plan would be to push him to the sixth starter role in mid-May anyway, to give Hughes his shot.

      I guess there’s no way now.

      • Mike Pop says:

        It’s a bunch of bs. Even Bill Smith wouldn’t trade a guy like Delmon for any deal that included Washburn.

        • MattG says:

          No, but Cashman would, if he hadn’t already signed Pettitte. Clement would be so friggin sweet.

          The difference between Washburn and Pettitte might be 3 wins, which is a lot. But still, Jeff Clement…

          • Mike Pop says:

            Who is our Delmon Young?

            • A.D. says:

              I think the idea was we can send pitching their way (which may or may not be true) instead.

            • MattG says:

              I guess it would have to be Kennedy. That’d be painful.

              Maybe Cabrera/McAllister. A lot would depend on what Seattle thought of those players.

              • A.D. says:

                Realistically IPK doesnt match up, Delmon Young still has the talent to be the top prospect and hitter in the minors he was a few years ago. IPK would be a 3rd starter.

                • MattG says:

                  Can’t say I agree. To me, Delmon Young is now an immature kid that can’t control the strike zone. Kennedy is an immature kid that nibbles too much. Delmon has the higher ceiling, but not controlling the strike zone is a problem that is difficult to fix and ruins careers.

                  Nibbling is more easily fixed. As of right now, Kennedy is still a fair bet to have a 10 year career. Delmon Young is at risk of complete flameout.

      • A.D. says:

        They still could, take Washburn, eat the contract, have him mop up, or try and flip him… I mean if they want Clement that badly. I think if they Yanks want a young catcher they’re better off trading some of the pitching for Teagarden/Salty/Montero

        • MattG says:

          I take it as a good sign they aren’t going after a catcher. They must like what they see from Posada’s rehab, Cervelli, and Romine. And maybe Jesus, too.

          Or maybe they are just being reckless. We will know in about 8 weeks!

          • A.D. says:

            Agreed, can’t say I mind they’re not looking for a catcher…even if they are interested makes sense to wait, their prices are all high right now since the Sox have been interested.

  18. pat says:

    It’s kind of sad that actual pirates are more successful at hijacking ships on the open seas than the pittsburgh pirates are at being a competent organization.

  19. Manimal, you’re right, The Great Gatsby is a slow read.

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