‘Tis once again the season of Major League Baseball-related rumor mill nuttiness.
The latest example was kicked off by CBS’ Jon Heyman, who penned an entire Monday column explaining why the St. Louis Cardinals would not likely be in on free agent pitcher Max Scherzer despite his appeal to many as a local product.
Well, almost the entire column was about “why not.” Heyman did include this sentence up front.
“The Cardinals met at some point on Scherzer, and word is that at least a couple of Cardinals players or former players have called Scherzer to make a pitch about the team.”
Some fans who let their hopes cloud their vision or at a minimum did not read the words carefully, drew the conclusion that the Cardinals are in hot pursuit of Scherzer and let their imaginations take off from there. There is one major problem, however. Heyman did not say the two sides have met.
Other folks who do not bother to check out original sources of rumor news can be misled even by sites they may consider reputable. For example, when MLB Trade Rumors regurgitated Heyman’s original article Monday afternoon, they changed “met on Scherzer” to “met WITH Scherzer”.
One silly little word changes the entire meaning.
I would bet that the Cardinals did meet internally “on Scherzer at some point,” just like they undoubtedly did on every potential major free agent in the market. It is business as usual due diligence for any responsible organization – hardly news in itself.
Other things Heyman’s article does NOT say:
1) When the Cardinals met “on” Scherzer.
2) Whether they decided they want to pursue him.
and most importantly
3) Whether there has been any meaningful contact with Scherzer’s agent.
Other than an earlier rumor that Heyman is repeating that a few Cardinals (unknown if current or former players) supposedly called Scherzer, there is nothing of substance there, IMO.
Every year it seems I find and share a textbook example of how rumors spread out of control. This time, it has occurred earlier in the off-season than usual, I suspect.
My plea to you is to be very careful with rumor news and always take it back to where it began. Do not blindly quote the MLBTRs of the world, or worse someone on Twitter, as if they are the original source instead of a potential weak link in the information chain.
Demonstrate healthy skepticism in these matters, please!
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