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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Scherzer-Cardinals Speculation is All In a Word

‘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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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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20 Responses to “Scherzer-Cardinals Speculation is All In a Word”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Every year this kind of crap happens. No one seems to ever learn.

    The Cardinals are not going to pay out the nose for Scherzer. He’s a Boras client and he is going to the absolute highest bidder at the last possible moment.

    These “rumors” and the way they get out of control make me crazy.

  2. Brian Walton says:

    In the less than an hour since I wrote the above, some knucklehead with 194 followers tweeted that the Cards are in talks with the Phillies on Hamels. Then someone else with about the same number of followers added that he thinks it came from Heyman, but he is not sure. Of course, he is too lazy to look. He just types away.

    I looked out my window and noticed a full moon. I wish the idiocy would pass as quickly. Fat chance.

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    The Super Agent is looking north of $200MM for Max. Few teams will splurge at this price tag.

  4. Bw52 says:

    It is fun reading all the rumors and gossip among sportswriters about who is visiting who and for how much so and so will get.I take it all with a grain of salt.Still its a interesting time during the winter meetings looking for realistic Cards info and rumors.

  5. Bw52 says:

    Ken Boyer passed over again.How does this happen again?Boyer was better than any other 3B in NL during late 50`s early 60`s with the glove and KB hit for power in a pitchers park and was a consistent RBI guys and hit for good average.Won M VP in 1964.Was big bat in WS win in 1964.Yet Ron Santo who played in a hitters park (212 HRs in Wrigley 132 road total 342 HRs) Kenny Boyer (130 STLouis, 152 Road) is in HOF while KB is probably finished with his chances.KB ONE year 30 plus HRs,7years 20 HRs,TWO years 100 RBIs,6 years 90 RBI,5 times .300 BA,5 Gold Gloves,ONE MVP,ONE World Championship.
    Santo-4 30 HR years,7 -20 HR years,4 -100 RBI,4 -90 RBI,4-.300 BA,5 Gold Gloves,ZERO MVPS,ZERO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.

    Another screwup and another failure to do right.
    Eddie Matthews was the big superstar 3Bduring the 50`s and early 60`s because of his hitting ,not because of his glove,Brooks Robinson was starting to become a offensive threat in early 60`s to go with his glove work.So KB was the 2nd best 3B of his era yet he remains outside while the writers who apparently were fascinated by Santo`s heel-kicks and the all the Cubs pennant races.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Considering Boyer received no more than three votes of 16, it appears his contemporaries on the Golden Era Committee were unimpressed. Ironically, the Hall of Fame website is down today so I cannot see this year’s voters.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I don’t mean for this to come across as disrespectful in any way. After all, we are talking about the top one percent of the greatest players of all time.

      But sympathy can play a part in voting. Once these players are retired, their numbers are what they will always be. All that can change over time is peoples’ perception of them. Santo was elected by the Golden Era Committee after fighting diabetes for years while in a high-profile broadcasting job and dying too young. And to be fair, it happened with Boyer, too, on a different scale. He also died too young, so the Cards turned around and retired his number, even though his contributions alone compared to others probably did not justify it.

      • Bw52 says:

        No problem Brian.I agree that Santo had much more exposure after retirement than KB.KB died 13 years after his career ended.Santo had 30 years of lobbying in his favor.I just don`t see how a rational observer can put Santo in and leave KB out.If ythere was ever a case4 of out-of-sight-out of-mind Kenny Boyer was the victim of it.

        • Brian Walton says:

          The saddest part about the Santo story, in my opinion, is that they waited until two years after he died to honor him. Wouldn’t it have been exponentially more meaningful to everyone if Santo could have stood at the podium in Cooperstown himself? If he was good enough to enter in 2012, why wasn’t he good enough to do so while alive?

          I agree that Boyer has been overlooked and it appears he will continue to be.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Warning, Bw52. If you read this, you will be even angrier about the vote.

  6. Brian Walton says:

    In what has to be the least surprising news of the week, Bob Nightengale reports the Cards are not actively pursuing Scherzer because he is too expensive. Well, duh…

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