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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mocking Buster Olney about his dopey Pujols-Howard trade story

I wrote a piece for The Faster Times about ESPN senior writer Buster Olney's ridiculous story about the possibility of the Philadelphia Phillies trading Ryan Howard to the St. Louis Cardinals for Albert Pujols.

Olney's article is literally based on nothing more than an anonymous front office discussion in the Phillies front office. The speculation should have stayed there, instead of hitting the front page at ESPN.com, and becoming a breathless story on the Worldwide Leader.

Anyhow, my point was that if a blogger wrote anything like what Olney did, based on nothing more than some front office water cooler talk somebody happened to tell the writer about, we'd still be hearing the denunciations from the mainstream media about how completely irresponsible the story was. And if a sports radio caller were to suggest such a deal, he'd get hung up on in mid-dream.

As I note in the article, I've taken everything Olney writes with a grain of salt ever since his Last Night of the Yankees Dynasty book, which had Mariano Rivera at Yankee Stadium, not in Arizona's ballpark (the BOB, or whatever they're calling it these days) on the cover. If you're going to suggest that Game 7 of the 2001 World Series was the end of an era, you should show a photo from that night, not one from a victory the week before!

What do you think? Tell us about it.

4 comments:

Rob Abruzzese said...

Hey Lisa, I'm not asking to make fun of your or anything, but did you read Olney's book? It's just that I thought he did a good job explaining how the title and cover were not his idea and he fought up until the moment they were being printed to change the title.

Bronx Baseball Daily

Lisa Swan said...

He didn't have that in the original edition, which is the one I read.

Rob Abruzzese said...

Yeah, I read a later edition which was written after the 2004 World Series.

Uncle Mike said...

This sounds like the story about Larry MacPhail, then general manager and part-owner of the Yankees, and Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey getting blitzed after the 1946 (or was it 1948?) season, and in their stupor, agreeing to trade Joe DiMaggio (who would have benefited as a right-handed hitter from Fenway Park's Green Monster) for Ted Williams (who would have benefited as a lefty from Yankee Stadium's short right-field porch).

Supposedly, that trade was worked out on a cocktail napkin, which could be the most valuable baseball artifact ever if it was actually found.

The story also goes that Yawkey woke up the next morning and decided that Ted was worth more than Joe (clearly, he was far from sober), and demanded that the Yankees throw in a funny-looking young outfielder who could also catch, and they said no, and that turned out to be Yogi Berra. As the man himself might say, You can make a really good trade when you don't make a trade.

But Howard for Pujols? Makes no sense. Sure, Pujols would hit well at Citizens Bank Park; he would also hit well anywhere else, including the new Busch Stadium. The same can be said of Howard. Clearly, neither man needs a change of scenery; both men are at least in Playoff contention every season (and each already has 2 Pennants and 1 ring); and, assuming neither is proven 'roided up, Pujols is definitely going to the Hall of Fame, and Howard looks like a good candidate for it.

What this really sounds like, to me, is a 1995 episode of "Seinfeld" where George Costanza figures out a way to get both Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. It involved giving up, among others, Bernie Williams. I don't care that Bonds and Griffey have nearly 1,400 homers between them: I wouldn't have made that trade then, and I wouldn't retroactively make that trade now.

Congratulations, Buster: You are now on the same level as Costanza. As Jerry would say, You have crossed the line that separates man and bum. You are now a bum. And not the old Brooklyn variety, either!