The end of July is nutty time for baseball fans. The deadline has been an exciting, frantic time for a few years, now. But with Twitter, it's completely unhinged. When this debuted in the late 1800s, people freaked out:
The train was coming through the screen, you see, and everyone was going to die. Except no one died. Well, everyone in the theater eventually did, so I guess they were right to be scared about their mortality, but stay with me. That panic is what Twitter at the trade deadline is like. Every rumor is a train coming through the screen. Every rumor is worthy of overreaction. And when the day is over, we'll realize it was just a 50-second clip of a train. Until the next one, which really might go through the screen!
But it's fun and awful, awful and fun. There's a guilty pleasure in overreacting to every rumor, even if most of them are disposable. Remember this?
Diamondbacks working hard on something big, and a Garza/Upton framework makes sense for both Cubs and Diamondbacks.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 31, 2012
Of course not. They were rumor Cheetos, and we popped them one after another, pausing only to wipe the orange rumor dust on our jeans. And for a while, I was doing it again this year. Rumor rumor rumor rumor rumor rumor trade. Rumor rumor rumor rumor rumor rumor rumor trade. Just like old times! So much fun.
And then, the fog lifts.
This trade deadline is awful.
Michael Young used to be a good baseball player. You don't need me to tell you that. He's a seven-time All-Star, which is something that a few Hall of Famers can't say. And he's one of the more popular names in the Rumor Mill. Yankees? Red Sox? Dodgers? Who could use Michael Young? Then Ken Rosenthal tweeted that Young would accept a trade only to the Rangers, people freaked out. Boo, Michael Young. Booooo.
Except Michael Young is basically Greg Dobbs -- you might want him on a 25-man roster, but you definitely don't want him starting. Replace every Michael Young rumor with Greg Dobbs's name. Greg Dobbs might go to the Yankees. Are the Red Sox interested in Greg Dobbs? Greg Dobbs refuses to waive his no-trade clause. It's the kind of thought exercise that makes you rub your temples and evaluate the choices you've made in your life.
Bud Norris is another one. He was scratched from his start on Tuesday, and you know what that means. Where's Bud Norris going to go? Who wants Bud Norris? The Astros are asking a lot, asking a little, motivated to move him, and reluctant to part with him.
Bud Norris is the averagest pitcher who ever averaged. He wouldn't get a playoff start with a few of the playoff-bound rotations. He is Brett Tomko. No, really, he's pretty much the updated, 2013 version of Brett Tomko. Norris's career ERA+ is 92, the same as Tomko's. Both had value to teams as back-end starters. Neither should ever be the subject of a hot rumor. But in our desperation for hot rumors, we turn to Norris.
Hunter Pence has a .320 OBP and a .457 slugging percentage. He's been a good player this year, especially considering AT&T Park. But he's also one of the very best hitters on the market. Think about that. Hunter Pence is a pretty good player to have. He is not, and never will be a panacea, especially as a two-month rental.
Alex Rios has a .324 OBP and a .428 slugging percentage. And he plays in a hitter's park. He's also one of the top hitters available.
The Royals are probably going to hang onto Ervin Santana, which makes Jake Peavy the best starter on the market. Peavy has an ERA over 4.00, which he has for three out of the last four years. His shoulder and elbow are both filled with gummy bears and parsley sprigs, and he's owed $14.5 million next season with a $15 million player option after that (that's unlikely to vest, but still ...). And, again, he's one of the top pitchers on the market, which means there are rumors and rumors and rumors.
There's no point to this. Just complaining from a rumor junkie. Two final comments:
1. The Rangers are jerks for finalizing a Matt Garza trade so early. Doubly so for doing it on a day when Ryan Braun news broke.
2. Save us, Cliff Lee.
Save us. Because Bud Norris Michael Young Alex Rios Hunter Pence Jake Peavy Bud Norris Michael Young Alex Rios Hunter Pence Jake Peavy Bud Norris Michael Young Alex Rios Hunter Pence Jake Peavy is no way to go through a trade deadline.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to stare at Twitter for the next 24 hours because I'm too far gone. It's too late for me, just leave me. Go. But you still have a chance. You can still get out while you have the chance. You can … ah, hell, pull up a chair. I don't get it either. Let's see where Bud Norris goes, everyone.