Buster Olney Is Insane

November 7, 2007 – 11:19 pm by Ryan Phillips

I have stated time and again that I love the offseason in baseball. I love all the crazy rumors, I love laughing at the bonehead deals GMs offer in an attempt to save their hides and I love the wild fan speculation as to what their team is actually going to do. But today I read something that made me flip out and start literally yelling at my laptop. In the interest of full disclosure, I think I should mention that there was no one else in my apartment at the time.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Padres and Yankees “engaged in conversations at the GM meetings” and that Jake Peavy was “one of the names kicked around.” OK, first of all, Buster, it would be a tantalizing story to jump on if the Padres sent their small town Cy Young winner (I’m assuming the voters aren’t idiots) to the Yankees for Melky Cabrera and some random pitching prospects. I know that’s a story you’d love to break, and you’d be all over and the “Peavy replacing Clemens and doing what Josh Beckett did for the Red Sox” angle. But guess what, if you think the Padres would ever ship Peavy out anywhere, you’re f-ing insane.

Peavy’s name was not “kicked around.” I can tell you right now how that conversation went, ready?

Brian Cashman: Hey Kevin, nice to see you. Maybe we could work a deal. I hear you need some outfield help.
Kevin Towers: Yeah, we’re looking right now. But only for the right deal.

Cashman: Fantastic. Hey would you consider sending us Jake Pea–
Towers: –nice talking to you.

By Olney even saying that Peavy’s name was discussed it starts a chain reaction of people claiming the Padres are looking to move him. It’s disingenuous. The Padres are more likely to relocate to Saskatchewan than they are to move Peavy this offseason. But this crap still happens. I know it’s part of the business, but do you really need to report something like this? I mean we all know that Peavy is going to get calls from friends asking if he’s on the move, if he knows anything, etc. It’s crap and it isn’t even a real rumor.

This is exactly like what happened in July of 2006, when on Baseball Tonight, one of the anchors reported that the Padres and Red Sox were in deep discussions about a Jake Peavy for Mike Lowell deal. They stopped short of calling it imminent, but they implied he was moving. So let me get this straight, the Padres were going to send a then 25-year-old, bona fide No. 1 starter for a then 32-year-old guy in his eighth year who (at the time) had only had two 100+ RBI seasons. Riiiiiight. The funny part is, when asked about that deal Kevin Towers’ actual response was “That’s fu*king bullsh*t,” and he then told Peavy that as long as he was the Padres GM, Peavy was not going anywhere. And that was in the midst of Jake’s worst season as a pro. Why would he move him now after he just won the NL’s triple crown for pitching and should be a unanimous choice for the NL Cy Young?

Then last year an idiot at the Boston Globe wrote this piece of crap about how Manny Ramirez to the Padres for Peavy made sense for everyone involved. Yeah, it made perfect sense … if you were a Red Sox fan.

My point is, all of these potential deals assume that a smaller market team like the Padres would just allow a big market team to walk in and take what they wanted. I mean do you really think Kevin Towers is going to allow himself to be held down while he’s fitted with a gimp mask, then reamed like he just wandered into the wrong shop in Pulp Fiction? Metaphorically speaking.

Me: “Kevin, are you OK?”

Towers: “Naw man. I’m pretty fu*kin’ far from OK.”

Of course he’s not going to do that … at least God I hope not. But fans of big market teams and ESPN “experts” like Mr. Olney and Peter Gammons will continue to report this stuff because it makes big headlines.

Another perfect example of this was the trade talk about Kobe Bryant a few days ago, when Ric Bucher (who I’m convinced knows absolutely nothing) said a three-way deal was close to happening that would have sent Bryant to Chicago, with the Lakers receiving Ron Artest and Ben Wallace in return and P.J Brown and Ben Gordon going to Sacramento. Do you really think the Lakers are that dumb? Sure we’ll take your disgruntled, constantly in trouble problem child and a guy with an obscene monster contract and zero offensive skills for the best player since Michael Jordan, why not? Turns out the only people talking about that deal were the Bulls and Kings. The Lakers were not immediately available for comment because they were laughing their asses off.

So yeah, there’s my rant for the day. Lets just use a little common sense here people. These “reporters” need to stop just saying things to have something to say. Next time could you please have some substance to your work, rather than trying to beat everyone else to the punch?

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  1. 16 Responses to “Buster Olney Is Insane”

  2. Excellent article.
    And on the Bryant-for-Ben+Ron-ron trade, EXACTLY what I thought.

    Keep it up guys…

    By With Malice on Nov 8, 2007

  3. You have great points, but the reporters are using Wayne Gretzky’s theorem on life. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. If they break one big story based on some ridiculous rumor, they’ll be set for a while, so you might as well just publish everything, eventually something will be right.

    By Phil on Nov 8, 2007

  4. While that was Wayne’s theorem on life, he was actually good at his job. Buster Olney is a hack. Making up some absolutely nonsense trade rumor just so he can get a better place in the elephant walk at the WWL does not count as “taking a shot.”

    By MilwaukeeBooter on Nov 8, 2007

  5. Since I stopped being an “Insider” a long, long time ago, I didn’t read this. But it’s a helluva point. Peavy is tradeable for maybe – MAYBE – a handful of guys in baseball, and exactly zero play for the Yankees.

    Peavy’s a Pad for a long, long time.

    By Phony Gwynn on Nov 8, 2007

  6. I remember being 14 years old and hearing Peter Gammons saying the Diamondbacks were going to sign Bernie Williams. That was 10 years ago and I still hate Gammons for giving me a heartattack.
    Oh, and Olney sucks too.

    By mlmintampa on Nov 8, 2007

  7. Not to be confused the Janet Jones Gretzky theorem on life…you push on 100% of the bets you don’t place.

    By GaryMillerIsAWickedPissah on Nov 8, 2007

  8. I’m not saying that Peavy is going to be traded, but the Padres management historically has shied away from long-term contracts for pitchers, and in the current (Barry Zito/Gil Meche) market for starting pitchers, it’s pretty doubtful that the Padres could re-sign the guy. It’s basically the same situation that the Twins are in, but the Padres have two years left instead of one.

    So the question is: do you trade him when you can get a lot, or when you can get a little? Is it worth having him for two years and then getting the 1st rounder/sandwich pick, or would you rather trade him for some genuinely solid prospects?

    This question depends on whether the Padres feel that they can contend in the next two years, and it isn’t pretty. Giles had microfracture surgery, Cameron is gone, Bradley had ligament surgery and is probably gone … that leaves Scott Hairston, Kevin Kouzmanoff/Chase Headley and not much else to man the outfield.

    Meanwhile, Chris Young was terrible down the stretch, Maddux is a million years old, Hoffman is showing signs that he’s near the end of his high-performance era … and the rest of the NL West teams are only getting better apart from the Giants.

    So unless the Padres believe they (a) have a legitimate shot at re-signing Peavy, or (b) think they can win this year with an probably-inferior offense, they HAVE to entertain offers for Peavy. Maybe not right now, but soon.

    By Michael on Nov 8, 2007

  9. I agree that Olney’s a hack, but there’s really no way for you to know for sure that Peavy’s name wasn’t thrown around. It’s quite possible that Towers is putting Peavy’s name out there just to get a sense of where the market is out right now. He could have no interest in trading Peavy, but putting his name out there allows him to get a better sense of the market, for making trades from both sides of the coin.

    By Anonymous on Nov 8, 2007

  10. the man refers to himself as buster.

    case closed.

    By jay destro on Nov 8, 2007

  11. awesome Rant…On my site we are putting in a “bust buster” thread so we can raise the bull shit flag during the season.

    I get after him in and his lack of sources in my mets hot stove post if you’re into reading it….

    truesportsfans.blogspot.com

    By Truesportsfans General on Nov 8, 2007

  12. Today on his blog Buster wrote that “the Padres and Yankees talked briefly about a possible deal that almost certainly won’t happen (Jake Peavy for Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera).”

    In my opinion, that would be a steal – for the Padres. Hughes and Cabrera are cheap and under control for 6 and 5 years, respectively, while Peavy is only signed for next season with an option for ’09 before hitting free agency.

    By Anonymous on Nov 8, 2007

  13. An NL Cy Young champ for a mediocre outfielder and a young prospect with injuries is far from a steal.

    By Anonymous on Nov 8, 2007

  14. As several commenters have already pointed out, SD isn’t going to give Peavy the kind of money he’s going to ask for after ’09 – Towers and Alderson just don’t believe in long-term, big money deals. Coming off the yr he just had, it’s the absolute best time to maximize his value, as it would be tough for him to duplicate in ’08 what he just did in ’07. Whether they can get what they want is another story, but I don’t think this is just Olney throwing random things out there – Towers will listen to anyone right now who wants to talk about Peavy.

    By JS on Nov 8, 2007

  15. Buster Olney is off is rocker sometimes, he started all this speculation about Scott Rolen and the Twins yesterday, only for the Twins to deny it.

    By TheBoss on Nov 9, 2007

  16. Yep it didn’t take long for buster to get at it again….

    This is from yesterday’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune…

    ” ORLANDO — Buster Olney at ESPN.com has reported that the Twins and
    Cardinals are discussing a deal that would bring Scott Rolen to the Twins. I
    just spoke with two Twins officials who said they have had no discussions
    about Rolen whatsoever.
    “That name has never been brought up in any of our meetings. I don’t
    know what the source of the rumor is, but there is certainly no truth to the
    report,” said GM Bill Smith.

    read more of “Busting Buster” at truesportsfans.blogspot.com

    By Truesportsfans General on Nov 9, 2007

  17. The reverse is often true. Old Man Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune all but guaranteed there was no way that the Timberwolves would move Kevin Garnett. And he wrote something along the lines of “If you talked to the Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor as often as I do, you would know that there is no way they are moving Garnett.”

    Really, Sid? They wouldn’t LIE to you, maybe? That’s the thing–sports “journalists”, just like “real journalists” get told some secret by some insider, and they never stop and ask themselves, “Am I being used here?” They are just happy to be the one being told.

    By Big Blue Monkey on Nov 10, 2007

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