Hey, a headline about my beloved Toronto Blue Jays, let’s take a look!
WOW! THAT’S INTERESTING!
OH, LOOK, HERE’S ANOTHER ONE ON THE SAME STORY! THIS MUST BE BIG!
OH BOY! THAT COULD SURE HELP THE OUTFIELD NEXT YEAR!
Now to take a big sip from my giant coffee mug and click on the source material for these reports…
Like, don’t get me wrong here, I can’t begrudge anybody from trying to get some sweet aggregation clicks. I’ve done that sort of thing for years — the playbook these sites are running when it comes to this stuff is awfully familiar, in fact *COUGH* (though I do like to try to at least add something to it of my own when passing along such things) — but I’m pretty sure that, for all that has gone off the bloody rails in this world over these last twelve foul months, words still do have meaning!
Even when they’re coming from Nick Cafardo! As these ones just so happen to be.
I know it’s pretty subtle, but let’s be serious here. An item at an auction that “draws interest from” someone gets looked over. The potential buyer pauses for consideration. “There are other lots that will go up for auction tonight,” she thinks, “but maybe I should think about this one — maybe it’s got the best combination of fit for my budget and likelihood that I’ll actually win it. Hmmm. We shall see.”
To “target” or to “pursue” something is a little bit different — it’s a few steps down the line in that process.
So… I guess, then, my question about all this is… um… can we not?
There will be more than enough bullshit for us to get excited about over the next couple of months. More of it will surely come from Mr. “Throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” Cafardo, who here isn’t so much even offering a “report,” as the headlines above breathlessly say, but noticing that Bruce is a free agent, that the Jays “were after him” at some point during the season, that they had a player’s medicals nix a deal for him two springs ago, that the Jays have at least one hole to fill in their outfield, and putting two and two together.
That’s just sorta what he does a lot of the time. There’s no more inside scooping in most of his “rumours” than there is in a piece that starts with “Morosi:” and comes out within 20 minutes of that guy’s latest radio hit. It’s more just “this is a thing, and this is a thing, so maybe THIS is a thing.” And then suddenly it’s news!
Suddenly I have to interrupt my Saturday evening to write about a dumb thing that could literally have been written at any point over the last two years. (No offence to the writers at theScore and Sportsnet, who are just doing what they’re paid to do — and, to be fair, the very first line of the body of the Sportsnet post quotes “draw interest,” just not the headline.)
Worse, suddenly I have people tweeting at me, several more steps down this nonexistent road, wondering how in the world adding Jay Bruce helps the Blue Jays get younger and more athletic — WHICH IS WHAT THEY SAID THEY WERE GOING TO DO!
It doesn’t! Which is fine! If they can improve enough in other areas, like hitting or catching the damn ball, without impeding prospects or taking on too much long-term payroll, who could possibly care? Youth and athleticism is a nice long-term goal, but the path to there doesn’t have to be so straight and unwavering. Perfection is the enemy of good, as they say.
What “they” should also say, though, is exactly what Keegan says right here — because he’s goddamn bang on:
When parroting other's offseason reports, it's important to stay true to original language. Specific words are (usually) used intentionally.
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) November 4, 2017
Should becomes could, may becomes will, and the broken telephone is melted down & poured into red cans to fuel the Offseason Content Machine— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) November 4, 2017
Hot stove’s a-blazin’ now, though, ain’t she?