Thursday, September 12, 2013

ESPN Creates A Potential Story, Then Riffs On Said Story

ESPN has done a pretty good job at creating stories out of nothing, and then having their talking head pundits continue the story. Deadspin has a good example of how ESPN "created a story out of thin air" on the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick.

Here's one they have created about the Dodgers. First, Buster Olney's column indicated that big things are going to be afoot for the Dodgers this offseason (link insider only):

The tentative schedule for 2014 was released Tuesday, and you can already look forward to some interesting dates for next year, beyond those first two games played in Australia between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers on March 22-23.

1. April 4: The Dodgers unveil their latest acquisition at home

OK, so we don’t know who exactly it will be. Maybe it’ll be a manager, if Don Mattingly isn’t retained. Maybe it’ll be a new infielder. But the Dodgers are like the Lakers now, in that they are always looking for new and better, and That Guy will play his first home game for the Dodgers on this date, against the Giants.

Not a bad hypothesis, to be sure. Olney wants an excuse to trumpet the Dodgers-Diamondbacks' 2014 season opener in Sydney next year; and, it's not entirely unexpected that Stan Kasten and company will continue to spend to upgrade the team, at any position or management slot.

But then what gets wonky is, ESPN's AJ Mass also riffs on Olney's story, expounding on they hypothetical, in "Who will be "that guy" for the Dodgers?" (link insider only):

So let's speculate on exactly who "That Guy" could be by nominating three potential candidates who might end up fulfilling Buster's prophecy:

Mike Scioscia: Given how close Mattingly was to getting the axe earlier this season, he certainly could get a pink slip should the Dodgers get bounced from the playoffs in their first series. After a frustrating season in Anaheim, and rumors of a rift between Scioscia and general manager Jerry DiPoto, owner Artie Moreno could end up having to let one of them go. Scioscia is signed through 2018, but staying in Los Angeles might be appealing to him, and the Dodgers could be interested in their former catcher as well. Hmm, if a deal can be arranged in which the Dodgers unload Andre Ethier's contract to the Angels in return for the manager, this could be a win-win.

Robinson Cano: If Mattingly stays, his historical ties to the New York Yankees could give the Dodgers a leg up in negotiating a deal with the free agent second baseman. Certainly paying for Cano rather than exercising a $5.75 million on the much-older, less-productive Mark Ellis makes a lot of sense for a team without many payroll restrictions. Of course, Cano is 31 years old, and the team has expressed a desire to guarantee contracts only up to the age of 36. A five-year deal might not be enough to seal the deal, but given the solid supporting cast Cano would have in Los Angeles, perhaps it could get the job done.

Tim Lincecum: The Dodgers have already grabbed ex-Giant Brian Wilson, giving him a chance to revive his career following Tommy John surgery. Why not take a stab at getting "The Freak" as well? Lincecum's struggles over the past two seasons certainly will give the Giants pause in terms of overpaying for what they might feel is a pitcher who has already given them the best years of his career. But Lincecum still has more mileage left in his arm than current Dodgers southpaw Chris Capuano. An upgrade might be in order.

These are all pretty serious grenades for Mass to be dropping in the room. Scioscia would mean replacing a manager who was on the hot seat earlier this season, but has led or at least presided over one of the most remarkable runs by any MLB team in history, post-All-Star break, as well as a playoff berth. Cano is obviously one of the gems of this year's free agent class, and will come at a high price tag. The prospect of adding San Francisco Giant Lincecum is obviously controversial not only because of his history with our hated rival (which tends to not be a prior experience that yields dividends for the Dodgers (see: Jason Schmidt)), but also due to his declining velocity and effectiveness.

It's almost like Olney and Mass (whose experience base is fantasy sports) set this 1-2 punch all up just to stir up controversy. Let's all calm down on the conspiracy theories for future events, and enjoy the here and now a bit more.


Fred's Brim said...

Yuck, no Lincecum, please.
I think I would rather sign somebody like Dan Haren to a short deal.

Paul said...

The Dodgers will lose next year but they will also win. Sometimes right after the other and sometimes in a row but when? The Sons will drink beer and make party but what beer and will a monkey be involved? Again? Never again? What dreams may come in 2014?

BJ Killeen said...

I've been asking for Mike S for years now