I'm always interested in the off season trade rumors, particularly the absurd rumors. Remember the 2007 off season when Erik Bedard wasn't heading to Seattle but to Cincinnati for a package that would have included Joey Votto? What about Felix Pie coming to the Orioles, not in the 2009 trade that saw the Orioles only have to give up Garrett Olson and Hank Williamson, but when he was supposed to be a cornerstone for a Brian Roberts deal in January 2008?
With Twitter making it easier than ever to break news (and false news), it's been fun watching the Grant Balfour situation play out over the last week and a half. Regardless of whether you think writing about rumors is true reporting or not, it's the time of the year when amateur's come out of the woodwork to extoll the wisdom of their "sources."
Andrew Bickli, a Morgantown, West Virginia resident, was the first to get the Jim Johnson trade to Oakland.
Last week, he announced that the Orioles had signed Grant Balfour.
But a week later, Grant Balfour still hasn't signed and it's not paperwork or a physical holding up the process. It should just be a matter of days before the deal is closed, but that's the point - the deal wasn't close to being done yet was "reported."
Rickli nailed the Johnson trade. But it's almost null and void when the next report is about a "done" deal, yet that deal is still being very much hashed out a week later.
Since last week, Bickli and Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports have been having a friendly skirmish back and forth on Twitter. Yesterday, Roch tweeted again about the potential Balfour deal:
Moments later, Bickli sent another tweet out, clearly directed at Kubatko:
If the regular season and the off season trades and signings don't give you enough drama, Twitter has you covered.
I have no horse in this race but I'm more inclined to trust Roch, who covers the Orioles year round and has numerous sources. Rickli got the Johnson trade right and my guess is he will claim ownership of the Balfour deal, if it gets completed. But in the grand scheme of things, that's not better than me saying, "The Orioles will win a World Series in the future" and point to that claim as proof that I had inside information when the World Series victory eventually happens.