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Boneheaded Sportswriter of 2008
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Congratulations, Jon Heyman. You're worthless.
by Asher B. Chancey,
July 29, 2008

Wanna know why the casual baseball fan is often surprised when big-name trades are often windfalls for the team getting rid of the big name? It is because ineffectual, complacent, burn outs like Jon Heyman at Sports Illustrated writes things like the following in columns entitled "The Daily Scoop":

"Baseball people love the Yankees' trade for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte, even if the Pirates did decide to substitute Dan McCutchen and Jeff Karstens for Phil Coke and George Kontos. The Yankees had long been focused on Marte, who's the perfect addition to their previously all-righty relief corps (though one NL exec cautions, 'Pitching in New York's different than Pittsburgh'). Still, Marte's $6-million option for 2009 looks like a bargain for the Yankees.

"The Pirates' end of things got mixed reviews. Jose Tabata is seen as talented but immature, and he'd fallen below Austin Jackson in the minds of most Yankees execs. Ross Ohlendorf is a "great arm'' but "fails to consistently execute his pitches,'' one A.L. exec says. Still, there's no doubt the Pirates, who don't expect to win next year and never would have picked up Damaso Marte's option, did the right thing by making a trade for the future."

Wow, such expert analysis "Baseball people" (holy crap, what on earth does that mean?) like this trade for the Yankees, who get two players who are performing well now, while giving "mixed reviews" for the players the Pirates got in return, who are all prospects and have unclear futures.

Isn't that like saying "Steve traded 10 seeds to Paul for three apples. I think Steve got the better end of the deal, because those apples sure do look good. As for Paul, it is hard to tell who knows if he'll plant those seeds, if they'll grow, if Paul will harvest them before they rot on the vine, if they'll taste good. Steve definitely got the better end of the deal. Mmmmm. Apples."

The Yankees look to have gotten the better deal because they got players who are performing now, while we can't quite say about the Pirates, because they got prospects. Thanks for the "Scoop," Jon.

Here's a little sage trade-deadline advice from Heyman, commenting on the likelihood of Mark Teixeira going to Arizona:

"The D-Backs are a potential player for Teixeira. However, Conor Jackson's nice year, versatility (he's good in left as well as at first) and contractual situation (he's not eligible for free agency for three more years) would make him off-limits for Teixeira."

If that trade-prospect analysis struck you as odd, it should have not everyday that one considers whether a team would trade its best offensive player to add offense before the deadline. In other news, I am getting reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks are interested in acquiring Felix Hernandez, but would be unlikely to trade Brandon Webb to get him. Can I call my news a "Scoop"?

Heyman also managed to offer the following rapier advice on the chances of the Boston Red Sox shedding Manny Ramirez before the deadline:

"Meanwhile, the Red Sox are also unlikely to trade Ramirez unless they can find an immediate replacement, a near impossibility considering the small number of potentially available players who could approximate his production."

Mind you, this little nugget came after ten paragraphs of analysis of the current turmoil between Manny and the Red Sox. After retreading the same story that I think has come up every year for the last five, Heyman states the obvious that playoff bound teams don't trade their superstar player unless they can get something better in return.

You gotta wake up pretty early in the morning to scoop Jon Heyman.

In the same article in which Heyman laid pipe for 15 paragraphs analyzing a feud which has been going on since before the Swift Boat Veterans starting smearing John Kerry, and offering us odds on a trade that no one thinks is going to happen, Heyman offered the following nugget on the topic of Brian Giles:

"Brian Giles' name has been connected to the Mets, though a Mets person said that must be the Padres' hope because he's not currently on their radar."

And that was it. Twenty-seven words of analysis on the trade prospects of one of the most underrated players in baseball. And what's more, it was a mere bullet-point. Heyman brought up the topic of Giles, but couldn't do the research (or have his college-intern lackey do the research) that would have revealed that Giles is having a fantastic year, that his numbers and value are being misrepresented by playing his home games at Petco Park, and that because of this misrepresentation and the fact that the Padres are out of it Giles could be an impact player available on the cheap.

It is not as though this information is hard to come by is free for everyone. So why didn't Jon Heyman a nationally syndicated sportswriter do a little leg work and go into a little detail on a player that a lot of us may not be familiar with? Ah right, because he had to fill us in on the on-going Manny Ramirez saga.

It is like writing a weekly television column, and spending a page and a half recapping American Idol before writing in a bullet point that The Wire continues to underdraw despite massive critical acclaim. Just write the easy stuff, Heyman. That way, you don't run the risk of being wrong or of having to do any actual work.

Congratulations, Jon Heyman. You're worthless.

Questions? Concerns? Comments? Asher lives in Philadelphia, PA, and can be reached at

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