Guide To Rumor Lingo

With the winter meetings kicking off today, you’re going to see a ton of rumors fly the next few days. Some of them will have basis in the truth, while others make you question the sanity of the person reporting it as news. But all of them will rely on anonymous sourcing, as the only way for writers to get information from the teams is to agree to not reveal where the information came from. The need to hide the identity of the source while simultaneously giving the reader enough reason to believe it is credible has led to the birth of a new language, which can be confusing for people not familiar with the lingo. So, to help you get through all the rumors, I present a handy english translation of baseball rumor related terms.

A Person Familiar With The Negotiations – Someone who has refreshed constantly.

Major League Source – Charlie Sheen.

A Source With Knowledge Of The Player’s Thoughts – The player’s agent.

A Baseball Official – An engineer at Rawlings.

Guy Who Gave Jon Heyman His Information – Scott Boras.

Try to keep these relationships in mind when you’re reading that “a major league source” has indicated that the Indians are considering sending Grady Sizemore to Washington for Cristian Guzman and a player to be named later.

Kidding aside, though, there are some good reporters out there – Ken Rosenthal rarely gets stuff wrong, for instance. But this time of year, there’s always misinformation flowing, and you have to be careful about getting too worked over any certain rumor. Don’t take any one report too seriously. If there’s something to it, it will get confirmed fairly quickly.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rich in NJ
12 years ago

What’s really going on is that most media types are susceptible to being spun, as agents and GMs seek to further their negotiating interests. Rosenthal has been as guilty as most of his colleagues.