Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Setting The Odds.

Yesterday was the monthly Grammar Obliteration Fest at the Journal Sentinel -- or, as it more commonly known, the Anthony Witrado JSOnline chat. Normally, I'm just a voyeur during Tony's chats. Yesterday, though, I felt compelled to comment -- and, for some reason, Tony felt equally compelled to respond.

Here's what happened:

Apparently, Witrado went on 'SSP the other day, and, at the end of the interview, he made a cryptic remark about the Brewers trading Ryan Braun, a possibility that Tony's suggested on 'SSP before. Jonathan from Brewers Daily has the exact quote:
"I've talked to some people who are involved with making decisions with this organization," said Witrado. "And, as your baseball insider, I will tell you that the idea that I floated out there about trading Ryan Braun, I'm not alone."
Now, this type of "I've got access and I'm not afraid to flaunt it" attitude is nothing new from Tony -- and it rubs a lot of people the wrong way, as Brandon from Milwaukee showed during yesterday's chat:
when the hell are you going to shut up about trading prince fielder and ryan braun? Nobody is unhappy with anything, those guys are just dissapointed and they expected better (and rightfully so). ... again, braun DID NOT ask for a trade, so my advice to you is to put a damn sock in it, and stop it with these ridiculous rumors about trading fielder and braun because it WILL NOT HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!
Retorted Tony:
Bitter much? ... Also, I'm nowhere near the only person saying these things, including some in the Brewers organization. You might have separation anxiety if these guys leave, but there are docs who can help out with that kind of stuff, I hear.
It was at this point that I, your most humble servant, decided to enter the fray. (Why, you ask? I dunno. Pot-stirring, I suppose.) I submitted a smart-ass comment that I never expected Witrado to post:
Not a question, more of an FYI, re: this trading Ryan Braun nonsense. Beer vendors don't count as "some in the Brewers organization."
No doubt, it's not exceptionally clever, but, like I said, I didn't expect a response. But then Tony wrote:
I don't think people in Brewers uniforms are selling beer. Although, I don't follow their every move so I guess I wouldn't know for sure.
I was immediately struck by two things: (1) they must be getting some really shitty questions during these chats if a blatant cockhead question/comment like mine sees daylight; and (2) Witrado suggesting that "people in Brewers uniforms" are talking about trading Braun.

What, exactly, does that mean? After consulting with some of my most trusted advisers, I've settled on the following possibilities, and I've assigned the following odds to each:
  • 250-to-1: Tony has a source in the front office, but he's operating under the mistaken impression that GMs (and other front office types) wear uniforms, just like the manager does. I don't think he's bright, but even I doubt he's this dense. He did play pro ball, you know -- he should have an idea that the guys upstairs wear suits. (Presumably, it was one of those guys-in-suits who told young, professional-ballplayer Tony to stop coming to the ballpark.)
  • 50-to-1: Tony's got a source in the clubhouse, and it's Ken Macha. Some of my advisers think this is likely the answer, but I'm skeptical. For one, can you picture Macha confiding in Anthony Witrado? I mean, how would that discussion even start? "Hey, Tony -- cool FUBU jacket. I was thinking of getting one myself." "Oh, yeah?" "Yeah, it's 'tight,' as the kids say. Hey, do you have a minute? I'd like to bitch about Braun to you -- off the record, of course." "Oh, sure, Ken. Let's rap." Seems a little far-fetched, doesn't it?
  • 5-to-1: The "people in Brewers uniforms" who have talked about Braun being traded are other players. See, I think this one is more likely. Maybe Casey McGehee asked for a Remetee, and Braun gave it to him but asked Casey to pay for it. Maybe MC Lung tried to "friend" Brauny on Facebook, and Braun ignored him. Maybe Braun slept with -- well, "everybody" seems to be the most probable answer. And then those players got pissed and told Tony: "It'd be a lot cooler if that little fucker wasn't on the team anymore. I'm not the only one who thinks so." Presto -- trade rumor.
  • 2-to-1: Tony took an off-the-cuff remark from someone -- a front office person, Macha, Randolph, or another player -- and turned it into something much bigger. I've set this one as the favorite because of Tony's penchant for making mountains out of molehills. Witness, of course, his first-hand account of Prince bullrushing the Dodgers' clubhouse -- an event that he didn't actually, um, see. As it applies here: someone was pissed at Braun, made an off-hand comment about trading him, Tony heard it, Tony ran with it.
So, place your bets. And, if you've got other possibilities you'd like to suggest, leave 'em in the comments. (It should be noted that "he made the whole thing up" is still available.)


Master Reid said...

I've heard Tony talk about this topic before, and my original thought was "He's fucking insane." So that's the vote I'm going with: He's Fucking Insane.

The other possiblility is he heard some player discussing something that Braun had that they wanted to trade him for. Like maybe "I want to trade Braun for that sweet new Remetee that just came out. I offered him a Ken Griffey rookie card but he said no." Or maybe, "We totally took these chicks home from the club last night. I had the blonde, Braun had the red-head. I really wanted to trade Braunie, cuz you know I'm way into red-heads." Tony hears this and its off to SSP with the "scoop".

FPMKE said...

Maybe he was in the locker-room and Jason Kendall was talking about the possibility trading in his Braun electric razor for a sleek new Fusion... ultimately, Kendall would decide not to do such a thing because he's Wolverine and doesn't need a closer shave.

So, final answer, "Braun electric razor trades"

Sheets' Va Jay Jay said...

I bet it had to do with some role playing game that the team is involved in. Something like Magic: The Gathering. I'm not sure if they allow trading in that game, but I have no doubt that Braun's character is badass and that everyone would want to trade with him.

I kind of wish I was nerdy enough to talk about such things. Where is Moongoose to help us out?

Master Reid said...

I do not understand this argument. The whole "trade Braun, sign Fielder long-term" theory doesn't hold an ounce of water. The Brewers CANNOT sign Fielder once they lose exclusive control. The next Boras client that doesn't test the open market will be the first. It's completely insane to think that once Boras whips up his usual bidding war to think that the Brewers will be able to compete.

And yes, I know that Prince allegedly likes it here, and the Brewers have great clubhouse chemistry, and blah blah blah. Prince has made it evident that, above all else, he wants to get PAID. And that ain't going to happen in Milwaukee. So I don't care what people think, if the Brewers trade Braun they better be prepared to lose 2, MVP Caliber players in 2 years.

A.Guss said...

He just likes to hear himself talk is my answer.

PaulNoonan said...

Maybe someone in the organization is trading baseball cards with Ryan Braun, and Anthony overheard the guy say "I'll trade Braun..." and ran off to the phone banks, 1940s courtroom movie style, when, if he'd stuck around, he'd have heard " Jerome Walton rookie card for a Dwight Smith AND a Damon Berryhill."

That's gotta be it.

Rubie Q said...

Come on -- tell me you didn't emulate Jerome Walton's batting stance after he won rookie of the year. I did. Fuck, everyone in our Little League. There were more wide open stances than ... this isn't going to end well. Nevermind.