Alger: Rumor overload

I have an awful memory. I routinely forget names, birthdays, anniversaries, application deadlines, when to get my car registration renewed and Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. It’s not that I don’t care about these things. I really do. I just space it sometimes.

But — as of this writing — there are currently two days, 16 hours, 56 minutes and 52 seconds until the Major League Baseball trade deadline.

Of course, the sports guy knows just how many seconds there are until the trade deadline but can easily forget to call his dad on his birthday this year — sorry about that one, Pop — but the thing is, I don’t want to know about the trade deadline. I don’t care. And it’s not just because my Mariners decided to go on an epic 17-game losing streak and I’ve mentally transitioned into football season.

No, it’s because I’m suffering from rumor overload.

You have probably experienced symptoms of this before. Turning on ESPN or going to any sports website this month, you’ve been treated to a barrage of “Player X is going to end up in City Y” stories. Everybody seems to have an inside scoop on what a team is going to do. Reporters will list all of the potential destinations a player may go. I don’t find this very compelling when those lists contain three-quarters of the teams in the league. In fact, I probably could have guessed that myself.

The trade deadline should be fun. There’s always the chance that your team may finally go all in and trade for that big bat or power arm. Or there’s the moment where hopes are crushed and your team is the one sending that bat or arm.

The main problem is that nothing is a surprise anymore. By the time the July 31 deadline comes and goes, just about every player in the majors has been mentioned in connection with some trade or another.

I hear the Red Sox are rumored to be looking into a deal that will send a batboy and a player to be named later to the Dodgers for one of their ball-girls.

Yeah, it’s gotten to that point.

And it’s not just limited to baseball either.

Whether it’s guessing who the top football or basketball draft pick will be or whether or not Sarah Palin will run in 2012, the media loves speculation.

When the  “Brett Favre may be considering another comeback” story hit this week, did it really surprise anyone? Granted, Favre is ridiculous and it wouldn’t surprise me if he were, but there was no basis for the story. It’s just that time of the year to churn up a “Favre is un-retiring” story. It makes a story that’s not a story turn into a story when the story doesn’t happen.

I’m at the point with it now where it all goes in one ear and out the other.

If anything surprising happens these days, it’s just fulfilling somebody’s speculation, which makes it not much of a surprise.

Nothing at Monday’s trade deadline will shock me unless the Yankees send a package deal of Alex Rodriguez and Joba Chamberlain to the afterlife for Babe Ruth. Anything else will probably show up on Twitter.


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