Friday, July 30, 2004


Rumors and reports of rumors

With Major League Baseball's trading deadline edging up on us, I am beginning to feel skittish. Talking last night to Dan Rivkin, who will be covering the hoped-for frenzy on Saturday for MLB, I confirmed that he's heard the same rumors that I've heard trickling in all week: Baseball-Related Program Activities 2004 is considering trading me for a player to be named later and the usual "cash considerations."

I thought it was odd when Jim started talking about reviving No, No, Nanette, but it was only in the last week, when I discovered that Ken Jennings would be taking a break from driving the Jeopardy question writers around the bend, that I began to worry.

I can't really even blame Jim. Think about it: what do I bring to the trip that Ken Jennings can't? I'm sure he even knows St. Louis Cardinals history better than I do. Taking me on the trip is like writing Rey Ordonez into the lineup when Alex Rodriguez is available.

But then I remembered my little version of the no-trade clause: I do have the Cardinals tickets. And I bet Ken Jennings's family doesn't live within convenient driving distance of Busch Stadium.

Maybe I'll get to stay on the roster after all.

P.S. One more thought about the deadline. I really dislike that MLB has moved it up to 4 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. I think it should be the stroke of midnight on the 31st, and that at that moment, Bud Selig's voice should come over the speaker phones of every general manager: "Time. Put your pencils down."

Original comments...

Jim: As far as I know, Ken Jennings is unavailable for the trip because "Jeopardy!" is taping shows on August 24th and 25th. But even if he's lost, you don't get your "Jeopardy!" winnings check from Sony until after your last air date (and it can be up to 120 days later), so it's not like he'd be able to spring for, say, rooms in the SkyDome Hotel.

Also, he may be the fun, easy-going type of Mormon, but he's still a Mormon, and for all I know, he might spend the trip berating me for drinking caffeinated beverages. True, Levi might spend the trip berating me for eating hot dogs, bacon, hot dogs wrapped in bacon, and other meat products, but at least I know how to deal with him -- distract him with some sort of reading material, and he'll be quiet for hours (why do you think I made sure to get all those AAA Tourbooks?). Ken Jennings seems to like movies better than reading, believe it or not, and there won't be a DVD system in the rental car.

Jason: I would think Ken Jennings would be Jim's nemesis. (Or is that 'arch-nemesis'?)

Toby: I say trade Levi for me. I have a press pass.

Toby: ...And I eat nothing except meat!

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