I’ll start with a confession that is probably no longer surprising given the headline above: I just don’t get the love for trade deadline day.
July 31 is practically a holiday in the baseball world, and it’s the day most baseball fans look forward to more than any other. Ask any site runner for a baseball website and she/he will tell you that deadline day is the biggest traffic day of the year. It’s Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, and Diwali all rolled into one. Fans flock to team sites and Twitter in droves, and for one day of the year at least, baseball can actually get a top headline on ESPN.
And here I am half-befuddled and half-annoyed.
I try to get into it. I’ll refresh Ken Rosenthal’s Twitter page a few times during the day, and I’ll watch the MLB slack chat a little closer than normal, but it just doesn’t do it for me.
Part of it is the idea that it just doesn’t matter. “Nori Aoki to the Blue Jays”; “Addison Reed to the Red Sox” - who the hell cares? I’m a baseball obsessive, but there’s no way an “Addison Reed to Boston” article is one of the five most important stories in the world of sports today. Couldn’t someone be writing about how today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, and how this year’s Hall of Fame inductee Claire Smith helped to break down barriers for black women in the world of baseball throughout her career?
Another part of my general dislike for the day is that nothing turns me into an old man yelling at the clouds more than deadline day. I don’t have the proof to back this up, but it seems as though this obsession with the trade deadline is becoming stronger and stronger. I can remember trade deadlines from a decade ago, and they didn’t have the same hullabaloo as the past couple years.
It may be extrapolating, but it seems as though this new-found obsession can be tied to the instant gratification of the modern era. Fans are no longer happy with the current iteration of their team (even if that team is thoroughly exceeding expectations), so the team must always be changing. It’s like a video game come to life, you can be the GM vicariously through the deadline and it’s high time there was some change made by the front office.
It’s like MLB: The Show franchise mode come to life. The bad teams need to sell off their pieces and the good teams need to fix any possible hole the club has (even if the “hole” has to be dreamed up just so the team can have a bunch of rumored targets in the week leading up to the deadline).
See, there I go, yelling at clouds.
For a writer (and reader) who loves his content as long-form and intellectually-stimulating as possible, the fact that a Ken Rosenthal Yu Darvish rumor will get a thousand times more eye balls than something like Mary Craig’s incredible breakdown of the history of the reserve clause in baseball is downright infuriating.
I understand that people are busy, and I understand that a tweet is always going to get more eyeballs than a long-form article these days. But when people are devoting an entire day to rumors, whispers, and trades that will have absolutely no impact on the sport, I begin to question my sanity.
Old man rant over.
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