Thought processes and conversations started under the tilted cap of Tropicana Field. Someday everyone will know the Rays play in St. Petersburg, Florida, not TAMPA, or the fictitious city of TAMPA BAY.
Trade Winds are a-blowin’..Strong and Swift
This is the time of the year where the rumbling and thunderous sounds always seem to grow louder and louder by the moment, and then burst in a show of intensity and confusion like a sudden swirling dervish. The impending sounds from every conceivable direction can deafen you and bring a heightened state of anxiety and frustration upon you within a matter of seconds. But usually, if you wait 20 minutes, the Florida trade winds will subdue, and all will somehow return to normal as if nothing has ever happened. But that is the nature of this time of year all throughout the Major League Baseball landscape.
It might sounds as if I am discussing the volatile Florida weather patterns that envelope this region during this time of year, but I am not. It might seem like I am talking about the swirling winds, high seas and rough patches of rain and possible hail that could fall from the Florida sky at any moment past 5 pm like a habit formed at birth…But I am not.
The tropical disturbance I am talking about right now is a simple trade winds phenomenon that plagues not only Florida teams, but the other 28 Major League teams at this juncture in the season. I misspelled the word “trade winds” for a reason. Because at this juncture in the MLB season, trades are the reason for the volatile season.
Talking about Trade Deadline season, when the storms of comments and swirls of team advice hit dangerous levels that could easily strip the paint off your car, and the acid comment responses from vicious crosswinds or fans to ill-advised moves can cripple a possible Playoff venture. Even if this season traditionally heats up during the days following the All-Star game.
During this short period of time every year , the furious winds of possible trade movement speculations increase at an alarming rate, almost to the point of catastrophic. Along with the increased swirls of predictions come the ever increasing vocal revelations from the pocket baseball prophets who have begun to assemble their yearly collective congregations.
Beginning today you will see daily flimsy reports and potential trade advisory warning that will be either acknowledged, or discarded as yesterday’s new. But the true essence of the period is change. And hopefully change for the better for all 30 teams in increasing their offensive firepower, or sustaining a pitching dominance that might propel them up the standings. This is the type of season for dreamers and soothsayers to make their mark. To make a name for themselves, or simply perish beneath the enveloping storm surge.
It is the time of year that can make you a household name, or another professor of lies and deceit. The Trade Deadline season can be as callous as a construction worker’s hands producing endless leads and sources that end with dead ends and unsubstantiated circles of information.
This is the time of the spin doctor. The person within the industry who can spin any tale in any direction and make you believe it. And do not think for a moment that every MLB team doesn’t have a viable candidate in their front office who’s job it is to turn the focus towards another direction to deflect the truth into a bundle of inner circling confusion until it is time to reveal the true intentions, or the final components of the trade.
This time of year is not made for the rain slicker, but contrived perfectly for the BS artist that can see the mannerisms and the words and dissect them with skill to find that inner lining of possible truth and direction. Just as the players and coaches need to memorize hand signals and body motions or positioning to suggest a certain play or action happen during an at bat, this time of year also has it’s tell tale signs of movement and a team earnest intentions.
Reading between the lines becomes a necessity right now, and a trade secret. Until the end of the month we shall see a mountain of useless information packaged as a team viewpoint or trade direction, but that same pamphlet could also contain a few tasty morsels as to their true intentions and possible future movements. Visual body language can not be interpreted online with clarity, so the written word is a minefield of booby traps and hidden minefields to assert misinformation on a grand scale.
I attribute this time of year fully to a wily gambler who studies his game, looks for a recognizable pattern, then bounces into the fray with knowledge and not innuendo. The next few weeks are going to be a tropical depression of mammoth proportions.
Half of what we see and hear before the conclusion of a deal is rambling muses of misdirection and depth charges to change our pattern of finding the true directions. My advice is to bundle up, take every comment and snippet of information with a grain of salt, and trust only what you know. With spin doctors employed, spies and counter intelligence in use, and intentions disguised by constant double talk, the truth will come out in the end.
But usually it will be projected by the person at the podium who has done his job within the secret society of G M’s and MLB team leaders. It is the collective calm after the storm, and the rebuilding moment to regroup and reflect on that days actions. Thunderous sounds then again boom and emulate from the Web and the stadiums.
Either with joy or remorse over a collective move. But the storm warning will not cease until August 1st. For it is Trade Deadline season, one of the most dangerous times of the year to be wrong.
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