My News Can Beat Up Your News

. . .and in other news, station A and its hated rival station B are putting out conflicting updates regarding the status of Mark Buehrle’s contract extension. While it would be nice to know the Sox are still ready, willing and able to hold on to a proven and durable left-handed #2 starter, we should keep a few recent headlines in mind whenever rumors and half-news come to light.

Chicago Sun-Times, June 27, 2007: EXCLUSIVE: Buehrle Extension Near – “The Sun-Times has learned that a change of heart in both the Buehrle and White Sox camps during the last 48 hours has led to talks about the sides somehow getting together and agreeing on a contract extension by the end of the week.”

Chicago Tribune, June 26, 2007: Buehrle plays professor for Danks – “As many as a dozen scouts are scheduled to watch Mark Buehrle pitch Wednesday night for the White Sox in what will be a showcase start.”, June 25/2007: White Sox Fire Sale Imminent -”Veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle surely will be the selloff centerpiece. . .”

Chicago Sun-Times, June 24, 2007: Buehrle to Boston? – “According to a source close to the situation, negotiations between the Sox and Buehrle’s camp have been exhausted, with Williams believing he has no choice but to trade the left-hander, who is the face of the ballclub. The only question now is where?”

So the popular sports media, the supposed last carrier of truth and reliable information in this world of speculation and nonsense, changes its story four times in four days. Does this sound familiar? Do we all remember the Maggs-for-Nomar trade? Paulie to the Angels? Sox-for-Tigers?

The argument about Buehrle’s status with the team becomes almost irrelevant; the larger lesson here is that in sports journalism – any form of journalism, really – you’re only as good, smart and reliable as your sources. Despite what we want to believe, rumors are just rumors and baseball gossip is still just about the lowest form of conversation. Fun, but low all the same.

And as the great Chuck Klosterman wrote, “sports reporters hate sports.” Don’t take it too seriously. . .unless we get Jose Reyes from the Mets. With the Good Guys on their longest winning streak on a month, it would be a good time to start thinking about Octo. . .nevermind, I can’t finish that sentence in good conscience. Or with a straight face.

God I hate this team.