Former SportsCenter anchor and crazed liberal commentator Keith Olbermann was last seen leaving a Godzilla-esque path of destruction at Current TV earlier this year. After leaving MSNBC in controversial circumstances, Olbermann was fired from Current after less than a year at the network in March. With his television punditry career on hiatus, Olbermann has occasionally kept up his MLB.com blog Baseball Nerd. Olbermann writes an interesting mix of commentary on stories and stats, thoughts on baseball cards, as well as pictures and videos with some updates coming more frequently than others.
In other words, it's a blog.
But yesterday Keith Olbermann broke some huge MLB news completely out of left field. (Bonus points for baseball punnery!) News big enough to be seen on ESPN's bottom line and starting a whole new cycle of A-Rod hysteria. According to Olbermann, the Miami Marlins are already in trade talks with the Yankees about their flirtatious benched superstar, Alex Rodriguez:
"The New York Yankees have held discussions with the Miami Marlins about a trade involving their third baseman in crisis, Alex Rodriguez. Sources close to both organizations confirm the Yankees would pay all – or virtually all – of the $114,000,000 Rodriguez is owed in a contract that runs through the rest of this season and the next five. One alternative scenario has also been discussed in which the Yankees would pay less of Rodriguez’s salary, but would obtain the troubled Marlins’ reliever Heath Bell and pay what remains of the three-year, $27,000,000 deal Bell signed last winter.
None of the sources could give an indication as to how serious the discussions have already gotten, but one of them close to the Marlins’ ownership said he believed the trade made sense for both sides, and would eventually be made in some form."
This report was quickly debunked by Yankees GM Brian Cashman, but there was a catch. These trade talks were happening over Cashman's head. Olbermann added two updates to his post saying the Yankees were working above Cashman on the A-Rod trade, so there was no reason for him to have any knowledge of it.
"I’d also point out that Cashman may not know about any of this – yet. Not two years ago ownership – by his own admission - essentially signed a free agent without telling him. Cashman said the other 29 GMs would have loved to have “their owner force Rafael Soriano down their throat.”
Later, ESPN New York then added to Olbermann's report saying conversations between Yankees president Randy Levine and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria were happening and may develop into legitimate trade talks over Alex Rodriguez. (And ESPN has been crediting Olbermann by name, who would have thunk it!) Again, Cashman would be left in the dark. This led to a third update by Olbermann linking to the ESPNNY report which basically amounted to "See!!! Told you!!!"
Whatever does happen with A-Rod, it's amazing to think Keith Olbermann of all people could break trade talks about the most talked about baseball player on the planet at the moment. Where are Peter Gammons, Buster Olney, Jerry Crasnick, Jon Heyman, and all the other guys that usually report these things? If anything, maybe this says more about the incredibly unpredictable state of reporting news in 2012. It's more true than ever – anyone with a blog, website, Twitter account, or Facebook page can break a story. It doesn't matter whether or not those people are the establishment's perception of what a blogger is, or it's one of the most notable television anchors in the last two decades who happens to have a blog.
But why couldn't this news be a springboard to Keith Olbermann doing more in the sports world? He's still an incredibly gifted anchor/television personality and MLB Network still seems like the only reasonable scenario for a sports or news channel Olbermann could join that he hasn't burned bridges with. And, at least he seems to have a better grasp for reporting breaking sports news than Rob Lowe.