Bob Nightengale on Twitter.

It’s always interesting watching bold predictions go wrong, and that’s what happened with USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale this week. There had been plenty of trade rumors swirling around Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitcher Zack Greinke leading up to Wednesday’s MLB trade deadline, but Nightengale poured a bunch of cold water on those in a radio appearance Monday on The Doug and Wolf Show on Phoenix-based station 98.7 Arizona Sports. Meanwhile, Greinke wound up being traded Wednesday to the Houston Astros. But here’s what Nightengale (who’s based in Phoenix himself) said Monday about how Greinke probably wouldn’t be traded, as per Jeremy Cluff of The Arizona Republic:

A lot of the speculation has surrounded pitcher Zack Greinke, but USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale might have quieted some trade chatter regarding the ace on the Doug & Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday saying that “I get the feeling more and more that he may remain a Diamondback the rest of his career.”

“I’ve talked to several teams and I’ve asked them, ‘Have you heard Greinke’s name anywhere?,’” Nightengale told Doug & Wolf. “And the answer is always, ‘No.’ I just think that contract is so exorbitant, and Greinke is an acquired taste. He’s out there pitching every five days, but it’s not like he’s out there doing promotions or marketing or anything like that. So I get the feeling more and more that he may remain a Diamondback the rest of his career.”

That logic seems bad on a number of fronts, as whether a player is “out there doing promotions or marketing” really doesn’t have a huge amount of impact on if they’re a useful addition, certainly not compared to on-field numbers like Greinke’s 2.87 ERA and 3.6 fWAR this season. And yes, Greinke’s contract (six years, $35 million, running through 2021) and age (35) raise some questions about his long-term desirability. But his performance this year certainly makes him an appealing target for teams looking to get over the top this season, regardless of if he’s “out there doing promotions or marketing.”

And sure, maybe there wasn’t actually much trade talk about Greinke by Monday and maybe the situation  changed later. And Nightengale’s comments were a bit hedged, with just “I get the feeling” and “he may” rather than a full “He will.” But if Nightengale had thought a little more about what actually matters in baseball, which is on-field performance rather than “marketing or promotions,” he might have realized there would be some interest in Greinke, and he might not look as silly now. But hey, he also had a great tweet Wednesday just before The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal broke the news of the Greinke deal:

The dullest indeed, Bob, the dullest indeed. At least he recognized that.

And Greinke “remaining a Diamondback for the rest of his career” changed in two days. Life comes at you fast.

[The Arizona Republic]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.