On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated published the first part of Jonah Keri’s annual “trade value” rankings, in which Keri ranks the top 50 players in baseball by how much they would fetch in a theoretical trade.
The concept began with Bill Simmons ranking NBA players at ESPN and followed Simmons to Grantland, where his then-colleague Keri applied the same process to baseball players.
Now Grantland is gone, Simmons edits The Ringer, and Keri has taken the “trade value” conceit to SI.
Well, hours after Keri’s rankings posted, Simmons tweeted something at Keri that seems pretty explosive—except that we’re pretty sure it’s a joke.
Jonah – we don't work together anymore, you can't just take my trade value idea/format and write it for another website. It's not yours. https://t.co/ZLSfBYq0Up
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) March 21, 2017
There are many reasons to think Simmons is kidding around here. For one thing, Keri published the same trade value column at SI last year and Simmons didn’t say anything. For another, Dave Cameron has done essentially identical rankings at FanGraphs for years.
Simmons also wouldn’t have much ground to stand on if he were actually mad. He came up with the idea to rank athletes by trade value, but it’s not copyrighted or anything. If Awful Announcing wanted to do a trade value ranking of sports media personalities, no one could stop us. The concept is in the public domain.
Plus, if Simmons were actually angry at Keri, wouldn’t he call, text or email him, not call him out on Twitter?
Only a very petty person would complain publicly about a former colleague bringing an idea from one job to the next.
Therefore, the big question here is: Is Bill Simmons a very petty person?