Chattering through dead air

The Yankees have repeatedly said they have  “no intention” of trading Brett Gardner. Gardner has the approval of his new teammate Ellsbury (who is happy to be sharing the outfield with another player known for his speed and excellence), his bosses (from Girardi all the way up to Hal Steinbrenner), and those just about everywhere else in the baseball business (and by that, I mean the analysts from behind their desks). And while the Yankees have done little to inspire such confidence this winter, as there is nothing ever solidly certain about professional sports, I really don’t see any reason short of a Verlander or Kershaw level starting pitcher trade, but I’m guessing no current team wants to release such a starter.

Other questions that have been raised as to who is going to fill in for Cano at 2nd (former 2nd baseman Soriano, with some short-contracted players as back-up), and there’s constant chatter about the yet untested health of Jeter and Teixeira, as well as the results of Rodriguez’s arbitration that will determine his playing time of 2014. But as of right now, all there seems to be is simply chatter.

There was a whole world before a 24/7/365 news cycle, where that chatter simply existed around water coolers, over once-a-day newspapers, or at the dinner table. Now, that exists on messages boards in response to articles posted at all hours of the day when the slightest hint of a new development is reported, not waiting for concrete facts at times, and simply moving into the field of rumors and assumptions.

I think I’ve talked a lot about rumors and assumptions on here without actually falling into rumors or assumptions. And with the off-season, there seems to be days with nothing but rumors because without solid facts, people start drawing their own conclusions. Those conclusions usually do nothing but fill dead air space on those 24/7/365 news channels. The problem is that once rumors have been spoken (or written, as the case may be), you can’t take it back. That thing that was simply a thought in someone’s head is now out there for anyone else to repeat, and after several repetitions, it becomes “fact”. And then the task becomes defeating those “facts” with actual facts, and then guess what we have — more talk to fill the space in the off-season.

I studied journalism in school, and we were taught to make things concise and to the point. I think had we had Twitter when I was in college, it would have made that point even more so — be concise and quick in under 140 characters. I changed my major to English because that was just too concise for me; it still takes me too long to shorten most of my Twitter posts. I like to “explain” things, something my journalism teacher always wanted to rid me of. So I’m not a journalist; I’m a writer.

But a writer with standards of excellence. I don’t ever want to just fill a space or void with what is essentially “dead air”. I really don’t like it when so-called writers, let alone respected “journalists”, use their platform for nothing more than chatter. So I’m going to use the last part of this particular post for a series of posts I’m going to start in the new year. This is my last week writing for 2013, before the break for Christmas and New Year’s.

Beginning in January (when there’s no news), I plan on featuring some of my favorite Yankees from days past. When someone asks me who my favorite Yankee is, I always have to put it in terms — “Classic Era (1903-1961)”, “Expansion Era (1961-Retired)”, or “Current Roster”. I have my top 5 in each, though I’ve recently updated my lists with the recent retirements of some Yankee legends from the roster. A little homework for you then, a little dinner table chatter that actually is worth something other than “dead air” — what is your top 5 Yankee in each of those categories? I have a feeling we’re going to have a lot in common, but then again, there are so many to choose from. It is, after all, the Yankees.

Go Yankees!

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