Jamey Newberg, a writer for The Athletic, tweeted that he believed the Astros may have colluded with the Dodgers to receive Alvarez. This is the reaction in the TCB writers room.
7/15/2019, 12:50 p.m.
Hatter: Anybody want to write about this gem of an accusation from Jamey Newberg on Twitter? Newberg implying Astros colluded with Dodgers to circumvent Intl FA rules by making an agreement to have the Dodgers sign him and then trading fields for him later.
He’s the product of just one more rule Houston bent. https://t.co/yz17DIfuji— Jamey Newberg (@NewbergReport) July 14, 2019
Astros were under the J2 penalty that year. Dodgers sign Alvarez mid-July. Never plays a minor league game for them, sent to Houston two weeks later for middle reliever Josh Fields. https://t.co/zJvWR3CLx3— Jamey Newberg (@NewbergReport) July 14, 2019
It’s hard not to conclude, under the circumstances, that Houston didn’t just have LA sign Alvarez for them since they couldn’t spend more than 300k on a J2 player themselves. (Alvarez signed for $2 million.) Bent, it not broken. https://t.co/n5ia6O4Yga— Jamey Newberg (@NewbergReport) July 14, 2019
bilbos: Wow , the Astros hate is spreading. Envy, one of the cardinal sins.
HebrewHammah: Wow, Rangers writer, go figure
bilbos: Well the gloves are off. Every reference of the R...... is now Mall cops, South Oklahoma etc. Lol
bilbos: I love Newberg’s predicate: “it’s not hard to conclude.”
Hatter: I see @TheArmoryBand (Jason Marbach) is already in the thick of that twitter conversation
Man, I can’t believe there’s a reporter for the athletic who is actually stupid enough to believe this.— Jason Marbach (@TheArmoryBand) July 15, 2019
Hatter: I was gonna respond too, but we’re already well represented. : (thumbs up emoji), @spencer_711 (SpencerMorris)
Yeah I mean, teams do massive favors for their competition all the time, so this makes a ton of sense— Spencer Morris (@spencer_711) July 15, 2019
Hatter: so proud of our staff!
Hatter: Ehh I’ll pile on.
Spencer: Honestly I’m not sure Newberg keeps his job through this. His take was absolute nonsense.
bilbos: Jason doesn’t shy away from controversy
Stephensyd: Both teams could sue him for either libel or false light, but they are very hard to prove
Spencer: I just don’t think The Athletic takes their writers looking this stupid lightly
Eric Huysman: I figured out what the Dodgers wanted...
Maybe Luhnow had the rare Pokemon card that they wanted— Eric Huysman (@EricTalksStros) July 15, 2019
Spencer: That would make sense. Never question the power of trading cards.
Chris Perry: See, this is why I quit Twitter.
Chris Perry: I just accepted a new job, and if I still had Twitter, I would be replying so hard to this that they would have no choice but to rescind the job offer on moral grounds.
Eric: I thought my Pokémon card triggered you.
Chris Perry: Don’t mock my addiction
Spencer: Collecting cards is very cool, actually. Cool guys do it.
Chris Perry: I geeked out when I realized I could ebay 1,000 MTG cards for $30 bucks about 10 years ago.
Eric: Is this worth discussing on Talking Stros?
Eric: Not the card trading
Chris Perry: Only if you come up with several really hilarious takes to troll it
Spencer: I don’t think so, Eric. Not much to discuss. Jamey is just an imbecile.
Spencer: I have a few MTG cards laying around. Baseball cards are more my speed though. And hearthstone
Chris Perry: Sadly, my big baseball card collection days were 1987 to 1992 when there were literally twenty different companies making cards, thus making them all worthless.
Chris Perry: FWIW Upper Deck was, and always will be, the best.
Eric: I liked the leaf studio
Hatter: I was in a hobby shop the other year and I saw what late 80s early 90s cards were going for. You could buy the 1988 Donruss complete set for like $10. Maybe less
Eric: I have a whole collection in my closet. Got to figure out what to do with them someday.
Spencer: Yeah same with my old ones Chris. But I’m back on the Bowmans now. Bought a bunch of “investments” recently
Chris Perry: Yeah @mhatter106 I once subscribed to Beckett to see what my whole collection was worth. It was like $20. I threw them out. Kept a couple. I had a couple Griffey rookie cards and a 1990 Pete Rose.
Spencer: The modern Bowman cards are really nice. And they do a lot of prospects which is what I’m about
Hatter: I took all mine and sifted through them and just picked out the HOF’ers and special players like Bo. Put em in a binder just for nostalgia and to look at. And I hope my kids will like looking at them one day too
Chris Perry: Mine, weren’t good enough to do that
Hatter: They’re still worthless. Even the HOF guys. But at this point they’re childhood memories
Spencer: I’m all about first year autograph cards. It’s a fun way to put my money were my mouth is on prospects. And I’m a tasteless baseball hermit so I like putting them around my room
Hatter: A few years ago, when Andre Reed was inducted into the football HOF, my mom asked if I saw the news. I said yeah and asked her if she remembered yelling at him. She said no. So I reminded her of the when she took me to see Reed for his autograph. the boy in front of me in line had a poster and he personalized it “To Tommy,” or whatever.
I had him sign his rookie card so he just signs it. Which is what you’re supposed to do, but my mom didn’t know that and just starts yelling at him almost making a scene, about how come he personalizes the other boys thing but not mine? I’m too starstruck to argue. So he adds, “To David,” so now my Andre Reed rookie card has “To David,” so it’s not worth anything.
Hatter: But it turns out it wasn’t gonna be worth anything anyways, so maybe my mom was right.
Eric: I’ll take the blame for this sidebar.
Chris Perry: These types of sidebars are what made TCB great in the past. Somebody needs to just take this whole Newberg/Pokemon/Baseball Card chat and copy/paste it into a TCB article. Readers love this type of shit
It’d be a good way to cover the Newberg nonsense, but be unique, and also have fun with it.
Stephensyd: Can we add Yu GI Oh to that
Chris: “So this happened”
”Oh now Jason’s in on it” (show Tweet)
”Here’s my answer” (show tinfoil hat gif)
Random discussion about Athletic putting up with conspiracy theorist authors
I’m a baseball card guy
My baseball cards are worthless. Upper Deck was the shiznit
My good ones are in an album, but are worthless
So my mom yelled at Andre Reed and made my baseball card worthless.
Hatter: I’m riveted.
Chris Perry: I’m telling you, readers would love this.
Thanks, Chris for the TL;DR. We went on to discuss Jon Morosi’s trade ideas, then a potential sequel episode of Astroforce that Hatter was contemplating. Then Chris brought up the original post that TCB did this way: https://www.crawfishboxes.com/2014/6/25/5842484/a-behind-the-scenes-look-at-tcb
Eventually I posted this:
Addendum on the Alvarez thing: I didn't mean to imply I have inside info on the trade--because I don't. Connecting dots can lead to different conclusions; criticizing the theory is fair, & it's in fact just a theory. HOU made a smart move, violated nothing. Envious, if anything.— Jamey Newberg (@NewbergReport) July 15, 2019
Spencer was appalled that Newberg was still tweeting. Normally these guys shut up or delete the tweet. Hatter posted the card picture (inserted amidst the conversation text.)
Yeah, just the TCB staff slack. I really do enjoy it. Missed a lot during my three days of driving down to Houston and around it and back up to North Texas.
I do think Newberg will have a conversation with his bosses on running his mouth.
He’s not likely to get sued in my opinion because he stated it as an opinion and not as fact. That all being said, give us your greatest baseball card stories. Is card collecting cool? What hobby should we write about next? The TCB bakers: Stephen gives baking demos?
Note from Hatter:
Note from Chris: the trading card discussion in this article has more relevance than Newberg’s irresponsibly silly conspiracy theories, so we thought this would be a better way to cover the “story”.