One of the most difficult tasks of this off-season is to figure out rumors that are true or planted by an agent. The Fan apparently fell for one of them yesterday when a "source" indicated that Trevor Hoffman was close to a deal with the Dodgers. Today, another "source" says he is close to a deal with the Brewers.
It has gotten to the point where you have to gauge the "source" by the writer's track record. For example, as shrill as he has sounded lately, Buster Olney has been dead on recently on his reporting of deals that are expected or close. It seems that he correctly reports a story just before it happens.
The "source" reporting that Hoffman was close to signing with the Brewers in today's news happens to be a news wire service. In today's arena of misinformation, current training would seem to put this story at the feet of an agent and not legitimate. Of course, if Hoffman does sign with the Brewers, it will be back to school to again figure out where the misinformation is coming from.
This seems to be a modern phenomenon since the Internet made all news information in terms of minutes and hours instead of days like you had in newspapers. Don't think for a second that general managers and team owners don't pour over the same sports information centers that we average fans do. They would need to read constantly to stay up on what is going on in their business.
The agents have figured this out and use misinformation to get a negotiation moving or motivated. It would appear that Scott Boras, who has single-handedly put Manny Ramirez in a box he might not get out of, is a master of such misinformation, but he is not the only one. The "reports" about the Giants having interest in Manny could very well be a plant by Boras to motivate the Dodgers, the only team that seems to have an interest in Ramirez.
So, fellow fans, don't believe everything you read. Being gullible, the Fan is learning the hard way. Perhaps those of you who are cynical by nature or circumstance are better off in this atmosphere.