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collusion is good business

You know, YHB hasn’t written much about baseball for a long time, mostly because I don’t have that much to say, but I happened to look at Jonathan Mayo’s last-minute projection for today’s amateur draft and was moved to ask Gentle Readers all: if you were MLB (the business entity), and you hired reporters to among other things get leaks from the constituent clubs to make news that you could report about your own events, would you want those leaks to be accurate?

On one hand, if the actual draft is now full of surprises, it makes their reporter look like an ignorant moron, and decreases the value of their news service. On the other hand, if the draft follows Mr. Mayo’s script, it decreases the value of their ESPN-televised commodity.

In other words, do you, as MLB, tell the front offices to clam up, to loosen up, or to lie?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


As MLB, I would want the reporter to get enough things right so as not to be discredited, enough things wrong so as to have surprises (and give the reporter something to write about tomorrow), and enough information at hand to do that.

I would imagine that the clubs in question are not themselves 100% sure of the results at the time of the reportage, either, so I would think that reasonable honesty in leakage combined with a level of uncertainty about the more hotly contested picks would do this naturally.

So, as MLB, I would tell the reporter to do the best job he can, and then encourage the clubs not to show their whole hand. Since they are competing with each other, I wouldn't imagine that they would be inclined to show their whole hand, in any event.

Of course, I am making this up as a student of human nature, and I know virtually nothing about baseball drafts, in the particular. If I'm wrong, please feel free to educate.


Well, and it's assumed that there's some competitive advantage for the clubs in keeping their preferences secret, but I'm not altogether sure what that advantage is. At least for the first two rounds or so, a fellow passed up with one pick won't still be there for the next, usually. Not with thirty teams picking. But then, I don't really understand the draft, myself.


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