Thursday, December 10, 2009

An email exchange with Will Carroll

Yesterday afternoon was an interesting time in the Astros off-season. LaHawk had just signed with the Brewers, and there were trade rumors circulating about Matt Lindstrom, but no one seemed to have any idea who was getting sent to Florida in return.

At 2:57pm, Will Carroll, who writes the (incredible) "Under the Knife" column for Baseball Prospectus tweeted the following:

Heard in the lobby: Astros looking for OF help and speed. (Felix) Pie just one of guys they're looking at. Lyles one trade possibility.

As you can imagine, the proverbial excrement hit the proverbial oscillator in Astroland, especially with "Felix Pie," "Jordan Lyles," and "trade possibility" all within 140 characters of each other. People went nuts.

AC said:
Mother of Pearl! Jordan Lyles for Felix Pie! Outfield help! With Lee, Bourn, and Pence? Is the "speed" part because Lee is on his way out? Felix Pie! Jordan Lyles!

/apoplectic shock

I tweeted in response:
Please tell me you're kidding about Jordan Lyles as trade bait.
and then:
If you get a chance to find out who said it, you don't have to say who it is. Just give them a kick in the stones.

Brutal, huh? Others were worse.

So this evening, I'm at the grocery store, and an email comes in from none other than Will Carroll himself. He gave permission to reprint it, which I have done:

When I tweeted out my tweet yesterday, let me tell you how it came about. I'd been talking to an Astros scout, earlier in the day, and he said the thing they were looking for was speed and bullpen help. About an hour later, I was talking with some prospect guys in the media. I mentioned the earlier conversation and one said "They've got things people would want. They were in on Felix Pie, but that didn't go anywhere." Another said "I think they'd give up someone like _____ or Lyles for the right guy." (I'll be honest. I didn't know Jordan Lyles at all and I didn't catch the name of the first guy he said. It's loud in the lobby.) I hadn't tweeted in a while, so I threw something together. There's not a lot of room for nuance in 140 characters and you saw the reaction. Now, you know the rest of the story.

Now that's stand-up. Name one other reporter who would take the time to do it. Will Carroll is Astros County's hero.