Thought this was a fun read, just really shows you how rumors start and can spread like wildfire.

Here is a new rumor that'll floor you: I've learned that the New York Yankees, known to be seeking a lively bat for their outfield, are now interested in Vladimir Guerrero. Furthermore, they are actively scouting the Angels right fielder. Actually, this is too solid to qualify as a rumor. It's fact. This comes from a reliable source.
This is gospel. You can take it to the bank -- or to the nearest blog.

Got your attention? Cool -- that preceding paragraph is perfectly coded for Trading Deadline purposes. Sixty-one words without a single untruth. But you've gotta know The Code. It will come in handy for the next 10 days, until the bell tolls on July 31.

The "reliable source" is the American League schedule, which indicates the Yankees will be in Anaheim on Aug. 11-14 to play the Angels. So naturally they are "interested" in Guerrero, the Halos' most dangerous gun. Of course they are "scouting" him; all teams have advance scouts to prepare reports on upcoming opponents.

No, that's not silly. That's how trade brushfires spark all over the map, and the Web. Isn't this like a magician taking you backstage to explain how he did that trick?

Is there a Trade Deadline version of caveat emptor, that advisory for buyers to beware? What's Latin for "reader beware"?

I'm reading and hearing stuff all over the air and the cyberwaves about such-and-such being "interested" in so-and-so. That is always the operative word ... "interested." If ever there was an unimpeachable word, that is it. I bet you are "interested" in Alex Rodriguez -- but I also bet you will not be making a trade for him anytime soon.

A-Rod is invoked as an example because he is currently featured in the most ridiculous rumor yet, a hogwash item about him going to the Phillies for a package headlined by Bobby Abreu. Talk about a brushfire -- this rumor actually made it all the way to Rodriguez last night, when he was asked about it before the game in Toronto. Maybe that's why he threw a ball all the way to Philadelphia to aid the Jays' win.

I know for a fact that rumor was hatched in an Internet chat room, made it onto blogs, and within hours gained enough credibility to influence otherwise sane journalists.

So you people out there obviously have power -- use it wisely.

By the way, A-Rod, his ears already singed from slight booing from Yankees fans, playing in Philadelphia ... he'd have to go home every night to Dr. Phil, Dr. Joyce Brothers and Oprah. Would even have to channel Freud. Trade Deadline 2006 >