It’s that time of year again. Well, it’s a time of year again. That is, if you subscribe to the idea that time is a constant. This has started poorly. I’m choosing to move on.
Look, the Hot Stove is upon us, and shit’s about to get real. We are about to enter a whirlwind of rumors, financial specifics, rumors refuting rumors, and general discord amongst fan bases. You cannot stop Hot Stove, you can only hope to contain it.
But we here at NotGraphs are on your side, for once. We have provided some helpful tips for navigating and conceptualizing all that is Hot Stove.
1. When a reporter says a team is “interested” in a player, this does not mean the team has aspirations of entering a romantic relationship with said player. This has more to do with a team having interest in the player’s baseballing services. Once a player has signed, however, if another team still shows “interest,” then they are most likely going to bone.
2. When considering the financials of a player’s new contract, keep in mind that money will be useless when society finally rises up against its oppressors. It is also doubtful that there will be baseball during the Revolution. If there is, it certainly will not be televised.
3. Remember that Jon Heyman is the reporter and Scott Boras is the agent. It may be confusing at times.
4. While Twitter is the best way to stay on top of trade rumors, it is also the best way to be reminded of how terrible our culture is. Enter at your own risk.
5. Do not be alarmed when Jonathan Broxton asks to be paid in meatball subs. This is a normal part of his negotiation process.
6. If you see a report of GMs shaking hands, do not assume a deal has been done. GMs have notoriously bad memories and are most likely thinking they are meeting each other for the first time.
7. After a deal has been done, you will see many bloggers “grading” the transactions. Pay little attention to these, as most bloggers failed to graduate high school.
8. During this period, Peter Gammons will most likely tweet his personal email password on accident. Performing nefarious acts with his email account, while possibly hilarious, is often considered uncouth.
9. Reporters are not allowed to attend the opium parties during the Winter Meetings. If they try to tell you how cool said parties were, they are lying.
10. Bear in mind that, depending on your chosen ideology, every Hot Stove move is either predetermined by a higher being or utterly devoid of meaning and consequence. Either way, chill out when your favorite team overpays for Kevin Millwood.
Good luck, fair NotGraphs readers. All hail Hot Stove. (Seriously, hail it. You do not want to make Hot Stove angry.)