Via The Hardball Times, this story about the death of an independent league baseball player who was traded for ten bats last year is extremely sad and should have never, ever happened.
What make this story so upsetting are the details of the infamous trade:
Calgary team president Peter Young and Laredo general manager Jose Melendez nearly traded him for a slugger, but it fell apart. Melendez proposed buying Odom's contract for $1,000. Young rejected that, saying the Vipers didn't do cash deals because they made the team look financially unstable.
Bats, though, the Vipers could use. At $665 for 10 bats — made by Prairie Sticks, double-dipped black, 34 inches long, model C243, Laredo agreed to the unusual deal.
"This was not done as a publicity stunt," said Young, now the Vipers' director of baseball operations. "I talked to John several times and told him this wasn't done to embarrass him."
You are the president of a relatively unknown independent league team. You are trying to trade a player and are presented with two options.
Option A: Bend your team policy of not making cash deals. Should people question your organization's financial stability on account of this particular transaction (dubious, in my opinion), you can explain that you were confronted with extenuating circumstances that the interested party should hopefully understand.
Option B: Humiliate the player in question by bringing a tired punchline to fruition at his expense--at a marginal loss of $335, no less--knowing full well that, at the very least, the local press will pick up on the story and have a field day with it.
You choose Option B and expect us to believe that it's not a publicity stunt.
That's a motherfucking publicity stunt if there ever was one. Financially unstable, my fucking ass--You're the president of an independent league baseball team, a.k.a. publicity-stunt machine that also stages baseball games.
The actual 10 bats that Odom got traded for, they're easy to discover. An Internet search shows a picture of them, stamped with "John Odom Trade Bat."
They were never used.
Calgary Vipers director of baseball operations Peter Young--You are a disingenuous piece of human garbage who thought it would be cute to ruin a young man's reputation for the sake of selling a few more $6 lawn seats, and you won't even own up to it.
Rot in hell, asshole.