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The Absurdity of Trade Talks in October

Everybody loves a good gossip, particularly when it surrounds the biggest names in sport, but sometimes trade talks take a turn for the more, well, ridiculous. Particularly at this time of the year.

After a summer that saw Dwight Howard [finally] exit Orlando and that blockbuster trade that decimated the Red Sox and sent Adrian Gonzalez and his crew to Los Angeles, this fall should be free of trade talk. It’s not though, and this week we heard two of the most ridiculous suggestions – treated as gospel of course – the sports world has heard in some time.

Unsurprisingly, those talks involved two very, very rich men.

A-Rod isn’t about to leave New York

Hey, A-Rod. Want to come play in Miami?

The first of these rumors revolved around maligned Yankee third baseman, Alex Rodriguez. After a tumultuous season that saw the boo birds frequent Yankee Stadium for much of the latter part of the season, the fact that Rodriguez’s name is in trade discussion isn’t the surprise here.

2012 ranked as the worst season of A-Rod’s career. He hit for .272, his second lowest average since becoming a fully-fledged big-leaguer. He hit 18 homeruns, again second worst in his career, and knocked in just 57 RBIs, a disastrous number that just happens to be a career low. What’s more, he never looked fully-engaged with his teammates, fans, or anybody for that matter.

As we say, the surprising thing isn’t that some are suggesting A-Rod should be traded. The surprising this is that people think it will actually happen.

Trust us: it won’t.

Nobody in their right mind is going to pick up that huge contract (five years, 114 million bucks, stupid endorsement bonuses) and even if they did (Miami, we’re looking at you), do you think A-Rod would okay a deal? That’s right, the richest man in baseball still has the power to veto any deal.

Here’s what will happen. A-Rod will take a nice, leisurely vacation, enjoy some beautiful beaches and some celebrity perks, before heading somewhere warm with hitting instructor Kevin Long. The pair will deconstruct his stance and stroke, and completely adjust the way he hits. Don’t think it can happen? Long made Curtis Granderson one of the best hitters in baseball. Believe.

The result, A-Rod comes back next season a much more productive player. We’re not talking the huge numbers, but respectable numbers. Plus, he’ll lock down third base defensively, something he had no problem doing this year.

Then you can put your money on the Yanks taking the AL East and heading for the postseason. From there it’s the typical crapshoot that accompanies the Yanks into October play.

LeBron isn’t thinking about leaving Miami

LeBron James: I hear it's nice in L.A. at this time of year.

From one of baseball’s biggest names to basketball’s biggest name. This week, some bright spark saw it fit to stir the proverbial pot and suggest that the Lakers were considering tapping up LeBron James when he becomes eligible to switch teams in two years. Now the revolving door of speculation and paranoia kicks off in earnest, and at least 18 months before it needs to.

The suggestion that LeBron would up sticks and move when his opt-out option kicks in on a six year deal signed in 2010 immediately sparked a furor. Every team north and west of Miami began contemplating how they could sign the ‘King’ – or maybe they didn’t – while fans began dreaming.

The simple fact of the matter is LeBron James isn’t about to move anytime soon. Not if he’s got any sense.

A repeat of ‘The Decision’ and the debacle that saw him arrive in South Beach would be career-suicide. Okay, on the court it wouldn’t, but if you thought James was hated now, imagine what it would be like him balking on another team. Unless he’s got some truly foolish advisors getting in his head, James will be thinking nothing more than how to win trophy number two and three, and maybe how he can kick the ball out to Ray Allen to drain those treys.

So, LeBron James isn’t about to jump ship. At least not yet. A disastrous season or two could change that, but those looking for speculative talk, or crazy props bets, would do better to consider the future of Dwyane Wade. Or Chris Bosh. Or any other Miami Heat player not named LeBron.

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