(Bumped from FanPosts. --Eric)
In the winter of 2002, I was still clinging to the dream of being a sportswriter. I had some moderate success but, well, not enough, and went to law school a few weeks later. But along the way, I ended up writing a ton of stuff, and was probably way ahead of the curve when it came to blogging -- I opened my now defunct and deleted one in 2001. (Man, I'm old.)
But that winter, something neat happened. A trend was beginning where a lot of sabermetrically-inclined fans were landing jobs, and I was decently well connected to this group. A friend landed a job with a big league team, then another, and another, and another. And suddenly, I had a bunch of people who, potentially, could be anonymous sources. It was a matter of time.
Right around mid-December of 2002, one of them gave me something. The Padres had just made a four year offer to Edgardo Alfonzo -- and it looked to be the best offer on the table. I ran it -- my first scoop, one which I thought would put me on the map. No one had even suggested that Alfonzo could land there.
And he didn't. Almost immediately after, Alfonzo signed a contract with the Giants. A three year deal, one facially worse than the one I had reported the Padres offered. Snakebitten, I was.
My source, again, was a friend of mine, someone who I have stayed in contact with over the years. He assured me, even afterward, that his info was true. Alfonzo either had already decided on San Fran or simply preferred the idea of being on a good team (the Giants won 100 games in Alfonzo's first season there) instead of a poor one (the Padres lost 98 that same year). Who knows.
In any event, the tip was true but ultimately worthless. And my source suffered no ill effects from it -- which is why I don't really care for anonymous sources. And neither should you.