CLEVELAND -- The always-entertaining July 31 rumor mill took an unexpected turn on Friday when talk show legend Larry King predicted a White Sox/Los Angeles Dodgers trade.
A longtime Dodgers fan, King tweeted:
— Larry King (@kingsthings) July 24, 2015
White Sox players and manager Robin Ventura took the rumor as they would any other of the hundreds that surface in the days and weeks that lead up to the deadline -- with skepticism. Ventura, who played two seasons for the Dodgers and is familiar with King, had fun with the rumor -- “I missed that one,” he said.
“When I played there, you run into him,” Ventura said. “They would come out to games. Not enough -- I haven’t called him about the trade, no.”
With Jeff Samardzija headed for free agency, the White Sox have grabbed their fair share of headlines this July as the hot stove heats up. Samardzija could be headed to any number of teams and the Dodgers have been speculated as one potential landing spot. For the most part, veteran players have been schooled on how to block out trade rumors. But even they can’t completely brush them off as friends and family contact players when they’re involved, pitcher John Danks said.
“You hear things every year, it’s inevitable,” Danks said. “A lot of times it’s maybe someone trying to stir something up and a lot of times maybe there’s a little bit of truth to it. Try to take it all with a grain of salt until something happens. But I think this is an exciting time for baseball fans in general, there’s a lot of tension around it. Everybody likes a big move, especially if you’re on a team that’s on the receiving end of it. I don’t worry about it too much, but I’d be lying if I said I never heard my name mentioned.”
Danks doesn’t have any social media accounts. He’s not interested in seeking out rumors.
And he’s not alone.
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Chris Sale made it very clear at the All-Star Game last week that he’s unimpressed by Twitter and Facebook because he sees them as distractions.
“I don’t have any of that crap,” Sale said. “I don’t read it. I don’t pick up the newspaper. It’s all distractions, really. It’s a bunch of stuff that people write that don’t know what they’re talking about -- no offense. I don’t pay attention to it. I have a job to do and that’s be a pitcher for my team.”
Ventura has experienced the trade deadline as a player and now as the team’s manager. This is the time of year where people “dream lot of things up” and he said he understands it’s a fun topic for baseball fans.
But Ventura also knows all that really matters is when his phone rings and general manager Rick Hahn informs him what is about to or has taken place.
“It’s actually worse now in the age of social media,” Ventura said. “People throw stuff out there that you know for a fact isn’t going to. Do you know for sure? No. But I know there is enough in the past that I knew was not true so again we are just focused on what we are doing today. If there’s something that’s happening, Rick will call me.”