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THIS JUST IN: Phillies Trade Lee, Hamels, Utley, Drabek, Brown, Taylor, D'Arnaud, Schmidt, Carlton, and Ashburn for Halladay and Two Prospects

That's about where this thing is right now, right?

Let's get out on the table what we have the most certainty is true:  Roy Halladay was in Philadelphia at some point today.

Is there anything more that we might have even a 50/50 shot of knowing is true?  There have been about 148 iterations of this deal since 2pm this afternoon.  The Phillies are trading Cliff Lee, then they're not trading Cliff Lee.  The Phillies are getting prospects, then they're shipping prospects.  The Phillies couldn't trade Joe Blanton, now they're sending Blanton and J.A. Happ out for physicals.  The Phillies are negotiating a $68M contract with Halladay, then they're asking for small change in return from the Blue Jays.

It's all pure speculation at this point.  And the reporters know that.  All they have to do is look back at their Twitter feed or Facebook page and compare what they wrote earlier today with what they're writing or reporting now.  There's no doubt at all that tomorrow morning it will all be different.  (Hell, why wait?  It'll be different two hours from now.)  Just like it will be when the trade is announced (if there is even a trade to announce at the end of this).

If you want to know what's wrong with the internet, journalism, and sports, here's exhibit 1 with a bullet.  Jon Heyman, Jayson Stark, Ken Rosenthal, Todd Zolecki, Andy Martino, etc. -- none of them can look like he's lagging behind the others.  So they report what they've heard rather than what they've found out to be true.  I'll sound old when I say this, but I'll say it anyway:  in the old days, the reporters would have at least tried to do their fact checking, confirmed with multiple sources, and reported something in the next day's paper based on their best belief as to what the facts are.  Now, what we get is a phone call from someone who might at one point in time have been in touch with some guy who knew someone who vacationed with an agent who is colleagues with another agent who has a player on the team who could be the fourth team in on the deal and who claims to know something.  Then, that is reported right away so the scoop is made.

And we buy it hook, line, and sinker.  Let me be entirely clear:  I'm not immune to this at all.  After all, did I get much work done this afternoon while trying to find out every morsel of information I could?  Of course not.  And where does that leave me?  With the best report from one of the most trust-worthy reporters being that the Phillies are getting had and paying much more for Roy Halladay now than they would have had to pay in July.  That makes no sense.  I know it.  Jayson Stark knows it.  You know it.  Yet that's what we get fed because we are hungry and the reporters know how to gorge us.

Someone who has reported something today may just get this deal right.  But if they do, it'll be because blind squirrels do indeed find nuts every once in a while.  It won't be for any other reason.

Remember that as this thing develops.  We know nothing.  And neither do they.