They’re all the rage in the media these days — check out Google for a good one. The 12th Man Rising website got some mileage out of this Matt Hasselbeck trade story. I hear ESPN even jumped on it for awhile. There was the time a few years back that Golf Magazine wrote that Augusta National, home of the Masters, would be open to the public. After they were flooded with inquiries, they fessed up to the hoax. Of course, it was 25 years ago today that Sports Illustrated pulled off the biggest whopper of them all, the Sidd Finch saga by George Plimpton.
So be wary today of any story that sounds too crazy to be true. It probably is.
I would never try to pull an April Fools prank like that, because I value my credibility (and because I can never pull off anything; I always seem to give it away within five seconds). But here are some April Fool fake story ideas that might have stopped a heart or two:
1) Randy Johnson signs with Mariners. Realizing that he missed baseball more than expected, and feeling better physically than he has in years, Randy Johnson announced today that he would resume his career where it blossomed: With the Seattle Mariners.
Johnson, 44, today signed a one-year contract with the Mariner, who announced that he would join their rotation after a three-week stint in Tacoma to build back his arm strength.
2) Mariners trade Ichiro for Prince Fielder in blockbuster deal. The Mariners today addressed their need for power in a huge way, making a stunning deal to acquire Prince Fielder from the Milwaukee Brewers. Jack Zduriencik — who was responsible for signing and drafting Fielder while working for the Brewers — sent one of Seattle’s icons, Ichiro, to Milwaukee.
“I hated to give up a future Hall of Famer like Ichiro, but you have to give up talent to get talent,” Zduriencik said.
3) Griffey announces retirement. On the eve of Opening Day, a teary-eyed Ken Griffey Jr summoned the media to his locker in the Peoria Sports Complex clubhouse today. The news was shocking: He was calling it quits after 23 seasons.
“There comes a time for every player when you have to give it up, and that time has come for me,” he said quietly, as teammates approached with handshakes and hugs.
4) Mariners to move to National League in realignment. MLB today announced its most sweeping realignment ever, with the Mariners set to join the NL West in 2011. The newly formed NL West will consist of the Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks and Mariners.
“We believe our fans will welcome the new matchups,” said team president Chuck Armstrong. “And this gives us the opportunity to play 18 games against our traditional rival, the San Diego Padres. ”
5) Geoff Baker quits blogging. Geoff Baker, the Seattle Times’ Mariner beat writer, wrote what he called his final blog today. Baker told his readers that he has come to realize that what he called “all this new-fangled techno-crap,” like blogs, tweets and live video feeds, “are just a passing fad.”
Baker said he would go back to covering the team the old-fashioned way: In the newspaper only.