I like Jon Heyman. I really do. As sportswriters go, he's less lazy than most, and generally well-reasoned and open-minded. And, in fact, the article I'm about to take issue with is pretty solid.
On Wednesday, Heyman posted the odds that 23 players would be traded by the trade deadline. Jason Bay is a long-shot in Heyman's book at 15:1; meanwhile, Heyman is willing to lay odds, 1:2, that A.J. Burnett and Randy Wolf are individually traded.
Whenever a sportswriter or other prognosticator publishes odds, they put their reputation at risk. We now have a 100% foolproof way of measuring how good Heyman is at predicting the trade market. Heyman's goal: break even. If players are traded with less alacrity than his odds predict, he was too aggressive in his odds-making; if more players are traded than his odds would suggest, he wasn't aggressive enough.
So here's my challenge to Mr. Heyman: Put your money where your mouth is.
Specifically, take $230 out of your wallet and place that money, evenly, on the 23 players in your article. If a player gets traded, you "win" the amount per your odds -- so if the Seattle Mariners trade Raul Ibanez, you are returned your $10 and make $80 extra. Total up your wins and losses at the end of the day. Any losses remaining, donate to the American Red Cross. That link makes it easy for you to do so. If you end up in the black, donate the money over your initial $230 investment. Remember, you're aiming for break-even here -- if you're wildly off in either direction, it's because you set the odds poorly. You aren't going to break the bank here -- the most you can lose is just under $950, and that is only if every single player listed is traded. And either way, you help a good cause.
I'll make it even easier. On August 1st, I'll revisit your odds and tell you how you did.