If it happens, it happens.
That’s the ballplayer’s unofficial motto when it comes to the subject of trade rumors.
They’re out of your control, so don’t let them get in your head. Just go out and do your job, which is something you can control. The rest is just part of the business.
Not game. Business.
"It’s a company and they’re doing what they feel is best, which right now is to deal for the future," said Ben Revere, who’s rumored to be one of many Phillies on the block, despite being only 27-years-old. "If they can get prospects they’re gonna do it. But I don’t really think about it. I understand the situation. If it happens it happens. When I was in Minnesota it was always crazy. Every phone call you get you from an area code you don’t recognize or from your agent, you’re thinking this might be the time.’’
Will that next phone call finally be the one that sends Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Ryan Howard, Aaron Harang and/or someone else packing? With the Phils in free fall the speculation is mounting that now is when Ruben Amaro should pull the trigger on as many deals as possible.
Of course, it’s just not that simple. But that won’t keep the rumor mill from grinding overtime over the next few months.
"That’s why it’s called a trade rumor," said 33-year-old veteran Jerome Williams, who was sent from the Giants to the White Sox in May. 2005. "When I was younger I kind of worried about it. Now I’m not worried until it happens. You understand the business side of it, so you don’t pay attention to it. If it happens it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.’’
Still, a month or so from now when the trade deadline is looming the uncertainty can’t help but have an effect. In 2010 Jeff Francoeur, then with the Mets, heard the rumors and even had discussions with GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel.
"They said 'There’s a possibility, so just continue to play hard and you never know what’s gonna happen,'" recalled Francoeur, who wound up in the World Series after being traded to Texas. "All through the game you wonder if you’re gonna called into the office. It can be tough but at the same time once you’ve had it done or had a teammate traded you just go about your business. There’s a lot of stuff in this game you can’t control. That’s one of the major things."
And for the most part, you didn’t have to deal social media like Twitter and Facebook back then. Certainly none of that existed in 1982 when Phils’ manager Ryne Sandberg learned he’d be dealt to the Cubs, where he’d go on to have a Hall of Fame career
"It was much more quiet back in the day," said Sandberg, who was in Venezuela when he found out about being dealt with Larry Bowa for Ivan DeJesus. A trade would happen and nobody had an inkling that anything was happening. "Now there’s much more coverage. The talks and conversation get out more than when I was playing."
Unless you’re like Aaron Harang and truly not paying attention.
"With Twitter and all that internet stuff I get more calls and texts from buddies and family saying 'What’s the deal?’’’ said the 37-year-old Harang, once the proverbial hot prospect in a 2003 trade deadline deal sending him from the A’s to the Reds. "I say 'I don’t know. You’ll probably find out before I do because I’m not on Twitter or Facebook.' I don’t waste my time on them."
For everyone else awaiting their fate, though this can’t help but be an anxious time.
"With Cole, Howie, Pap and those guys you know there’s gonna be possibilities," said the 31-year-old Francoeur. "But guys know how to handle it and go about their business."
Until it finally happens -- and one of those many rumors becomes a reality.