And A Duck To Be Named Later (VII)

True story (though perhaps not mine, but really, who’s quibbling?).  True story:

Yeah, but think rabbit: Elongate the ears!

Think of the most humilating trades in sports history, the lopsided debacles that demean players or only work out for one team.  Certainly for the New York Metropolitans, the whole Scott Kazmir-for-Victor Zambrano comes to mind, but so does Jason Isringhausen for Billy Taylor.  But the worst, the true worst for the Metsies?  Clearly Nolan Ryan and a few other players for Jim Fregosi.

Ryan would develop into one of the game’s greats, though the trade itself may not rank up there with baseball’s biggest blunder:  When the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1919 (seriously, how many trades have a whole curse follow them?).  But think about it, Ryan and Ruth (and countless others) must feel pretty bad when the time comes to be traded.

But maybe not quite as bad as legendary sportcaster Al Michaels.

"I'm sorry, wha... ?, you traded me for... Seriously?"

In 2006 NBC Universal wanted Michaels for its then-new Football Night in America (aka ABC’s relocated-to-cable Monday Night Football: new night, new network, uh, same football) it had to trade with ESPN, ABC and their parent company, The Walt Disney Co.  So what would make the Disney machine give up Michaels?

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Uh, excuse me, who?

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit predates good ol’ Mickaey Mouse, and was created by Disney and legendary animator (here’s one of the true great names:) Ub Iwerks.  And Oswald was gonna be a star, I tell ya, a star!  It was gonna be personalized rabbit ears  on little tyke’s heads; a rabbit appearing as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; and a rabbit as an iconic corporate symbol.  Seriously, you never would’ve heard the name ‘Bugs.’

Only, the contract for Oswald (created by Disney, remember) was through independent producer Charles B. Mintz and his deal at Universal.  Which in 2004 became NBC Universal.  Which in 2006 decided to trade him back to Disney for…  Al Michaels.

But here’s my question: How did Disney CEO Robert Iger even call Michaels?  Uh, hey, so, listen Al, you’re gonna be going to NBC…  well, that’s the funny part.  You ever eat rabbit?

Al Michaels: traded for a fictional, animated rabbit few people have ever heard of.

This rabbit looks nothing like That Mouse. Seriously, I don't see it.

A comforting thought to remember, if you’re ever traded.  True story.


One Response to “And A Duck To Be Named Later (VII)”

  1. Moo Jameson Says:

    Despite Mets fan everywhere claiming the Kazmir for Zambrano trade was the worst in history, its clear that the Mets’ concerns about Kazmir’s build and injury risks have been legitimate. He’s never won more than 13 games in a season, only thrown more than 152 innings twice in a season, and is 59 and 48 lifetime.

    Zambrano was a bust but its not like we gave up a stud.

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