Te’oing a Royal
By now everyone has had a chance to take in the Manti Te’o story if they want to. ¬†Was Te’o a victim, gullible, both or in on quite a bit of it and now using his Notre Dame celebrity to manufacture an escape? ¬†Those are the three questions that you may have come up with in your mind as I have. ¬†One thing that could have popped up your mind like mine is could this sort of thing happen to a Royals player and if so how far could it get?
As with the limited contact that I have with players within this organization and the proximity (La Vista) that I live to some of the AAA players it so happens I have a story that is kind of weird in a similar fashion. ¬†Yes it doesn’t have the depth that the Te’o story does but it does leave you with asking what was the motivation/reason someone would want to lie about a false relationship.
Being that many of my friends, acquaintances and family members know that I get a little more inside knowledge than the average fan out there has I get a few questions about the players and team. ¬†For the most part these questions are similar stuff to what you field in your everyday life about teams. ¬†What do you think of this player? ¬†How good is the team? ¬†From time to time though I’ll get more personal questions about individual players and what I think of them personally. ¬†As I tell most people the chances that I would get to see something bad from a player, coach or FO member would be very rare. ¬†The players are very guarded around media personnel and I believe that they would view me, pinetarpress.com and what we do in that light even though the team doesn’t seem to give us that credit. ¬†That said every and I mean every interaction I’ve ever had with a Royals player, coach or FO staff has been extremely positive. ¬†Whether it has been my couple talks with Dayton, the scouting staff or players in the dugout or out to dinner. ¬†The players and staff I have had the good fortune to interact with have been overly nice and genuine great guys.
There is one weird story though that popped up last year and I took the time after the Manti Te’o story surfaced to find out a little more. ¬†Last year a friend of my wife’s asked if I knew a certain Royals pitcher. ¬†I told them as I’ve told all that have inquired, I don’t know this person personally but have seen them at the parks, in the dugout, etc. ¬†They asked me if I knew who they were dating. ¬†I told Jess (my wife’s friend) that I rarely know that stuff unless someone at the park recognizes me and introduces themselves as has happened a couple of times.
This went by and I thought nothing of it. ¬†A month later Jess mentioned how this woman had told her about how the player and her had hung out with another member of the pitching staff that past weekend, this time a member of the Kansas City club. ¬†I thought this to be weird as that particular player who she was said to be dating wasn’t a member of the big league squad during that week. ¬†Being a person that is interested in breaking a story I wondered if he had been called up and the media hadn’t been notified yet and whether or not I should put it out there. ¬†Being that I didn’t know this person I decided to leave it alone and see if the player this unknown girl was supposedly dating would get the call to the bigs that week.
That call didn’t come at the time, the next time I was asked about the player I asked where this girl went to college? ¬†While it isn’t uncommon for the players in the minor league baseball to date someone in the particular city they are playing, I doubted this player due to his limited time in Omaha because of his time with the big league club in the past year would have time to strike up a relationship in Omaha. ¬†Indeed she was not from the same college that the player attended nor was she from the same area as him. ¬†I told Jess that I doubted heavily that they were dating as the timeline didn’t match.
It came up in passing a couple more times and then went away. ¬†I hadn’t even thought about it until the Te’o story broke as plenty of rumors pass by many of us bloggers and as I’m sure thousands more pass by Dutton, Mellinger and the pros in the Royals media staff. ¬†It wasn’t until the Te’o thing popped up that I thought to question the Royals player about it. ¬†He informed me that my assumptions were true, laughed about it and asked what the person’s name was. ¬†I didn’t think to ask if this has happened to him in the past but I’m sure he or one of his teammates have had a stalker story to two in the past.
For me this isn’t quite that unusual, I’ve had good friends that have been involved in the movie and music business and the stories that they could tell are quite crazy and much more elaborate as far as interacting with strange fans. ¬†The fact that someone in Omaha told an elaborate story about dating a Royals player when in fact they likely had not even met them probably isn’t that uncommon. ¬†Is this a stalker mentality? ¬†I don’t know, I guess some would describe it that way. ¬†It is much more likely that it is just a person who can’t grasp with the everyday boredom that is their life and wants to have a higher status within their work environment than they currently do. ¬†There is another possibility that remain, perhaps Jess made up this whole thing as a way to interact with my wife and me. ¬†Who knows? ¬†In the end it is a pretty innocuous story that doesn’t affect anyones life other than the person who told the story if and only if they get caught telling the lie. ¬†Otherwise the player lives his life and the story-teller leads theirs and no one ever knows the difference.
The only person that knows the truth in this situation is Jess, she knows this person lied or knows she invented this scenario to me and my wife. ¬†This little story is a weird situation that just vanishes much like the Te’o story will over time. ¬†It just confirms to me that a Royals player or anyone for that matter could become victim to a Catfish style hoax somewhat easier than they even know. ¬†It just takes the wrongheaded person to get the whole thing started.
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