With social media and modern journalism being what it is fans of sports get more news and analysis than ever before. There are players mentioned with teams that aren't paying them constantly. Some of these are rumor (of varying credibility), some are analysis/speculation and some are merely ideas.
Two variants of this came up over the last 24 hours with Eddie Johnson. They are nearly perfect examples of the difference between a rumor of a move and some one having an idea for one.
Single source from outside Toronto: first scorer at BMO Field to return as a Red...call this one informed speculation...— Duane Rollins (@24thminute) November 12, 2013
Rollins would later clarify that the individual in question is Seattle's Eddie Johnson. While he gave no qualifiers as to the source's qualifications he does have a source that is mentioned. Further enhancing the credibility of the rumor is that Duane uses his real name and has a real website dedicated to more than just rumor. That's not to say that this deal will happen. People get bad data all the time. It is a rumor though.
Here there is not a firm example related to EJ. The best local example of speculation would be when Shalrie Joseph was announced as no longer a DP. This almost certainly meant a new DP was coming and soon. There were dots that could be connected. Speculation and analysis are unsourced. Instead they take bits of knowledge to weave a tapestry of something that could be.
Just had lunch w/ good friend w/ numerous sports industry ties who insisted DCU should move heaven/earth to bring Eddie Johnson to RFK. Hm.— Brian Straus (@BrianStraus) November 12, 2013
Ideas are fun. They don't have sources. They're just people talking about things that may or may not make sense. Brian Straus is not saying that this is something he expects will happen. Just that a friend of his says it makes sense. Ideas are like the classic Sounder at Heart posts "Searching for the Free." They often involve rosterbation. They can be wild or reasonable.
When SaH reports (or rereports) a rumor we will make it quite clear. We will tend to talk about if it seems credible (a basic level of credibility is required to make it onto this site). If we are analyzing things that within public knowledge that seem like something deeper is going on we'll be clear about that as well. If we have an idea on how to improve the team through roster management that will be clear.
These differences matter. When so much can spread via wildfire, and when players read all of it in real-time, it is important to take a moment and figure out just what is being said.
In this case there is a rumor about EJ heading to Toronto and there are also a ton of writers and fans with ideas of him going just about anywhere.