Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The GM: Excited about the World Series

I think I've ripped the entire Red Sox organization apart, top to bottom, to the extent that was warranted by September, 2011.  I feel better about the whole thing and I'm ready to move on to my best-of topics, my last-word topics, and moving on to the next chapter of my life.  However, unlike Alex Rodriguez (who did it) and 46 (who endorsed doing it), I'm not going to disrespect the World Series.  In fact, I am looking forward to baseball being on my television for at least another week - as it should be.  In fact, here are ten quick hits I'm looking forward to seeing develop.

1.  CJ Wilson:  He's not Cliff Lee.  But he's going to have a Cliff Lee-style free agent job audition.  Chances are the Yankees will end up with this guy, but if his audition ends up as awesome as Lee's was, we'll all be lucky to watch it on the biggest stage.

2.  Referendum on Don'tbeapussyball.  Led by a downtrodden AL West team and an up-and-coming young GM in the AL East, philosophies in baseball are changing.  Not Moneyball.  But the practice of not babying starting pitchers.  We should call it Don'tbeapussyball, because it encourages (with good results so far!) pitchers to not be pussies. 

3.  Texas as a Dynasty:  It may have been Sports Illustrated, but it may not have.  But some people are thinking Texas is not some two-year fluke; that it's a team that will be around the top of the American League for a while.  Letting Cliff Lee go last year (though his less-money offer acceptance may not prove to be the best example) may indicate that they're not willing to secure their better players in the long run, and though they aren't the Brewers (their core will be around for a while), it will be difficult for this team to be a permanent fixture in the postseason.  Even moreso if Don'tbeapussyball is unsuccessful, which we might have to wait years to determine.

4.  La Russa and Dave Duncan:  Genius?  I can't believe this team has made it this far.  Without Wainwright.  Then again, the "Chris Carpenter Is Not That Good" theme has reached the "recurring joke" level between me and Pat.  Duncan obviously did something right, and La Russa did something right with the rest of these guys.  Nick Punto?  Rafael Furcal?  These guys would be bench players on Boston or New York.  I hope Jason can provide more insight than I'm qualified to provide, but good for them.

5.  JD Drew 2.0.  Colby Rasmus must have really sucked.  More than one article from that city called him the second coming of JD Drew, a guy whose legacy in St. Louis was as a selfish, aloof dog.  Don't think he had any third-party hitting instructors like Rasmus, who was called out by his manager and by Pujols during his time there.  The Cardinals went 45-33 after trading Rasmus after going 44-39 before the trade.  They must have HATED him there.

6.  Is St. Louis the "hot hand?"  They snuck into the closing door of the NL Wild Card after the Braves pretty much gave it to them.  Then they beat the odds-on favorite and the team in now-mode.  Maybe Billy Beane is right about the postseason:  Maybe it is about the team that gets hot at the right time.

7.  Pujols.  Cardinals fans are getting their money's worth.  But is Pujols going to stay there (I think so).  Or will Theo Epstein make his first order of business in Chicago outbidding the field by 20% for the player (after all, the Yankees and Sox are out of the running for a 1B)?  I mean, he is a genius and a boy wonder for looking up at the top of the leaderboard and signing someone.  Perhaps the most intriguing question is:  Is there a way to prevent the upcoming Pujols contract from being a "bad contract?"

8.  Good for Baseball?  No East Coast teams, no West Coast teams.  I guess the numbers will eventually tell us whether people actually like to see the Red Sox and Yankees.  But is having this matchup here good for baseball?  I'd say it is.

9.  Chemistry versus spending.  These are the teams ranked 11th (Cardinals) and 13th (Rangers) in payroll spending this year.  This is further evidence that putting together a fantasy team, while it certainly helps you win 83 games from April through August, is not the only way to win big.  Both teams (and you can say the same about the other two of the Final Four) have a fair share of stars surrounded by a lot of role players.  I mean, David Murphy is in the World Series and JD Drew isn't.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

go cards!
-jason

Anonymous said...

DV

I'm glad to see a positive post. I'm as frustrated about the Sox as anyone, but I agree with you--it's time to move on.

Also (and I'm not saying this to rile you up), but doesn't baseball have a pretty good system going right now from a parity standpoint? In the last ten years only one team has won consecutive pennants (the Rangers). There has been only one team that won multiple championships (the Red Sox, although the Cardinals may join them). And 24 of the 30 teams have made the playoffs at least once. Think about that for a second--that's amazing, considering that only eight teams make the playoffs. What's more, is that there is no salary cap. In the NBA the Lakers may spend about 50% more than the Pacers do. In baseball the Sox spend %400 of the Rays payroll and the Yankees spent nearly 600% of the Royals payroll.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

Gunn,

I prefer negativity. I am at my best while ranting. Look at the "top posts" on the right-hand site of the page. Negativity gets read.

I'll say baseball has a decent system going on regarding parity. That has less to do with the controls infrastructure in place by the commissioner's office (whether the one office in Milwaukee or the group of offices in New York) and more to do with disadvantaged baseball ops execs finding a way. The fact that teams like the Yankees and Red Sox are looking at cost/don't in fact have an infinite budget also helps.

Anonymous said...

I do have actual value to add, on top of my rooting for the cards although like i had discussed with DV rasmus had to go here is the indisputable evidence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI8l87uyDXM

one thing my dad mentioned yesterday when i talked with him during the game was the possibility of larussa coming to the sox and replacing francona... i was wondering what others thought afterall he is one of the greatest managers of our time however i just couldnt see him leaving the NL as some of his major strengths revolve around small ball and double switches which just dont happen as often in the al east anyway hope this added value and watch out for that burning fire

-jason