Strong feelings of mine…
I’m glad there are teams like the Yanks, Bosox, Dodgers, even Rangers and Diamondbacks. I’m glad there’s teams that can pay big money to aging veterans. I’m not begrudging the players’ rights to make money…but we don’t need veterans, unless they’re stars.
I’d rather do it the Oakland A’s way and hire young guys full of energy and fun and match them up with a couple of leaders (positional and pitching) and watch them have at it.
They’re hungry, they’re fun, they take risks. The Big Red Machine was predominantly young (except for Rose and Perez). Young guys develop, don’t make a bunch of money, and compete….and they have fun while playing. As the youngsters “grow up” trade them intead of arbitrating; trade them instead of free agency; or let them go free agency and promote someone else.
But, to make this work, we have to have a great scouting network and a great developmental coaching staff. Our scouts, coaches, and managers have to be the best in the business. We need to pay top dollars for these guys…which, by the way, is substantially less than it is for middling, or even poor, free agents and veteran players.
I liked the “Moneyball” way before “Moneyball” was written. Most people don’t realize (or refuse to believe) that players actually stay with their teams longer today than they did years ago. A lot of us grew up with the stability of the 70’s Reds and Dodgers. What we don’t realize is that those teams were the exceptions to the rules. We were spoiled and it’s poisoned our knowledge.