What kind of real estate can you buy with 175 million dollars in Boston? New York has a slightly higher price tag, how about 198 million in the Big Apple? Without sparing a dime for savings how about a basement unit with no windows and no place on the waitlist to move up, talk about money well spent. Like plush carpeting in a junkyard.
Moneyball is back and and alive and tearing up the AL East, a division where historically the top spots were usually reserved for the sister cities of the northeast. Today, three teams with combined salaries barely matching that of each of the big dogs payrolls lead the class. The East has begun to accept that Tampa Bay is a powerhouse with years of cellar-dwelling resulting in some of baseballs best young talent drafted well and developed equally as great; that is until players, like Carl Crawford, leave for “green”er pastures. But Baltimore and Toronto are tricks even David Copperfield could not make us believe to be true unless we had been witnessing the standings ourselves day-in and day-out.
Not everything is created out of talented over-achieving teams, some of the success is the Boston-New York failure… and injuries. With the likes of Mo Rivera, Pineda and John Lackey out for a season, though Lackey’s absence could be a good thing. Big bats Gardner and Youk hurt have not helped, though the emergence of Middlebrooks could be a blessing in disguise. The bigger issue could be the failures of the starting pitching on both squads, with the exception of Sabathia being absolutely atrocious. Both teams have overall pitching staffs in the bottom 10 of the league, both teams have far worse starting issues than bullpen issues when broken down into raw stats. But understand these are all explanations, not excuses, teams need to win. Bottom line.
But you have to wonder, is it the players to blame? Or does this fall to guys named Cashman and Cherington and Valentine and Girardi? Where is the issue, is the failure of performance or personnel.
How about neither.
Why can’t their failure actually be the success of the Baltimore, the success of Tampa Bay, the success of Toronto. O.k. Maybe Toronto is a stretch and the result of their failures in Boston and NY, but not the top dogs, they are on top because they earned. Their real estate is the result of hard work, not a hand out.
But the question that looms, how do Boston and NY fix this? How do they get back on the top? While a good start happens, this is more, this is a good run. What can Cherington do? Do you trade Youkilis for a pitcher and bank that Middlebrooks the real thing. Or do you assume the frosh is riding some beginner’s luck and move him is favor of the devil you know. What can Boston do to rock this monkey? As goes for Cashman, he is already scrutinized for a bum-pitchers arm that was given for a prospect who is hot in Seattle. Something needs to give or people will become a statistic of the unemployed.
If you are given the reigns, how do you fix the teams?