I often hear it tossed around that it is all just the necessary growing pains for what is going to be a resurgance beginning in 2015. (Some have even suggested 2014, to which I am speechless.)
I'm sorry, but I just can't see anything that soon as being possible.
We could be in this mess for several more years to come.
I think some of that optimism might have been valid coming into the season, after all it was supposed to be a year in which we identified which players were going to be a part of that future. (That is of course, unless you believe the words of the front office, when they adamantly claimed that they were putting a contending team on the field.)
Yet, here we, a little more than 3/4 through the season, and not a whole lot has become much clearer.
In fact, aside from Dozier, and perhaps Arcia, the things that have become clearer have been negatives.
Here it is, 8/18, and Terry Ryan still chooses to roster a 25 man team full of players who will (or at least SHOULD) not have any part of our future.
Here it is, 8/18 and Gardy still chooses to field a lineup full of players who will (or again, SHOULD) not be part of our next division winning team.
Gardy continues his obsession with carrying 3 catchers, rather than evaluating someone who could possibly be a part of the future.
Even in the extremely unlikely situation where you are forced to finish a game without your DH, what is the worst consequence of that? You might lose an otherwise winnable game? In a season like this, I say big deal. Is the 0.1% chance of losing an otherwise winnable game worth demoting a player who just a week ago you claimed needed everyday AB's so we could see what we had in him?
Among our position players, we have perhaps 3 or 4 players who might actually be a part of our future?
Sorry, that is not good enough.
Rip the Astros and Marlins all you want, but at least their losing is for a better cause.
At least those clubs are rolling with guys who might be a part of something down the road. At least those clubs aren't trotting out guys like Doug Bernier, Ryan Doumit, Clete Thomas, Wilkin Ramirez, and Chris Herrmann.
Coming into the season I heard our starting rotation couldn't possibly be as bad.
Fast forward 102 games, and it's just as bad, with no reason to believe it will get better anytime soon.
Even if Sano pans out and replaces Plouffe, and Buxton pans out and becomes Mike Trout, and Rosario pans out and moves Dozier for a prospect (he was a disaster at SS, not sure where else you can move him), even if Meyer pans out and replaces Correia or Pelfry, does that turn us into a division winner? I don't think it's nearly enough.
In order to create an environment where our top prospects can thrive and propel us back to the top of the division, they are going to need to be augmented by an overhaul in philosophy by both upper and field management.
No more bargain bin hunting for starting pitchers.
No more waiting until guys hit their lowest possible value before moving them.
No more giving valuable playing time to guys who don't have a future here.
No more complaining about a lack of bench move options, when you are carrying 13 pitchers and 3 catchers.
No more sitting Arcia against lefties, just so that a journeyman like Wilkin Ramirez can "get some swings in".
No more catchers and DH's playing in the outfield.
No more throwing young players under the bus in the media when they make a mistake. It's not exactly breaking news that young, inexperienced players are going to make mistakes. Handle those things behind closed doors.
No more mocking and thumbing your nose at advanced metrics. Both statistical AND scouting analysis are needed in the modern game. Don't let your pride be your downfall.
In closing, I'm as excited as anyone about our farm system. I can't tell you exciting it is to have a once in a generation prospect like Buxton doing the things he's doing, to have a legit impact bat like Sano, and a couple front line starter prospects in Meyer and Stewart.
But until/unless Terry Ryan is willing/able to augment those guys by being more aggressive in free agency and in the international market (I'm talking about the big $$$ guys not covered by the spending pool), it's not going to be enough.
And until/unless Gardy is willing/able to admit that he has some major flaws in how he fills out the lineup card and handles certain players, it's not going to be enough.
The time is now. We are at a tipping point. This thing is about to go one of two ways, the necessary pains of a rebuilding process, or simply just one more lost season in the midst of a long stretch of bad baseball.
Things have to change this offseason if this organization is serious about winning.
Gardy has proven he is capable of being a good manager, and Terry Ryan has proven he is capable of being a good GM. But, nobody is immune to being passed on by time.
The MLB, like most businesses, is constantly evolving and shifting. It's time for those two guys to step up and admit that there are mistakes being made, and organizational beliefs that need to be changed.
If they insist on winning, I have faith that they can.
If they insist on winning "their way", then we might be in for a long run of ineptitude.
Sorry, extremely long winded rant over.
Edited by Mr. Brooks, 18 August 2013 - 05:10 PM.