Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rockies = Baseball Team

I’ve been wondering if the Rockies’ streak is going to spawn of any crazy columns about how they’ve been able to perform at such a high level. This column by Tracy Ringolsby at Foxsports.com wasn’t that bad, but I’ll just comment on a few paragraphs.

When the Yankees were running off four consecutive world championships, there was doom and gloom. Teams became convinced that baseball had fallen victim to the Golden Rule — he who has the gold is going to rule.

The Yankees last won 4 consecutive world championships during the period of 1949-1953, when they won 5 in a row. Tracy’s going way back for his/her analysis!

What’s that, oh, Tracy screwed up. So the Yankees won 4 out of five from 1996-2000 because they spent the most? I disagree. I think they had good homegrown players along with solid veterans. They did not have quite the roster of high priced all-stars like the ’01-’07 Yankees.

Then the simplistic work of "Moneyball" was published, taking a shallow view of the complex approach Billy Beane had taken to having success on a moderate budget in Oakland, and suddenly front offices were being filled with guys wearing pocket protectors.

I’m sooo tired of reading about Moneyball. Tracy calls Moneyball “simplistic.” I would love to hear Tracy’s thoughts on Moneyball. I wonder if it’s along the lines of “Moneyball baseball is all about walking and not running fast.” Of course, Moneyball is simplistic, but that doesn’t prevent 7 out of 10 baseball writers from butchering the meaning.

Now, maybe, the game is going to get back to its roots.

Like, back to when the Yankees last won 4 straight championships, in 1953?

Now, maybe, some owners will realize that for all the efforts to find new and improved versions, round is the best shape for a tire, and a home-grown product is the best method for success in baseball.

This is why I disagreed with your first statement. The Yankees of 1996-2000 were primarily, if anything, a team built on homegrown stars. Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Bernie Williams comprised the core of many of those teams. Guys like Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Jimmy Key, etc. were hardly your typical all-stars who were just bought for extreme amounts of money because the Yankees outbid everyone for them (like, later, Jason Giambi and Mike Mussina were).

The rest of the column is about the amazing streak the Rockies are on. I’ll just leave you with this bit of wisdom from Tracy.

"This is unbelievable, amazing," said honorary NL President Bill Giles, former president of the Phillies and son of long-time exec Warren C. Giles, for whom the NL Championship trophy is named. "The Rockies have done something no other team in baseball history has done. It is absolutely amazing."

And they did it as a team.

Right on! Go teamwork! Unlike all those other good baseball teams who haven’t done it as a team. Did you know the 2003 Marlins were never actually on the field at the same time? They filmed those World Series games with a blue screen, kind of like how actors can have scenes with people who aren’t there and they can layer it together later. Each guy just did his thing and they later edited to make it look like a team. Originally, when Josh Beckett was pitching, the ball was actually caught by former major league Butch Wynegar and later Ivan Rodriguez caught the ball as thrown by former major leaguer Tom Niedenfuer. The rest was Hollywood magic. That’s how ex-players earn their pension checks. Manny Ramirez wasn’t even in the continental US during the ’04 series. That was George Bell. Some team that was!

See Mike Freeman and Scott Miller, I can make jokes that aren’t funny and make no sense too.

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