Wednesday, March 5, 2008

You Big Dummy!


If I were a man of means, I'd order a gross of these so i could send one out as the "YouBig Dummy" of the week award. Or maybe that should be the "Big Dummy Other than Richard Griffin" of the week award. But hey, my fellow bloggers do a more than adequate job of kicking Uncle dick around so rather than duplicate their efforts, I'll award my YBDotW awards to less renowned dummies.

Like the people who ask Uncle Dick questions, fer instance!

Witness this guy, who's name is irrelevant to the point who served up the sort of softball that Griffin lives for in today's mailbag:

My question is, where’s the plan?

So we re-sign Johnny Mac, then you trade for Marco Scutaro, then you go get David Eckstein? You re-sign Reed Johnson, knowing that you want Matt Stairs and Adam Lind to play, and then you go out and get Shannon Stewart? Is J.P. just blindly going forward, grabbing who he can in a futile and vain attempt to make the playoffs? We currently have zero positional players coming up through our farm system. We aren't going to win anything with the team the way it is, so why are we not concentrating on the future?

Where to start? Does our ill-informed friend realize that Eckstien had turned down a 4 year deal from the Mets when we acquired Scutaro? Does he realize that McDonald couldn't be both a starter and a backup so someone besides Johnny Mac was necessary? Has he heard that Stewart turned down a two year offer before Johnson was re-signed?

Or, on the other hand, does he think it's a good thing to NOT add a player who makes your team better simply because he became available after you had made a lesser move? (laying aside the debate over whether Stewart makes us better).

Go back a couple of years. The Jays, with Koskie at 3B, make a nice deal for 1B Lyle Overbay from Milwaukee. Then, three weeks later the D'backs come to JP with an offer to deal Glaus - who was not thought by anyone to be on the market (though I had mentioned him as a player I'd target in the offseason back in September, no major media was talking about him). So, Mr. Phillips (oops!) what should JP have done in that situation? Said "Hey, ya know, no thanks. A month ago I'd have been all over this but not with Overbay here I really don't have room."? Maybe you would have been happy with Koskie at 3B for ever how many games he held together instead of Glaus. Different strokes and all that. But if having Koskie was such a good play, why was he so difficult to trade? (Same for Hinske too, BTW, Dick). But you can't argue that grabbing Overbay first, then Glaus, effectively leaving Koskie no place to play was evidence he had no plan. If he had known Glaus was going to have been available, he could have passed on Overbay and shifted Koskie to first - but circumstances changed.

In my opinion, the obvious play is that you seize the day when you can make your team better and make the move and then work out the ramifications later. In short, if you are so married to your "plan" that you let an opportunity to get better that you did not anticipate pass you by, then you better have one helluva plan. When circumstances change, plans have to be flexible. It does not indicate the lack of a plan that one adjusts to a changing circumstance (favorable or otherwise) in a manner which benefits the team. That should be pretty obvious.

But then, why am I arguing with a guy who claims we have "zero" positional players coming through the minors (who knew that Lind, Snider, Ahrens, Arenchiba, Thigpen, Jerolman, Diaz, Jackson, Eiland, et al were pitchers?) - I could just have posted his question and said "here's your t-shirt pal". I think most folks would understand why.

~WillRain

2 comments:

The Southpaw said...

The really funny thing that Griff doesn't mention about the revolving door at third is that each player JP brought in WAS BETTER THAN THE LAST! You would think a small detail like that might warrant a small footnote or something.

J.

philly_31 said...

Alright...let's start this conversation.

Regardless of timing, which you have pointed out is EVER so important.

We now have
Eckstein
Scutaro
Johnny Mac
Hill
Rolen

for 3 positions (If you want one to DH, Thomas has to sit because he can't play the field)

We have Lind, Stairs, Reed, and Stewart for 1 position. (once again, if one them is to play DH it means Thomas is sitting.)

So, you're right. We have become a marginally better team and now we have depth.

YAY!

World Series here we come!

Or did you forget that's the ultimate goal? A World Series is the ultimate goal, not middling around 500 for 7 straight years hoping to squeak into the Wildcard because other teams screw up. All of these minor acquistions aren't getting us there.

J.P. has been here 7 years and he took his shot with Glaus. But we haven't even sniffed the playoffs.

Thank you for pointing out all of those position players coming up...but I'm sorry, are any of them actually playing in the majors?

Lind, Snider, Ahrens, Arenchiba, Thigpen, Jerolman, Diaz, Jackson, Eiland are all a while away. Where are the players who should be trying to get into the majors now? Lind and Thigpen aren't really incredibly impressive so far.

So that's 7 years and J.P. can boast that we have Aaron Hill. Aaron Hill is the only legimate positional player that J.P has produced. One positional player in 7 years. That's not a sign for concern?

I love the Jays, but as soon as Gibbons and J.P. go, we can't start rebuilding for WINNING THE WORLD SERIES.

Here's your t-shirt pal.