Friday, March 31, 2006

Farmed Out

The CHB today makes the dubious assertion that Theo Epstein is "more powerful than any Boston GM since Dick O'Connell," a humorous bit of amnesia, considering that Dan Duqette is also prominently featured in the piece. Duquette, of course, was executive vice president and general manager under John Harrington, and for all intents and purposes completely ran the operation. Not even Theo can say that.

That's just nit one.

He digs himself in further by saying Theo is trying to build the farm system while also putting a playoff quality team on the field. Oddly, though, he offers as evidence Kevin Youkilis, "home-grown stud Jonathan Papelbon" and soon-to-be-ready Craig Hansen and Jon Lester. Perhaps the Sox can take credit for Papelbon, who has been in the farm system since 2003. But calling Hansen homegrown is a complete joke. He came from a major college program and is major league ready right now. And it completely ignores the talent that came out of the minors under Duquette, including Nomar Garciaparra and Trot Nixon. Moreover, The CHB is late to this development: at least one scouting service named the Red Sox minor league system the tops in the majors during the past year.

Nit no. 3: He writes, "In fact, only 24 of Boston's 53 draft picks last year were from a four-year college." Actually, according to the Globe's own Website, 27 came from four-year colleges. And six more came from the junior college ranks, which in many cases are designed to be baseball factories.

Nit. no. 4: "Development vs. acquisition is an age-old tug of war for the Sox." Right -- as it is for every team. But an acquisition model hasn't seemed to hurt the Yankees (you've heard of them, haven't you Dan?)

Finally, as only The CHB can do, there are plenty of shots fired at Messrs. Henry, and Lucchino for echoing Epstein's statements. Only Dan would find that much-needed unity and cohesiveness to be a problem.


jenny said...

I'll nitpick your nitpick #4 and say that yes, actually, I think it HAS hurt the Yankees, and will continue to do so. When parts fall off their major league team, they have to waste a bunch of money to go buy new parts instead of sticking in replacements they already have. They have no trade chips, which is how we wound up with Curt Schilling and they didn't. They're in the red, therefore, because they have to buy everything at such ridiculous prices and get hit with such big revenue-sharing and luxury tax hits. So actually I think CHB is correct in this regard.

I had an interesting experience today: until I logged onto this site, I had no idea that CHB had written that column. I never looked at the byline. And in fact, I actually enjoyed it. He didn't take any real shots at Theo, and the sniping at Henry and Lucchino was so minimal that I didn't really notice it as being more extreme than what anyone else would have done, considering this offseason, which can only really be described as a circus. Everyone came out relatively unscathed, but it WAS a circus for awhile. But once I saw that CHB had written it, I paid more attention to the shots he did take, and all of a sudden thought Theo's quotes sounded a little defensive. Amazing what a name can do!

All in all, though, I actually liked the column. Although it didn't tell me anything new that I didn't already know from 4 years of reading other such interviews...

The Chief said...

jenny you always keep me on my toes
(when you don't have me falling over laughing at your jokes, that is).

Yes, we got Curt, but they got Randy Johnson and A-Rod.

I don't think "waste" is the right term: it's their money and they can spend it how they choose. It's not the most efficient way, to be sure.

My point has more to do with the fact that the Yankees have competed quite well over the years, so based on the results you can't say the model is wrong. And as long as they have the most revenues (by a mile), they will (almost) always be a threat.

X said...

So is it pretty much a given that CHB writes an article tomorrow giving his "prediction" for the upcoming baseball season. And since it is 20 years after 1986, his logical result will be the Mets defeating the Red Sox in the WS. Or will it be that the Sox will atone for '86 by beating the Mets and further reversing the memory of the Curse (furthering his own legend.)