First off, you will find me as the newest contributor to YSSW. When reading my articles you may disagree with everything that I’m saying, and that’s fine. I probably wouldn’t like the shit you would write either. I am going to write articles that may be completely bias, but sooner or later I’m bound to say something intelligent. One thing that has crossed my mind lately is how you should ultimately build a winning team, which is something that my team, Cub fan here, can’t seem to get right.
Having “your” team win a championship is something fans live and die for. I grew up a die hard Cub fan and when I die I will just be another one of those poor saps that never saw the Cubs win a World Series. Being a Cubs fan it seems nearly impossible to win a pennant, but really it’s not all that complicated. It’s the overall teamwork inside outside the organization that will help you take the next step year after year.
So what am I even getting at? Well it is simple.
Build an organization internally, trade for a player here or there, maybe add a free agent or two and BOOM! Hello playoffs. Prepare for that World Series spotlight and win it all.
For example take a look at some of the WS winners this decade. Just look at the Phillies from last year. They were a team led by hardworking, dedicated players that were homegrown. Players like Chase Utley, Cole Hammels, and Ryan Howard. Also Rollins, Burrell, Myers. (Stats from www.baseball-reference.com) These players were all drafted by the Phillies, and players that helped lead them to the World Series. Here is a closer look at some of the previous World Series winners and their players that were either drafted originally by that team, or acquired via trade for some of prospects from the farm system:
As you can see the only team in the past few years that has been able to win a World Series without a majority of home grown players is the Red Sox. They won the series with free agent acquisitions such as Damon, Ortiz, Ramirez, Mueller, Millar, and so on. Youkilis was there but wasn’t much of a contributor. Other teams, specifically the Phillies, Marlins and Angels stick out the most.
Building a minor league system is how you can create a championship. This is a complete theory of mine, but if you look at any league in professional sports, a draft is a place where a team will succeed or not.
Since I am very pissed at the Cubs right now, I will point out where and why they wont win the World Series, and it lies in the Outfield. Home grown players and traded players consist of their infield and pitching staff, but your key hitters in the line-up, i.e. your corner outfielders, are not getting the job done. Milton Bradley and Soriano were two huge free agent signings that the Cubs had. Same thing with Reed Johnson and Fukudome. That’s four of your top outfielders acquired via free agency. No home grown talent whatsoever. Even more frustrating was the talent they tried to develop, Pie and Patterson, which never worked out.
This article may be a complete waste of time and disappointment, but it comes to show how you must draft and develop your players to win. Having a farm system creates the opportunity to trade players to fill your holes. You can’t buy a championship in MLB. The NFL and NBA are quite different in terms of free agent signings, but if it is anything to prove, free agents wont win you a World Series. The Yankees this year are one of the best teams in the league. Their hopes for a championship solely rely on the free agents that they signed. Will they win the World Series? No! When it is all said and done, L.A. is going to upset L.A. in the World Series.