Sunday, October 21, 2007

Deadly, But Silent

Bruce Miles, a favorite read of this author for numerous reasons including his long standing tradition of making sense and answering unsolicited e-mails, made a great deal more sense with his article last Friday. Miles' thesis:

• You don't need a $100 million payroll to get to the World Series. Nor do you need to commit more than $300 million during one winter, only to come up wanting.

• Player development is a must.

• A shrewd trade here and there can make all the difference.

• A sound offensive philosophy matters.

You can quibble with point one as high payroll can cover for a unproductive farm system. What you cannot do, is have high payroll without a real strategy for placing the pieces together. Look at the Red Sox. Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and JD Drew are not exactly Red Sox lifers. But they all follow a similar style of hitting. Good OBP, low strike out. Of those four players, only Ortiz has multiple 100 strikeout seasons.

Jim Hendry does none of this. He just goes after the best available in a quixotic attempt to piece together a team. Don't believe it? Read this tripe from the Ministress of Information at

You also have to love the unwritten in this portion:

(T)he Cubs get tired of hearing it, but they've got to start developing an offensive philosophy based on high on-base percentage. Manager Lou Piniella knows this.

In 2006, the Cubs were last in the NL in OBP and 15th in runs scored. This year, they improved to ninth in OBP and eighth in runs scored.

See the correlation?

Yes, Piniella knows this. Any guesses who doesn't know it?

Miles closes with this question:

The lessons are there. Will the Cubs heed them so they can get back to the playoffs and advance next year?

Not if Jim Hendry is managing the club in a general way. The sale cannot happen soon enough.

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