In the previous decades, we have seen teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, spend millions of dollars to acquire the best players, in turn making them the best team. You’d think that being the best team gives the organization the best chance to win the titles. Maybe on paper, but in the previous decade it has not happened.
The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers have the three highest payrolls in all of baseball. In the past decade these three teams have combined for just three titles out of a possible ten. Teams like the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, and now the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets have proven that developing players is now more effective than buying them. In the past decade these teams that have developed their players have combined for 6 titles.
Granted there are more teams on that list, but that gives them at least one title each. Thus, proving that maybe buying all of your players is old fashioned. The Yankee Way may have died in 2000, when they dominated everyone. Grinding the season out with skilled players seems to be the way to go these days.
The past offseason (2014), the Boston Red Sox were supposed to be the #1 contender to win the World Series this year (2015) because of some trades and free agent signings. They spent a lot of money acquiring players like Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. And made some trades that landed them some quality pitching.
After having won on 2013, but coming up way off in 2014, they were destined to win it all again in 2015. All those signings and trades, added to their talented roster that included David Ortiz a.k.a. Big Papi. This team was meant to be a run scoring machine. And that it was! They finished in 4th place overall in the entire league, per ESPN.com. So the offseason moves accomplished what it was meant to do; score.
Unfortunately they forgot that defense is also needed to win games. In this category they were ranked 25th out of 30 teams, in runs scored allowed. Obviously that defeats the purpose of scoring many runs if you allow the other team to do so as well.
Either more money will be spent by the front office acquiring good pitching, or maybe they’ll realize they should just trade some bats for better defense.
After three consecutive years of coming up just short in the post season, Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly was fired. Three division titles, two NLCS (National League Championship Series) appearances, and one NLDS (National League Division Series) appearance, are the things that highlight Mattingly’s résumé as a skipper. Not bad huh? Unfortunately for him, this team has the highest salary cap in all of baseball, so finishing in anything that isn’t first place is not enough.
The team was built around players like Cy Young Award winners Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and batting superstars such as Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig, amongst others. Greatness was expected by everyone who watches baseball, but it was not achieved. Proving one of two things; money can no longer buy championships, or Mattingly just wasn’t the guy to lead the team to the promised land.
With arguably two of the best pitchers in baseball, and one hell of a batting lineup, you would assume they could at least beat their cross town rivals the San Francisco Giants. Wrong again. A team that spent considerably less money than the Dodgers have won 3 titles out of the last 5 years. Since 2010 the Dodgers have made trades, and signed players to multi million dollar contracts in an effort to beat their rivals and win the title. Since it has not happened, they finally decided that it was time to part ways with Donnie Baseball.
Some would say that it is unfair that managers are always blamed when the team doesn’t win. They’re not the ones pitching, allowing runs, or responsible for scoring them. But in a team with so much talent, and so many options, he did have control of who played, and things such as batting order and pitching matchups. But with so much talent, the most important thing this manager needed was respect. Respect from his players that is. In a team with so many talented players making so much money, keeping their egos in check is key. In the last game for the Dodgers against the Mets this year, Mattingly was seen in a heated argument with outfielder Andre Ethier, letting the viewers know that respect is the last thing he had from his players.
This upcoming 2016 season will prove who was right. Maybe there was no way to keep those egos in check, and Mattingly really did everything he could. Or he was the problem, and with a new manager maybe they’ll finally go all the way. Either way, I hope Donnie Baseball continues with another team, as I for one believe this current Dodgers team is simply uncoachable.
Kansas City Royals. New York Mets. Two underdogs going at it. While the Royals are trying to win after coming up just short in game 7 of last years finals, the Mets are trying to get back on the map. They have not won since 1986, and have let the New York Yankees reign their city.
The Royals have not won since 1985, but they did come close last year when they lost against the San Francisco Giants in a game 7 that was decided on the last play. They came that close, but most analysts and fans of the game believed they got lucky to have gotten that far, and would not come close this year. Boy, were those people wrong. The Royals have not only dominated all season long, they seem to be on a mission to tear apart any team that stands in their way to get their title.
They are currently up 3-1 against the Mets, who were said to have an unbeatable, and unstoppable pitching, but have been beaten way too easily this series. The Royals can take home the title with one more win tonight, and I believe they’ll blow them out one more time just to prove they belong and they deserved it more than anyone this year.