View Full Version : How Can Small Market Teams Think Differently?

08-10-2009, 08:28 PM
This thread here (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77925) on the ORG made me think a little about how small market teams can deal with the current state of the MLB and still compete. I've been complaining for a long time about how MLB is unfair to small market teams and that they really have no chance. However, innovative people are capable of succeeded no matter what the rules. And that is what will be necessary for a small market team to compete in the changing market place.

So this thread is to throw out your idea on how the small market teams (mainly the Reds) can be innovative in this time of disparingly large margins between the rich and poor in MLB.

My suggestion is to no longer have starting pitchers on the pay roll. Take your 12 or 13 pitching roster spots and make them all relief pitchers. Each pitcher pitches 2 to 3 innings a game, rest a game or two and comes out and does it again.
The benefits that I see are:

a 4th starter is costing more and more every season. small market teams can't afford any type of decent starting pitching on open market. However they can afford relievers. The bulk of your staff will be made up of pitchers making between league minimum and a million dollars a year. You might add in a player or two between 1 and 2 million.
the opposing team will only see a pitcher once a game, twice at the most. I think everyone agrees that the first time through the line-up the pitcher has the advantage.
You can have flame throwers and soft tossers back to back to keep the other offence from getting used to one type of pitching. The variety would keep opposing teams on their toes. And if you try and have a righty and lefty go back to back you can really screw with plattoon positions on the opposing teams.
The pitchers we develop will have a much lower value on the open market since another team would have to build up their stamina if they wanted to make them a starter.
Relievers (are generally) easier to replace than starters.
The entire pitching staff would be less than 20 million and if a team was adept at developing relievers they could probably be between 10 and 15 million. For the Reds that would give then between 55 and 65 million for position players. I think the Reds could be very capable of putting a good offense on the field with 65 million available.
Pitchers would never have to bat and giving an NL team an almost AL look (however you would have to go through 3 to 4 bench players as pinch hitters a game).
Injuries - I would think that pitchers would get injured a whole lot less if they weren't going 6 or 7 innings at a pop.

The obvious negatives of this would be:

It would be very difficult to sign a highly touted drafted pitcher with this model.
Nostalagia - no chance of watching a pitcher, with this model, throw a no hitter or perfect game.
Minor league pitching prospects would never hold much value for trades since they would be working as relievers.

So that's my idea for a small market team to try some innovative in an attempt to create success in the current business of MLB.

Captain Hook
08-10-2009, 10:51 PM
Our coach still thinks that your CF has to lead off and SS bats second even if they are two of the worse hitters in baseball.Noway this is a possibility.

08-11-2009, 12:31 AM
In the words of Jimmy Buffet... Be the one running into the building when everyone else is running out. Take advantage of markets like last year to get you some talent "cheap".

08-11-2009, 07:50 AM
If the Reds would put a team on the field that could win they wouldn't be a small market team. The park would be sold out and we would be a mid market team.

08-11-2009, 09:54 AM
Get fans to stop buying into that small market team/we dont have any money excuse, and demand the owners open their wallets and field a real team or sell it off if they dont after 2-3 seasons to someone who will. If they cant turn a profit and field a decent team, they shouldnt want to be owner anyway.

08-11-2009, 12:40 PM
One other idea I had is for the Reds spend money one strength & conditioning and nutrition at the minor league and major league levels. Teach the young kids how to eat right to perform their best. Get them into their peak physical condition so they can perform their best.

Also investing in psychologists to determine what way to develop each prospect in the system. Do they need to be pushed more to stay motivated? Do they need to be kept back and have a more fragile psyche for failure?

Things like would keep the payroll down while (hopefully) getting more performance out of our players.

08-11-2009, 01:00 PM
ONe of the good things the Reds and all small market teams should do if they want to compete is beef up their scouting department. Not to mention that the Reds have been competing in the Latin American market as well.

Other things would be to hire some young, hungry managers and staying away from more expensive retreads like Dusty. Managing in MLB is overrated and good talent in baseball disguises a mediocre manager.

Finally, protect your farm system. This goes with the first point, but trading Stewart was bad for a small market team like this. The farm is where it all starts.

08-11-2009, 05:53 PM
Remove the anti-trust status of baseball and see how competitive teams become when they start moving to larger markets.

08-11-2009, 06:11 PM
I think the way to go is to do what Castelini is doing to an extent....spend money on player development in the minors and in the Dominican Republic. The Reds need to upgrade their minor league coaching staff and establish a Reds way to play ball like they did in the 70's and 80's, Eric Davis and the like have talked about the Reds way to play and we need to get back to that.

To be successful the Reds must make hard decisions on players, they should have dealt Dunn 2 or 3 years before they did once he became expensive they should have dealt him at the peak of his value. I don't think Walt is the man for the job......I wonder how much better off this organization would be if Dan O'Brien would have been allowed to stay on the job for another year or two?