Originally Posted by M2
All the "leadership" in the world will amount to nothing if you don't have the talent and that talent doesn't already have the necessary internal fortitude. When those two things are in place, then it doesn't matter who your elder statesman are. As long as they can contribute any mix of them will do.
I agree 100% that if a team doesn't have the tallent, no amount of Vet Presence will overcome that. I also agree 100% that vet presence and PTGTRW is often code for "this guy is marginal but we have to explain why we traded for him".
However, I think there is definatley a value of having vets around to pass down tips and tricks to help players improve. Why do you think players flock to a Soto or Bench? There's a value to having someone who's been there before to mentor someone who has not. Raw tallent only gets you so far if it isn't focused. The managers/coaches job is to focus that tallent, but there is no one better than a "peer" to go to when you are having problems and help you think about things in a different way.
I'd dissagree that any mix of "elderstatesman" will do. Bonds qualifies, but do you really want him in your clubhouse?
I think the Reds have over used the "vet presence" and PTGTRW bit soooooo much that many here roll their eyes in distain when they hear it. It's a shame because the addition of a vet who can actually contribute on the field, in addition to in the clubhouse is of critical importance, IMO. Young, raw, unfocused tallent isn't the answer to every problem.