Originally Posted by MWM
The Twins model is the exact model I do NOT want to follow. They build to be competitive, not to win the World Series. Sure, they get to the playoffs regularly, but they never have a legit WS contender. They really have no chance once they get there.
They've won all of ONE playoff series in the past 18 years. The've been bouced 4 straight times in the first round, being swept twice and winning only one game the other two. The one time they did make to the ALCS back in 2002, they were manhandled and lost 4 games to 1. In other words, they've benefitted from being in a bad division and slipped into the playoffs but have been demolished once they got there.
No thanks. I haven't the slightest interest in that model. Dare to be just good enough but never great. I've lived in Minnesota the past 5 baseball seasons and their team has held little interest for me. Not once have I ever watched them thinking this is what I want for the Reds.
I was just about to post about this. The Twins have not really had much playoff success beyond getting there. They are a fun team to watch, they always have interesting, maddening talent coming through the ranks, and I think their management does a good job being flexible and building with what they have, not with some model they've laid out on paper. But for all that, it isn't a successful playoff team.
I honestly don't know what the Reds are looking to do (and I don't know tht they do either). Often I think they are falling victim to National League management syndrome, which I view as building a team just good enough to win the division and reaping the benefits of playoff ticket sales and hype while not really caring what happens on the field once the first playoff game begins. Through much of this decade, this attitude has been particularly prevelant in the NL Central, where you just had to sneeze the right way and own enough warm bodies to win the division. Though I do think that divisional disparity has lessened significantly the last couple of years, with the exception of the Phillies who are so blindingly ahead of everybody else.
Of course, I really viewed the Cardinals' WS as something of an NL fluke (I think they had 83 wins that year???), but that team has since proven me wrong, at least in the sense that they knew what they were doing in building their team long-term. So my NL syndrome theory may be flawed. Still, I think there's a strong chance the Reds are thinking this way: play well enough to win the division, get to the playoffs, and from then it's anybody's game. Which is sort of true, but not as much as a lot of people want it to be. The current Reds, for example, could be severely embarrassed in the playoffs. I'd be THRILLED to see them there, obviously, but I don't know that this is worth it for a one-shot, potentially three-game deal.
Or are they trying to build a genuinely good long-term team? I hope so. I don't know. Baseball is fickle these days, with a different WS winner every year, and sports remains one of the few businesses where you can be crappy and still make money, let alone be sort of good and make really quite a bit of money, so I'm not sure they have the financial gumption to try to build a long-term powerhouse which is very difficult to do. The galling thing is that I think they actually have a rare chance to do this. They have enough young, affordable talent that with a few shrewd moves, they really do have the potential to be an annual playoff contender. But it might mean sacrificing the next year or two and I don't know that management is in line to do this.
Cliff Lee would be hard for me to pass up in any case if the Reds really were contending, especially for someone like Alonso, whose place on the team long-term isn't assured. I'm not sure I'd give up Bruce though. I see him as a cornerstone, or at least a very important part, of a sustained good team, and this is what interests me for the Reds. I have no idea if management agrees with me though.