Originally Posted by Vottomatic
Yeah, it's a ton of fun watching the Reds compete, maybe make the playoffs, almost get there...........and even more fun watching the Cardinals win it in 2006 (?) and going for it this year.
I'm having a blast.
Everyone talks about how the Reds are built to last. But the last time I checked, the Cards have been competitive for awhile now. How is that? For years and years and years they seem to compete for first place in our division.
But I feel comforted knowing we're built to compete for a few years because we can keep bringing up young guys when we can't afford our guys heading into their prime. Very comforting to know.
Understandable that you feel that way, but there's not a whole lot to be done. $30,000,000 million more in payroll would change the entire development philosophy of this club; the kinds of players we draft and target, the way we can spend to fill holes without having to sacrifice players heading into free agency, how quickly players are brought up through the system, etc. That's not to say we can't field winning teams consistently, but it makes it a lot harder.
How valuable our franchise is isn't determined by one group of people; it depends on the fans who buy tickets and merchandise to show interest, the managers to field an effective and winning team, the general manager and owner to spend wisely and in the right places, the farm to help young players bring real value to a franchise, and, of course, the players to live up to their potential. The Cardinals have had rough years as well in the past, but they've had all their pieces in place recently to hold onto their players as time passes. And suffice to say, their payroll still isn't infinite either (Just like Cincinnati, St. Louis isn't inherently a huge market); Pujols, Berkman, and Carpenter all have contract situations coming up, and 1, 2, or perhaps all 3 of them will be gone after this season.
Anyway, to the question at hand, Bell may be effective now, but he turns 34 later this year. He may be able to help the Cards for the stretch run this year (as much as half a season of a reliever can), but if he gets signed to a 4 or 5 year contract like Coco did, he could turn out to be just as big of a monetary albatross as he was. He's a power pitcher, so if he loses his "out" pitch like Coco did last year, that production may fly out the window as well. One man does not a bullpen make, and apart from Salas, theirs is absolutely too terrible for one man to fix.