Originally Posted by RedEye
You don't need to convince me that Rolen was one factor in the Reds' emergence in 2010.
It seems a pretty unsustainable argument, though, to argue that he was the single stimulus when there were so many other parts of the equation that played an important role, including the maturation of the pitching, the cultivation of a more dependable farm system, etc. History just doesn't work that way. It's more complicated than that, and I don't think the testimony of Votto changes the account we need to tell. "Great Man" theories of events are always tempting, but they are usually wrong -- or at least strikingly incomplete.
I think, given the way it happened, it's fairly impossible not to see Rolen as the tipping point. Obviously no player wins games by himself, but once he showed up the collective started to work.
And 9,999 out of 10,000 I'd tell you that was highly unlikely, but (as I mentioned before) we saw it happen. We may never see it again. I can't recall ever seeing it before. Yet it happened. The Reds acquired Scott Rolen. They were 51-71 and then Rolen stepped into the lineup and, presto, they became a baseball team.
The world is almost always more complicated. This was a rare exception. Scott Rolen was the perfect fit. This one's simple. And trying to dismiss it for its simplicity doesn't alter the surgical precision of it. Believe me, I tried that. Finally had to admit that my denial was based on me not wanting to believe it happened even though I know it did.