Monday, November 01, 2004

The Homegrown Myth

First off, it's amazing how quiet the Junkee fans have been lately now that their team is long gone. When I celebrated the Twins Game 1 victory in the ALDS, the Junkee fans were all over me as the Twinkies dropped the next three. But now, complete silence. Life really is beautiful.

Next topic - I hate when Junkee fans attribute their '96-'00 success on the fact that they had lots of homegrown players. For one, that's not even true. In '96, they had Tino at first, Mariano Duncan at second, Boggs at third, Raines in left, O'Neil in right, Girardi behind the dish, and a staff featuring Jimmy Key, David Cone, Kenny Rogers, Dwight Gooden, and John Wetteland closing, all of whom came from other teams. So homegrown players can't be the only reason they won. And then in '98, they acquired Chili Davis, Scott Brosius, David Wells, and a bunch of other guys from other teams. Same in '99 and 2000. So why is it suddenly a concern in 2004?

Also, many other teams won the Series without a ton of homegrown talent. Look at the '86 Mets. Carter, Hernandez, Fernandez, Darling, Ojeda, Knight, and a bunch of others came from other teams. Same with the Blue Jays in the early '90s and the Red Sox of '04.

So why are the Junkee fans so hung up on homegrown talent? Answer: Because they don't want to acknowledge that Brian Cashman is a buffoon, or that George doesn't know what he's doing. So they blame the farm system, despite the fact that George hires the scouts! They won in '96 because they got the right players. They lost in '04 because they got the wrong players. It's as simple as that.


Manny Ortiz said...

One more example -- one of my favorite teams of all time -- the '01 Diamondbacks. Full of acquired players -- Matt Williams, Mark Grace, Tony Womack, Luis Gonzalez, Steve Finley, and of course,Series MVPs Johnson and Schilling. A couple of homegrown role players (Damian Miller, Danny Bautista), but not much.

And the ugly postscript: Arizona went heavily in the red to pay for these guys, had to trade some guys away, and it culminated in '04's 110-loss embarrassment. Not too many teams can do like the Yankees and buy all-Stars every year.

Manny Ortiz said...

OK, slight mistake: Damian Miller came up in the Minnesota system. So when you include SS Jay Bell and RF Reggie Sanders with the other guys I mentioned, it turns out their whole starting lineup was composed of acquired players!

Manny Ortiz said...

Turns out I was wrong on Bautista too. But hey, even David Ortiz strikes out once in a while.

allitalian said...

every player is acquired, ill probably write more on this at a later time on my own page, ... but the fact is when you have to compete with the yankees year in and year out you are trading away your farm system for ready for big league talent.... the difference between how arizona wins championships and new york wins championships is new york buys players, while arizona depleted their farm... NOT the entire reason they lost 110 games was their payroll, but instead their lack of big league talent (mostly due to the sexson deal)... the yankees have never had a farm system and any players they want to keep they dont have to trade away cuz they can just eat contracts to trade for players instead of prospects... but the league is catching on.