Big fan of the website Fan Graphs. Love there game day coverage and use of the win probability to chart a game. I remember the Rox down the stretch in 2007 and I was traveling so the only way to watch it was on the computer. This site saved me! Anyway last week they posted their organizational ranking of the Rox. Any sort of ranking has to be taken with a grain of salt. Do I think the Rox are the 23rd ranked team in baseball? Two years ago we were good enough to get to the World Series but of course the 22nd team, Detroit Tigers, were in the Series 3 years ago. I think objectively I would place them more in the high teens. I mean Seattle, Texas, and Baltimore couldn't be much better?
Ownership C - (I'd give them a D)
If anything the author went a little too light on our owners. To say we are getting by on a low end budget is somewhat of a misnomer. This year we are in the $70 million range and actually increased payroll. Don't think you can blame management on the Holliday move. He wasn't going to stay here and we weren't going to do another Helton deal. My frustration with ownership is their lack of involvement. They have held on to their GM and manager for way too long. They have ruined things for a town which once sold 4 million tickets in a year! They refuse to even think about going after a free agent or mid season upgrade. They lack imagination and excitement. Where are the Blake Street Bombers! Owning a team is about upping the ante each year and making splashes, creating excitement, and bringing showmanship to the park.
Front Office C (average is being nice...)
O'Dowd has tried pretty much everything during is tenure here. He continues to throw things at a wall hoping something sticks. Bottom line is that talent wins games. We have had some decent talent but we haven't always pulled the trigger on being able to bring in that one piece that might make a difference whether it is the off season or mid season. If the Rox don't make it this year a new sheriff will be in town.
Major League Talent B- (I go for a B or B+)
Basically the team being fielded isn't all that different from a team that won 90 games two years ago. Granted a big bat in Holliday left but pitching has stabilized. Really the only thing we are truly lacking is a big league number 1 starter. We have a lot of 2-3s but the World Series two years ago really showed what a big arm can do for you. Throwing Francis out there for Game 1 was kind of embarrassing.
Minor League Talent B-
Talent is talent. I think bottom line is that all teams have about the same talent. Some bloom others fade away. You can throw a lot at scouting and stats trying to find that diamond in the rough but it is mainly just luck on whether any of these players actually help out the club. You think the Dodgers actually thought Mike Piazza was going to be a great one?
Overall C+ (Really can't disagree...)
I don't think too much of the "ifs" part though because that really applies to any team. Ifs that fall in favor lead to 90 win seasons, middle ifs turn into a decent year, and bad ifs turn into mediocre fall asleep season. On paper the Rox look a little thin in quality pitching, the bullpen is average, and offensively who knows. I don't think anyone would have thought we'd only score 747 runs last year but this year we should score more without our biggest offensive contributor? Bottom line that is why we play the game...