Guest Post: Philosophy 101

Here is another Guest Post sent in by AJ.

Back in the day, as a first year student at Illinois State University, I recall registering late in the process and as a result got stuck with a couple of courses I otherwise would never consider taking to complete my general studies. One of them, Philosophy 101 actually turned out to be very interesting and I aced that one. Hey Hey!!! The surprising thing to me about that course is that several students decided to abandon their respective religion after taking this course and became agnostic or atheist. You may think this is a drastic move but philosophy is strong medicine. It makes one think for them self and form conclusions based on the facts.

Where am I going with this? Not entirely sure, but it makes me think about the philosophy deployed by the different MLB teams in their quest to become World Series Champions.

As a Cubs fan, every Cub fan I know attempts to understand the philosophy of its management team from the owner, president, general manager down to the field manager. In the process, we all develop theories layered one on top of the other that will help to resolve some of the mystery behind the moves and lack of moves a team makes from the off season through the end. OK – take a breath.

So… what in the world are the Cubs doing? They awarded the sale of the team to a guy who apparently is having trouble financing the transaction, Tom Ricketts. I think Mark Cuban withdrew his bid because he knew he would never be approved by the owners. They assumed he would out spend the likes of the Yankees and the Red Sox and this would drive up the prices even further for all the other teams. No gouda…!

Why do the Yankees outspend the Cubs? Actually, the Yankees could care less about the Cubs payroll. Their priority is to outspend the Red Sox who play in their division. This is the philosophy that the Cubs believe in. The Cubs believe they need only outspend the teams in their division and this will allow them to make the playoffs barring any of a zillion circumstances that can affect the performance of the team during the long grueling season. That philosophy begs the question; where does that put you once you make the playoffs? If you make the playoffs I should add. I think this approach truly shows that the Cubs priority is not to win a World Series. If it were, the Cubs would have made a couple of moves that were there for the taking during the spring.

The Cubs could have easily traded the likes of Derrek Lee, Sean Marshall and Micah Hoffpauir to the Padres for Jake Peavy and Adrian Gonzales. Then they could have gone out and got Manny Ramirez off the free agent list. This would allow Soriano to move back to 2nd base, Ramirez to left and Gonzo to 1st. Look what we have here:

Cubs Starting Lineup
• Soriano -2B
• Fukudome -CF
• M. Ramirez -LF
• Gonzales -1B
• A. Ramirez -3B
• Bradley -RF
• Soto -C
• Theriot -SS

• Zambrano
• Dempster
• Lilly
• Harden
• Peavy

• Marmol
• Gregg
• Guzman
• Heilman
• Patton
• Marshall
• Vizciano or Samardzia

• Hill
• Fontenot
• Gathright
• Miles
• Johnson

This team is a fantasy team and would post more than 116 victories and hit 300+ home runs and would easily cruise through the playoffs and emerge as the World Series Champions in 2009. So why didn’t they do this? Do you think the thought ever crossed Hendry’s (GM) mind? Of course it did. The truth is, when John McDonough made the statement last year that the Cubs are doing everything in their power to win the World Series after a 100 year drought, he wasn’t being exactly truthful with the fans. As a Cubs fan I feel I got duped. The truth is, the Cubs are doing everything and anything to beat the likes of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers and once they make it to the post season, it’s all up for grabs and maybe they can get lucky and find their way to the World Series. Maybe that is the reason McDonough left the Cubs to take on the challenge of righting the Chicago Blackhawks organization.

Philosophy is a strange and powerful thing. I wouldn’t suggest we give up on the Cubs just yet or for that matter, going to church on Sunday. But I will say, if you want to discover when management is bending the truth a little, just look to see if their lips are moving.

Thanks to AJ for sending in this Guest Post.  See also AJ’s recent opinions on the MLB playoff system

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    April 19, 2009  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: fan comments, guest post, Hot Stove, lineup, observations, players, roster, Team Ownership

    One Response

    1. Jake - April 19, 2009

      Wow, 116+ wins with 300+ homers….those are some lofty numbers. I dont think you can project any team to pull those kind of stats off….I think it’s more luck in the close games (2-1, 1-0 type of games) that gets teams around the 110 mark.

      I agree about ManRam though….dont even remember hearing them discussing a contract with him.

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