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Frobby

Tom Boswell tears down the tear down strategy

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/mlb/tanking-by-mlb-teams-isnt-a-strategy-its-fan-abuse/2019/07/25/f29c72ae-ad48-11e9-a0c9-6d2d7818f3da_story.html?utm_term=.17e2699ebea3

I don’t agree with Boswell at all.

In the past 50 years, losing usually leads to more losing. A lot more losing. I’ve watched it up close too often in Baltimore. In 1987-88, the Birds lost 202 games. Full rebuild mode. In the 31 seasons since, the Orioles have won 90 games just three times. At one point, they had 14 straight losing seasons. Why did D.C. get a team? Because the Orioles devalued their brand so much that there was nothing for MLB’s other 29 owners to protect by keeping a team off Baltimore’s doorstep.

The ‘98-‘11 Orioles were never in tear down mode.   They were in try to patch it and pray mode.    And it’s ridiculous to say DC got a team because Baltimore had a bad team.   If anything, the declining fortunes (and attendance) in Baltimore were a reason not to put a competing team in the vicinity.

Where I do agree with him is that not all tear downs are going to work.    But I’d rather try that than relive the ‘98-‘11 patch and pray strategy.    

Going back to ‘87-88, Boswell kind of lumps those seasons together to argue the O’s were in “full rebuild mode.”   I certainly don’t see that with the ‘87 team, which had Murray, Ripken, Lynn and an average age of offense of 30.3.    They tried to patch their team with mediocre veterans like Ray Knight, Rick Burleson and Dave Schmidt.   That team wasn’t tanking, they just sucked.   I really don’t see ‘88 as a tank job, either.   They still had Murray, Ripken and Lynn.    You don’t keep guys like that when your team is in full rebuild mode.    (Lynn had a no-trade clause, which he eventually waived in August ‘88.)

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I don't read Boswell. I know many think he's a good writer but it seems like this is a really poor article.

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5 minutes ago, RZNJ said:

I don't read Boswell. I know many think he's a good writer but it seems like this is a really poor article.

I usually love his stuff, but I disagree with him here.   One of his points is that the 20 teams that have never lost 200 games over 2 seasons in the last 50 years have won 33 of the last 50 World Series.     Yeah, Tom, DUH.    Teams like the Yankees don’t have to go into full rebuild mode.    Talk about a poor use of statistics.   

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Maybe Tom would have us all go back to the marvelous 1950s when the Yankees won 8 pennants, Cleveland won 1 and White Sox won 1.   And every other fan base had basically no prayer, at all, for any reason, for any season including our predecessors, the Browns,  who finally had to move from that great baseball town of St Louis due to their decades of ineptitude only interrupted by the World War era teams. 

Rebuilds are the only reason any fan base except the Yankees and Dodgers ever has a prayer of seeing a World Series.  Yes, GMs can still get it wrong and crapshoots are still a part of winning, but I will take our current system over the “good old days” every time. 

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Before last season, the only thing close to a tear down was 2000.  That wasn't a total rebuild because we hung on to Mussina (for some odd reason considering the final outcome) and Cal and Albert Belle. 

That one could have worked, but you've got to do better than Charles Johnson, B.J. Surhoff, Mike Bordick, Will Clark, Harold Baines, and Mike Timlin for Melvin Mora.

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10 minutes ago, tntoriole said:

Maybe Tom would have us all go back to the marvelous 1950s when the Yankees won 8 pennants, Cleveland won 1 and White Sox won 1.   And every other fan base had basically no prayer, at all, for any reason, for any season including our predecessors, the Browns,  who finally had to move from that great baseball town of St Louis due to their decades of ineptitude only interrupted by the World War era teams. 

Rebuilds are the only reason any fan base except the Yankees and Dodgers ever has a prayer of seeing a World Series.  Yes, GMs can still get it wrong and crapshoots are still a part of winning, but I will take our current system over the “good old days” every time. 

Washington
First in war
First in peace
Last in the American League

I see no point in comparing the '87-'88 Orioles under a dying EBW to the Peter Angelos '98-'11 teams.  But then again, I'm old enough to remember the Nationals drafting Strasburg and Harper overall #1 by losing 205 games in '08 and '09.

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He says “if you’re just in it for the parades you made a bad choice.” 

In the same column he uses World Series winners as a metric to make his point.  

Looks like something written by a 6th grader.  So many foolish parts I don’t know where to start. Apparently if you average 95 losses like the Phillies did from 15-17 that is acceptable?

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29 minutes ago, Frobby said:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/mlb/tanking-by-mlb-teams-isnt-a-strategy-its-fan-abuse/2019/07/25/f29c72ae-ad48-11e9-a0c9-6d2d7818f3da_story.html?utm_term=.17e2699ebea3

I don’t agree with Boswell at all.

The ‘98-‘11 Orioles were never in tear down mode.   They were in try to patch it and pray mode.    And it’s ridiculous to say DC got a team because Baltimore had a bad team.   If anything, the declining fortunes (and attendance) in Baltimore were a reason not to put a competing team in the vicinity.

Where I do agree with him is that not all tear downs are going to work.    But I’d rather try that than relive the ‘98-‘11 patch and pray strategy.    

Going back to ‘87-88, Boswell kind of lumps those seasons together to argue the O’s were in “full rebuild mode.”   I certainly don’t see that with the ‘87 team, which had Murray, Ripken, Lynn and an average age of offense of 30.3.    They tried to patch their team with mediocre veterans like Ray Knight, Rick Burleson and Dave Schmidt.   That team wasn’t tanking, they just sucked.   I really don’t see ‘88 as a tank job, either.   They still had Murray, Ripken and Lynn.    You don’t keep guys like that when your team is in full rebuild mode.    (Lynn had a no-trade clause, which he eventually waived in August ‘88.)

The Orioles farm system from the time Cal came up until now has been sporadically productive, at best.  And their infrastructure, scouting, and analytics have often been laughably behind.  The losing from 1998-2011 was because they never tore it down and dedicated themselves to building a self-sustaining, state-of-the-art organization.  Patch and pray is a good way to describe it.  The losing from 1998-2011 was never on purpose - they kept a league-average payroll through much of that, and didn't have or use any surpluses to do anything positive for the future.

I'll read the article when I get a chance, but I'm guessing Boswell doesn't like tanking so he found selective facts to show it doesn't work.  And it's a little funny that his favorite team tanked so they could get Strasburg and Harper, setting them up nicely for a decade of winning records and playoff births.

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26 minutes ago, Frobby said:

I usually love his stuff, but I disagree with him here.   One of his points is that the 20 teams that have never lost 200 games over 2 seasons in the last 50 years have won 33 of the last 50 World Series.     Yeah, Tom, DUH.    Teams like the Yankees don’t have to go into full rebuild mode.    Talk about a poor use of statistics.   

It's almost like he's saying that there's a correlation between having overflowing resources that you can dedicate to being consistently really good and winning the World Series.  Someone should study that.

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6 minutes ago, TonySoprano said:

Washington
First in war
First in peace
Last in the American League

I see no point in comparing the '87-'88 Orioles under a dying EBW to the Peter Angelos '98-'11 teams.  But then again, I'm old enough to remember the Nationals drafting Strasburg and Harper by losing.

Do they have an editor? 

If his opinion is this then come up with better reasons/examples not the ones he came up with.  

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Just now, eddie83 said:

Do they have an editor? 

If his opinion is this then come up with better reasons/examples not the ones he came up with.  

Boz is like a college professor with tenure.  No one touches them and they are allowed to retire on their own terms.  He was once one of my favorite writers but I refuse to give his publication any views for years.

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As other have said, the Orioles never truly tore it down until this year.  It's funny that the two main writers who have maligned what the Orioles are doing (Boswell and Rosenthal) are the two writers that are so nakedly bitter towards Baltimore that they can't help themselves. It's especially ironic that someone like Rosenthal rails against the idea of sell offs and tanking but he is practically only relevant until the trade deadline. 

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