Sandy Alderson Exactly What Tom Ricketts Needs To Help Evaluate Chicago Cubs
According to MLBTradeRumors.com, Sandy Alderson "asked and received permission from Bud Selig to interview with the Mets for the GM vacancy next Thursday or Friday, and The New York Post's Joel Sherman says that's an indication that Alderson wants the job badly."
OK, fine, let him go and generally manage the Mets. Meanwhile, why hasn't Cubs owner Tom Ricketts inquired about a guy like Alderson to help him evaluate Jim Hendry and the club since he admits he is not a baseball guy?
Even if Alderson isn't available, perhaps he could lure a guy like former Braves GM John Schuerholz, or hell, Dallas Green, with a President title. Look, how else can Ricketts truly know if Hendry is the right man for the job unless he has a good baseball man to help him make those decisions?
Forget Crane Kenny. Why he's still with the club is anybodies guess, but it may have more to do with continuity with Wrigley Field than anything else. Ricketts is a smart businessman and he knows that the ballpark is his cash cow.
But Kenny is about as useful to Ricketts in evaluating Hendry as wet dog hair. So Ricketts can only refer to things like how well the young guys are performing, and point to the minor league record as signs of progress.
But if you read the text of Rickett's letter to Cubs season ticket holders, he mentions Tim Wilken but no mention of Hendry. He also points to the success of Tyler Colvin, Starlin Castro, and Casey Coleman has hopeful signs that the club is on the right track.
There is so much wrong with that viewpoint that I don't know where to begin.
First of all, a team's minor league record means very little. In fact, winning always takes a back seat to player development. Sure, clubs can stock their upper levels with 4-A type of players in an effort to win games, but it is far more valuable to take your lumps with the real prospects.
And that's where Ricketts' second mistake becomes obvious.
While Castro is a true prospect, Colvin is merely a nice fourth outfielder long term, and Coleman never was a prospect. He's a candidate for the 2011 rotation only because the Cubs wants to shed payroll.
In short, Coleman, though he pitched decently, is a fringe major league pitcher.
Even Castro, as good as he looks, is probably not a shortstop long term. His future should be at second base. Nevertheless, he represents the only major league ready prospect in the organization.
But Ricketts can't see this because he has no one to help him. It's not his fault that he isn't a baseball guy, but it is his fault to not ask for help.
It may be a solid management plan to sit back and watch at first, but it's not a good plan to watch only through the clouded eyes of a fan and nothing more.
Ricketts needs a guy like Alderson. Otherwise, he will continue to try and do this all by himself, which doesn't make much sense.
Ricketts says the total team expenditures will remain flat next year. But he goes on to say that more of the resources will be poured into player development and scouting. That means the major league payroll will decrease in 2011.
With all of the needs that the Cubs have, it is hard to envision a contending team next season without going out and acquiring major league help. But unless Hendry can move some big salaries, that won't be possible.
After all, the Cubs will face big arbitration raises to players like Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, and Geo Soto. Not to mention the huge, unmovable contracts of Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, and Carlos Silva.
But no, it appears that Ricketts will try and do it based on the blind trust of Hendry and the Cubs fandom continuing to pack the park no matter what the record is.
Well, count me among those who aren't buying what Ricketts is selling.
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