Friday, September 29, 2006

Guinea-pigging

As I sit here blogging while my wife and son nap in the bedrooms (I've been planning my appointments for next week and reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, one of the three books I brought with me and the second one I've gotten to while also downloading Mac OS X 10.4.8), it occurs to me that I'm something of a guinea pig when it comes to OS updates. I download and install them the second they're out so that I can support them when I get to work (if only Apple didn't release most of them on Fridays, while folks were still at work then I could take my time).

And I also was just reading some message board complaints about the current Red Sox team (folks see Theo's moves as dismantling a championship team). And I think they're wrong - we are essentially guinea pigs for a new way of managing a team. And I can see the logic in it. The Sox system is basically big-money Moneyball - the Moneyball philosophy but with big dollars available to fill the holes and complete the team. Long-term, it should work, but what happened is that they caught lightning in a bottle in 2003 when they started deploying a roster was supposed to be a stopgap, and wound up nearly winning the AL. Then, with a few changes, they won the whole darn thing in 2004 - a significant enough fact that I dragged my then 2-year-old son downstairs from a sound sleep to see it, because he might not ever get the chance again!

Back then, we figured that the Sox would get a mulligan for a few years after winning. Well, the mulligan lasted a year, as it turned out. This is basically the first team of the New Sox era - this is a transition year where injuries and issues forced them to play more of the kids than they expected to, and sooner than they should have. The real lightning in a bottle was the convergence of events that killed this team in August, and in hindsight it was sheer luck and a lot of guys playing over their heads that allowed them to stay in contention until then.

In another year or so, you should see a good core of home-grown players that can stick around for years to come, supplemented by just enough big-money veterans and role players to keep this team solidly in contention for a long time. I really think that.

The weather here, by the way, is now looking up for the remainder of the time until we head home Sunday, with the rain having passed around 1 today. We'll be heading back out to have more fun as soon as I can pry my two lazy travel companions out of their beds...

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