That is the question.
Of course it is great to watch and cheer for your team in the playoffs but the question still needs to be asked around the trade deadline especially because making a move that could mortgage your future for the short term is something that you can’t take lightly. It’s something that needs to be carefully thought out and analyzed, mulled and agonized over.
I’m glad that the Mariners and GM Bill Bavasi in particular made the right decision and didn’t trade away any of their fabulous young prospects i.e Jones, Balentien or Clement. Any good GM understands that you build a franchise through the draft not through free agency or deadline deals. The media likes to place a lot of importance on making a deal at the deadline to improve your team. That’s because it’s exciting and they need something to write about. Unless you have a player that has an expiring contract at year’s end and you know there’s a very small chance he re-signs (see Alfonso Soriano ’06) or you are literally a reliever away from winning the World Series you don’t make a deal, you just don’t.
The price is too high these days for even an average reliever (who suddenly becomes extraordinary around the deadline for some odd reason) for any such deal to be worth it.
And why is that? It’s because what makes something worth it is winning the World Series. Contrary to what many fans and media personnel like to think, you play the game to win the World Series (at least get to it) not to make the playoffs or win your division. That’s all well and good, to win your division. I mean you get to have a champagne celebration and a nice pat on the back from management and the media and a banner put up…but in the end what does any of that do? Nothing. You play to take home the trophy, to get a World Series banner and if you don’t have the pitching of the offense to honestly believe that you have a shot then what the fuck are you doing making deals that throw away your future when it won’t matter?!
I love the Mariners to death. But do I honestly think they have a chance at winning the World Series this year? Hell no. The starting pitching is far too inconsistent and so this fleeting excitement about a playoff run is stupid as far as creating the urge to make a deal is concerned. Yes it’s good for the fan base and it’s good for the organization (creates economic wealth) but in my mind if you don’t realistically have a shot at winning it all, you might as well tank and play for the draft.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to see the Mariners in the playoffs again, my point here is that people (the media as well as front office) need to take a realistic look at the team around the trade deadline and ask themselves whether they can win the World Series with the addition of one guy or two guys (that are available of course).