You are, for the purposes of this post, both Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino and Sox GM Theo Epstein. (This leads to some nasty migranes, but stay with me.) And you want to cultivate the Sox of tomorrow—the young arms and bats toiling away in the farm system. You want to find add fresh, young talent to said farm system. And all you need is the right person to pick that talent out of the crowd, so you can get it under contract and put it on a bus to the bigs. Ah, but there’s the catch—you need a sharp, new eye to find these future Papelbons and Lesters. You need a proven winner. You need someone who’s going to dig out talent like a pig going after a crop of truffles.
You need….the Royals’ GM?
Or rather, I should say, the Royals’ former GM. After all, Allard Baird was fired at the end of May for putting together the team that, as of the All-Star break, was 27.5 games out of first place.
When the Royals fired Baird, the Kansas City Star explained why:
The organization’s primary failure under Baird was in its inability to draft and develop high-quality players in recent years. The current 25-man roster has only two players — outfielders David DeJesus and Shane Costa — who were drafted in Baird’s six seasons.
Further, several recent lineups mocked the very idea that the club is engaged in a rebuilding plan. The Royals started five players Tuesday against Oakland who were 30 years or older.
While Baird and his staff succeeded in uncovering some real bargains on the free-agent fringe, they proved far less successful in obtaining top value when forced by financial considerations to trade players such as Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye.
It was the Beltran trade — on June 24, 2004 — that marked the latest full-scale effort to rebuild their roster. The Royals received catcher John Buck, third baseman Mark Teahen and pitcher Mike Wood in return.
They are also 99-206 since that point.
And this is the guy you have hired to scout for you? Lucchepstein! Are you crazy?!?
Or…crazy like a fox?
Please, someone, tell me there’s a master plan here.