History shows “how to build” a Championship team


David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

First let me say the job of being a General Manager is one of the hardest positions in all of sports. With salaries in Major League Baseball steadily climbing into the stratosphere it becomes more and more difficult to build a contending team year in and year out while attempting to stay within a budget. Most teams would love to find an exact formula for building a winning team, let alone a Championship one. There are, however, good enough examples to show everyone a path to a winning formula. From the start of the new Century we have solid examples of success.

Starting in the year 2000, with the N.Y. Yankees you could see that despite not having a regular season “Ace” pitcher, once the Post Season began they all stepped up and performed up to their potential, if not beyond it. Not to be forgotten was the clutch hits by; David Justice, Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius. Closing games was Mariano Rivera.

In 2002 the Angels had a decent starting staff but it was their clutch hitting by players such as; David Eckstein, Troy Glaus, Scott Spiezio and Tim Salmon that made the biggest difference. Closing games out was Troy Percival.

In 2003 the then Florida Marlins were carried throughout the Post Season by pitchers Josh Beckett and Carl Pavano,while getting clutch hits from unlikely heroes such as Juan Pierre and Alex Gonzalez among others. Closing games out was Ugueth Urbina.

Skipping ahead to 2006 and the STL Cardinals, once again the starting staff took charge behind; Chris CarpenterJeff Suppan and Adam Wainwright. Clutch hitters were; David Eckstein (again), Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds.

In 2010 the S.F. Giants won with a dominant starting staff of; Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. The Giants not known for their hitting came up with huge hits from; Edgar Renteria, Freddy Sanchez and Cody Ross. Closing games out was Brian Wilson.

As you may see from the list above, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that having;

1. Solid starting pitching (most importantly in the Post Season).

2. Hitters that come up “Clutch” or “late”, propelling their team to victory.

3. A solid Closer.

These things make all the difference in the World and are simply put a “winning formula”. I must also add that most of the teams had a level of speed to their game, whether it be off the bench or a part of their everyday play.

With respect to the 2014 Red Sox, do you see this winning formula within this year’s team?

For me they lack;

1. One Starting Pitcher and

2. Lack the speed they had all of last year when Jacoby Ellsbury led the team in Stolen Bases.

If they can acquire more speed and another solid Starter, then and only then do I believe they have a chance to repeat. Until then, Go Sox!