Originally Posted by DeadMoney
Things in baseball are strange. Oakland and Baltimore sure showed us that this season. It's a sport that's as much about confidence and approach as it is about talent.
Some teams take longer to 'figure it out' (Tampa, Washington), whereas others have transformations that nearly no one expected (Oakland, Baltimore) - and it seems to occur overnight. There's obviously no 'formula' or correct way to do things. Theo's approach has worked before (and it'll work again - somewhere, someday), but who knows how quickly it'll come together again in Chicago.
To Cubs fan friends, I've been quite the dark cloud all season, but have recently changed my tune. My point all season was that even if the Cubs do turn it around, at the very least the Nationals/Reds/Pirates/Cardinals/Braves all have young cores (or solid prospects that are around the corner) that aren't going to be easy to compete with in the NL. Combine that with a Dodgers ownership group that's ready to throw piles of money around and a Phillies group that's nothing to sneeze at, and the outlook looks bleak. But, with what just happened in Oakland; with what happened in Colorado a few years ago; with what happens in baseball, you can never say never. Oakland lost 88 games last year, then traded Cahill and Gio and Bailey and came back with a cast on virtual nobodies and rookies to win 94 games (granted, some of the returns for those trades have been huge contributors this season). If the Cubs find teams that value players like Castro or Samardzija or Russell or Marmol (or some other guy who comes up next year and has success), you never know how quickly this thing can turn.
After watching "Moneyball", I have a better appreciation for the accomplishments in Oakland. I know that Hollywood provided the spin, however I like to see teams like the A's and Orioles develop the chemistry and teams to compete with the Yankees payroll.
The challenges that the A's in particular face remind me a lot of the White Sox. From a fan and attendance perspective, they are the second team in a market competing against a NL franchise that is popular with the press and that plays in a ballpark which is an attraction in itself.
However, I have to admit that I take sick pleasure in watching the Cubs again implode to 101 losses in 2012 and are stuck again in a rebuilding mode while I watch Soriano completely butcher routine plays in left field and hit useless solo home runs while the team is losing.