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Monday, February 28, 2005

Eating My Words

First of all, I can't believe that I haven't yet linked to one of the best baseball sites on the web, a site which just happens to be Canadian. I've been reading the Batter's Box for about a year and a half. Lots of great baseball analysis and coverage over there, along with a strong archive of interviews. Check out the Box. Today there is an interview with J.P. Ricciardi, the Blue Jays GM, which galvanized the following act of contrition which I should have already made.

A while back, in this post, I expressed displeasure and disappointment in the Blue Jays signing of Shea Hillenbrand. I have since had time to rethink my position on that deal. I was wrong about it being a bad deal. It's not a great deal, but it helps rather than hurts the team. The Jays really gave up very little in Adam Peterson, and the salary they're paying Hillenbrand is not extreme for what they're getting. It's easy to forget that on-base percentage, while an important component of run-scoring ability, is not the be-all and end-all; especially now that it's no longer as undervalued as it was when the Oakland A's were making hay with it.

A team like the Jays, with limited resources (and I don't believe any team loses money), cannot look to the past to determine the best lineup they can field. Instead they have to find a way to determine what types of talent are currently not overpriced and do the best they can to put a winning team on the field by using a combination of the talent already in their system and what they can pick up via trades or signings without crippling themselves financially.

Oddly enough, I don't really know as much as Ricciardi does about baseball, or about running a baseball team. Perhaps in the future I'll think things through farther before I form an opinion on them. Or perhaps I won't.

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