Wednesday, March 07, 2007


There's a long article with a bunch of quotes from Stan Kasten, Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz in today's WaPo about what worked in Atlanta. It's a decent enough story, even if it seems like old hat to us obsessives.

The interesting thing about it, though, is the revisionism in some of it. If you missed it a few weeks ago, I'd strongly urge you to check out Federal Baseball's look at the plan, and how despite what the Kasten, Cox et al are saying, that the team really did try to bring in big-money free agents and make splashes with veteran players. It's a long post, but it uses reports written at the time to show that serendipity played a pretty big role in the process.

It's interesting, too, how much the Big Three are being overlooked. Glavine, Smoltz and Avery (later Maddux), are an amazing group of pitchers that no amount of planning can conjure up out of thin air. After Billy Beane wrote "Moneyball," a number of baseball insiders (notably a few with ties to the Braves organization) derided it, pointing out that Beane got lucky with three big pitchers: Zito, Mulder and Hudson. Notice any parallels?

If all this plan talk hasn't bored you to tears, check out Banks of the Anacostia's look at the etymology of "The PLAN!" It features this wonderful observation, which really ties together the Svrluga article, Federal Baseball's piece and anything anyone else has ever written on the topic.
At the end of the day, "The Plan ©®™" is a convenient rhetorical device that encapsulates the rebuilding of the farm and whatever else the user at the time wants it to mean.

Empty rhetorical phrases being bandied about on the internet? Say it ain't so!


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