AUGUST 17, 2004
Super Ego Bad For G.M.s?
By Steve Lombardi, NetShrine.com
For 12 years, I was a rotisserie fanatic. I stopped "playing" after the 2000 season as I became tired of the game - not the game of baseball, just the game of fantasy baseball. Nonetheless, when I played, I played to win - and often did win (as I finished 1st in my league 7 times in 12 years).
While I played to win, that was not enough. I also wanted to show all the other owners in the league that I was smarter than them - that I knew more about baseball players, and talent, than the rest of them. I always wanted to draft that "super sleeper" who no one ever heard of - and who would leave all the other owners lamenting (over my superior knowledge) once the player helped me win. Was this nice? No, it was not. But, since when is the object of playing fantasy baseball about being nice? Rotisserie is a chest beating opportunity - albeit often among friends. And, anyone who tells you differently is either ignorant to the truth or looking to cloak their true feelings.
Because of my roti-modus operandi, I would make some (in retrospect) wild draft picks:
In 1998, I drafted Jin Ho Cho when others in the league were taking Kenny Rogers and Ron Gant at the same time.
In 1996, I drafted Jaime Bluma, passing on Curt Schilling (who was still available).
In 1994, I drafted Billy Ashley when others in the league were taking Glenallen Hill and Shane Reynolds at the same time.
In 1993, I drafted Phil Plantier, Brent Gates, and Marc Newfield.
I drafted Willie Greene in 1995 and in 1997.
When I look at all the current "young buck" General Managers in the game of baseball today, I now cannot help but wonder if some of them are falling prey to the thirst of not just wanting to win, but wanting to prove that they are smarter than everyone else? Crazy? Perhaps it is nuts? Still, consider the notion outside of baseball. Is it outlandish to paint a picture of a young person in some workforce (say, perhaps, Wall Street) who is not just satisfied with doing their job, riding the waves. learning the ropes - because they want to make a fast, loud and noticeable impact in their industry thus bringing cause for the spotlight to be on them? We have seen this happen. We call these people "risk takers" - no? Cannot that happen in baseball as well?
So, the question on this scorecard is "Are some of the new and young G.M.s in baseball risk takers - and, if yes, are they hurting themselves and their teams by conducting their business in such a manner?"
We may never know until a few years from now. It is feasible that at least a few of the new breed of G.M. will shoot themselves in the foot looking to show the world that they are quicker and smarter at the draw than the rest of the pack. It is something worth pondering and watching.
Steve Lombardi is the Creator & Curator of NetShrine.com. Scrawling On The Scorecard appears regularly during the baseball season and sporadically during the off-season. Steve can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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