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home : blogs_old : hang time August 19, 2014

Hang Time
By Steve Stockmar
Daily Courier sports editor Steve Stockmar gives you the cheat sheet for today’s top sports stories.
Thursday, October 03, 2013

1 championship or 10 second-place finishes? Hmmmm.

By Steve Stockmar

Jeff Roberson/The Associated Press
Former Cubs manager Dale Sveum watches from the dugout during his final weekend as Chicago’s skipper. The Cubs set a franchise record in home losses in 2013 and a franchise record in road losses in 2012.

A handful of baseball teams get to enjoy the splendor of playoff ball in October.

For everyone else, it's back to the drawing board. Even for the so-called good teams.

Anything less than a playoff berth is, for most teams, unacceptable.

Some front offices will shovel to their fan base that progress isn't based on wins and losses, but if a team hasn't reached the playoffs this year, in recent years, or shows no signs of contending over the next couple years, there's a serious problem afoot.

Which begs a key question for front office geeks: Would you rather build one World Series winning team and nine last-place division finishes out of 10, or 10 second-place division finishes?

Me, I'll take one World Series title all day long.

The Chicago Cubs' front office? Not so much.

Long-term building for the future is nothing but a lot of noise on the North Side, as is hype about farm systems in and around a buzz-less Boise. I can't speak for an entire fan base, but a chilly October pennant sounds a heck of a lot nicer than the future potential of some double-A lefty's ERA.

I'm certainly not buying into a grand scheme plan about building to be perennial contenders from a franchise that has won one playoff series - ONE! - since 1908. At some point, preaching patience starts to look more like aloofness. (Translation: even they don't know what to do.)

There's certainly a big upside to 10 consecutive second-place division finishes. A case could be made that, in the long run, 10 straight second-place finishes is more important than nine straight last-place finishes.

But any ownership/front office that builds for anything but a championship tomorrow is not committed to winning. Dems the facts.

Anything less is a lot of talk. Win, and we'll start listening.


Since my Broncos-Giants Super Bowl pick is coming up aces (... more like an Ace-Deuce ...), my World Series pick should be no less brilliant.

Too much pitching, hitting and moxie will get the Detroit Tigers an AL pennant. And the Dodgers have more mojo than all the other playoff teams combined.

Dodgers over Tigers in 7.


Come on, it's almost Halloween. Here are cool ghost sightings:

This one involves the Red Hot Chili Peppers

This one involves that frightening place, Wrigley Field

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