Breaking News:

Keep up with So Much Sports on Twitter @SoMuchSports

Top teams need to learn from As blunders

Ned Yost has done an incredible job managing the small-ball Royals team. Making trades that could disrupt the team's chemistry and change the dynamic could be dangerous.

Ned Yost has done an incredible job managing the small-ball Royals team. Making trades that could disrupt the team’s chemistry and change the dynamic could be dangerous.

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

There was never a more clear lesson in that in sports than last year with the Oakland Athletics. The best team in baseball made drastic moves before the trade deadline. They traded for pitchers Jeff Samardzjia and Jason Hammel before the All-Star break and then made a blockbuster move at the deadline, sending Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for ace Jon Lester and veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes.

Billy Beane made these moves with the hopes of winning a World Series. His plan was to give the best team in baseball the best starting rotation so every single night of the playoffs his team would be the favorite to win.

But that was far from what ended up happening. The Athletics finished the year with a 29-38 record and barely clinched the second Wild Card spot, just one game ahead of the Seattle Mariners, and lost in the Wild Card game against the Kansas City Royals. Their once promising season ended in a way that disappointment just does not get the emotion right and calling it a collapse does not express enough how badly thing turns south for the As.

Their failure should be a great lesson for teams this year as the trade deadline approaches. The Athletics had a great thing going but they messed with the chemistry of the team in the middle of the season, made the horrible blunder of trading the heart and soul of their team and crumbled after it.

This year, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals will be in spots where they can made big trades and hope their additions put their team over the edge to win a World Series, but all those two teams should do is look at what happened to the Athletics and how things got screwed up and realize that there is nothing wrong with standing pat if you are indeed the best team already.

The Cardinals own the best record in baseball, but they are certainly being pressured by the Pittsburgh Pirates in their own division as they trail by only 2.5 games. They could use a better left fielder or another starting pitcher and any team can use bullpen help, but if things are going so good, why risk changing the dynamic of the team by bringing in an All-Star with an ego and a desire to look good in a contract year more than a desire to take a backup role to win a title.

The Royals were so successful with their small-ball approach last season getting to the World series, and this year, the team has found themselves with the best record in the American League while sticking to that same strategy.

With the loss of left fielder Alex Gordon for the next two months with an injury, the Royals are going to be looking for a guy to take over at the position, but he better be the perfect fit for a team with so much personality and such a clear direction. They can’t just unload prospects for a pure slugger like Hanley Ramirez, who isn’t going to be willing to dive over the wall to make the highlight-reel catch in foul territory. They need the perfect fit and a player that at the same time will be willing to give up their starting spot once Gordon does come back.

The following two tabs change content below.

Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

Comments are closed.