Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Winning Games

John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman are currently waxing poetic about how Miguel Cairo, a career utility infielder, "does everything right" and "isn't a great player", but that he does something every night to "help you win games."

I'm going to leave aside for a second the question of Miguel Cairo and simply ask how it is possible for these above statements to be true.

Let's be clear about this: great players are BY FUCKING DEFINITION the players that help you win games the most. Period.

If Miguel really does "help the team win every night," then one of two things must be true:
  1. He does helps the team win in an absolute sense, but less than all the other players greater than him, in which case we need to quantify his ability to help the team win relative to his peers and the phrase in question has no meaning, instead assuming the form of a complimentary platitude offered for a nice guy who perseveres.
  2. He is a great player.

Baseball is a zero sum game. Every single player cannot contribute positively, no matter how much we wish this were the case. If Miggy really does contribute positively, then the Yankees are morons for keeping him on the bench and every other MLB team is stupid for not hiring him away from them.

Or it could be, just maybe, that he doesn't really do something to "help the team win every night."

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