Where do I apply?

Maybe it’s from too many years of playing fantasy baseball (combined with a close reading of Moneyball), but I’m starting to think I could do a better job at running a team than some of these executives in the major leagues.

I think trading Kaz Matsui for Edgardo Alfonzo would be a low-risk move for the Mets, but there’s no way the Giants should be considering a trade involving Jason Schmidt. He may be 32 and struggling this season (with a few injuries), but on that Giants team, 32 is young. He’s the best they’ve got to build around for 2006, if not beyond. This is the time they’ve got to start building for the era A.B.B. — after Barry Bonds — and it’s not like they’ve got a slew of young studs throughout the lineup. Pedro Feliz is 30 and Jason Ellison is 27 — they’re both late bloomers. The only other regular with more future than past is Lance Niekro, and though his start (.308-7-23) is promising, his big-league career is just 117 at-bats old, so I don’t know if you can tell whether he’s the kind of player you will be building your team around in the near future.

Now the Devil Rays’ designation of Alex Sanchez appears even dumber, but the truth of the matter is Sanchez should have never been signed in the first place. I mean, this guy was cut by the Brewers and Tigers, two teams that, at the time they booted him, had a greater need for outfield and top-of-the-order help than Tampa Bay. Lou Piniella had a point when he ripped the Devil Rays’ owners. Why go out and sign a twice-released veteran like Sanchez when your minor-league system is considered one of the better ones in the league? What’s the point of bringing in a guy like Sanchez or Roberto Alomar when you could be giving Joey Gathright or B.J. Upton a shot? At least the fans would come out to see them. Surely there will be growing pains, but if you’re going to suck, why not suck with some promise?

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