Dave Cameron just completed his Organization Rankings of all 30 MLB teams, and the Sox top it off, followed shortly by the Rays (#2) and Yanks (#3). Any time the organization gets praise is noteworthy in my book [metaphorical book, not to be confused with my actual book].
That said, Cameron's praise rings a little hollow. Witness:
There are lots of not-so-flattering stories about John Henry and Larry Lucchino that make the rounds, and given Henry’s involvement in the shady three way sale of the Red Sox/Marlins/Expos and Lucchino’s issues with Theo Epstein, they’re pretty easy to believe."
This damning with damned praise thing is fun! Let me try:
"There are a lot of stories about Andrew Friedman and the Tampa Bay Rays ownership group being Satan-Worshipping Stalinists, but it's hard to argue with their results. I give them an A!"
Moving on to the actual players, Cameron is more directly positive, but can't help but notice a flaw in the roster:
Major League Talent: A
... The core of the team isn't exactly young...
This throwaway line is actually rather serious. While the Rays have very talented, young players with depth to match, the Sox have an aging squad, several of whom (Lowell, Ortiz, Tek) are coming off very bad years or serious injuries. Our system has plenty of pitching, but we lack good position players (beyond Lars).
Cameron's praise of the farm system is also qualified:
Minor League Talent: B+
... The system is good, not great.
Which is pretty solid, considering all these years we've been winning. It's easy to build a great farm system with a few wise trades, risky acquisitions that played out, and a decade of absolutely awful performances (see Rays, Inception-2007).
Overall, these marks adds up to an A, which adds up to #1. I'm a little surprised. If this were college, I'd suspect grade inflation.
Don't get me wrong - I think the Sox have a strong team, but #1 may be pushing it. What do you think? Is Cameron right? Are my worries sheer paranoia, or are they justified? Speak your mind in the polls and in the comments.