[This reader-submitted Fanpost has been lightly edited for formatting, and promoted to the front page. All opinions are the reader's own. Well, duh....]
I have been away from this forum for years - even had to complete a new registration to log in. Happy to be back - love what you all have done with the place!
Have been a Dbacks STH since day one. Actually lucked into a low lottery number and was able to snag a couple of seats on an aisle in Section K, nine rows up behind the plate. The 16 seasons there have included some of the best experiences of my life, baseball or otherwise. . . but this year I decided 'no mas.'
Had a brief e-mail exchange about it with Shoe and he suggested I share here the e-mail I sent to the club. It is directed to my STH representative (name & address redacted) who suggested I speak with Derek or Kevin about my concerns. He is continuing his efforts to make that happen but it hasn't occurred yet.
I know there will be some here who agree with me and some who don't. I am looking forward to hearing all sides of this issue and learning from each. Copy of e-mail follows. . .
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 2:30 PM
Thank you, XXXX – I do appreciate you and your continuing efforts on my behalf. In the event I don’t end up talking with Derek, I thought I would put my primary frustration/disappointment down in an e-mail that can be shared with him (or whomever).
First, allow me to put this message in the proper context: I am not presuming to tell anyone how to run their organization. I have been a student of this game and the business model for many, many years. But I do not have anything approaching the knowledge and experience those of you actually running a baseball organization have. I am simply communicating my disagreement with what I observe to be the current strategy.
Second, one probably also needs to understand my paradigm. There are a number of research reports that have been done on the aging of athletes. The most recent I have seen related to baseball is here. It echoes a body of research (a bit more optimistically) that shows all hitters are in decline by age 33, most starting by age 30. (and it is only the good hitters that even last long enough to decline).
Thus, I believe we should be maximizing our use of younger, less-expensive talent, supplemented by the occasional, affordable free agent to fill in gaps in the roster. Trades we execute should be focused on sending our maturing players still under ‘cost-controlled’ contracts in exchange for younger, less-expensive yet promising talent.
In short, I believe we should be on the other end of most of the trades that we have made over the past three years. Moreover, I believe our contract extensions and FA signings have, on balance, worked precisely against this philosophy in that we have been signing (via FA and extensions) older, expensive talent to contracts that are at high risk of being unaffordable and impossible to move.
What I see today is a roster that has seven players on the wrong side of 30 to whom we have committed $64mm in 2014. Four of those continue in 2015 to the tune of $45mm. A handful go on a year or two beyond THAT. Now, these are mostly guys I like, such as Montero, Prado, Ross, McCarthy and Hill. The problem is, we will be fortunate to see half of them remain productive through the full life of their respective contracts. Moreover, we are unlikely to be able to use many – if any - as trade fodder to restock our pool of young talent due to their respective ages/costs.
That, in a nutshell, is the source of my growing frustration over the past three years. I am intentionally not picking on any individual transactions because there are always pros and cons to each one. My frustration is not with any one isolated trade, free agent signing or contract extension. It is with the full body of the work of roster construction over the past three years.
I still love baseball and I still back the Dbacks. I just have made a business decision to stop contributing $10,000-$15,000 a year to what I believe is a significant misallocation of resources. It has been a great ride. It is not easy breaking the emotional attachment I have with those two seats behind home plate – Section K, Row I, seats 1 and 2. But it is time to step back and let the frustration dissipate.
My very best regards,