Thursday, February 25, 2010

Toyota, the Weather and Baseball

There is a saying in northern Maine that if you don't like the weather today, just wait until tomorrow. This Fan isn't complaining about the weather. While there has not been an appearance by the sun in a while, we've had ten straight days peaking over 30 degrees, which is unheard of in February. While the rest of the country has had unexpected snow, we've had very little and I heard of some reports that daffodils have poked their heads out of the ground and quickly looked around and said, "What the heck?" You just never know what's going to happen with the weather. It pops up and down. Toyota has to be feeling the same way. The little company that could started out as a maker of cheap automobiles, much like Hyundai is now. Then they became the biggest in the world and were the gold standard for quality that everyone wanted to emulate. Now look what's happened. They appear to be back where they were thirty years ago thanks to all their problems.

The Astros and Mets have to know what that feels like. Both started as expansion teams in the early 1960s. Both had cheap little teams that couldn't. Both had serious runs of euphoria and success. And both have fallen on hard times. The history of both teams is sprinkled with failure and success, failure and success and then failure. It seems difficult for them to stay on some kind of even ground.

There have been other teams that were once good but have been bad for a long time now like the Royals and the Pirates. There have been teams that were mostly bad but poked their heads up above the tree line for a brief look like the Brewers and the Padres. There are other teams that always remain competitive like the Cardinals, the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Twins, the Braves and the Dodgers.

For those latter six teams, the weather is mostly good like the weather in San Diego. But most of the rest seem to have histories like northern Maine weather. They are all over the place. Is it all about the money? The Cardinals and the Twins seem to disprove that. The Cardinals are always in the upper middle level of the salary world. The Twins were once always at the bottom of that world but now are solidly in the middle. Both just have good organizations. The Yankees and the Red Sox can either be smart or use their financial resources to cover up moments of stupidity.

But then you have all those other organizations that can't seem to consistently produce over the years. It can be about the money, but it's also about smarts and good management.

The Fan thought he had a bigger point to make here, but it fizzled faster than Toyota and Tiger Woods' reputations. Oh well.

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