Last time, I talked about teams that think a specific player's the second coming... when they're not. Such teams put too much stock in a particular athlete, hindering their progress as an organization. However, that's not the only type of organization that annoys the crap outta me.
There are also franchises that spend next to NOTHING on prized stars. They operate entirely on shoestring budgets and trade their superstars to the big names for prospects. Of course, that's only if their young group doesn't win anything or even come close.
The Oakland Athletics are notorious for this type of practice. Hell, they just traded away all their superstars after falling short of October baseball last season. Gone are Matt Chapman, Matt Olsen, and Sean Manaea. In are... Christian Pache, Kirby Snead, and Adrian Martinez.
The end result is less than 5,000 fans making it to every home game. Nobody's interested in watching a team tank 162 games in a season for the best draft picks every year. That's especially true when you're playing in a sewer like O.Co Coliseum.
While "Moneyball" might seem like a fun concept, it can be only done by spending big bucks on free agents. That's why the Boston Red Sox were World Series champions twice during the 2000s. Theo Epstein did everything to get stars like Curt Schilling and Manny Ramirez. You can't say the same for the A's.
Other teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds follow in Oakland's tracks. The Reds gave away Jesse Winker to the Seattle Mariners, let Nick Castellanos go to the Phillies, and lost Sonny Gray to the Minnesota Twins. The Bucs gave away Gerrit Cole, Joe Musgrove, and Andrew McCutchen, a trio of the best Pirates in recent memory. Phil Castellini recently taunted Reds fans over this, asking them "WHERE YOU GONNA GO?" What a dick.
The sad thing is that more teams are subscribing to this ideology. Oklahoma City has amassed a TON of picks in the upcoming NBA Drafts, with many people lauding Sam Presti as a genius. Other small markets squads like the Ottawa Senators do this, retooling before selling off their assets.
This only works when teams like the Golden State Warriors have masterminds like Jerry West pulling the strings. Getting steals like Stephen Curry and Draymond Green made the Dubs a dynasty. Before you say, "well, it could work for the A's", keep in mind that Golden State got Kevin Durant to join their crew.
The team closest to winning a championship while doing this has been the Tampa Bay Rays. They NEVER extend any of their superstars, yet they made the World Series twice in their franchise history. Either they trade their stars away or their players wither away into nothing. The Rays are more likely to move to Montreal before hoisting a trophy.
If you're ever a fan of these small market teams, it's tough. Most franchises in this realm don't have any hope of bringing in superstars, so they must farm their own. The only hope is entering a vicious cycle of trying to win a title, which rarely happens. Shoot these teams to the moon and never let them return.