Dan O'Dowd is Supportive, Delusional

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Rob Jeter Hall.jpgMost general managers shouldn't really speak in public. No benefit comes from your team's GM popping off in the paper, be it in response to criticism or in support of the local star. Dan O'Dowd recently took it upon himself to praise his stud shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the only way our society knows: comparing him to Derek Jeter.

Most Jeter comparisons invariably rush to "intangibles" quicker than a base hit bouncing past Jeter's glove side, O'Dowd thinks Tulowitzki's "innate" leadership abilities class him as a "once-in-a-decade" player.

To be fair to O'Dowd, it's the Times headline that screams TULO = JETER IN THE MOUNTAINS, though the Rockies GM doesn't hesitate to play the small market card when comparing the two shortstops relative levels of fame.

If he played in New York or Boston or for the Cubs, he would be recognized right now as one of the best players in the game -- not young players, but players in the game

Or, had Tulowitzki not responded with a stinktastic sophomore season after bursting onto the national baseball stage in 2007, his five-tooled goodness would have a much higher profile. Once a decade? More like once every other year, amirite??

More troubling than Dan O'Dowd's eagerness to position Tulo as the new Face of Baseball is his tossed-off slam on the great Indians teams of the late nineties, teams O'Dowd helped build.

In Cleveland, we really never had that kind of a player; we had great players. And that's why we didn't win a World Series. I think that's why we fell short. We didn't have one straw that was stirring the drink, taking everybody to a different level.

At the risk of taking a baseball GM too literally, think about this for a second. Those great Indians teams featured some of the best players of their time, including the criminally underrated Kenny Lofton. But O'Dowd believes they failed to win the World Series because they lacked a leader? Didn't they lose the 1997 World Series to the Florida Marlins?

Gary Sheffield. Bobby Bonilla. Moises Alou. Kevin Brown. Who among this group of notorious pricks and mercenaries would qualify as the "straw that stirs the drink?" How could this team, with all the high-priced turnover from the previous year, classify as a cohesive unit with a common goal? They won a 7 game series because of talent and luck. The Indians reached the series and lost for the very same reasons. Leadership is nice to talk about in March with a guy from the New York Times, but really?

Motivating 25 guys every night for six months is tough, no doubt. But isn't it amazing how these mythical leadership qualities seem to grow and improve when surrounded by increasingly talent players? That must be the mark of real leadership: get players much better than you to perform to the true talent level. Then; watch the plaudits and playmates roll in.


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10 Comments

And the 95 team had Lofton, Visquel, JI JIM THOME, Manny, Eddie Murray and Albert Belle.

Nice try, Dan.

THE ONLY STRAW OL'JIMJAM KNOWS IS THE ONE IN HIS BIG GULF

Kenny Lofton is appropriately rated in the shrine to him I keep in my bedroom.

As far as just fun to watch over a several-year period, it's tough to beat those 90's Indians teams. New ballpark, a bushel of young talent, and the raw sexuality of Mike Hargrove.

The Swinging A's teams of the 70s fought all the time and hated one another. The 1990 Reds had fistfights between their manager and star reliever. The late 90s Yankees had a Shortstop who was convicted of molesting 42 assorted breeds of dogs.

Chemistry and Leadership is crap. Talent and a bit of luck is what matters.

SAT PROBLEM TIME!

90's Indians : AL :: 90's Braves : NL

Lots of talent, shiny new ballpark, won a ton of ballgames in the regular season, but very little (if any) championship hardware to show for it. In retrospect, it was only fitting that the Braves played the Indians in the 1995 World Series...

Excuse me, sir. Bobby Bonilla is not a prick. His balky hamstring will always have a place in my heart for failing at just the right time to be Wally Pip'd by Albert Pujols.

"PAST A DIVING JETER HALL!"

The return of this photo is most welcome.

In fairness, even during his rookie year, the veterans on the Rockies said Tulo was the leader of the team. In 2008 his numbers were down cause he was playing really hurt, and went into 2009 still hurting before being fully healed...but let's not let that tidbit of info stop the writer for trying to get a good sarcastic 'every other year’ comment in. If the following comment from the article is true: ‘But isn't it amazing how these mythical leadership qualities seem to grow and improve when surrounded by increasingly talent players? That must be the mark of real leadership: get players much better than you to perform to the true talent level.’…I ask, who on the Rockies is BETTER than Tulo. The answer, at present is a whopping NO ONE.

In fairness, even during his rookie year, the veterans on the Rockies said Tulo was the leader of the team. In 2008 his numbers were down cause he was playing really hurt, and went into 2009 still hurting before being fully healed...but let's not let that tidbit of info stop the writer for trying to get a good sarcastic 'every other year’ comment in. If the following comment from the article is true: ‘But isn't it amazing how these mythical leadership qualities seem to grow and improve when surrounded by increasingly talent players? That must be the mark of real leadership: get players much better than you to perform to the true talent level.’…I ask, who on the Rockies is BETTER than Tulo. The answer, at present is a whopping NO ONE.

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