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As we approach the end of the college basketball season, and the beginning of life on the pine, I am got to thinking: If I were a coach, a fan, a gm, or even a player myself what would I rather have, a great, albeit small, concentration of talent; or a very deep team? As the debate can rage forever in the realm of college basketball (see George Mason 2006 vs. Wade 2003, or Georgia Tech 2004 vs. Anthony 2003) and you can see there is no clear winner to this debate....
But I think we can delve a little deeper in the realm of baseball:
Think of it this way, any team wants to have a loaded lineup, pitching staff, and bench.. Heck any team would take being loaded even at one of those positions. But when you ask people if they would rather have a few loaded players or a deep team, and the debate gets intense. Sure, to the quick of feet, it seems pretty obvious: you want All-Stars. But upon further review, maybe a deep team is better. Let's take a look at a few teams to see both sides.
There is a new phase attacking fantasy baseball, and it is called the "dynasty" league. I am in one of these leagues along with fellow blogger Ian. As the commissioner, Ian set up a league in which you could select any team you want and you can get 2 pitchers and 1 batter or 2 batters and 1 pitcher from that team. The worse the team's record the better draft position you get. Now when doing this, you want to choose a team that has the 3 best players you can find. So naturally, you will go to the Phillies or Yankees first. And as stacked as those teams are, arguably the team that most people wanted was the Brewers.... Brewers? You mean the team that didn't even make the playoffs? Correct, and that is exactly the point the "deep" side would bring up. The Brewers, the team boasting Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, and Yovanni Gallardo, a ridiculous three-some of talent, that didn't even make the playoffs! So there must be something to this deep thing.
But on the other hand, look at a team like the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals world Series championship team. I dare you... DARE YOU to find me more than a handful of superstars on that team... I'll give you Pujols, Carpenter, Mulder, and if you really want to be daring Jim Edmonds... But if I find anyone out there who wants to argue the case of David Eckstein, So Taguchi, Aaron Miles, Scott Rolen, Yadier Molina, Sidney Ponson, or Jeff Suppan as a superstar, have fun with that one. And to everyone who says, but wait... that is a very deep team, think again! Depth occurs when a team has enough TALENT to win without it's SuperStars... take away Pujols or Mulder and you are gonzo.
So when the Brewers head out on the field for the 2010 season with a slightly improved roster don't be expected a pennant.... unless you believe in the 2006 Cardinals....