What's Wrong With Being Organization of the Year?

There are people who watch the sport as if the goal is to win Organization of the Year from Baseball America. The perpetual cyclists. - Dejan Kovacevic, via Twitter, 9/11/12

Here's a list of recent winners of Baseball America's Organization of the Year:

  • 2011: St. Louis Cardinals - Won 90 games, took the NL Wild Card spot, won the World Series against the Rangers.
  • 2010: San Francisco Giants - Won 92 games, won the AL West, won the World Series against the Rangers.
  • 2009: Philadelphia Phillies - Won 93 games, won the NL East, lost the World Series against the Yankees.
  • 2008: Tampa Bay Rays - Won 97 games, won the AL East, lost the World Series against the Phillies.
  • 2007: Colorado Rockies - Won 90 games, took the NL Wild Card spot, lost the World Series against the Red Sox.
To answer Dejan Kovacevic: Yes, I'd like to see the Pirates "win Organization of the Year from Baseball America." They generally give that award to a team that's done the hard work of building a playoff club from the ground up, and is just starting to enjoy the rewards of that work. More often than not, that team has ended up in the World Series. What Pirates fan wouldn't be thrilled by that outcome?

The Pirates' collapse down the stretch has been confusing and frustrating for all of the team's fans. However, this is not the time for the team to make emotional or reactionary changes to its process, and non sequiturs about uniform regulations and charity outings and the precise number of wins needed to officially break the losing streak are not constructive contributions that advance the public discourse on what's wrong or how to fix it. They add heat to the discussion, but no light. We can have a more intelligent discussion about the Pirates' long-term plan and how to ensure that it ends with an Organization of the Year trophy (preferably sooner, rather than later), but if we want that discussion, we need to create it ourselves.

Kovacevic was an excellent beat writer during his time with the Post-Gazette. I find responses of the sort that I highlighted in this piece to be confusing and frustrating, because I believe that he's capable of better work than this, and I hope that he accepts this criticism in the spirit in which it is intended.
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