If George Steinbrenner had owned the Chicago Cubs in
1906, he probably would have replaced Joe Tinker, the
team's shortstop and the first leg of the famous
Tinker to Evers to Chance double play trio. Why is
that? Because even though the team won 116 games and
posted the best winning percentage since 1900, Tinker
had the weakest season among regular players and, as
we know, Mr. Steinbrenner likes to have as many
superstars on hand as possible.
And, regardless of what happens in the rest of the 2003 World Series, he
will be looking to perfect his roster even further in
the coming offseason. There is a strong suspicion
that he will make a big play for free agent Vladimir
Guerrero to correct the team's weakest link: right field.
With a budget that appears to have no upper limit,
there are no financial reasons why he can't have what
he wants whenever he wants it. If that means having an
all-star-caliber player at every position, then so be
it. Is that trip necessary, however? Can't a team not
only survive but actually thrive with a replacement
level (or worse) player at one or even two positions?
Of course it can. It is not only possible to have a
blemish in the lineup and still succeed it is actually
standard operating procedure. The Yankees need look no
further than their own history to see that this is so.