Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Shappy Wins Again

You have got to give Tribe GM Mark Shapiro his due. Working with a payroll "just north of $60 million," he put together a team, that was essentially one game away from being World Series champs. Lets be honest, no way the Tribe was losing to the Rockies. Though his team failed to get him the ring, The Sporting News named Shapiro Executive of the Year for the second time in three years.

That is an impressive feat considering the market he works in. Having to compete with the big boy payroll's of the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, etc is not an easy thing to do. Shapiro has little margin for error, particularly in free agency. His faith in building from within and not overpaying for free agents gives him the financial flexibility to add a late season pennant race player, the way he did with Kenny Lofton in '07. That one worked out pretty well.

His heist of Asrdubal Cabrera at the trading deadline last year is the kind of deal Shapiro made his reputation on. He turned an A-ball shortstop into the starting second baseman and #2 hitter on an ALCS team in one year. The faith in youngsters like Cabrera, Franklyn Gutierrez, Jensen Lewis, and Rafael Perez saved the season. That comes from the top.
Congrats Mark, you earned it.

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