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The goal of the Cleveland Guardians is to field a team that produces year after year. In this sense, “production” is probably best understood as making the playoffs. If you make the playoffs, there is a decent chance that you can win the World Series.

In other words, the actions of a Major League Baseball front office are best understood as gardening tasks.

An 18-year-old slugger is a sapling that must be nurtured so that one day it bears delicious, sweet long balls.

A flamethrowing college arm is a vine to be pruned and trained so that it adapts to a difficult environment. Some whither while others drop pitless saves.

A switch-hitting middle infielder may go through an unsightly growth phase before flowering.

All of this is planted within the organization itself, which may be thought of as a yard. It is a whole yard. If this side of the yard is dry, should you water it every day or consider drought-tolerant plants? Where does water collect? Does it cause harm?

Is it a flood or is the land teaching you how to irrigate?

Meanwhile, the Colorado Rockies throw weed and feed onto freshly-watered concrete day after day.

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