Paul DePodesta talks about the value of having a plan here.
This has been one of the constant refrains of Baseball Prospectus for the entire time I've been reading it. Good teams always set themselves apart by having a plan. Plans change, but you always have one. In fact, the best plans include plans for when the plan will change. Bad teams are aimless -- look at the things the Pirates and Giants have done in recent years and tell me there's a plan. Or the Mariners. Or the Knicks, to cross sports.
The A's, as bad as they've been the last two years (and they haven't been that bad -- not even bottom ten), still give their fans hope because there's clearly a plan. The same seems like it can be said about the Rangers these days.
Now, obviously teams without plans have short-term success too, like the Dodgers or the Cavaliers. But over a five-year period, I'll take Arizona to win more games than Los Angeles, and the Pistons to win more games than the Cavaliers.
Beaneball by Jason Wojciechowski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.