Has the honeymoon been short? Absolutely. Do we seem excessively cranky after Sternberg's first 15 months on the job? Perhaps.
But you can blame - and haven't we all - Naimoli for that.
Maybe I'm still enjoying the "honeymoon" or still infatuated with the fact that Naimoli is gone from the throne, but being "excessively cranky after Sternberg's First 15 months on the job" and ending the honeymoon short is as impatient as some of our hitters. Hell, if I wanted to read people continually bash "the plan", I'd go to a few indy Rays blogs and the SP Times' Message Boards(which come complete with long-winded poetic diatribes by a username of "Don Quixote", who on occasion is hilarious). I just think that Rays fans have unjustly given up on the new ownership, just because we're not spending.
On what? Tony Armas Jr.? David Riske? Octavio Dotel?
So how else are we going to acquire players? Waivers and Trades, which can be crapshoots, are the only ways that I see. With those choices, you don't always get the best returns. The Rays basically have 2 things right now, tons of young players with immense upsides and a few old fogies (Fossum and Miceli, with the possibilities of Al Reyes and Shinji Mori) that could be traded. Unless we're blown out of the water for the Young Guys or Ned Colletti makes a run for more of the Rays' old players, it's safer if we see what we can do with our own players and "wait out" for better trade offers.
With Waivers pick-ups, which have been "money" (taking a word from the Tony Dungy Thesaurus to describe Adam Viniateri) for us lately, fans don't really "see" good things coming out of it. Most believe it to be the team "going the cheap route", instead of looking for players. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ty Wiggington was a better overall player for the Rays than Travis Lee was. Lee was a Free Agent, Wiggy was a waiver pick-up. With Hee Seop Choi, Carlos Pena, Jason Grabowski, Scott "The Dohbermann" Dohmann, Steve Anderade and Dustan Mohr, we've got more chances to get a few good players that we'll end up looking smart by looking into the waiver wire. I know that it may be "the cheap route", but some players work and play harder when they know that they're running out of chances to get a "big league job".
2007 is a new year, while the roster may not really be different from last year's, and the Rays may shock us all or they might lose more games/show little improvement. However, giving up on the team because all some fans see is "salary dumps, cheap deals and more prospects" is just preposterous and a bit hypocritical after not really making a stink for most of the Naimoli/LaMar "Baby Elephant (Graveyard) Walk".
Give them a chance, John, you may be surprised.