Big Ben has built quite a unique resume. One U.S. championship (Isn't it slightly arrogant to even call the World Series the "WORLD" series) sandwiched between potentially two of the worst Red Saux teams in our lifetime. I'm sure 100% of Saux fans will take a 1 to 2 awesome to awful ratio if it meant a US championship (what other countries participate in this series that crowns the World champion) every three years.... but how often will the Saux formula, signing FA's that were unable to secure long term contracts from the 29 other teams, really work. Basically, the Saux are limiting themselves to the defective players pile....AKA...the land of misfit toys. Lightning struck long and hard in '13, congrats for that, but based on the two seasons sandwiched around the US championship (why doesn't the MLS call their winner World champion) the law of averages will slowly reflect the truth of who the Saux really are. So what about Cherington...the GM. Is the new "limited contract" philosophy really his philosophy or is he just the loyal employee executing ownership's decree. Who could blame Henry and Co.for shying away from contracts that can crush a team's long term future. The fact remains, Big Ben carries the GM title and therefore deserves the scrutiny his title attracts......and in two out of the last 3 years, his teams are/were bottom feeders despite a top 5 payroll each and every year. I realize the master plan involves creating a new core of skilled/cheap players from the minor league system....which so happens to be the plan of ever team in MLB except the NYY and LAD....and from a cost effective stand point that sounds spectacular, but the savings this formula is supposed to provide apparently only gets deployed on players that all teams rejected as long term options....in other words...a diminished talent pool. To summarize..the Saux future....lots of rookie/sophomore types learning to be MLB every day players plus the best of the unwanted. How often can lightning be caught in the bottle? Big Ben has a tough job. Ownership has limited his available options based on the "no long term contracts"....and because of the '13 miracle ( I call it that because the parts were not nearly as good as the whole ...JMO), ownership will grasp even tighter to this new model ....until a few more especially bad seasons change the plan. It's looking like Ben has two in the hopper after 3 years.