The advent of free agency in North American sports brought about one particular form of win-now team building. Namely, grab a bunch of older veteran players with (theoretical) capability, and hope for the best. I’ve dubbed it the “Wheeze Kids” approach, after the nickname given to the 1983 Phillies. Built around a 42 year old Pete Rose, a 39 year old Joe Morgan, and a 41-year old Tony Perez, they made it to the World Series (only to lose to a young Cal Ripken’s Orioles).
Sometimes the Wheeze Kids approach succeeds. More often it serves as an expensive failure, albeit one that the players and their agents aren’t exactly too worked up about thanks to the paychecks. Whatever its worth in the actual world, I love assembling teams of “wheeze kids” in simulations, to see just how viable aging players remain.
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