The best major league teams have a great combination of youth and veteran support that mutually feed each other. The veterans provide guidance for the youngsters and the yougsters give energy that the veterans can feed off of. It was highly evident with Blanco and Soto last year, Maddux with Dempster/Zambrano and went the other way with Karros in '03 or Edmonds last year.
With that being said, the youngest player on the roster is Esmailin Caridad who is 25 years of age born 10/28/83. Soto is next behind being born January of that year. Everyone else is well over 26 years of age.
As aformentioned, the veteran/youngster support goes both ways and needs to be balanced. It's safe to say that the balance is way too far tilted towards the veterans. Ramirez, Bradley, Soriano, Lee, Dempster and Lilly are all over 30 and there's a huge group of players that are either 28 or 29. I'd like to create an anology and compare all these veterans to gasoline, but with no youth to provide a spark and fully expose their potential.
So what do we need... We need more of Sam Fuld playing his heart out, diving face first into fences. We need Gorzo out there challenging a strong Dodgers lineup and prevailing. If these youngsters show they mean business and want a starting spot on the roster, its going to force the veterans to be accountable for their actions.
When September 1st comes around, I'd like to see some callups of true youngsters like Stevens, Gaub or possibly even some AA guys. I think these callups could help us with a spark in the final stretch.
To conclude our situation: We've got a bunch of veterans with locked up contracts with management giving no interest in giving youngsters a shot. Forget playing Soriano or Miles, and let the best players compete for their spot in the lineup. Until then, I think Jim Hendry's best acquistions this offseason may be at the Scooter Store.