There's really nothing to defend here. It's not the end of the world, true, but Cleary doesn't need defending or "Can you really blame him for ___"ing, and certainly Holland doesn't need any more people slobbering over his inflated legacy and ego. The guy didn't build the '97 team (wasn't even GM), didn't build the '98 team, bought the '02 team (though, credit where it's due), and miiiiiight have been the chief architect of the '08 team (but Bowman and Nill were still around and pieces from previous teams - e.g. '97 - were still on the roster). Holland's really done nothing recently to prove that he's a top GM. We could praise the fact that he doesn't make moves for the sake of making moves, but, actually, he does. We could say some quality kids were drafted by his regime, but I give the bulk of the credit to the scouting and development people.
Ken Holland is a myth. I don't want that to be true. I want to believe he's a genius and that he's 300 steps ahead of everyone. But, really, he just re-signs guys he knows and keeps the kids down as long as possible, hoping it all adds up to another postseason appearance. That's The Ken Holland Plan.
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