You get to do the Lightning-in-a-Bottle thing once. Our time was 2010. I am very happy about that & don't expect it to happen again. The odds are worse than 1 in 30. Probably, 3 years out of 4, a really good team wins it all. The other year is the lightning-in-a-bottle year. Therefore, the odds of lightning-in-a-bottle are about 1 in 120.
You build consistent success by investing in sizable improvements. When you have the resources to do so, there is no excuse for not doing so. Otherwise, you will sink back into the mediocre mire.
The 2011 Texas Rangers provide a great example of how to run an MLB Team. As Mark pointed out a couple of weeks ago, reaching the World Series in consecutive seasons is an amazing feat. As happy as I am that the Cardinals won, I still give the Rangers credit for getting there again, & getting there in the way that they did.
Between the 2010 & 2011 seasons, Texas acquired Adrian Beltre to, effectively, replace an aging Vlad Guerrero. And, in one of the less-noticed, but substantial moves of the off-season, they acquired Mike Napoli to replace the retiring & chronically ineffective Bengie Molina. This transformed their lineup from powerful to over-the-top powerful. That 3 through 7 of Hamilton, Young, Beltre, Cruz, & Napoli was a core 5 right up there with any team in recent memory. They also found some fine pitching, both in-house & via the trade market. Picking up Mike Adams was the best move that they made in mid-season. They knew that Cliff Lee was going to be gone, but they knew that they had the arms to replace him (besides, he lost both games in the World Series!).
Meanwhile, after a cruddy 2011 season (although not cruddy at the box office or in sales of merchandise), we are tossing around lightweight moves (e.g. Bloomquist, Carroll, now Barmes). Our team should be thinking much bigger than that, or we will be back in the mediocre mire.
I am only OK with turing SS over to Crawford, if we sign Beltran. Otherwise, Crawford needs to go to Fresno. Signing a Rollins for 2 years (first year as a starter, second year as a part-time starter & mentor) makes sense to me. Getting a real 5th starter (Mark Buehrle is my latest favorite, but others would work out well), so that we are not trotting Barry Zito out there & praying, should be on our list.
We need to decide whether we are going for consistent success, or just waiting for our next turn at lightning-in-a-bottle, which may take 30 to 120 years. I'm for trying to guarantee continued success.