Posted on: August 13, 2008 7:48 am

.500 ... Now What?!

    The Astros have finally climbed and clawed back from the miserable season that was starting to take place.  The Astros are 16-8 since the break and are currently riding a 5 game win streak where thay have outscore their opponents by a combined score of 47-23.  During the past two series we have Lost Carlos Lee but Lance Berkman has rekindled his torrid start to the season, with a homer Sunday and a Grand Slam last night.  Even with the current success of the 'Stros, what can we truly hope for?  Their dismal middle part of the season buried them behind the Cubs, Cards and Brewers.  They currently stand eight games back of the boys in Milwaukee and 11 1/2 behind the Cubs.  With 43 games left to play, what can we expect the Astros?  Can we expect them to post an 85-90 win season?

    It can be done.  Even if the Astros play just above .500 ball the rest of the way you're going to get 21-22 more wins this year, giving them a record of 82-80 or somewhere in that range.  If they can manage just a few more wins that 85-90 win season is not all that unlikely.  Although it would be nice to finish strong, the recent Carlos Lee injury let's us have an opportunity to put some things into perspective.

    Forget the September call ups ... these guys need to finish the season playing everyday in the field with the big club:
    1. Mark Saccamano ... 3B ... good power numbers (25 HR, 75 RBI) so far with Round Rock, and a good OPS (.870) to go with it.
    2. JR Towles ... C ... we are not going to re-sign Ausmus and Quintero is not a long term answer ... let the kid finish it out with the big club
    3. Val Majewski ... OF ... .328 AVG and .419 OBP and 1.081 OPS during his stint at the AAA club

    The Astos organization has been stripped because of recent trades and we need to begin the process of seeing what we have left in the tank.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 11, 2008 4:43 pm

BONDS? In an Astos uniform ...

I have very strong feelings about King Barry and his tainted record. You can say what you want about having no physical evidence for a conviction, but in the court of the common man ... he's guilty by a preponderance of the evidence. These are some very fancy words that some lawyer came up with to basically state that the evidence may not prove he's 100% percent guilty, but it's damn close in the the eyes of the common man (and women)

This being said, here a few other beliefs,McGwire and Sosa juiced, Rose bet on his own team and should still be in the Hall of Fame and Jim RIce keeps getting screwed along with Ron Santo every year. With every passing day, guys like myself are growing tired of pencil necked, pocket protector wearing guys like Scott Van Pelt and Mike Tirico getting to force feed us our sports news. These guys could never play ball on the national stage ... so why would I want their opinion on the goings on of baseball today? Give me Eddie Mathews' or Nolan Ryan's opinions in the news. That would sell better.

Now here's the meat of what I a saying ... the beat writers (pencil neck geeks and statisticians) and reporters are pushing this story of Bonds and the Astros, not one major leaguer believes it nor would make the deal to make this happen. Take that into account before you go on getting upset.

Bonds will NOT be an Astro ... ever. McClane and Wade have screwed up too much this year allready. It's time to let the healing begin, not open more wounds.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 7, 2008 7:41 am
Edited on: August 7, 2008 7:45 am

What went wrong ...


It happens all the time in sports. We ask the question, "What went wrong?" We will sit for hours online reading a beat writers report on the mishaps of our team and to listen to the baseball analysts talk about the down-ward spiral of the organization. A great example for the past decade has been the New York Yankees. One reason we talk about the Yankees so much is that they are the New York Yankees and there is a bias to east coast sports teams (do not try to deny this fact). The Bombers haven't won a World Series in how many years? 12? Each time that they fail we analyze what went wrong. Many times we over analyze to the point that the media forces the hand of the owner and organization is forced to "make changes" for the better of the franchise. But was letting Joe Torre really the answer to bringing the title back to New York? Was Joe GIrardi the best choice as his replacement?

So let's, just for argument's sake, look at Houston organization and ask the same question, "what went wrong". I have read blog after blog, report after report and heard tirade after tirade from hordes of the Astros faithful who are blaming Ed Wade for the current condition of the organization. Is this true? Is Ed Wade to blame? Yes and No. Here's where I get to put my two cents in.

Yes, Ed Wade made some head scratching moves during the course of this season so far, and a few during the course of this past off season. I can't really say that this was all Ed Wade ... some of these move have the odor of Drayton McLane, uberowner, all over them. Miguel Tejada has been in the Astros sights for several seasons now, Hunsicker and Purpura were right to not deal away all the boys down on the farm for him. With Wade, McLane got a 'yes man', a guy who will do exactly what ownership wants him to do.

I feel that the LIdge deal was a disaster. Michael Bourn and Geoff Geary was what we got in return. Good trade? Not even close. This reeks of Ed Wade. Bourn was the Willie Tavers / Juan Pierre of the Phillies organization. The problem I have with this trade is that Bourn had approx 170 something at bats with the Phils last year. If he truly was the super savior in center field for the Phillies then why play Victorino and Werth ahead of him last year.

Look I understand that Wade is looking for supplemental picks in next years draft, that's why he got Wolf and Hawkins. Let's look at this logically. Geoff Blum, Mark Loretta are probably gone after this season. If Wolf and Hawkins perform up to their usual and previous records then all four, Blum, Loretta, Wolf and Hawkins, will become Type B free agents (more than likely) giving us some extra picks in the draft. Wigginton could be a Type A free agent if he declines arbitration and heads elsewhere. That's five picks. Not bad for a dim witted general manager.

Look, I am not an Ed Wade fan, but he did build a very fruitful organization in Philadelphia. Howard, Rollins, Utley, Victorino and Hamels are home grown prospects that came up through the Phils' organization, so I can see a method to Wade's madness. But, as a fan I fight the urge to start the blame game.

The bottom line is that the players, themselves, have to be held accountable for the wins and losses. They play the games. Not the general managers. So, let's give Wade this next off-season to see if he can put things into perspective for us, as fans. Don't hang him just yet. I know I've posted here and there saying "fire Ed Wade!", but I am prone to make mistakes as well.
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