The team needs it. The game last night – ohmigawd – after one out in the third, I just couldn’t watch and watched the replay this morning – mostly in fast forward because that way it wasn’t so painful. And I’m gonna leave it RIGHT there. My mama always told me if you don’t have anything good to say about somebody, don’t say it at all.
OK. Here goes – Chad Harville looked good. Brad Lidge looked good.
San Diego made THREE errors and we didn’t make any.
We’re off to LA. They started off the year strong, but the pitching didn’t hold up, JD Drew got injured (I’m shocked, SHOCKED) and so did a LOT of other hitters and Gagne is out for the year. So they are NOT winning. Of course I know yall read about the, um, difficulty between Jeff Kent and Milton Bradley. It doesn’t seem likely to me that Kent singled out Milton because of his race – Kent strikes me as an equal opportunity jerk.
Milton made a good point that a “leader” needs to lead on and off the field and Kent’s refusal to speak to other players in the clubhouse, except to yell at them, is pretty well documented both in Houston and San Francisco. He said, at least once to a reporter, that he wasn’t a baseball fan and had no friends who were baseball players. Makes a guy hard to get along with. Makes it REAL hard for a young guy to approach a veteran who sits alone in the corner with earphones on reading motocross magazines and ask him for help. Of course, setting a good example by working hard is good, but sometimes, the younger guys benefit from the older ones helping them with their swing, or giving pointers about the other team, or field, or umpires and just yelling at someone after the fact don’t do real too much good.
There’s ways and ways of getting a point across. I have 3 little kids. Imagine how it would be if every single time they made a mistake or were bad or got something wrong (and they’re little kids, so that’s most of the time) I told them how wrong they were with a tone of disgust and contempt and never found anything good to say about something they did well. Gonna have a lot of unhappy, crying kids, who will learn to try not to have anything to do with me as much as possible. And they will have learned that they no good, anyway, so why bother to try to do anything the right way. What kind of thing is that?
Larry Dierker said in his column yesterday that there’s nothing that works as well as a pat on the back. Or as my mama says, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Old as he is, Kent ain’t seemed to have learned that yet.
John Lopez, one of the Houston Chronicle baseball writers, who mentioned me in his own blog yesterday (yes, I’ve hit the BIG time, hunh???!!!) feels that we made a BIG mistake not resigning Kent this year. Me, I’m not so sure – it would have meant keeping Biggio in left (shudder – you don’t want me goin over that again do you – I didn’t THINK so) and keeping Burke in AAA for another year, or trading him for??? Not that Burke is outhitting Kent, I admit, but keeping Bidge and his weak arm and poor bat (for a corner infielder) for 2 more years, which is what McLane has stated that he IS going to do, would not have been the best idea, in my opinion.
I DO think we should have signed Burnitz, a homeboy, who WANTED to play here – good glove, bat and attitude, because we needed a lefty bat, ESPECIALLY since management knew that Berkman was gonna be out for a while and didn’t know when he would start hitting like the old Lance. But we have too many rookies and young guys on our club and Kent sems to get off on yelling at and intimidating guys he can do that to. I’m not sorry he gone.
And John is ALSO worried that Roger, who has, um, lousy run support, might could be REAL unhappy with the way that the Stros didn’t manage to find a decent bat, either before or during the season. Well, absolutely NO doubt they looked foolish with the Carlos the Jackal negotiations and Boras made monkeys out of them. But that doesn’t excuse their inability to try to do ANYTHING.
The pitching -
Phil has said that he intends to skip Wandy twice so that the Big Three can pitch on their usual day of rest. Both Roy and Roger are near the top of the NL in IP and it seems to be that an extra day of recovery might could be a GOOD idea, not a bad one. Backe won’t be returning until Sept 7th at the earliest, so we can’t yank Astacio yet, neither, too bad…
Should Willy Taveras receive serious consideration for ROY?
Well, he does have a BA of 300, 40 something infield hits, 23 SB with 10 CS. BUT, he won’t walk and doesn’t get HBP unlike Biggio, so his OBP is under .350 (really the minimum for a leadoff guy) and he has very few XBH (which would be OK if his OBP was a lot higher and if he had more SB and fewer CS and more RS). I’ve watched this guy field all year and in my opinion, he has NOT improved in his ability to come forward to get hits to shallow center and they almost always fall for hits, he misplays about 1 of every 10 – 15 balls hit to right center (for some reason, a LOT less trouble with left, don’t know why) and I don’t see any evidence that he has stopped Evelynning (missing the cutoff man).
But I’m not the only one not real too impressed – for another take, Tom, a Texan who is living Up There, writes about the Stros he misses and here are his thoughts…