All the national baseball writers are laughing their heads off in print about the Astros insistence that they will not be sellers, but are going to busy acquiring players for our push to the playoffs.
I just love it when my baseball team is one of the national laughingstocks. Like I keep hearing how this team is supposed to have such great offense, but we’re 12th in runs scored in the NL.
All I can say is that either Drayton McLane is seriously insane and he thinks this lousy team has a snowflake’s chance in heck of actually competing for something besides 4th place in the NL, or he figures that this is the only way to keep butts in the seats in the ballpark and keep the season ticket sales strong.
Anyway, Ed Wade just obtained RH RP LaTroy Hawkins from the Yankees for Matt Cusick, our 10th rounder from last year, a 22 year old second baseman who has an .807 OPS in the Sally League.
Fightin Eddie had his little self a rep about his LUUUUVVVV of crappy middle relievers when he was with Philly…
LaTroy is 35, was drafted by the Twins in the 7th round in 91. He threw 20 something innings in 95 and again in 96, then was up for good – he was a starter on those terrible Twins teams of the late 90s – He had a 79, 90 and 76 OPS+ in the 3 years he started – 97-99, and then he was converted to reliever, and he did much better.
If I remember rightly, he was made into the closer in the second part of the year when the original closer went down/sucked and he did well, so he was made the closer the next year, 2001, and he, um, well, let me be a nice sweet grrrl and say he had his ups and downs. And finally, he went back into the setup role, where he excelled.
In 02 and 03 as the setup man, he posted OPS+ of 210 and 243 for the Twins.
He signed as a FA with his “hometown” (actually, he’s from Gary, Indiana, home of the Jacksons, but I digress) Cubs as a setup guy, but ended up closing (again) when the closer (I think it was Borowski) went down. He kind of had a Brad Lidge 06 year with a lower ERA – 25 saves, 7 BS and 3 losses and Cub fans, uh, were not happy – you know how THEY are. Anyway, the hate kind of carried over to the next year and he blew 4 saves and lost 2 more games in spite of his 133 ERA+ so he was traded to the Giants on May 28 for Jeremy Accardo and David Aardsma (who did not exactly excel with the Cubs either.)
He threw 37 innings of 104 ERA+ ball for the Giants and blew 5 saves and lost 4 more games with 1 save.
The Giants traded him to the Orioles at the end of the 05 season and he threw 60 innings of 102 ERA+ ball where he blew 4 saves and won 2 games.
He then signed as a FA with the Rockies for the 07 season and did amazingly better, throwing 55 innings of 140 ERA+ ball – 5 BS, 3 L and 2 W.
He signed a FA contract with the Yankees this year and immediately received an outpouring of hate from Yankees fans when they discovered that he was wearing the uni number of – get this – The Sainted Paul O’Neill – who has been retired for like 8 YEARS. You remember him – the biggest whiner and tantrum thrower I have ever seen play MLB – whined to the umps about every strike call, every strike out, threw bats, stomped around, acted like a 2 year old who needs a nap. And Paulie Poo is HARDLY a guy who deserves to have his number retired, for goodness sakes – he didn’t even last a year on the HOF ballot.
Anyway, LaTroy didn’t exactly do real too good in NY – 41 IP, 5.71 ERA, 1.44 WHIP – but only 1 W and 1 L/BS in his 33 appearances – seems he was used for mopup. He was DFA on the 26th.
Wonder who he’s gonna replace? Yeh, we could REALLY use that 5.71 ERA, we surely could.
Well, at least we didn’t give the Yanks 2 of our best players for some really really crappy AAA/AAAA guys and an A-ball guy who has a serious attitude problem. Or trade our HOF to be catcher who is hitting .295 for Kyle Suckulous Farnsworth. Now watch – this Cusick guy will turn into Joe Morgan and go to the Hall and the Astros will go down in the Hall of Worst Trades Of All Times.
I really need to just get used to the Astros being one of those teams with a lot of lousy major leaguers, empty farms and a big FA signing every year to keep people coming in to the ballpark. Drayton is just not gonna do what he should do – I mean, the guy should look over at the Giants, the Pirates, the Reds.
I’m glad I got to go to playoffs in 04 and I am glad I got to go in 05 and to the WS – I seriously doubt I’m going to see this club sniff playoffs for years and years – with the direction the owner is taking.
I can’t get myself real too Up Set – it is his club and he is here to make money – if he just happens to win, that is gravy. He’s not driven, like Steinbrenner, he just isn’t.
Now I’d like to see if Wade can, for a second, drop his obsession with lousy middle relievers and go get Greg Zaun from the Blue Jays – he wants out of there. Gregg is no Brain McCann, but he’s a HECK of a lot better than Quintero, who SUCKS. He’s 11 fer 57 with 2 doubles, no walks, 6 GIDP and 10 K.