Archive for December, 2008

12/29/08: Of COURSE Drayton McLane Wants A Salary Cap

Monday, December 29th, 2008

As he told Brian McTaggart:

“We would love to have a salary cap, but the (players’) union has been very resistant to that.”

Well, duh.

All a salary cap would do is transfer even MORE profit from the players to the owners. Naturally, the billionaires WANT to pay the players the least amount of money possible. Salary caps don’t say that any team HAS to spend that much money. The Lorias of the owners will still be allowed to put a 30 million dollar team on the field and pocket 30-40 mill a year in profit.

According to Forbes, the Astros have made a minimum of 75 mill profit over the past 5 years. But Drayton is crying poverty? He wants to pay the players even less and keep even MORE?

Please.

He decided a long time ago that he would pocket even more $$$ by essentially ignoring the minor leagues and signing FA stars to attract paying customers to the ballpark.

Speaking of ignoring minor league development, I ran across this very interesting article from Amalie Benjamin, one of the Red Sox beat reporters, (yes, of course I’m pimping grrrrrls stuff) writing about that Organizations decision to make the effort AND SPEND THE MONEY to sign and develop their minor league system. Yeah, I know I hate the Sux, but still, think how much better off the Astros would be right now if Drayton had bothered to invest some of that 75 mill into the minors.

I don’t understand why it is that so many people actually REALLY want the owners to keep more of the profit generated by MLB than they already do. Baseball players keep THE lowest percentage of revenue generated by any of the 4 big sports. They should keep even less, now, WHY? It is so important that baseball players:owners = coal miners:mine owners back in the 1800s WHY???

If it is not a question of the actual number of dollars that a player is paid, but a question of wanting every one of the 30 teams to essentially be the same, have a .500 ball club and the winner determined essentially by luck/injuries, then a salary cap won’t do that. You would absolutely need to have every dollar of revenue split between 30 teams and have a salary floor and salary cap set each year dependent on the revenues from the year before, with a certain pre-determined percentage going to the players, a certain percentage going for amateur bonuses, a certain percentage going for minor league/player development and a certain percentage for owner profit. No team could make more by any means whatsoever (can you say Wrigley Field Premium Tickets) than any other team.

Besides,

I sure as heck don’t see parity in the NBA. The networks/owners seem to WANT the same 4 teams to win every year (one of the reasons they hate Mark Cuban). And I sure as heck don’t see parity in the NFL, either. Parity means that over a 10 year period, there should never be any dominant team and every team should have the same record as every other team.

Right

The NFL exists for gambling and if every team is exactly like every other team, pretty hard for a gambling organization/company to predict outcomes. It will never happen.

Interesting that Richard Justice isn’t the only one to write that they are glad that the Yankees are spending all that money, and that Yankee dominance is a good thing because they are so popular.

But popularity is a chicken and egg thing. The Yankees weren’t particularly popular in the 80s/early 90s because they were not winning and they CERTAINLY were not the away draw they currently are. SURE they drew more than a losing team, but there were no sellout guarantees as there are now. Winning teams draw fans and crowds. Teams who mentioned, praised, broadcast incessantly draw fans. I have pointed out that increasingly over the past 5-6 years, ESPN/Fox have covered Yankees/RedSox/Mets/Cubs to the point where the vast majority of their broadcast time is centered on those teams. Certainly that increases their popularity.

Access/face is key. Does anyone believe that appearing on WGN had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Cubs increased popularity? Or the Braves acquiring a national fan base because of WTBS? When every single Braves game was broadcast, I knew the names and stats of every single player because I watched all those games. The Braves decline in popularity conincides exactly with the decision of Time Warner to stop broadcasting games, or at least, most games AND the decision of ESPN to pimp their big 4.

Anyway, back on the Astros, McLane isn’t competing with the Yankees anyway, so he certainly doesn’t NEED to spend to keep up with them. In fact, the average of all NL teams spends less, about 15 mill a year less, on salaries than the average AL team, even omitting Yankees. He doesn’t need to worry about them. He NEEDS to spend some of that vast profit on the minor league system and not throw away 5 perfectly good cheap young players for the likes of Miguel Tejada.

And anyway, he and Fast Eddie are very optimistic about the team’s chances this year because they have added some high character guys. Isn’t that special. Personally, I’d prefer a few good pitchers/hitters…

Oh yeah – last but not least – take a guess which team has made the LEAST profit over the past 5 years?

Yep. The Yankees….

11/22/08: Checking The Killed-Bs Platoon At Third

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

A certain someone wrote me an email, saying that I hadn’t been really fair to either Blum or Boone, as I had given their total stats, not ther stats as they wold be if platooned.

Ok, a reasonable point.

Let’s check out the prowess of the Blum-Boon-no platoon.

Let’s say that Blum will ONLY hit against rightys and Boone ONLY against leftys. Now, these guys have been playing in the majors for over 10 years and have long since passed any peak they might could have, so I will concentrate on their numbers over the past 3 years, and also, please remember that in 06, Boone was in the AL.

Let’s also assume that these guys will hit 6th or 7th (well, if they hit 5th, this team in massively SERIOUS trouble) with a lineup of Matsui, Bourn/Erstad, Berkman, Lee, Tejada, Pence, Blumboono, some suckulous catcher, pitcher.

I will assume, for fun, that no one else will get one AB at third, that the #6/7 hitter will get 3.5 PAs/game average (567 PA) and that 20% of pitchers faced will be leftys. Therefore, Blum will get 454 PA (oh dear LORD) and Boone 113 PA. I will also assume (because I am not swift enough to do Marcel projections which would show that given the fact that these guys are past their peak and a year older, that the numbers would actually most likely be a bit lower) that they will equal their past 3 year average:

Blum (06-08) 827 PA, 41 double, 3 triple, 23 HR, 54 BB, 124K: .254/.302/.405/.707

- 454 PA, 23 doubles, 2 triples, 12 HR, 26 BB, 64 K (yeah, I know. He’s not had that many PAs since 03, when Jimy Williams preferred him to a much superior Mo Ensberg. I should most definitely mention that he GIDP 15 times that year.) And his past 3 years average almost exactly mirrors his lifetime stats vs RHB: .254/.313/.393/.706.

Boone (06-08) 245 AB: 13 double, 1 triple, 6 HR, 34 BB, 45 K: .265/.364/.400/.764 (historically, Boone has hit better vs rightys than leftys, but I guess his knee accident in 04 changed his stance/stroke, either that, or he got older…)

- 113 PA: 6 doubles, 3 HR, 18 BB, 23 K

We are talking an average of around .720 OPS from the 3rd base position, with a .403 SLG. Take a guess on the average OPS for the NL third basemen last year (hint – a LOT higher than .720.)

sigh

Well, I thought I’d take a look at their numbers vs NL Central teams over the past 3 years:

Team…..(PA)…..Blum…………….(PA)…Boone

Cubs:—-(59).200/.250/.327/.577——(18).357/.500/.571/1.071
Cards:—(72).294/.333/.458/.818——(24).182/.231/.318/.549
Reds:—-(76).250/.286/.444/.730——(28).261/.393/.391/.784 
Brewers:-(58).321/.373/.566/.939——(43).195/.233/.293/.526
Bucs:—-(57).235/.310/.373/.683——(44).171/.227/.268/.495

Yeah, I know, small sample size.

Boone has spent the last 2 years in the NL East and Blum, 2 of the last 3 in the NL West, the other in the NL Central.

Still, these guys can’t hit PIRATES pitchers?????!!!!

Then again, I don’t know whether or not they were facing leftys or rightys for these ABs.

Just the same, I see nothing that would inspire confidence. But, you know, thre is nothing that would stop the Astros from signing some other hitters later in the year and DFA Boone in Spring Training. But I guess that would be wishful thinking, as Richard Justice is busy commending their grit and heart. Which are nice things to have, but I sure wish they also had bats and gloves to accompany them…

12/19/08: Boone And Blum To Replace Wigginton As 2009 Astros Third Basemen

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Chris Johnson has a chance, says Fast Eddie. Yeah, to be a year older next year. Aaron Boone has been signed to be our new RH 3B (and other infield positions, which he can’t play.) You see, he’s 500K cheaper than Mark Loretta. Way to go on the savings there Eddie.

Well, I guess it was Boone or Chris Gomez. JUST what the Astros need to win that championship Drayton McLane is always blathering about. I was surprised to see that Boone is only 34/35 – I thought he was around 40.

I remember him as a Red – he was traded in 03 for Brandon Claussen, a Yankee pitching prospect (back then, prospects weren’t exactly valued highly by Organizations like the Yankees, who wanted only All-Stars on their team and if a pitcher didn’t come up and pitch lights out every time, he GONE) and hit the game ending homer in the infamous Pedro – Grady Little game. I remember that game and I SWEAR that I said to my husband at the minute that Grady Little allowed Pedro to stay in – well, there goes the ballgame. Grady Little is THE Moron-est Moron EVAH, I mean, he King Of The Maroons – our 18 month twins KNOW Pedro NEEDED to be pulled – well, the Sox just lost.

Of course, that was back before Red Sox Nation rose to its most awful awfulness and I actually rooted for them to beat the Yankees, whereas now, I just root for them to beat each other into a mush and descend into a never ending vortex of suckulous suckitude for all eternity. Of course then, BBTN/ESPN/Fox would make their entire baseball show – So, how are the Red Sox/Yanks sucking more today than yesterday? Let us count the ways for the next 55 minutes of the show, then we’ll go to a 10 second recap of any other teams, who for some reason, still play. Oh and here’s the latest Update on the Yankees who are currently behind by 22 runs, undoubtedly because of A-Rod, whose fault everything always is.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. Thinking about Aaron Boone immediately causes the thought of “suckage” to jump to mind.

His OPS+ with Cincy (starting in 98, his first full season- well, almost full season)

98, 92, 105, 109, 93, 105 (yeh, doesn’t look like a 3B’s numbers should, hunh?)

He missed the 04 season with knee surgery, then signed a 2 year deal with the Indians as Casey Blake was out in 05. He put up an 82 OPS+, then in 06, in a part time role, a 77 OPS+ (yeh, not great.)

He was a bench guy for the Marlins in 07 and over 228 PA, put up a 113 OPS+ and last year, for the Nats, as a utility guy, put up a 77 OPS+ over 255 PA (and he was also injured and on the DL for 5 weeks.)

sigh

Remember how much all yall HATED Mo Ensberg? Beacuse he walked? Well, You’ll LUUUVVVV ol Aaron, because like most of the other Astros, he seldom walks – only 303 over 4319 lifetime PA. He’ll strikeout a bit less than, say Michael Bourn, but his rate isn’t much lower. Oh yeah, and he’s spent the past 2 years mostly PH and playing first base.

Great.

Jason Michaels. Aaron Boone.

Looks like we’ve been vaccinated against catching pennant fever…

12/17/08: Astros Add Final Piece Of The Puzzle In Jason Michaels

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Hello there fellow Astros fans!!! I’m sure you are sharing in the incredible excitement of acquisition of the newest Astro, Jason Michaels!!!!! Yessiree, the Astros just signed Jason Michaels to be the 5th OF – JUST what we needed after losing Ty Wigginton and Mark Loretta and, uh – well, um, well, why NOT sign an unnecessary OF when we actually NEED an infielder and, uh, um, well, let’s look at the stats:

Remember how I used to grouse about Phil Garner and his fetish for ex-Tigers? Well, Ed Wade is getting the players and you know where he used to be and seem he’s got a fetsh for acquiring ex-Phillies…

Jason Michaels, RHB, will turn 33. He was a 4th round pick of the Phils in 98 and had a cup of coffee in 01. He made the ML roster in 02 as a 5th OF, had a 120 OPS+ over 121 PA. 15 of his 28 hits went for extra bases and he drew 13 walks.

In 03, he had a better year, a 162 OPS+ over 125 PA with 16 of his 36 hits going for extra bases and he drew 15 walks (yep, another Astro who won’t/can’t walk.)

He played more in 04, but didn’t do as well with the bat, a 98 OPS+ over 346 AB with 42 BB and 80 K.

He had a breakout year in 05, still as a 4th OF, 343 PA, 110 OPS+, .304/.399/.415/.807 with 22 of his 88 hits going for XBH and 44 BB/45 K.

Fast Eddie traded him to Cleveland after the 05 season for middle reliever/failed closer Arthur Rhodes. The Indians intended to use him as a fulltime RF, and they did, before discovering that he wasn’t a full time guy – either that or he was wiped out by the awesome pitching of the Royals. He had an 85 OPS+ over 548 PA – 32 doubles and 9 HR, 43 BB, 101 K.

He essentially repeated his numbers in 07 in half the PA (.714 OPS 85 OPS+)

The Indians traded him to the Pirates last May for some nobody, and in 254 PA, he was even worse, an 82 OPS+ and a .228/.300/.382/.682 line.

Doesn’t look as if he’s much of a fielder, has pretty low zone rating numbers. But for some reason, I seem to remember him having a pretty good arm, although I might could be mis-remembering.

Ah well. Yet another “proven veteran…”

12/13/08: Ty Wigginton Is Non-Tendered

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Well, I got that one wrong. Here and I thought it would be Backe who was non-tendered.

It’s all about Drayton’s 20 mill a year profits. I guess that basically Tejada wasn’t tradeable without Drayton gulping a huge chunk of the money and that Valverde couldn’t be replaced by anyone available in a trade.

SOMEone is definitely going to sign Wiggy, and it might could even be for more than 1 year.

I guess we ARE gonna sign some cheapo Jose Castillo type 3B and watch him suck. Blum can’t play 3rd full time. Or else Chris Johnson could be promoted from AA – youneverknow. I just hope he doesn’t get Towlesed. Because if you don’t come up in the the bigs and hit .280 at LEAST right away, you are done for – permanently. Unless, of course, Fast Eddie traded the top NL closer for you and he got his ego tied up in you.

And speaking of CF, Reggie Abercrombie was also non-tendered (no surprise) and they want to sign him to another minor league deal, just as they did last year.

Backe IS a starting pitcher and we ALL know plenty of pitchers who pitched lousy and weren’t DFA’d. He’s only 30 and hey, he COULD be used/traded. But youneverknow after the way Fast Eddie was, um, not exactly praising him to the media at the meetings.

And yeah, I KNOW that Willy Taveras was non-tendered. And I do NOT wanna hear about how we NEED him back. No we do NOT. He couldn’t even make it as a full time CF for Colorado.

I can’t imagine how bad this lineup is gonna be – Quintero, who hits worse than Ausmus with an A-ball backup catcher, Blum/Castillo/minor leaguer at third (and remember all the screaming with hate at Mo Ensberg back when he had an 830 OPS because he struck out/walked too much?!!!) and Godknowswho offn the bench??!!

sigh

And I sure didn’t hear ol Draytie-poo respond to Roy-O’s offer to re-structure his contract so that we could sign a top pitcher. Seems that way too many teams have decided that they’ll let the 4 money teams sign all the top $$$ FA, then they’ll just suck along with everyone else and they’ll be in the race for second, which is just as good.

sigh

12/11/08: The Rich Get Richer And The Astros Get A Pitcher The Royals Don’t Want

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Here we go again. Sorry, but that was the only line that posted from an entire entry don’t ask me why, but I’m too angry to rewrite the entire thing again, so here goes.

The Yanks threw 161 mill at Sabathia and in spite of his talk about wanting to hit, wanting to stay in Milwaukee/go home to California, in the end, either he and/or the Union took the most money and there you are.

shrug

However, the Brewers, possibly in a total state of sulk, decided to gift the Yankees, after they took their star pitcher, with their outstanding CF, Mike Cameron, in exchange for the Yankees lousy CF Melky Cabrera, so he can stink up their lineup cheaply for the next 3 years. Hey, they should just hand them Ryan Braun for Andy Phillips or Brett Gardner or something while they’re at it.

And the Mets got a setup guy/backup closer to augment Frankie Rodriguez – JJ Putz from the Mariners for suckulous middle reliever Aaron Heilman (and change.) No wonder these guys think the rest of baseball should kiss their butts – the rest of baseball DOES.

Now Gerry Hunsicker pulled off a decent trade – starter Edwin Jackson, a guy with all this “potential” and “stuff” with not much to show for it, to the Tigers for highly regarded AAA infielder Matt Joyce.

While Fast Eddie has done his best to trade Tejada and Wiggy and gotten nothing to show for it (toldja that Drayton McCheap was cutting payroll, not increasing it) he did pick up some slag off the waiver wire/Rule V heap:

Jeff Fulchino, RH SP, age 29, off waivers from the Royals. He was picked by the Marlins in the 9th round of the 01 draft, then signed as a 6 year minor league FA by the Royals last year. He has spent the last 4 years (mostly) in AAA, which doesn’t say much for their AAA staffs, I’ll say that. Here are his ERA/WHIP over those years: 5.06/1.61; 4.50/1.43; 5.83/1.67; 4.84/1.60. About the only good thing I can say about him is that he has always had a very low HR rate – 0.7/9 IP. And yeah, he has thrown 14.1 dreadful innings in the majors, just in case you were curious.

Lou Palmisano, C, age 26, picked in the Rule V from the Orioles, in spite of the fact that he was with the Brewers. Don’t ask me to explain that one. Lou hasn’t hit higher than AA, had a .787 OPS in 07, and was hurt last year and spent it split between Rookie and A ball. He did hit .407 over 13 games in the AFL, which means so much to Fast Eddie that he is talking about Palmisano competing with Quintero. And Quintero is a worse hitter than Ausmus, which tells you that Towles is finished as far as the Astros are concerned. Naturally, they won’t trade the guy and try to get something of value, they’ll just let him rot in AAA as a punishment for failing last year.

Andrew Locke, 1B/OF, age 26, picked in the Rule V from the Dodgers, who selected him in the 19th round of the 05 draft. He hasn’t exceeded high A, and his OPS last year was .843. Can’t see the guy sticking on the ML roster all year. 

Gilbert De La Vara, LH RP, age 24, picked in the Rule V from the Royals (WHAT is the obsession with the Royals castoffs????!!!!) Anyway, he was picked in the 15th round of the 04 draft. Unlike the others, this guy looks as if he might could possibly stick – he’s thrown 259 innings over 4 years with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He split last year between high A and AA and pitched quite well – 77 IP with only 1 HR, 56 H, 17 BB, 52 K. He must be a contact pitcher, probably a GB pitcher, seing as how he gave up so few homers, and in fact, has only give up 13 homers over the past 4 years. He’s Wesley Wright sized and all yall KNOW I rootrootroot for the little guy…

With all the owners except Yankees and Mets pretending they are poor, guess they are waiting out the players, hoping they will get desperate and sign for peanuts toward Spring Training.

Roy Oswalt has apparently offered to re-do his contract if Drayton will sign a good starting pitcher. But that might could mean that Drayton would have to actually spend money, so I’m not holding my breath.

sigh

12/9/08: Loretta Signs With Dodgers; Astros Replace Him With Kata

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

He’s going to be a backup to Dewitt, (probably) Blake and Hu knows for 1.9 mill.

The Astros have let both Loretta and Newhan go and have signed ex-Diamondback Matt Kata, the very definition of a AAAA guy. Their explanation is that they want someone who can play second AND short, to allow Tejada to have days off. You know, like Burke was there to give Biggio a day off here and there.

It is true that Kata is signed to a cheaper minor league contract, saving around a mill. Isn’t that special. But the guy played 9 games at SS on 07, 1 game in 05, 1 game in 04 and 6 games in 03. HARDLY what I’d call a guy who can “play short.”  His bat isn’t even up to Newhan’s – the guy the Astros chose to keep off the 40 man for fear they might could have to pay him an extra hundred thou.

Kata spent 08 in AAA for the Pirates, who had a lineup FULL of topnotch .300 hitting infielders. And his OPS there was .680. His last stint in the majors was in 07, in which he had 70 AB for the Rangers and 88 for the Pirates with an OPS of .602. Oh WHERE is Brad Ausmus’ mighty bat when you really NEED it?

Seriously, the guys ML line reads .242/.296/.381/.667 – and that is because 288 of his 645 ABs came in 2003, his first year, in which he had a .725 OPS. His very top OPS was .629, 4 years ago.

A SS who can back up Tejada – my butt.

Oh yeah – and forget an Adam Everett comeback – he just signed with the Tigers.

We’d better pray Maysonnet can manage to hit. Tommy Manzella hit AAA pitching worse than Adam Everett did.

Oh yeah – the only decent, cheap FA catcher signed with the Braves. Will be interesting to see who Fast Eddie manages to pick up because from all indications, Towles is finished as an Astro.

12/4/08: Astros Sign Mike Hampton For 2 Mill And Incentives

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

I can handle this fine as long as he’s not penciled in as the #2 guy. I don’t know if this means that Drayton has decided on a cheaper, shorter (hahaha) version of Randy Wolf or not. I am assuming he is going to replace Brandon Backe as the #5 guy.

Backe was barely sustainable as a #5 guy until mid-August, when he clearly just pooped out and flat out sucked.

Now watch – he’ll sign with some other team and throw 200 innings of 120 ERA+ ball or something…

Anyway, Hampton hasn’t pitched much over the past 3 or so years – he tore his elbow in mid 05, had TJ surgery, spent 06 recovering, then tore an oblique in his chest in 07, then tore another piece of his elbow. Then in 08, he tore his pectoral muscle and missed half the season, then came back and threw 78 innings of 88 ERA+ ball.

He’s a GB pitcher, who strikes out few batters and except in Colorado, gave up very few hits/HR/9 IP, but had ERAs around 1.35 because of his walks.

I’d actually be happy to see him return to his 04 performance of 100 ERA+ 170 IP. He’s gonna be 36, Moehler is gonna be 38 and I just hope that Fast Eddie’s plans don’t include getting rid of the 1 “young” guy on the staff, Wandy, age 30.

But who knows, he might, for some reason, prefer veteran Wolf who will be significantly more expensive over the next few years.

Youneverknow.

12/3/08: Astros Don’t Offer Arb To Wolf, Brocail Or Loretta

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Best I understand, the Astros don’t want Mark Loretta back, period. He was paid 3.5 mill this year, and certainly would get an arb raise and they just don’t want to pay for a utility guy, even though they are out there looking for a cheaper one.

They haven’t offered arb to Wolf, because they are afraid he will accept and then they will be stuck having to pay him around 9-10 mill for 1 year – exactly why they think he would be paid less in a multi year contract I do not get, but, they are staying cheap this year. I also guess they think he couldn’t be traded to any of the other clubs trying to sign him neither.

shrug

Doug Brocail was re-signed. He would have gotten 3.25 mill if his option had been picked up. So he was re-signed to a 2.5 mill contract and a 250K buyout for next year if they don’t pick up his option. He is also up for incentives this year, so they actually could end up paying about the same.

This means they won’t spend the couple mill to re-acquire Russ Springer, who has been a better pitcher than Brocail over the last 2 years. The Astros threw him out on his ear a couple years back because they wanted Rick White, who they thought for some strange unknown reason could pitch more than 1 inning AND pitch bettern Springer.

I’m wondering if they are gonna re-sign Backe, then try to trade him, of if they will just non-tender him. They got 10 days to decide…

12/1/08: Arbitration Deadline Today For The Astros

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Cheapo Drayton McLane is already trying to get rid of 2 of the 5 most productive players on the club so that he can sign a #4 pitcher to yet another long term contract – and not spend any more money, either..

Naturally…

He therefore has to decide whether or not to offer arb to Randy Wolf, who earned 7 or 8 mill last year and would get a raise (but at least it would be a 1 year contract) and Doug Brocail, who is a Type A, who earned 2.5 mill last year and, naturally, would get a raise. Heck, the Cheap-stros didin’t even want to pay him the extra 750K to pick up his option, so I have a feeling they will not offer arb – and we won’t get him back and we won’t get draft picks. For goodness sakes, it would make more sense to offer arb – worst comes to worst, he could be traded for even a few lower level prospects.

But Drayton has long been concerned more with cents than sense.

I understand that they don’t want Loretta back, as they certainly don’t want to have to pay him even what he got THIS year, 3.5 mill. They let Newhan go to FA, so I don’t guess he’s coming back. I hope and pray Tomas Perez, one of Eddie’s all time fave ballplayers (he’d be nice and gritty, except he is Latino and it is against the Rules of Grit to be Asian, Latino, Negro, or any combination thereof.)

We have only Geoff Blum, who is NOT a good second baseman nor an adequate third baseman, so I am guessing that the Organization is planning to promote Drew Sutton. SOMEbody has to play second WHEN Kaz goes down right on schedule. Not sure who on earth they are planning to use to give Tejada a rest – I guess Manzella, as Sutton can’t really play short. Maybe Adam Everett??? Who could probably be had for close to minimum, after he was hurt most of last year.

I am starting to believe that the owners are playing a game of chicken with all the players, to see who gets desperate and signs for cheap. It was, after all, Charlie O Finley who said that ALL players should be made FA every single year. And it was, after all, the Union who was just as opposed to that as the owners, who were all opposed to Finley, just on general principles of him being, um, uh, difficult, let’s say.

I am especially thinking this in view of the fact that Drayton-n-Eddie announced that they are, um, dragging their feet on Randy Wolf negotiations. I am thinking that they just really might could want him for just a 1 year deal, youneverknow.

As far as trades, Alyson Footer has written that Carlos Lee has made it more than clear that he will absolutely positively refuse to be traded, that Berkman wouldn’t be real too happy and Roy-O just might could.

At this point, the Astros don’t have enough to go for anything but mediocrity and Drayton will refuse to tear down and rebuild – which, this year, might not be the worst idea, seeing as how the player market is looking lousy.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t much of any baseball news, even at the GM meetings next week neither.

sigh

This is, without question, the slowest offseason I can ever remember. And it will be VERY interesting to see what happens with ticket sales, not just here, but all over the league…