Yep, it has been 1 week since I last posted. What has happened?
Well, Fast Eddie decided that Koby Clemens (age 23, 3B/C/DH at A+) .345/.419/.636/1.055 and Drew Locke (age 26, 2B/OF at AA) .338/.389/.531/.920 weren’t worth putting on the 40 man roster because, hey, who needs guys who can hit? You can add some crappy relievers like – and I am NOT making this up – Evan Englebrook, RH RP, age gonnabe 28, 25 IP over 21 G at AA (for his third year): minor league line over 6 seasons – 3.90 ERA/1.40 WHIP; 8.4 H/9; 0.6 HR/9; 4.2 BB/9; 7.3 K/9 over 448 IP.
Or hows about Jose G. Valdez, RH RP (age almost 27) picked up as a minor league FA from the Yankees, who posted this sterling line at AAA – 19 IP over 9 G: 4.19 ERA/1.71 WHIP (yeah, I know, small sample size) with a career minor league line of 3.58 ERA/1.31 WHIP over 518 IP: 8.7 H/ ; 3.6 BB/9; 6.9 K/9.
You don’t wanna hear about the other 2 guys put on the 40 man.
Fast Eddie has this obsession with picking up crappy relievers by the fistful, then signing crappy bench guys, then worrying about what to do with the ML roster. Me, I’d rather give the Bogusevic/Locke type guys a chance than watch tons of crappy ML rejects flounder around. For every Russell Branyan/Carlos Pena reclamation projects that succeed, there are hundreds of Jason Michaels/Matt Kata ones that don’t.
Natually, the Astros have zero interest in either of the 2 primo OF FA, Bay and Holliday, or the primo FA pitcher, Lackey. I’m sure that at the end of the season, we’ll be sure to sign some more Mike Hampton/Russ Ortiz/Shawn Chacon leftover dreck to keep any young guys who don’t have 1.00 ERA at the end of Spring Training off the starting roster. And we’ll also be sure to sign some more Erstad/Michaels/Cruz Jr. washed up bench guys so as to make sure that no young guy really has a chance.
And I know this because Justice has reported that the Organization told him they expect to be competitive – and around here, that means Old Guys. Until I actually SEE a young guy who isn’t one of Fast Eddie’s pets, like Bourn and Wright, being given any sort of REAL chance, I won’t believe it.
And really, the only news is that the Cubs signed some LOOGY for $$$ and that some other FA IF signed somewhere with someone. I suppose you’d call it “news” that Yankee and Red Sox fans are arguing over how Toronto should be grateful to take the Yankees crappy failed ML pitchers or the Red Sox low minor league guys. And the usual stuff about picking players for the Hall of Fame – how nobody is as good as The Guys Back In The Old Days who used to hit .360 and used to throw 300 innings/year for 20 years and 200 pitches a game every 4 days and still end up with a 2.00 ERA.
Last year, a huge vocal Red Sox fan group managed to convince too many voters that steroid-free Jim Ed Rice induced TEH FEAR!!!!! into hitters to the extent that he deserved HOF admission for his 5 good years in MLB. Did I mention he was steroid-free? And his rages were not roid? This year, it is good pitcher Jack Morris (he won the most games in the decade of the 80s!!!!! and beat the Braves 1-0 in a 10 inning CG in the 01 WS!!!!! nevermind the terrible record he otherwise put up in the postseason) who is getting the push from the baseball writers who are rebelling at the insidious, devisive and poisonous presence of the Keith Law/Rob Neyers of the world who use statistics other than ERA, complete games and !!!wins!!! to evaluate pitchers.
Whatever. I just hope that if roid-free “Old Skool” guys like Morris are going to get in, that hopefully the writers will also elect Andre Dawson and Tim Raines and Fred McGriff (hey, ALL steroid-free!!!! and GOOD GUYS TOO!!!!!) Of course, they will again omit guys like Roberto Alomar (too many teams and career OVAH at 33) and Barry Larkin (didn’t hit as well as A-Rod, which is how all modern SS hit) and Alan Trammell (see Larkin, and no MVPs either) and Bert Blylevin (so what if he was a better all around pitcher in every way than Morris? too many teams and Real Men Pitchers Win Games even without any run support when they pitch for crappy teams and besides, Cy Young votes shouldn’t be given to great pitchers on crappy teams.)
But we know that SOMEbody has got to be elected because MLB needs the pub in the middle of football season and the museum needs the money. Always comes back to money, doesn’t it???
And I hope all yall had a better Thanksgiving than we did. We had to put Phat Stuff Dog to sleep. Remember Phat Stuff? It was right after I brought him home from the pound that the Astros went on their 2004 sudden streak to the finish that gave us an unexpected post-season berth and Phil Garner the undeserved reputation as the guy who turned the franchise around as soon as he got here. I just hope that the Astros post season appearances haven’t been buried with Phat Stuff Dog.