Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year’s Eve 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Sorry no posts – been reviewing all 1700 previous posts because some of them didn’t exactly transfer very well. Had to go back to the old MVN and I have spent the past 3 days frantically copying and posting and I hope HOPE I didn’t miss any entries because after MVN shuts down at midnight, I will have lost them forever.

So if any of all yall go back through my archives (which you SHOULD do – I wrote some GREAT stuff) you will see that a whole LOT of editing is necessary. I’ll be able to take a few months to do that, fortunately.

So, no Astros news, naturally. And I hope you have a SAFE night tonight and don’t go all TLR…

Merry Christmas 2009, Astros Fans!!!

Friday, December 25th, 2009

And Happy Day-off-from-work Day to all yall who are not Christian.

I wanted to (re)write a lil song today (apologies to the Irish Rovers)

Astros got runover by a Drayton,
Coming back from playoffs in 04.
He thought he could out do his own GM,
And shoved Gerry Hunsicker on out the door.

Drayt had been not drinkin’ champagne,
And he told Ger he’d have to go.
Cuz he’d thought since he’d signed Clemens,
Wasn’t nothin bout baseball he didn’t know…

But, all yall tired of that ol song and dance.

So, bolstered by the fact that my children went to bed last night seeing no presents under the tree, and in spite of the fact that they VOWED to stay up/wake up to see this supposed Santa, AND in spite of the fact that they thought they had THOROUGHLY searched both house and garage and found nothing, they awakened this morning to find out that Santa had, indeed, come by and dropped off loads of presents. And oh yes, their surprise and disbelief was quickly overcome with squeals of joy and barks of dogss.

So perhaps, even though we all went to bed on Christmas Eve, seeing nothing but coal in out Astros’ stockings, we may open belated Christmas presents and find that Drayton/Tal/Fast Eddie somehow traded off some spare middle reliever for a GOOD 3rd baseman who can, you know, like hit and swindled the Yankees (PLEEEEEZE God, let it be the Yankees) out of some good pitcher, like the scorned Phil Hughes.

It IS baseball, and youneverknow, perhaps Santa DID have something good in his stocking for us poor Astros fans…

The Yankees Pick Up An Elite Pitcher For Almost Nothing And The Astros DO Nothing

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

For reasons unclear to me, many mainstream baseball writers refer to the 1950s as the “golden Age” of baseball, that is, when the New York Yankees won the WS or agt least were IN the WS every year. The only thing that is “gold” that I can see is the “gold” that went into the pockets of the men who owned the team. It’s no wonder that attendence fell precipitously in the AL. Why watch when the outcome is pre-determined?

In spite of luxury tax and revenue sharing, the Yankees are re-creating the 50s. With income streams from their own network and fancy new taxpayer funded stadium, they purchase the best players and use the rest of the teams to trade for great players who are paid more than they want to pay. So teams are easily and happily trading their good and sometimes CHEAP players (see Curtis Granderson) to the Yankees to avoid paying their salary, and in return for very little.

The Yankees just acquired Javier Vazquez from the Braves for Melky Cabrera, an average hitting and fielding centerfielder and 2 prospects who are most CERTAINLY not ready for prime time. They are picking up Vazquez’ 11.5 mill contract for Melky’s (approximately 3-4 mill one, perhaps paying that too, who knows) and giving up essentially nothing except a pitcher who throws hard but not accurately and some guy serveral years away from the majors.

I have always been opposed to salary caps, because I see it as a prime way for owners to cheat players out of money while increasing their own profits, but the Yankees easily affording to pay each one of their players an average salary of 9 million, as opposed to the next highest team’s average of 6 million, has gotten to the point in which there is essentially no reason for any other team to even bother to spend money. We have all turned into the 1950s Athletics.

I know that the networks all want the Yankees in the series every single year, but if you have the same team with all the money, winning every single year, eventually, people will lose interest in such a rigged game, just as they did the LAST time that no one stood a chance against the Yankees.

Now it is true that some of the teams with highER payrolls, such as the Mets and Cubs, have spent that money foolishly, but they still lack the extra 50-80 million to make things even with the Yankees. I know that many fans WANT the owners to make up the difference of 50-100 mill a year out of their OWN pockets, and make no profit, but let’s be real, no owner has spent HIS OWN MONEY on a baseball team since the early days of Ted Turner, and no owner is going to do that again. Bud Selig has made SURE of that.

I’m sure that for now, the player’s Union is fine with the status quo because the elite players will be earning zillions and the grunts, at leasts 400K (which is a lot more than most of them would earn if they had to actually earn real college degrees and, you know, like, WORK.) I don’t know how to deal with this problem, as eventually baseball games are going to be the equivalent of boxing matches between a 220 lb heavyweight champion and a arthritic old lady. In other words, there will be NO contest whatsoever, and unless you happen to be a Yankees fan, or someone who just happens to enjoy unequal contests, fans are going to stop being fans.

Well, not people who play fantasy baseball, but that is really not an interest in actual baseball GAMES, but an interest on playing games with 5 particular stats generated by each player. NOT teams.

And naturally, just like the steroids problem, MLB and ESPN and the players union will let things slide until such a time that there is some sort of serious problem, such as an owner who WANTS to win and won’t just shut up and take the dive and his 20-30 mill profit, and raises a serious stink. Even offers to make the team’s books public!!!

I can’t imagine even thinking of being a Jays/Rays/Orioles fan and knowing that the only way that my team has a chance to win is if every player on my team has a career year, the umps make a lot of bad calls that just happen to go our way, and that so many of the Yankee players go on the DL that even they can’t acquire enough replacements to succeed. (Being a Red Sox fan would be fine because we would get the WC anyway and in a short series, anything can happen.)

I have absolutely NO idea how a truly equal salary cap and floor could be generated other than by MLB itself, which would require each team to completely open its books to display ALL revenue streams up to and including its ticket resale companies, add all streams and divide by 30. But owners of popular franchises would object, especially those who make even more money than Forbes thinks they do. But I think the first owners to really start to scream are the owners of the next 5 highest payroll clubs, who are still outgunned by all the Yankee money, and aren’t ready to take a dive alone with the contented low payroll clubs.

sigh

I suppose a lot of people are just going to tell me that I am only upset because I don’t root for the Yankees, but a team with an inept GM and an owner whose foolishness has driven the franchise into a hole of the sort that will take years to emerge from (unless the owner decided to spend a very large amount of his OWN money, which is NOT going to happen.) The 40 man roster is already filled, as Ed Wade felt the absolute NEED to grab Jason Michaels, seeing as how he had 29 other teams eagerly bidding for his services, to complete the 40 man.

He can’t pick up waiver wire guys, can’t add any last minute Bobby Abreus, can’t do much of anything at all. In fact, he has done absolutely ZERO to IMPROVE this team, and frankly, I don’t believe that Lindstrom + Lyons will even equal Valverde + Hawkins, let alone improve on them. And on no planet, will Pedro Feliz be better than Blum plus Keppinger. Sure he can invite all SORTS of guys to Spring Training, but really, how many of them would have any chance of making the team at all, let alone make any sort of REAL contribution?

He CAN’T trade Lee (who again, has said ON THE RECORD that he will refuse all trades) and even if he could, I seriously doubt that Drayton would agree to eat a huge amount of yearly salary to obtain young players; he CAN’T trade Berkman, who doesn’t want to be traded in this last year of his contract; unless Roy demands a trade, no dice there either, as Drayton doesn’t want to trade Roy. He has essentially NO farm, he has NO trade chips, except Pence, who apparently, he is either unwilling to trade or what he would receive in return wasn’t worth it; he could, of course, trade Wandy, our only good pitcher, but either there is no market or Drayton won’t agree or Wade is afraid that the Astros will lose 100 games without a good pitcher (and unfortunately, Roy is on the downside of his career and Wandy is not.) He won’t/can’t release Kaz Matsui and use, trade for or purchase a better hitting second baseman.

The only way out of the hole is for Drayton to forfeit this year’s profits, spend some of his OWN money, and pick up some unwanted contracts like Javier Vazquez. Oh wait, too late.

sigh

Merry Christmas, everyone. And also Happy Hanaukah and also Happy Kwanzaa and also, to all a cheerful Holiday Season – I guess that cheer is only good for Yankees fans, but I digress…

The Astros Are A Royal Mess

Friday, December 18th, 2009

I’m trying not to be sunk in gloom about my lousy team. The Mariners trade for Cliff Lee, shove off the worthless pitcher Carlos Silva on the C*bs and trade for Milton Bradley to DH (say what you want, he sure nuff can hit.) Meanwhile, the Astros sign a mediocre middle reliever to a 15 mill contract and sign a worn out, used up guy to play third at 4.5 mill, blocking yet ANOTHER young guy.

sigh

Drayton McLane apparently is not gonna say no to offers for the Astros. He reminds me of a kid who has received some toy that needs to be put together. So you start doing it for him, and he is dancing up and down and is all impatient and tells you – NOOOOOOO, I wanna do it MYSELF!!!!

So you shrug and say FINE, now sit there and put it together. Which, of course, he can’t do seeing as how there are 2 strikes against him – he is a male so he WON’T read the instructions and he is so young that even if he were fortunate enough to be female, he wouldn’t understand them. So naturally, he makes a complete mess of things and after a while becomes exasperated, then sulks, then says – STUPID TOY!!! and throws it on the floor. And Drayton sure nuff looks as if he’s throwing his toy on the floor after making a mess of things. He can’t admit it and he won’t ask for help from someone who knows how to put it back together…

Anyway, I read this piece by Will McDonald, who writes the Royals Review blog. Will understands despair, all right. And I excerpted a bit of his latest entry and, uh, sort of, uh, Astros-ized it. (You know your team has gone to heck when you start comparing it to the Royals…) Here goes, from “How Dayton Can Have A Comeback Year:”

Strengthen Your Standing in the Community: I use “community” broadly here: the baseball community, the Kansas City HOUSTON community, your relationships inside the organization. If this Dayton Moore Fast Eddie Wade thing is going to work at all, then ownership has to remain become committed to being the Yankees of the amateur spending market. And much of that goes back to reputation and belief.

To this point, against a lot of evidence to the contrary, they’ve believed in Dayton Moore  Eddie/Tal/Drayton. Will that last forever? To be blunt, 2009 sucked: the Royals Astros sucked and the leadership team repeatedly came across as petty, vindictive, & paranoid. The local and national baseball media began to be much more critical of the Royals Astros and a lot of the benefit of the doubt and goodwill Moore Ed Wade earned withered away. The Royals Astros are in the entertainment business, and if the team continues to behave in the way it has over the last year, things are going to get a lot worse.

At a certain point, the perception amongst the fans and the media gets so negative that the environment becomes too toxic to continue. I’m not I AM saying Dayton Moore Drayton McLane needs to hire Nate Silver/Tom Tango. I’m not saying that Rany I should throw out the first pitch on Opening Day.

Let’s start small and admit just one mistake. One. Let’s work on restoring normal relations with the local media. Stop lecturing everyone. Stop saying dumb things. (Like, say, all that “champion” stuff.) Basically, disappear for months at a time, and when you emerge, be engaging and humble rather than holier than thou.

(WORD!!!!)

Dayton Moore Drayton McLane needs Joe Posnanski Richard Justice/Lisa Gray back on his side. Ownership does not want to be a national joke, which is why they hired Moore Ed Wade. It’s somewhat amazing that Moore Drayton McLane himself seems to have lost sight of this. At present, a huge tiny percentage of whatever success the Royals Astros have had drafting lies at the credit of ownership Ed Wade, who has spent (what little increased) money Drayton (grudgingly) gave (for young players.)

 If they lose faith in Moore’s Drayton’s ability to execute and (NOT) roll back the budget, the goose is cooked. (Or should I say, burnt to a charred crisp…)

Is Drayton REALLY Going To Sell The Astros?

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Well, this has been quite the week.

All the work getting this here blog set up and getting my player comments written for The Hardball Times Season Preview 2010 (yes, I certainly WILL tell you when it is finished and available) and getting ready for Christmas.

And now, I find out that all the rumors I have been hearing for the past couple of years are true – Drayton actually really DID have a deal in place to sell 51% of the Astros, but the buyer backed out. I heard about him “trying” to sell the Astros from a few people last year, but because Buddy Boy has to approve all sales, and there was nothing about this, AND because I couldn’t get any proof, I didn’t say anything.

Richard Justice heard those self same rumors and ASKED Drayton, and got his face lied to.

Drayton threw Gerry Hunsicker out on his ass after the end of the 04 season, thinking he could do a better job all by himself, and installed Tim Pur-puppet. Drayton was wrong, and in just a few short years, he turned the Organization from a good one with a good reputation (for a non-media darling) into a laughingstock. I would guess he knows very well what the national baseball guys are saying about him, NOT behind his back. Whether or not he admits it, he knows that all the rest of the baseball men talk about his bad reputation, that good baseball men don’t want to work here in Houston.

He sees a bad team in front of him, in spite of all that blather about “being a champion” and he knows the decisions were his (except Brandon Lyons – that one is on Ed Wade, and we all know it.) Does Drayton want out of the mess he made?

Who knows? He said he was approached by the man who offered him a lot of money, but he sure nuff didn’t say – NO WAY. He would have back in 2005 or 2006, before things completely fell apart. Perhaps it was his making a national fool of himself by refusing to evacuate the team with Hurricane Ike approaching – it made national news that he wanted to make the Friday night game a doubleheader, skip the Saturday game (day of hurricane), then play the Sunday game as if nothing had happened.  After the fiasco of playing the games at Wrigley North (thank you friend Bud), the rest of the baseball world didn’t stop laughing and that must have been when the buyer caught him at a low point.

I know that lots of fans WANT Drayton to sell the team. They dream of Mark Cuban (who will ever get near a baseball franchise over Bud Selig’s dead body.) They live in the fantasy world that this new owner will WANT to spend his OWN money on the team. Bud Selig wouldn’t ALLOW an owner in who would do something like that – it would set a BAD precedent. But I keep saying, you know, it COULD be worse.

We could just get another David Glass/Bob Nutting – owners who are more than content to have bad teams year after year and take home their 20-30 mill profit. They have exactly zero reason to change the status quo, especially as the networks have less than zero interest in seeing, say, a Royals/Pirates World Series. Can you imagine having a World Series with a team like the Pirates? Or Royals? I mean, what kind of “story” can you get with Kansas City after saying 100 times that it is not in Kansas, how weird?

Honestly, where do people GET these strange notions…

What Drayton actually NEEDS to do is something he doesn’t WANT to do – hire a GOOD baseball man/woman and step back and let them run the ball club without interference. It would also behoove him to hire some stat people to, you know, bring the club into the 21st century.  Perhaps after this year, which is going to be another bad BAD losing year (unless something changes which I don’t see happening) and rapidly declining attendence with long time season ticket holders like my mother refusing to re-up, AND watching the Astros rapidly losing media relevance IN HOUSTON, he might could just possibly do what he needs to do.

Either hire a good management team, or sell out.

We’ll see…

And last, but not least, I am going to try to change the Astros Pic Of The Month to show an Astro in the retro uni. And no, I am NOT gonna change my mind on NO ICKY BRICK RED!!!!

12/14/09: Ed Wade Killed My Mother……….’s Love Of The Astros

Monday, December 14th, 2009

I know that most of you either typed in or linked to www.theastrosdugout.com and saw a different title. I have posted at the soon to be vanished mvn.com since June 1, 2004 under the blog name The Astros Dugout, and thought that keeping the familiar name as the domain title would help people find me.

However, I thought that a new, fresh start deserved a new, fresh blog title. I chose Astros-holic Synonymous partly to explain why I am still blogging in spite of the fact that I should just go on the wagon as this team seems determined to flush itself deeper into the sewer of suckage; but I can quit being an Astros fan ANY ol time I want to. Yep, just walk away. But in the meantime, I need a support system (and I thought that naming the blog ”I Wanna Go All Shawn Chacon On Ed Wade’s Cruddy Middle Reliever Obsessed Pea Brain When He Does Idiotic Stuff Like Sign Brandon Mediocre Lyons To A Contract Three Years Too Long And 15 Million Too Much” was a bit cumbersome, you know what I’m sayin…)

I also picked a punny name to honor my late friend and mentor, the great baseball writer and human being, John Brattain, who had a superlative sense of humor and dearly loved a good pun.

I want to thank my friend and fellow Primate, Coot Veal And Cot Deal, for sparing me the time from running his web design firm, www.unrepentant-design.com  to help me set up this wonderful new site. He’s an especially awesome male human being, because he did what I wanted, not what HE wanted (he must be married, dontcha think?) I welcome any comments/suggestions you have for me about the appearance of my blog, as I am learning what works and what doesn’t, but understand right here and now that I am NOT changing my mind about no Astros icky brick red on the header. If you want to see an Astros player up there near the title, you have a choice between Kevin Bass and Jimmy Wynn. If Wandy isn’t traded this off-season, he can go up there, too.  Forget Bagwell/Biggio/Mike Scott/Nolan Ryan - I prefer the underappreciated.

Also, the rules about no bad language, no libel and use of good manners at all times still stands.  One of my Giants fans friends warned me, “Once Astro fans watch Pedro Feliz ‘hit’, they may increase the pressure to waive the bad language limit” and trust me, I understand. But if I held that limit in force for Dan EFF Miceli all the way up to Cecil (Worst Manager EVAH) Cooper, I will be able to keep it in place these days.

And thanks right now to Dan Szymborski, inventor of ZIPS prediction system, co-owner of Primer, for helping me get pub to launch this blog and to Matt H. for its clever entry title.

Speaking of the title, it refers to the fact that many fans are enraged by the ineptness of Astros ownership and management since the day that Drayton McLane talked Roger Clemens into un-retiring. Houstonians talked about (almost) nothing but the Astros all winter and spring and season ticket sales sky, um, rocket ed. This year, with Ed Wade’s obtaining Matt Lindstrom and his 100 MPH straight FB for a couple of low minor leaguers and Brandon Lyon, a middle reliever, for 5 MEELYUN dollars a year for THREE years and Pedro Feliz and his vanishing bat for 4.5 mill, furious Astros fans are refusing to re-up their season tickets to fuel Ed Wade’s lust for overpaying for relievers and obtaining Ex-Phillies.

Let alone re-upping Jason Michaels – ex-Phillie, natch, (-) 1 RCAA over 152 PA: 12 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HR, 16 BB, 38 K, 2 GIDP: .237/.322/.430/.752 for a 98 OPS+ to accompany a glove that is only slightly better than Clank’s. And, by the way, I should note that Michaels is supposed to be primarily a pinch hitter, and his numbers with men on base are .231/.286/.385 and with men in scoring position are .216/.293/.378/.671. You see, we needed Michaels back because this team is SOOOOO sorely lacking in Veteran Presence, seeing as how he is a 33 year old journeyman and the youngest position player is the wet behind the ears Tommy Manzella, age 27.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Anyway, back to the subject of even MORE wasteful expenditures (yes it IS possible) Ed Wade obtained Miguel Tejada, a suspected steroids user, the DAY before the Mitchell Report was made public. Had he waited a day longer, he most likely could have obtained him for significantly less than 3 cheap major leaguers and 2 minor leaguers. Two days after Fast Eddie threw money at Lyons (and no, I don’t believe that some other team offered him 2 years at 3.5 mill/year), the list of non-tenders was revealed.

Let’s take a look at that there list and see if Eddie could have gotten someone just as good and a WHOLE lot cheaper:

- Jose Arrendondo, RH RP, age 25, Angels: fabulous 08, horrific 09 - worth at least a minor league contract
- Brian Bass, RH RP, age 28, Orioles: 90 ERA+ over 2 years, 4.87 ERA/ 1.59 WHIP – NRI at most
- Lance Broadway, rhp, Mets (good looking MAN, bad looking pitcher)
- Matt Capps, RH RP, age 25, Pirates; was their closer for 3 years – had a  TERRIBLE year last year, increase in H/9 IP from 8.1 from 06-08, to 12.2 last year. Increased BB/9 a bit as well as HR/9. Maybe he was hurt – with the Pirates, youneverknow. DEFINITELY worth a try.
- D.J. Carrasco, RH RP, age 32, White Sox: looks a HECK of a lot better than Lyons: last 2 years with Sox, 3.82 ERA/1.36 WHIP – a real horse of a RP – pitched 93 innings over 49 games with only 1 start.
- Clay Condrey, RH RP, age 33, from Beaumont, Phillies: do you need to know anything more? Hows about 6 years, 6 mill a year? Cheap at the price. The guy’s a WINNAH with a RINGGG!!!!!
- Neal Cotts, LH RP, age 29, C*bs: he’s the guy who killed us in 05, but he rapidly detiorated – 11 terrible innings last year.
- Mark DiFelice, RHRP, age 33, Brewers: GET THIS GUY!!! we should sign him to a ML contract – he was extremely effective, pitching 51 innings of 110 ERA+ ball with a 3.66 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 8.4 H/9, 1 HR/9, 2.3 BB/9, 8 K/9. No idea why the Crew is letting him go (oh yeah, he DID shut the Astros DOWN every time he faced us) and keeping Carlos Villanueve instead…
- Phil Dumatrait, LH SP/RP, age 28, Pirates: first rounder from the RedSox B.T. (before Theo) relieved in 13 ineffective innings last year. Walks too many, strikes out too few, gives up too many hits.  
- Seth McClung, RH SP/RP, age 28, Brewers: 4.04 ERA (105 ERA+) 1.41 WHIP was his career high in 08. Meh.
- Adam Miller, RH SP, age 25, Indians 1st rounder in 03, never made it out of AAA with good reason. But someone will give this guy a minor league contract because he used to be a prospect.
- Dustin Moseley, RH SP, age 28, Angels: Cincy’s 1st rounder in 2000, traded to LAA for Ramon Ortiz (remember how he was supposed to be the next Pedro Martinez? Ummm, no.) 168 ML innings over 4 years, 5.41 ERA, 1.554 WHIP.

My, we sure have a lot of failed first rounders, don’t we? Where was I? Oh yeah…

- Jackson Quezada, RH RP, age 23, Padres: not sure what an A ball pitcher is doing on this list, but he had a 2.12 ERA over 63.2 IP with 27 saves with a 0.958 ERA and a 11.2 K/9. Heck, I’d give him a try and I don’t CARE if he is “too old” for A ball. He fits right in with the Astros, anyway.
- Tim Redding, RH SP/RP, age 31, Mets: no thanks
- Anthony Reyes, RH SP/RP, age 28, Indians (ex-Card, on TLR’s poopoo list because he is too limp or something) but his numbers are all over the place and they were terrible last year – of course, he was hurt. I’d give him a minor league tryout. Just to, uh, irritate TLR… 
- Jose Veras, RH RP, age 29, Indians: below average reliever with 4.42 ERA/1.38 WHIP, 99 ERA+ over past 4 years/128 innings. Pass
- Chien-Ming Wang, RH SP, age 29, Yankees: has had very serious injuries, and will probably sign some sort of deal with the Yanks anyway. Most pitches with seriouship injuries don’t come back anyway…

I’d definitely prefer Carrasco to Lyons and I’d grab Matt Capps, as well.

But truth is that I’m tired of the Astros just signing cromulent players because they have some sort of ML resume. I’d rather see more Wesley Wrights, seeing as how this team really has no more chance of being any better than last year’s.

And my mother, and many more people are trying to tell the front office this by refusing to re-up their season tickets, but seems as if the front office prefers the casual fan to the loyal one.

UPDATE 11 AM:   Arredondo is having TJ surgery and DiFelice is having shoulder labrum surgery. So they are out.

Lance Berkman Is Colorful In My Favorite Uni

Monday, December 14th, 2009
Infielder Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros runs to first base after a dropped third strike against the Tampa Bay Rays June 21, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Shawn Riggans is the catcher.

Infielder Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros runs to first base after a dropped third strike against the Tampa Bay Rays June 21, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Shawn Riggans is the catcher.

The Astros Dugout Is Moving To A New Home

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

As I have mentioned before, MVN will be closing down permanently in a few short weeks.

I want to take this opportunity to thank David Pinto of Baseball Musings for urging me to blog and to Evan Brunell for giving me the opportunity to do so on his fledgling network way back in June of 2004. I was one of the first dozen or so bloggers to join MVN and am proud to have stayed on until the end. It has been a great experience.

My dear Husband also would like to thank all of my readers and commenters over the years for giving him a much needed break so that he didn’t have to hear quite as much about my baseball team.

I have decided to have my own website; thanks to John, the wonderful web designer at www.unrepentant-design.com, I now will be posting at www.theastrosdugout.com and expect to have my first post up Monday or Tuesday.

I have re-named the blog “Astros-holic Synonymous” as these days, those of us who continue to root for the Astros, uh, can relate.

Hopefully, the transition will be smooth.

Commenting rules will be the same: no bad language (even about Fast Eddie/Tal/Drayton, and yes, I know it will be tough, trust me on this) and please use good manners toward me and other posters at all times. I welcome all views and tolerate dissention, but not rudeness (or libel.)

There is an RSS feed click so that you can easily subscribe, because as you know, posting will be somewhat sporadic until spring training.

Hope to see all of you there, and again, thanks to Evan Brunell and best wishes to him in all his future endeavors.

Feliz NaviDUD

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

(thank you Repoz, for the clever title. I guess it really WAS bettern I HATE ED WADE AND HIS STUPID FETISH WITH OVERPAYING CRUDDY MIDDLE RELIEVERS AND WASHED UP EX-PHILLIES!!!!!!!!!!)

I guess it must have been somewhere around 2 when I got the call from my mama about the news that Fast Eddie had flushed yet another 4.5 mill down the sewer on another washed up Veteran Presence. Mama actually didn’t quiiiiite say that, but this IS a G-rated blog.

Yep, Fast Eddie done gone and throwed away 4.5 mill on a Phillies reject. Yes, another one. We are talking about a guy whose option they didn’t pick up, a guy who they didn’t even want to TALK to, who they replaced with a guy who is a second baseman and hasn’t played third base in THREE years, AND whose bat has been declining over that period as well.

Jeezus Gawd. The very definition of throwing good money after bad. Even though Feliz was on the pennant winning team for 2 years in a row and is therefore a Winner(Tm) who will surely bring a Winning Attitude to the team.

BAH

Needless to say, this put me in a Very Bad Mood, so I texted Husband and told him that if he wanted to eat any dinner and if he didn’t want hungry, screaming kids, he best pick up some chickens at the Kroger on the way home. So he walks in the door at 6:15 and there is no Dog Pappas to greet him at the door, because Dog is smart enough to stay under the table and Out Of My Way and the house is suspisciously quiet, no TV and no music because the kids know bettern to bug me when I am in a Very Bad Mood. He says, uh, is there anything to go with this here chicken?

Aw Baby, it’s just a baseball team and I

um

uh, guess I’ll just go in the fridge, see what I can find here. You, uh, you, uh, um, headed off to your Mama’s?

Very funny there boy. You betcha my Daddy’s saying to her – now why don’t you and Susanna (her bff) and Lisa go shopping, hunh? Yeh, we SHOULD be the ones going shopping for the team because I promise you we could come up with a heck of a lot better plan than Brandon Suckage Lyon and Pay-dud Feliz for 9.5 freaking million dollars, that is fer SHER.

Pedro Feliz will be 35 in April. He came up with the Giants in 2001 and signed a FA contract with the Phils, and has played with them for the past 2 years.

His career line is .254/.298/.422/.715 and last year, he hit .266/.308/.386/.694. He used to have a little bit of power, but his ISO (isolated slugging percentage) over the past 5 years has gone – .209/.184/.165/.153/.121. while his OPS+ have stayed a nice steady 85/79/80/80/81/81 (Geoff Blum territory, just to translate.)

This means that besides not walking and hitting into a nice 12-20 double plays a year, he isn’t worth much. There was absolutely NO reason to have him on the team at all, as he doesn’t even have a platoon split which could be used to advantage.

What makes me laugh is that Fast Eddie told Richard Justice that Chris Johnson is still going to be competing for the third base job in Spring Training.

Right.

Just like I’m competing against various strippers/playmates for Grady Sizemore’s LUUUUVVV. There is a chance. Yeah, suuuuuuuuurrrre.

When it comes to the Astros, salary talks. In Spring Training, Johnson could hit .400, slug .800 and field like Brooks Robinson and we ALL know that Fast Eddie ain’t puttin no 4.5 mill on the bench, even if he goes ofer ST.

The problem with Wade spending 5 mill on a crummy middle reliever PLUS 4.5 million on an old, lousy third baseman is that he used money that he could have used to actually purchase GOOD offense, or even a GOOD starting pitcher ( because I am not going to use the words “good starting pitcher” about Paulino, Wilton Lopez, Wesley Wright or Brian Moehler.)

The Astros have finally descended to Royals/Pirates/Orioles level laughingstock. Check out THIS bit of juiciness from David Cameron.

If Drayton thinks that adopting the Pirates tack used from 93 – 08 of getting a few name brand used up major-leaguers for each year’s roster – if he really thinks that will sell more tickets than getting one decent ballplayer, he’s got more than a few screws loose. Houston is the 4th largest city in America and has (depending on whose valuation you believe) the 7th largest media market and he is essentially wasting a 100 million dollar payroll on dreck.

The terrible truth is that the Astros are gonna continue to circle the drain until Drayton gets tired of being laughed at by the national media (and hearing from locals and disgusted season ticket holders who are refusing to re-up, how his baseball team has gone back to its previous level of being ignored by Houstonians – meaning, pre-Roger Clemens) and decides to get rid of Tal, Eddie and the rest of the incompetent yes-men and go hire an actual baseball man with some smarts AND LET HIM DO HIS JOB!!!!!. He had a chance to get Rizzo and Dan Evans, but noooooooooooooooo…

Ed Wade Wastes 15 Million Signing Middle Reliever Brandon Lyon To A 3 Year Deal

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

I can only guess that this is Fast Eddie’s way of trying to get me to stop blogging and give up my Astros fan-hood.

There is no excuse for this deal. Not that kind of money for ONE year, let alone THREE!!!

NONE. And I mean NONE.

Anyone who thinks that Brandon Lyon is any sort of competent closer only needs to check his records with the Diamondbacks. I’d post it, but I’m too tired and angry. This deal is stupidity even greater than the Kaz Matsui signing.

I’ve made excuses for Wade, explained (honestly) that his hands have been tied by Drayton, but I am now on the official Ed Wade’s obsesion with crappy middle relievers makes him a lousy GM – bandwagon.

As for continuing to blog, again, I’ll let all yall know if/when I move this one, not that there seems to be much of a point. Hard to believe it was only 5 years ago that we went to the World Series, and were in the playoffs year after year. Now, we’re just the sorry-ass Royals/Pirates/Orioles…