Like this is a big deal.
Several things ARE big deals. Such as the fact that the Astros are – quietly – getting rid of almost all the FO/field personnel from the previous owners. The ONLY 2 guys returning are Dave Clark (role not specified) and pitching coach Doug Brocail. And speaking of pitching coaches, Burt Hooten, who has been the AAA pitching coach and Mr. Fixit for 8 years has been, uh, not hired. Whoa.
They have fired Stretch Suba, the bullpen assistant coach for 36 years, since he was 21 years old, Gene Coleman, the trainer for 34 years, the traveling secretary (???!!! – what, did he faint at the signt of the new unis? They fired the traveling secretary??? Must have been making too much money and they can hire some kid to do it for minimum wage or something.)
Well, looks like they’re gonna put all that saved money to buying aome free agents – not top tier ones, of course. They sure nuff need some relievers. And from the way they’re talking, Dallas Keuchel won’t be back in the rotation – they WILL have Lyles, Harrell and Norris. OMG, they are gonna have to spend some money to sign Norris and Jed Lowrie, seeing as how they are arb eligible. Lowrie made 1.15 mill, so he might could make like 2 million – so he’s gonna have to be traded.
Matt Downs is gone byby. DFAd today. Gee, what a shock.
What IS a shock is that Luhnow is talking about Fernando Martinez as if he’s someone valuable. I’m trying to figure out why. Maybe there’s something they see about his fielding or glove of baserunning I don’t see and maybe they think 40% strikeouts is no big deal. Or something.
And speaking of Luhnow, you should check out the interviews he did with the new Astros beat reporter Brian T Smith (Levine has left and Jose Ortiz is still banished to soccer). Luhnow is, well, let’s say he actually talked more than the usual Bull Durham lines. Check it out. He has made it more than clear that they intend to basically use whatever money they have for a strong farm and not spend for FA – well, not spend real too much. Although he talks about getting familiar with the guys on the team, well, we all know that very few of the guys on the team are more than AAAA guys, and they won’t be here real too long. I am guessing that they are gonna Billy Beane the roster every year.
This year, I would be very surprised if they sign any Veteran Presence who costs more than a million or two. Torii Hunter, for example, is going to be one of those outfield free agents they are looking for, but can you see him agreeing to take one or 2 million to be a bench guy/teacher here?
I wonder if players are ever going to start recognizing that they are leaving huge amounts of money on the table by signing any sort of contract that buys out any free agent years and have some kind of built in escalation clauses. There are very few big time free agents this year as teams are keeping more money for themselves by signing young players to below market contracts.
I’m also getting tired of the Astros FO always talking about/comparing themselves to the Nolan Ryans. Which reminds me – should I do an entry showing that the pieces of the Rangers championship teams were all in place BEFORE Nolie-poo joined the team? He got the credit for what Jon Daniels actually DID. I mean, that was good – not the Adrian Gonzalez for Adam Eaton (pitcher) insanity.
Astros appear to have decided to run this team like a small market club, as if having actual fans in the seats matters when it comes to making money or winning/losing. Not surprised. All the “we want to win” stuff is just to laugh. What they want is to make money. They’ll make tons of it win or lose.
I’m not fooled.
Oh – speaking of fool, I read this piece by Bruce Jenkins of the San Fran Chron in which he explains that Brian Sabean wins because of scouts who wouldn’t waste their time talking to stat geeks, who couldn’t keep up with Real Baseball Talk for even 5 minutes. The Giants wouldn’t have ANYTHING to do with stats of numbers of any sort except the 20 – 80 scale.
You talk about dead stereotypes. The Giants have plenty of stat geeks around, and EVERY SINGLE TEAM has stat geeks around (now that the Astros have gotten into this century/millenium) and EVERY SINGLE TEAM has tons of scouts and relies on them for all KINDS of stuff. Why the insistence that the Giants have no use for any number of any sort? I mean, except batting average RBI and home runs. It’s what makes movies like Major League so popular. You see, all these lousy players (including Matt Cain, Bumgardner, Lincecum, Posey, Romo, Casilla – etc) joined together and because of Wise Old Guys suddenly became better than the sum of their parts. Better Living Through Chemistry.
Jeezus, dude. Please save that CGI stuff for the movies, OK?