9/25/07: Brad Lidge Strikes Out The Side For His 17th Save

OK, so he hit one, walked 2 and loaded the bases before getting that last strikeout and limping off the mound. I haven’t heard an explanation from the Astros Organization as to why they’ve insisted on running him out there for no reason instead of shutting him down early and having his knee operated on. Pretty stupid. As usual.

Anyway, I missed the beginning of the game. I should have known something was wrong with Da Bull when I  picked him up from preschool. He was unusually crabby and kept telling the twins to shut up, which is not like him at ALL. But when he didn’t want any chicken pie, his very favorite food, I KNEW he was sick. And since he didn’t want to hear any sound, I knew it was an earache. And I KNEW that if I just gave him some tylenol and benadryl and put him to bed, he would be up screaming at one in the morning and then I’d have to take him to the ER and if there is one place I don’t want to be in the middle of the night, it’s the ER. So as soon as Husband walked through the door, I told him that I was taking Da Bull to the night clinic for his earache and he could re-heat the pie.

Which is how I ended up having to listen to the first inning on the radio. Have I ever told you how much I hate the Astros announcers? I had been looking forward to checking out Homer Bailey, the Red’s #1 pick last year, a guy from LaGrange, the town that made Marvin Zindler and the Chicken Ranch (not dressing – hahahaha) famous.

Anyway, he plunks Josh Anderson, who promptly steals second, goes to third on a WP and scores on a Biggio sac fly with the first out. Small ball is pretty kewl, I do say. Paulino got through the first inning giving up only a solo homer.

Then, we left the clinic, heard a Hunter Pence hit a homer, then a 1,2,3 inning for both sides and I walked in the door just in time to see Wiggy lineout and Brunt tag up and run to third – heads up baserunning. Husband and twins were sitting on the couch and I gave Little Boy his medicine and ear drops and sat down in time to watch the start of the bottom of the 9th. I was absolutely STUNNED to see Lidge out there. What is the point about humiliating the guy? I couldn’t take it, got up and put Little Boy to bed and when I came back, it was over and somehow, no one had scored.

Good grief.

So I replayed the game to see how things went…

Homer Bailey – well, he made it through 5.2 innings, giving up 5 runs, 2 earned on 3 hits, 2 walks, a HBP, 2 ROE and a WP. Stuff didn’t really seem like anything special except he had a great curve, which he didn’t always throw for strikes. He is only 21, and there aren’t real too many really REALLY impressive 21 year old rookies.

Paulino? Again, he wasn’t very impressive. He gave up 4 runs in the second, but got therough the next 3 innings without trouble. He has a fast FB, but his command really isn;t that good and he has trouble throwing the change for strikes. The only regulars in the lineup were Javier Valentin the catcher and Brandon Phillips the second baseman. Everyone else was a bench guy or AAA callup. Dude does not look to me as if he’s ready for prime time.

Everyone but Wiggy and Ransom had at least one hit and Biggio hit #3056 and passed Rickey Henderson into 20th place on the all time list, where he will end his career.

No bad fielding, no errors and Towles and Anderson hit with men on base again.

Tomorrow, Juan Gutierrez will face Tom Shearn, a 30 year old right handed rookie who was drafted in the 26th round in 1996 by the Astros. And so far, he’s 3-0 in 5 GS – 6 HR, 11 BB, 16 K over 32 IP with a 3.94 ERA. 6 homers over 32 innings is a LOT of homers. `

Check out THIS comment from Jon Heyman at Sports Illustrated:

Puppet regime ahead in Houston

While the Pirates at least appear to have a clue, the Astros just completed one of the most pathetic GM searches in baseball history by hiring Ed Wade, a proven failure.

Everyone who has ever worked could tell you that the best person often isn’t the one hired. But what’s remarkable about this search is that Houston interviewed a succession of retreads (plus a few logical young candidates who were spurned) and managed to pick the worst of the retreads. Not easy to do.

Wade’s record as a GM in Philadelphia wasn’t just poor, it was putrid. In a recent interview with Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wade cited his two great regrets as trading Curt Schilling and firing Terry Francona. But that is really the tip of the iceberg. As GM he gave Pat Burrell a $50 million extension, Mike Lieberthal multiple extensions and David Bell a $17 million free-agent deal. He also engineered what has to be one of the all-time worst two-steps, by trading Scott Rolen for Placido Polanco, then swapping Polanco for Ugueth Urbina.

Wade didn’t make the playoffs once in eight years in Philly, while Schilling, Francona and Rolen have won four World Series titles between them since leaving Philly.

But take heart, Astros fans, Wade — who is known to some co-workers as “the biology teacher” for an abject lack of charisma — is merely signing up to play puppet to club owner/head puppeteer Drayton McLane. Wade’s greatest qualification appears to have been that he once worked as the p.r. director for club president Tal Smith, and will say “yes” to Smith and McLane.

“The idea normally is to hire someone to lead,” one competing GM said. “They hired someone so they can direct him.”
If that was the Astros’ goal, they probably got the right guy.

I want to add that the reason that Rolen “had to be traded” was not because he turned down 90 mill of guaranteed money plus 4 club options, it was that Wade stood by and let both Dallas Green and that unpleasant bully Larry Bowa disrespect Rolen for several YEARS until the situation was frankly iuntenable. It wasn’t that he traded Rolen for Polanco, a very good player, it was that he played David Bell instead and left Utley, who was more than ready, in the minors, when he should have traded/released Bell and played Polanco and Utley. And Ugie Urbina is just one of many in the long long line of crummy middle relievers Ed couldn’t Wade to get his hands on at grotesquely inflated prices…

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12 Responses to “9/25/07: Brad Lidge Strikes Out The Side For His 17th Save”

  1. Kris says:

    Agree with you Lisa, & Glennbo, Luke Scott’s a BARGAIN in $ for his production – compare that to 10 Million for someone like Rowand ? NO upgrade there OR worth all that $$$. Scott has the better arm for RF vs Pence
    BUT in reality – Luke Scott will likely be the next Lamb and wasted on the bench – if that comes to pass in 08 I hope he goes to a team that will really APPRECIATE him.
    ps Lisa – Scott DID get a 2-out PH and a R last night – after sitting the last 5 games

  2. Mark says:

    I’m afraid that Glennbo is right about the Astros and Scott, and all this while they’re going to give Chris Burke a starting job–again. (Let Scott go, and it weakens your team. Keep Burke, and it weakens your team even further.)
    What I’m seeing with McLane/Smith is that they want to run the team while having a guy like Wade around to deflect blame away from themelves when they screw up. They can pull all the strings and make all the wrong moves, and when things go wrong, they can just blame Wade and fire him and bring in another patsy. I have the feeling that things will get worse before they get better.
    I’m going to give Wade a chance, but here’s my problem. I don’t like media or PR guys, fomer interns, etc., moving into management unless they have a decent baseball background. When I say decent baseball background, I mean that I want guys who have played the game beyond high school and coached and/or managed beyond little league.
    There are just too many geeks out there who sit at their computers over-analyzing stats while not having enough common sense to evaluate the talent that they have and make the right moves to improve their club. Like Howard Cosell, they never played the game. Wade seems to fit into this category.
    I also don’t believe that having success and making money in one field qualifies you as a competent manager of a baseball team. You can make billions selling groceries, but that doesn’t mean that you know much about baseball.

  3. Joel B. says:

    I find it hard to understand some people.
    So he is responsible for the make up of the Astros? Everyone seems to blame McLane. Apparently everyone believes he runs the team. He makes all the decisions.
    Well if thats the case he has done a fine job. The Astros have been their most successful under his reign. You can’t argue that.
    So if he is the one pulling the strings he’s done a very good job. Then maybe he’s not. But he has spent a ton of money and brought in big names to help the team compete and be a playoff team. Either way cut the guy some slack.

  4. Glennbo says:

    hey Lisa – sorry about the kiddo. Taking care of them raskals id more than a full time job.
    from yesterdays blog story
    Lisa wrote: – and glennbo,
    agree that jason got more chances here then he might could have got other places. and he might could come back somewheres else.
    as for

  5. Lisa Gray says:

    thanx. little boy had a rough night and he is FINALLY sleeping peacefully. i HATE the start of the skool year. each kid carefully passes on the germ to the next kid and finally to their daddy and if there is anything more pathetic than a sick man i don’t know what it is. and FINALLY when they get shut of that germ along comes another one…
    sending off lane anywhere certainly does not get rid of him permanently. san diego doesn’t HAVE to sign him or offer him arb you know. we could perfectly well sign him as a minor league FA after the year. and it is not like we are exactly getting much of anything for him. if anything more than a few dollars.
    i would REALLY like to know what this organization has got against luke scott. i just can NOT figure it out.
    yeah i know he FINALLY got a PH last night, poor guy. he’s like 4 fer 25 or something. he’s just not a pinch hitter and frankly it is just a waste of his talents. i got this bad BAD feeling they are gonna play pence in right and anderson in center and have luke take the palemiro role. what a dreadful waste of talent. poor guy.
    i don’t understand you comment about wanting the GM to have played baseball. these days you have to have a fairly good sized FO to deal with all the info and all the legal stuff and all the contracts. you need a businessman, not a jock. where i want good baseball people is in the scouting/development departments.
    i think that mclane did a very good job until 2004 for the simple reason that he had the sense to have an excellent baseball mind in gerry hunsicker. problem started when he very VERY stupidly decided that he could do just as good/better job without gerry based on the fact that he “persuaded” roger clemens to unretire. gee, what did he even NEED a GM for?
    he decided at that time that what he wanted was the baggy/biggio one team going into the hall – at the expense of the rest of the team. he got rid of kent. he decided he was smarter than boras (and if THAT isn’t stupid i don’t know what is) and he badly misread beltran. he BADLY misread purpura’s ability to work with his peers. he BADLY misunderstood what it takes for a GM to actually work with the people in his own organization as well as others. he BADLY misread how the other GMs would take things as soon as they realized that purpura was a puppet and not the puppetmaster.
    wade is going to run into a lot of the same trouble purpura did for a lot of the same reasons. and a LOT of that reason is drayton’s insistence on being his own GM and having a front man. and tal smith is going to hurt, not help.
    drayton is repeating the same idiotic mistake he made with purpura, only with more vigor. at his age i expect a person to LEARN from his mistakes, not to insist on them.
    he is, in fact, turning into peter angelos. drayton should take a good long look at the empty orioles ballpark. a GOOD long look. sure the orioles have to compete with the yankees/redsox. angelos COULD have one that if he had wanted to. he wanted to do it HIS way more than he wanted to win. he had a great team with over 100 years of fandom and a HUGE and loyal fanbase that has finally mostly said, after all the years of suckitude – eff this.
    most of the current astros fans have hopped on the bandwagon in the past 10 years. that ain’t much of a tradition and drayton is going to find himself staring at an empty stadium in a few years…

  6. Mark says:

    I agree with your assessment of McLane. I appreciate what he has done because I’m one of those who remembers going to Astros games when the ‘dome was almost empty. He just needs to realize that he needs a real baseball man to run the team.
    And being a former player doesn’t exclude you from being a smart guy who could run a team. Hunsicker played in college and I think in the minor leagues. Tony LaRussa was a player, and like Purpura, has a law degree. I think Larry Dierker could have been a fantastic GM. Brad Ausmus might be one day.
    I played high school and college ball, and I’m absolutely brilliant.
    Glad to hear your son is better. All of mine are grown, but I remember those days.

  7. Steve Schramm says:

    Well, most of this is fear and loathing — we don’t know what is going to happen and we’ll just have to wait and see.
    Y’know, an outfield of Lee-Pence-Scott and an infield of Ty-Adam-Burke-Lance is serviceable, and could even be competitive if the big guns have big years. The defense would also be better than this year, especially up the middle. And I’ll bet we can cobble together relief pitching. The problem in 2008 is starting pitching and the catcher position.
    There aren’t really any good FAs on the market, so we either give up some position players to get a front line pitcher, or we go with the kids and expect to wait a couple of years for them to mature and build up the stamina for a six (and hopefully seven) month season.

  8. Lisa Gray says:

    don’t get me wrong. you old enough to be MY daddy so you been around long enough to have been there and done that and know a whole lot about how the wrold works. and i got respect for that, i do. and it is not that i think jock = stupid. but it is that i think that what you have to do to actually RUN the FO you really NEED a serious business degree and probably a law degree these days and if some former player did that, well and good. but i don’t think prupura’s or depodesta’s problem had anything to do with their not being ballplayers.
    gerry didn’t play in the minors.
    i am not real too sure about dierk being a GM. but brad ausmus, oh yes. that boy is not just HOT he is SMART. he is one of the few exceptions i can think of about needing business/law degrees. and he can talk to anyone. however, personally i hope that when he retires he becomes an underwear model.
    but i digress….
    i also think there isn’t really anything good on the FA market and me i would prefer to play the kids next year and save up for something really good in 09. and i do NOT want ed going back to his old trix and signing all these expensive middle relievers

  9. Wow, Ed Wade. Good thing that they didn’t even interview Ng. Heaven forbid they bring in someone with a track record of success. The real question is if they were just going to bring in a puppet, why not keep Pupura, isn’t that what he was? Is this purely a PR move? The Astros need to win to make money, nothing else satisfies the fans there. Bringing in someone who isn’t an asset, what’s the point? Why not just donate the money to charity and promote some staff administrator?

  10. Oh, yeah, I hope your son’s ear ache clears up quickly.

  11. Steve Schramm says:

    Oh, and regarding this game’s defense, Lisa, did you see Hunter’s stumblin’ bumblin’ face plant attempting to catch Homer’s double? He got a terrible jump, took a bad line, and then fell all over himself trying to stretch and reach it. That boy needs some serious time in the field practicing his defense.
    But he sure did mash that high inside pitch; that thing looked like it had afterburners on it.
    I always liked that old ESPN dinger call that they should have used for this one, “That must be a Homer, ’cause the pitcher just said “Doh!”

  12. Lisa Gray says:

    kim ng?
    KIM NG?????!!!!!
    isn’t that the person who looks like a GRRRRL???
    goodness gracious we couldn’t have us one of Those People around here. besides we already have our token female in pam gardner, right?
    mclane had to get rid of purpura for PR. he needed SOMEone to blame the jennings trade on. i think mclane would have been perfectly happy with one of the many puppets already in the astros system, but it wouldn’t have looked OK to the fans/media.
    ed wade – well, he could at least take credit for mike arbuckle’s work with drafting and then everyone could say – oh wow – ed wade – he drafted all those great young phillies players.
    i am NOT fooled here.
    – and thank you neal, i hope his ear clears up too. it usually takes a few days. and then of course, the twins gonna catch it too. the good thing about having all these males is that it is dead easy to spot when they sick – they won’t eat. and they WANT to take a nap.
    and steve,
    correctamundo about pence. that ball was VERY catchable. pence was barely serviceable in center and he looks even worse in right.
    no one ever mentions defense as long as a guy hits over 300