We really didn’t need this – it’s not as if we don’t already have massive suckage in the pitching department. But whatever is going around, Roy seems to have caught. What an awful game – only made it through 3.2 IP – 9 hits – FOUR doubles and a triple, 1 BB, NO strikeouts and a 2 run error of his own and a 2 run error by Loretta.
Things are so bad at third base that now Cooper’s got 38 year old Brad Ausmus playing there. Yes, I know that catchers can be converted to third basemen – see Brandon Inge – heck, see Mike Lamb, but at age 38???
What I have seen of the fielding and what my friends who have watched the games live have said about it is – the fielding is incredibly terrible.
Let me re-print a few quotes from Joseph Duarte from the Houston Chronicle (he’s the guy who is working Jose Ortiz’ beat at ST while Jose is off on secret assignment – most likely on Clemens):
From his blog yesterday:
“Cooper was particularly upset with a botched rundown during a four-run sixth inning, which began with a low throw from first baseman Lance Berkman to home plate and ended with third baseman Ty Wigginton tossing a ball over catcher J.R. Towles’ head.
The Astros have committed 32 errors this spring, an average of at least one per game. Wigginton has a team-leading eight errors.
“This isn’t young kids doing this stuff,” Cooper said. “This is ridiculous. It shouldn’t be happening now. I don’t care who it is, it shouldn’t be happening.”
Cooper can understand some of the issues happening during the first week of spring training in mid-February. Not with less than a week before the March 31 season opener against San Diego.
“It’s disappointing,” Cooper said. “It shouldn’t be happening this late in the spring. I don’t know what the problem is, but we’re going to get it straightened out.”
Cooper said the Astros may skip batting practice Wednesday “to work on fundamentals.”
“The fielding has been sloppy,” he said. “It hasn’t been good.”
Working on fundamentals? The LAST week of ST? With a veteran infield? Let me see if I’ve got this right – he expects to teach fundamentals to chronic lead gloves Wigginton, Blum, Loretta, Tejada and Lee???!!! It isn’t Towles and Bourn screwing up out there. Good luck Coop. If you can make even league average fielders out of those guys, I will definitely do everything in my power to call the world’s attention to your genius.
And from Duarte’s blog this morning:
Cecil Cooper gave the team a refresher course in fielding Wednesday morning.
Cooper had the team take an abbreviated batting practice to work on fielding, which drew his ire during Tuesday’s sloppy 10-9 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
“We need to work on this stuff,” Cooper said. “It’s four games before showtime. We can’t go into showtime looking like this. We should be locked in and focused.”
There were three errors in today’s game. Of course, one was made by “third baseman” Brad Ausmus and another by Roy, usually a good fielder, but Wiggy managed not to boot a ball/overthrow in his 6 innings of work. Whoa.
Only a few more days left until Opening Day on Saturday. The kids are all excited, can’t stop talking about it. And that is simply awesome and should be what Opening Day should be all about. An afternoon game the kids can go to and see. Actually, I envy my kids – you see, they wear their Astros caps and their Astros shirts and their kid-sized gloves and they are just so happy to be going to see their team play. They don’t know that the team is lousy, and even if they did they don’t care. They just are happy to see them play.
Bud Selig was so happy about seeing that Opening Day for MLB was played at a time and place that no one in this country, let alone fans of the teams, got to see the games. He boasted to ESPN that in 10 years, we wouldn’t recognize MLB. (And people were soooooo worried about steroids???!!!) So as for me, I am going to try to enjoy baseball while we got it – The Way The Game Is Supposed To Be Played (as the sportswriters call it) before Bud manages to do whatever it is he wants to do to it.
I hate Bud. I’m too freaking young to be talking about The Good Old Days…