I am dead serious. And here I was snickering at them signing Russ Ortiz. And snickering at the media guys who think signing Ortiz was this great idea. Believe it or not, I am secretly hoping they are right and I am wrong because even though a signing looks like flushing money down the toilet, it IS baseball and the one thing you can be sure of is youneverknow.
Danny Graves was an excellent relief pitcher for years, with the Reds, until they decided to make him a starter ala Braden Looper. He uck-sayed, went 4-15 and his ERA/WHIP went from excellent to obscene. He had a better year in 04 when he returned to the bullpen – his numbers look superficially good, as he finished 59 games, saved 41, lost 6 and blew 8 for a 3.95 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. But he seriously stunk it up in 05, was traded to the Mets, stunk it up there too, Putrified 18 innings for Cleveland in 06, then went to the Indys in 07, then threw 84 innings in AAA for the Twins, with a 6.30 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP.
Are we really REALLY that desperate?
Chad Paronto, RHP will be back - he did quite well in AAA for Round Rock last year – 3.08 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 10.4 H/9 and 0.3 HR/9 (2 in 52.2 IP) No problem there as we have so few of our own guys we need SOMEone who can take a few relief innings.
We also invited Jose Capellan, RHP. Jose and Chad have one extremely important thing in common besides being RHP - they BOTH were drafted by the Braves and traded. Remember all the stuff I’ve said a gazillion times about the Braves and their incredible judgement about pitchers? And how I can count on ONE hand the number of pitchers they’ve released/traded since Schuerholz became GM in 91 who succeeded elsewhere (and I don’t mean pitched a few innings here and there with a suckulous record.) The boy was a tippy top prospect for the Braves, looked as he was gonna be an ace de la ace when he was traded to the Brewers in 04 for the Brewer’s ace closer Danny Kolb. I hafta kind of giggle about this one because John Schuerholz guessed wrong on this one – not about Capellan not being worth much, but about Danny continuing to be an ace closer, which he, to put it mildly, wasn’t.
But I digress…
Anyhow, The Brewers were dilirious with joy, thinking they’d just gotten their hands on an ace. But they hadn’t. They tried converting him to relief in 05, and he threw 81 league average relief innings with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 06.
The Brewers didn’t think real too much of him and in mid 07, they traded him to the desperate Tigers whose bullpen was almost completely depleted due to injuries, for a minor leaguer who, at age 25, just completed his second year at high A (did quite well this time.)
He so impressed the Tigers with his 6.43 ERA over 14 innings, that they traded him to the Rockies for Denny Bautista (who I am always confusing with DAnny Bautista, who is a HITTER, for some reason) and he threw all of 2 innings for them last year. He did throw another 16 in their minors before he was released and was picked up by the Royals, where he played for Omaha, throwing 37 innings of 4.10 ERA/1.31 WHIP ball.
Good rule of thumb – if the Braves don’t want him, you don’t either. And yes, I know they made a mistake about Jason Schmidt and Adam Wainwright, who are/were aces and Jason Marquis and Odalis Perez, who have had success.
They also invited 33 year old backup catcher Toby Hall, who hits like Ausmus, but isn’t NEAR as hot – his OPS+ over the last 5 years are: 77, 83, 76, 22, 61. But hey, that is bettern Quintero.
And they invited Brian Esposito, a 9 year minor league veteran whose line reads .214/.253/.305/.558.
And they prefer these guys to J.R. Towles now WHY?????
I should also note that Jack Cassel signed on with the Indians. Hope he gets a chance there, cuz he sure as heck wasn’t gonna get one with the Astros with Coop disliking him as much as he does.
And that Ty Wigginton has not yet been able to get ANY job.
I think the owners are going to get the media – especially the newspaper guys, whose jobs are teetering precariously these days, to help them paint the ballplayers are greedy scum, so that they will be forced to take lower salaries and the owners can keep their obscene profits.
Amazing how many papers are on the brink of ruin. The Dallas Morning News is ceding all of its baseball coverage to the Fort Worth paper. The San Francisco area papers’ baseball beat people are collborating. I guess we should be glad we still HAVE beat reporters for the Astros. No, they aren’t Peter Gammons, but thank GAWD they ain’t Corky Simpson (you know, the guy who voted for steroid user Matt Williams because he’s a good guy, but not Rickey Henderson because he’s “not a Rickey guy.”)
But some ballplayers are crazy, too. Ryan Madsen, Philly reliever (and no, not exactly an All-Star caliber one), just turned down a 3 year 12 mill deal while Cole Hamels agreed to be grossly underpaid at 3 years, 20.5 mill for years 4,5,6. 4 mill a year is excellent for a middle reliever and that guy is just plum loco. I guess he’s gambling he’ll get more in arb.
Meanwhile, the Astros STILL haven’t found anyone who can play SS if/when Miguel Tejada is put on trial/questioned/jailed/deported for the crime of lying to federal investigators about using drugs.
It is absolutely amazing that the feds have blown a minimum of 55 mill trying desperately to nail Barry Lamar Bonds for USING (not selling, not buying, not distributing) Schedule 3 controlled drugs while letting the manufacturers, distributors and dealers walk. Of course, they now can pat themselves on the back for ruining Roger Clemens, who wasn’t smart enough to confess/falsely confess to using, blubber some stupid apology like Andy Candy, and go on his merry way (you can’t eff with even former politicians or they will nail your butt.)
Which reminds me – we all know that Rafael Palmeiro’s life in baseball was ovah the day he tested positive for roids, BECAUSE he said the only thing that he had been injected with was the B-12 that Tejada had given him. He got plenty stones thrown at him and he went into exile, more reviled than a child rapist.
But here’s Tejada, a known roid purchaser (dumbass wrote checks to his dealer, for one – so much for guys hiding their drug doing), now in serious trouble for supposedly lying to the feds about roid use – and me, I wonder if I am the only one who wonders if Palmeiro actually DID tell the truth about getting a B-12 shot from Tejada, only it was one of his, uh, special (ahem) shots, and that by the time inspectors came along to check his stash out, it was filled with clean bottles (and getting hold of injectible Vitamin B-12 and insulin needles is piece of cake.)
I doubt if the feds really give a rat’s ass about Tejada, who can just stay in the D.R. if he doesn’t want to deal with the US Justice system – I seriously doubt he could be extradited for that, but I’m thinking that Novitsky is wondering if Tejada can be somehow used to nail that dirty rotten scoundrel Barry Lamar Bonds. Which has been his ONLY interest all along. Hey, he wanted to do it with Jason Grimsley…
What actually makes me maddest about Tejada is that it was DRAYTON MCLANE who wanted this guy, who told Ed Wade to throw away The Hated Luke Scott (one of these days, I swear I am gonna find out why the Organization hated him so much), Albers, Patton and Sarfate for his lying ass and limp bat. Who pretended he hadn’t nevah heard the talk about Tejada’s real age or his roid use (if I had heard it for 3 or 4 years, I KNOW that Tal Smith, who is NOT stupid, certainly had.) And you know that it is Ed Wade who is gonna catch the heck from the fans.
And no, I know good-n-well that getting Tejada and getting rid of 3 guys the Astros didn’t want BEFORE he got here was most certainly NOT his idea. And Like I keep saying, I refuse to give credit/debit for any trade/signing that occurred that was clearly NOT Fast Eddie’s doing.
Personally, I hope Tommy Manzella, lousy bat and all, makes the team, for the simple reason that I hear tell he fields near as well as Adam Everett and I miss watching him. I miss watching Roy Oswalt not even bothering to look back before wandering off the field on an impossible ball up the middle that should have been a no doubter single.
PACR in 25 days.
Tags: Houston Astros