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.
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.