I guess you could call it amusing that the Astros are having all these guys supposedly “compete” for Spring Training jobs when the GM decided BEFOREhand who the position players on the 25 man would be.
It certainly isn’t batting average or slugging, let alone fielding, that made Yordany Ramirez get sent down or Alex Romero get released. Ed Wade had ALREADY decided, no matter what, that his backup OF were gonna be Cory Sullivan and Phillies Michaels. Chris Johnson and his .325 BA and .750 SLG never stood a chance, unless Feliz and Keppinger BOTH went on the DL.
Morgan Ensberg says in his wonderful blog, that communication of almost any sort is almost nonexistant in pro ball. I’m starting to REALLY like that guy. I’m pretty cynical about professional athletes and their public vs private personas, and don’t exactly expect good human beings because of athletic prowess, but I think that Mo probably IS the decent guy he sounds like. Probably because he was NOT one of those guys who was The Popular Kid or The Supastah in hs – he certainly wasn’t in college. Yeah, sure, he’s aggressive and competitive, but I think that goes along with being male – most guys are aggressive and competitive about SOMEthing.
Anyway, he had said that he LOVED Jimy Williams as a manager – because Jimy did the 3 things well that Mo believes a manager should do: 1 – protect his players from the media (and he surely did THAT and the media hated him for it); 2 – teach – even major leaguers learn something new constantly. How many guys have said that they wish they had the body now that they are old to do what their bodies could do when they were young? 3 – COMMUNICATE – explain what they want clearly so that guys know what’s going on.
The Astros Organization is pimping the living heck out of Jason Castro – not sure if he has all these redeeming features that make him worthy of deification, or if he is just an ordinary catcher, but he was the guy they picked as their number 1 pick – picked before better ranked guys, who COST MORE (ahem) and who are proof of the wonderfulterrificness of The New Ed Wade Regime. They point to his good Spring Training numbers as the Proof of his wonderfulness.
What does this tell Maysonet, Johnson and every other guy who was told he is “fighting for a job” when in fact, their faces are being lied to? When Ed Wade, the FIRST day of ST tells the media that maybe some day Johnson and Maysonet etc might have a place on the Astros roster?
Same thing it tells me when Ed Wade can’t WAIT to praise Paulino (another guy the Organization is crazy in luuuuvvvv with) for beating the crappy Pirates – something even Mike Hampton managed to do.
We all have it figured out – Shelton, Maysonet, Johnson, Ramirez and every other guy who put up great lines in ST never were going to get anything. What does the Organization tell these guys? ANYthing? Do they praise the guys when they do well, or even bother to tell them how they could improve so that they could ever have a chance of making the team, or being traded to a team that will use them? How do guys not lose hope?
I wonder what they have told Towles, who has certainly out-performed Castro. If he hits like Piazza ’99 all year, what then? Why has Quintero been guaranteed a ML job in spite of the fact that Towles is a better defended and hitter? What do they tell him about THAT?
Pitchers? Well, the only ones who don’t look awful are Roy, Sammy G, Lindstrom and Sampson. I keep telling myself about Clemens in ST of 05 and his 8 something ERA and saying – well, this is what happens when guys work on stuff. Casey Daigle, who has 100+ crappy minor league innings pitched, has thrown 10 good innings this ST, and may actually get a roster spot instead of Sammy G. Casey, by the way, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006, when he threw 12 OK innings for the Dbax in relief. They’ll give Casey a chance, a guy who is a NRI, but they won’t give their own minor league position players a sniff.
I heard from a few good sources that Brad Mills didn’t want it that way, but Fast Eddie did. So when the New Old Guys suck, I won’t blame Mills.