I posted this on Saturday on Jose de Jesus Ortiz’ blog at Chron.com because I am sick and tired of people who feel that A-Rod is going to come to Houston just because the fans want him to or a great free agent pitcher is miraculously going to appear to save the Astros’ day if Uncle Drayton just dangles enough dollar bills in front of him.
I am also sick and tired of people thinking Drayton McLane is cheap and Mark Cuban should buy the Astros. On Purpura, I tend to go with the general sentiment that he is too close to the players and gives them more chances than they deserve *cough* Jason Lane *cough cough* Morgan Ensberg. But, I am also sick and tired of the people who are clamoring for the return of Gerry Hunsicker like he was some sort of a God while he was the Astros GM.
Yes the following is my rant, but, it’s my blog and I can rant if I want to!
I have a question for all the people who want McLane to sell the team or stay out of the clubhouse or wish that we had Hunsicker back:
Did you like John McMullen as owner? Did you appreciate his telling Nolan Ryan he was not worth $1 million and that he was washed up? Do you want to go back to those days when the Astros were worse than the Pirates or Royals are now?
Regarding Hunsicker, he left in 2004. Have you thought about WHY the Astros farm system is in shambles right now? It’s because he stripped it for rentals like Beltran and Randy Johnson. He also made many bad trades and acquisitions like Dan Miceli, John Franco, Jay Powell, Pedro Astacio, etc. He also gave away Kenny Lofton, Freddy Garcia, Johann Santana, Curt Schilling, Bobby Abreu, told Clemens he wasn’t welcome as an Astro in 1997, and above all, let’s all ask the question why is Hunsicker not a GM at Tampa Bay (he’s an asst there) or any other place yet? Is it because other teams know that he’s not that good?
How soon we forget how bad the Astros were in the late 80s and early 90s until McLane bought the team.
For those of you who want Cuban here, why hasn’t he bought the team that’s even closer to his house, the Rangers? Arguably the Rangers owner Tom Hicks is even worse of an owner than McLane is and their ticket prices are much steeper than ours are.
I’m not happy with the way the team and management have performed this year, but thinking the grass is greener on the other side is not a smart way of thinking. I do think changes should be made with this team for next year and for future years.
Purpura needs to get over his sentimentality with "his" players like Ensberg, Lane, Lidge, Burke, etc. If guys don’t perform, they should be cut or traded. I don’t think 2 years is good enough of a track record to judge Purpura with yet. I’d give him one more year. Same for Garner.
This off season the Astros should be shopping for a starting short stop, 3rd baseman and catcher. The pitching can be upgraded too, but if Zambrano re-signs with the Cubs, good pitching will be hard to find and Jennings may be your only option.
I am a bit ambiguous regarding free agents they can sign this off season and if there are not any major acquisitions, I’d like to see Patton and Towles up.
Opening Day Lineup
Lamb/FREE AGENT 3B
NEW SHORT STOP
The bullpen really just needs a little bit of tweaking to be honest. Overall, Lidge, Wheeler, Qualls are still solid. Get rid of Moehler and Miller though. Keep Albers and Borkowski, bring up McLemore and go with 11 pitchers.
Drayton McLane really doesn’t need to spend a whole lot of money this off season, he just needs to get rid of the deadwood we have taking up roster spots right now. Nontender Ensberg, Everett, Lane. Don’t offer arbitration or re-sign Palmeiro, Ausmus, Biggio, Moehler, Miller. Do you damndest to re-sign Loretta and have him play 2nd base or platoon at 3rd with Lamb. If he’s adamant about being the starting 2nd baseman, give it to him for a couple years. Trade Burke and just wait for Jonny Ash to come up.
The Astros can be contenders next year if they don’t have 5 black holes in their lineup and two bombs in their bullpen.
Drayton does need to do something by August 15th though–he needs to pony up the $2 million Chad Jones’ father is asking for and sign him. The kid can flat out play baseball and allowing him to go to LSU and play football is not going to hurt the organization or Drayton’s pocketbook. We would have another Hunter Pence if we lock up Chad Jones. If Jones slips away and attends LSU full time, he’s going to be a 1st rounder and a top ten draft pick in 4 years. I don’t want to see another Carl Crawford slip away from the Astros. This is one almost hometown kid we need to sign.