A couple weeks ago, I think, I was ready to write a big long piece about why Barmes was an amazing pick up. Part of this is because the Rox were the only professional team anywhere near southeast Idaho, so I happen to have watched a few games, and partly because, as previously stated, our options at SS are non-existent. Instead I waited, knowing that the real storm was coming. Now it's here.
So, what is this storm? Because I don't do drama well, you probably read the title and know that it's a storm of whining. I'd use other words, but as this may be seen by children I will likely only cuss when Albert, Matt, and Lance go back-to-back-to-back off Lyles who gets his midseason call up this year, no later than the first week of June I'd wager.
Back on topic: why the whining? We haven't made any moves, I get it. I follow MLBTR religiously and I'm sick of seeing us mentioned in connection with everyone from the other CLee to some Australian kid with too many names. I know his name, you know his name, allow me my pettiness. The next post I want to read about the Astros is we signed somebody. I don't care if it's we signed Vlad Guerrero to a 10/200 contract to play CF. Just show me that our front office has a pulse.
But why the whining? We knew we were broke coming into this offseason. Even after unloading a bunch of salary theres a recession, some say it's over, but i still can't find a job, and on top of that the team is being shopped. I'm ready to jump on every bandwagon out there that says spend some money, win some games, and that will make us more marketable, especially when the estimates I've heard have Drayton wanting something like twice what the team is valued at. I'm no fool, but a Comcast contract and a big screen don't add 300-400mil onto your teams value.
We knew we were broke, we knew we were "rebuilding" but we still whine. The three things I hate hearing about most:
1. Barmes is a nobody. Ok, well, he's not a superstar, but he's solid, and he's a pull hitter playing 81 games with a shallow porch in left. Punch some over the wall for me, Clint. He's also a solid defender, and a great team mate. Why are we hating on this guy?
1.b. Worthy of mentioning, but not really as a separate note, Paulino is gone, and good riddance. The two guys I was sick of giving rope to long after they'd hung themselves was Manzella and Paulino, and now they're both gone, essentially. What pisses me off is the people whining about wanting him back or feeling like we got screwed giving up his canon for a nobody. Stats don't lie. His canon was all powder and no shot.
2. This one I heard today. People on the team website whining because Wade said he wasn't gonna sign a left fielder because he didn't wanna force Carlos Lee to move down to 1B and bump Brett. Some had said he hadn't done anything to warrant being a Major League player yet, so why were we pinning our hopes on him. If anyone deserves that question it's Castro. A ceiling doesn't mean jack if the player never reaches it. It's all hypothetical. What we do know is that Wallace has dominated the minors and while he struggled last year he will be a great every day 1B this year as he makes adjustments and starts making pitchers pay.
3. Why can't we sign "insert big name free agent here"? I get it, I want a whole team of Cliff Lee's and Carl Crawford's and Jayson Werth's. I was begging Wade to make one of these deals, ideally Crawford, but then I ran out of Jameson, fell asleep, and woke up clear headed again. Let's look at this realistically. The only one of those three likely to be worth their contract is Crawford.
Werth is a professional hitter, no doubt, and he'll likely be a great value for a couple of years, but he'll be 32 shortly after the start of the season, and it goes down hill quick. There just aren't many hitters out there that are worth, or Werth? no? ok, worth 18 million/yr. Period. Much less when they're 39 which is what he'll be if he manages to make it to the end of this contract.
For comparison Carlos hit .303/.354/.528 with 32 homers in his 31 year old season, his first as an Astro. Numbers he surpassed in his 32 year old season and nearly equaled in his 33 year old season before this last season. Werths 2010 numbers are nearly identical to the numbers put up by Carlos. You have baseball-reference, check it out. Werth is in better shape, sure, but where is he in three years when he still has 4 years left? I've got a guess. I love stats, but again, not sabermetrics. Those aren't stats, those are life sucking monotony taking over my beloved game of baseball. . . wanna see where sabermetrics gets you? It gets you the Mariners signing Chone Figgins. Seriously.
Cliff Lee is another guy who won't likely live up to his contract. Why are people so high on this guy? He's a late bloomer. He didn't have his first good season until he was 29. Prior to that he was a #5 at best, a non-tender candidate on any good team. Since then he's been an innings eater and a solid #2. I know half of you are clicking that little x in the top right, of left for the mac users, and the other half are rushing to the bottom of the page to leave horrible comments. He's not the next Nolan Ryan or Cy Young. He's an aging vet who pitches every 5 days and manages to turn it up in the post season, unless it's the WS and he's facing the Giants. Screwed the pooch there.
Living in California 2 hours from San Francisco and with my football season already over, thanks in part to a different Wade who I liked as a coordinator, but not as a head coach, but this is baseball, so back to topic. Anyways, as a fan of all things Texas living so close to San Francisco I wanted the Rangers to poung the Giants. They didn't even look like they were trying it was so ugly. Also, there is no such thing as good BBQ in California. It's burnt shoe leather with ketchup and tabasco sauce. . .
Lee is holding out for seven years, and he'll get it, but then he's 38, and probably reverting back to his pre 2008 form by the time he's 33 or 34. He's a great pitcher, but you don't pay a guy who takes the mound every 5 days a quarter of your teams salary. And you sure as hell don't pay your closer 15mil/yr, and you DAMN SURE don't go after some kid who gets anxiety and forgets how to throw the ball. . . Greinke. . . don't do it. The kid has stuff, you just don't know if you're gonna get the stuff from his arm or the stuff from the voices in his cracked little head. Not to mention he's throwing the Royals under the bus every chance he gets. Not that I blame them, short of the Bucs they're horrible, but they're not signing my pay checks and putting me through therapy every time I get a blister or an ingrown nail or I want to go hang out with my buddy Khalil Greene. I want the kid to get fixed, not for baseball, but for himself, but he shouldn't be doing it while earning top dollar and playing in the minors every other month to get away from the pressures of big league ball.
So I've trashed Greinke, Lee, and Werth, praised Wallace and Barmes, and hated on California. In 6 months I'll be hating on Nebraska then I can trash the Royals in person as their AAA affiliate is in Omaha where my wife is going to be stationed and Kansas City is close by. God I miss Texas.