Houston Astros 2011 Season
April 1st 2011 - June 13th 2011
Today we remember the Houston Astros who lost a short battle with their season due to a poor offense, poor pitching, a horrible bullpen, and a lack of prospects ready on the farm. They are survived by their soon to be ex-owner Drayton McLane and soon to be ex-GM Ed Wade.
The 2011 Houston were born into big dreams of if "blank" happens then they could succeed, but this would eventually turn out to be nothing more than a bad blueprint put together by Ed Wade. The roster never fully jelled simply struggled at every aspect of the game which led to a poor product on the field.
If the Houston Astros could have done it all over again, they would have realized that this was just a badly constructed team that never had a chance and simply needed to blow the roster up and simply start over. Friends of the Astros often referred to Astros as being delusional and in denial. The Astros simply thought they were going to be better than they actually were and simply needed a fresh new start.
Players such as Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Meyers should have been traded last year when their value was the highest. With Brett Meyers struggling and Wandy Rodriguez returning from the DL it's going to be hard to get anything close to the prospects you would have obtained last year at the trade deadline. In order to trade Brett Meyers now, Houston will likely have to pick up some of the money owed to Meyers in order to get a couple of mid level prospects or simply wait and hope that he can regain his form. The Houston Astros probably jumped the gun a little bit by offering Brett Meyers an extension, and will likely regret that deal unless some team like the New York Yankees is willing take him off our hands. The Yankees could use Meyers as long man out of the pen during the season and as a late inning reliever. Wandy Rodriguez could still bring back quality prospects if he returns from the DL and puts in some quality starts leading up to the trade deadline.
Not being able to trade Wandy Rodriguez or Brett Meyers could force the Astros to trade players such as Michael Bourn or Hunter Pence. Hunter Pence would arguably be the Astros best trade piece and could bring back a young MLB ready prospect plus 1-2 mid level prospects. It's yet to be determined on who might be interested in Michael Bourn or what kind of package he might be able to bring back. The Astros could use these cheap complementary pieces to build around players such as Brett Wallace, Jason Castro, Jordan Lyles, and Bud Norris.
Ed Wade is going to have a hard time justifying his decisions at the major league level with new team General Managers Sandy Alderson and Kevin Towers being able to turn around the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks in their first year on the job. For Ed Wade, turning around the farm system will simply not be enough to save his job when new owner Jim Crane comes aboard. Three years is more than enough time for your Major League roster to show signs of improvement. Not only has this roster shown no signs of improvement, but some could argue that their progressively getting worse in every aspect of the game. When you're eighteen games under .500 and fourteen games back in the NL Central something surely isn't working. I think that everyone acknowledges and understands that Ed Wade was giving a broken ship, but to show little to no signs of improvement is inexcusable. This roster is performing the way that you would expect a team that just went through a fire sale to perform and not a team that consists of Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Meyers, Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn, and Brandon Lyon. If Ed Wade and the Astros had gone into fire sale mode last year, it probably would of saved his job, but since they did not its likely going to be the final nail in the coffin for Ed Wade and his staff.
When Jim Crane and George Postolos take over, they're going to be responsible for fixing one of the biggest organizational messes in Houston Astros history. Not only do they have to reconstruct this roster, but they have the tough task of getting the fans excited about the Houston Astros and baseball again.
Yes, I said baseball! In years past, Houston could survive tough times simply by having the game of baseball to fall back on, but they do not even have that anymore. Fans in Houston have simply grown tired of high ticket prices, poor promotions, and a stale product on the field that produces little to no excitement. The casual fan doesn't care how many double plays this team has turned or that or farm system is headed in the right direction. They want to see signs of life on the field and a team that is exciting to watch. Not a team that cannot hold a lead, puts up bad at bats, and fails to score.
Are you kidding me?
When the visiting teams fans are out numbering the Astros fans there is a big problem. When Brian McCann hit the go ahead HR on Saturday it sounded like the Braves were playing a home game rather than being the visitors. I had to do a double take when I saw a majority of the fans were doing the Tomahawk Chop. I really should of pieced it together sooner. I mean come on the details were all there.
1. Fans cheered Brandon Lyon when he walked a runner
2. The Crowd went nuts when McCann hit one of his many HRs this weekend
3. Fans doing the Tomahawk Chop at Minute Maid
This is flat out embarrassing if you're the Houston Astros, but they have nobody to blame but themselves. You can only push the fans so much before they simply lose all faith in this team and this organization. If Drayton McLane were to give Jim Crane any last advice it should simply be "Be Honest with the Fans." If you're going to commit to an idea then be honest with the fans. We're not a stupid as the front office would like to think and we can see through this false sense of hope that the Astros are selling. Do you really think we enjoy hearing "Are you ready to be a champion" when we're getting our brains beating in day-in and day-out?
Does this sound like 2005 when the Chronicle buried the team? Yeah maybe, but this team doesn't have a rotation of Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Roy Oswalt or a bullpen of Brad Lidge, Dan Wheeler, and Chad Qualls.
This is a just a bad roster and an organization that needs to finally come to the realization that it's time to simply start over. Stop this false sense of "We still think that we can compete." Not only is it insulting to the fans, but as an organization you come off as being the joke around baseball. Last time that I checked, being on pace to lose over a 100 games is usually a pretty good indication of an awful team.
Take solace in knowing that by June 13th, you will likely be on the clock for the number 1 pick in the 2012 draft and hopefully after the trade deadline you will have a mixture of prospects that are close and prospects that could help us in 2-3 years down the road when the Lexington Roster is close.
It's never easy saying goodbye to a friend or family member, but in this case and the city of Houston the Astros were simply struggling to survive and died of self induced complications.