Ladies and Gentlemen, if you're keeping track, that's three straight 100 loss seasons, 3 straight number one picks, and a TV Deal with no cable providers on board, causing the network to go bankrupt. Yes there is still a chance the Marlins finish with a worse record, but for me it looks like a destined Astro number one pick. I'm not one to panic, and I'm not; I'm still firmly in the Luhnow camp and in favor of the process. But my thinking is, and I think at this point Jim Crane agrees, it's time to spend some money on some wins. I'm not in favor of blocking prospects, either; but a corner OF, a few decent relievers(those exist?!) and bringing back Bedard don't block any prospects at this point. I know the argument will be "is it really worth a $50-55 million payroll to get to 75-80 wins and not have the number one pick?". The answer for me is this: it wasnt three or two years ago, or even at the beginning of this year, but IT IS now. The fan base is continually decreasing for three reasons:
1.) A lack of knowledge of the process the 'Stros are going through. That can't be helped, and won't change until the process is complete.
2.) Disgust with changes. Fans see the greed of the whole CSN nightmare and quite a few have already abandoned ship because of it. Others would've just been happy to be able to listen on KTRH but, nope, that changed too for monetary reasons. Now it's on a station where people outside the city of Houston can't hear their Astros. The hassle of Game Day audio is an option, for the few casual fans that even know it exists. This disgust with the greed of all parties involved in the CSN debacle, combined with the inability to see the Astros on TV, has been an absolute nightmare.
3.) Finally, for those casual fans willing to just read box scores and attend a handful of games, the on field product hasn't been good. It's a side effect of the process, but to the casual fan it looks like more greed, fielding an inexpensive, poor product and pocketing the extra money.(Raising ticket prices didnt look good either) So, with all these problems, doesn't it seem like it's time for some extra wins? Even if it's just a 75 win season, it gives casual fans hope. And by 2015, the process might lead to improvement beyond that. In my opinion, it's worth having, say, the tenth overall pick instead of the first in that 2015 draft to save a part of the fan base. Our scouts and analytical department can choose the best player available and I'll trust them with that pick. It's time for the Astros to start moving toward having the thirtieth pick, instead of the first. Let the turnaround start now.