Some things to talk about while I defend my #hottake from this morning...
1) The premise
Writing satire is hard. It should not be undertaken lightly. Comedy is the same way. People often think they are much funnier than they are. Heck, even the best comics can bomb. Have you ever followed comics on Twitter? Half the setups or jokes they throw out in tweets are bad.
That's why I've hesitated to try and co-opt the #HotSportTakes column. I have little confidence in my ability do pull off that tightrope act.
But, after seeing more arguments about how this front office needs to be held accountable, I snapped. I took three different arguments from Twitter and ran with them. Fleshed out those arguments into a cohesive column, making point after ridiculous point. It may have worked. Some got it. Others agreed with it a little too much.
It should not be viewed as a standalone piece, however. It should be taken with all my other articles this week, right alongside the piece on The Plan from Monday, the mailbag from Tuesday and Wednesday's look at using WAR and defensive metrics.
If there's a thesis statement holding everything together, it's this: Fans can be frustrated, but it's still very early. It's early in The Plan. It's early in the season. No GM in his or her right mind would ever consider losing this much on purpose.
Should we be critical of the GM? Absolutely. But, thinking a decade of unproductive drafts could be sloughed off in two years goes the way of madness. Look at the roster at the end of 2011. Tell me how many players offi it could have fixed the offense. Show me the draft picks. Show me the free agents. Where are the nine guys coming in that are drastically better than anyone on this current team?
That's not an excuse. That's reality. Point to the Marlins all you want. They had franchise players like Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez already on the roster in 2011 (well, in the system). They had trade assets to go get a young, flamethrowing pitching corps.
Look at the Miracle Rays. They had talent on the roster or in the system when Andrew Friedman took over.
Time has not accelerated just because the team is losing games this season. People love throwing out comparisons to the Royals or Pirates, trying to say they don't want the Astros to have two decades of failure.
Well, patience is required to avoid disaster. Jettisoning a rebuilding plan after three seasons is the worst kind of impatience. Down that road lies the Pirates. Down that road likes the first decade of the Devil Rays existence.
That doesn't matter to fans. You only care about wins and losses, as you should. You pay top dollar to watch the team. Some of you can't even do that at home. Frustration is natural. It's expected in the face of such adversity. Express it here. Go on the Chron and comment away, bro.
Don't, however, expect a change of regime to magically fix things in Houston. The depths of despair Houston plumbed before Jim Crane took over was deeper than expected. It won't get fixed overnight. It won't even get fixed in a year or three. It will eventually get fixed. Just know we're suffering right alongside you.
2) Fields as closer
Do you want to know why I wrote my #HotTake? It's comments like, "Fields should have never been closing games. That's a fundamental flaw in the roster."
Do you know why it upsets me? That comment ignores everything about this winter, about this spring.
Did I miss the point where the Astros named Fields a closer? Nope, they never did. They avoided using that term at every turn. At the beginning of the season, they said they'd have a "closer-by-committee" approach. When they signed Chad Qualls, he said they didn't promise him anything about a closer's role. Ditto Jesse Crain and Matt Albers.
If anyone dubbed Fields the closer, it was Bo Porter. He's the one that used Fields on three consecutive days as a closer. He never wore that title, but it's not like the front office hung it on him either.
So, blaming the front office for coming into the season with Fields as a closer misses the point so much, it needed a #HotTake.
I'll go back to, you know, blindly defending this front office for every move they make soon enough. You go back to railing against the lack of talent on this roster. We'll pick this up again on Friday.
3) Everybody needs a laugh
This week and past month has zapped the spirits of Astros fans, it's time for a laugh.
(Please direct all angry emails about this video to Ryan. He put this in.)