I was there to tell you last night* that it's not easy being an Astros fan right now, but it can't be easy being an Astro at this point, either. While everyone's very well paid and doing their best to act professionally, the degree of mediocrity to which the club has sunk is bound to introduce a level of tension. It's not hard to see if you look a little bit.
Take Andy Pettite, for example, quoted in last night's ESPN recap about being sent on Taveras' liner in the fifth. "I know I'm slow but I don't think I'm that slow," he said. "Obviously, I don't think I should have went." While no-one would begrudge Pettitte any frustration, pointing out the errors of the coaching staff is not likely to further cement any clubhouse friendships.
Or take Willy Taveras. While he did admit blame in failing to get that suicide squeeze gone horribly awry down, he also said, " . . .I never did that before, but in a squeeze you have to bunt or whatever." No, not whatever, Willy; you bunt. But never mind that. Do go on:
"You throw the bat or do whatever you can to hit the ball even if it's a bad pitch or whatever. I hope it doesn't happen again. I never did a suicide in the minors, but that's not saying I can't do it."
Taveras is subtly trying to suggest that he was asked to do something he was not comfortable with, trying to shift blame off himself here. Of course, it doesn't fly (as Willy T is at the very worst the third-best bunter on the team), but the attempt to evade responsibility wouldn't sit well with me if I were Phil Garner.
Who is also probably feeling some umbrage at Roy Oswalt. One day after telling the media that new callup Humberto Quintero would be catching Wandy Rodriguez and Roy Oswalt, Garner came back Wednesday and said that well, maybe Ausmus would catch Oswalt after all. Oswalt has both had kind words for the departed Chamo, and reasonable ones about Quintero, but it seems obvious that soon after Garner had made the initial announcement, Oswalt had gone into Garner's office or spoke to him at the gym or whatever these people do, and said, basically, all I've got is my ERA, pal. Please don't f*** with that. Don't tell me you can't imagine that particular confrontation.
Happy happy joy joy joy, as they say.
* Especially during the AAAAAAAAAAAARGGGGHHHH!!!!!! part.
But there are still three more games through Monday, and I'll be following the results if not doing the webcast thing, 'cause like, a division crown at any level would really help.
Legends lefthander Troy Patton (3 - 0, 1.22) takes on Suns righty Gaby Hernandez (3- 1, 2.63) at Applebee's Park tonight at 7:05.