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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 133 vs. Brewers

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Dave Bush Roger Clemens
9 - 10, 4.89 6 - 4, 2.50
Obviously, the Astros organization isn't perfect. They let Bobby Abreu get away, they let Melvin Mora get away, and they let Johan Santana get away.

Moreover, I'm pretty sure they railroaded Julio Lugo, and I had some reservations about the way they treated Jeff Bagwell as Bags strode very uneasily toward the door.

And don't get me going on Shane Reynolds.

But more often than not, I find myself in admiration of the way the club goes about their business. Under McLane's control, the Astros have not only been smart, but they have also approached things failry in their dealings.

OK, so the Richard Hidalgo deal didn't work out so good. But at the time, it felt very right. It was the club saying, OK, we believe in you. And rather than see you leave after two seasons of success, we'd rather you stay with us.

Course things didn't work out so well, but the fair and fundamental precepts of the deal remain long after Reeshard is gone.

Anyway.

The point that's been made to me in the wake of last night's announcement of the $73 million, 5 + 1 deal the club has forged with Roy is that the whole free agency system doesn't have to be about player movement. It can be about players staying, staying where they belong without sacrificing the rewards they have earned.

saylinara said about the five-year deal that if anyone deserves it, Roy does. And that is so goddamned right it hurts.

If the Astros weren't willing to offer Roy a five year deal given his history, given Oswalt's formidable fastball/curveball repertoire, given Oswalt's desire to win, given Oswalt's sheer freaking guts, hell, if they weren't willing to offer Roy a five-year deal when AJ Burnett has one, well, the Astros would have deserved the gaping hole in their rotation that would have surely developed once Roy departed in pursuit of fairer pastures.

Similarly, you got to give credit to Oswalt and his agents, this pair of Bob Garber and Barry Meister. They recongnized a fair market value offer, and instead of trying to extract evey last penny out of the situation, they understood that the greatest karma flowed from a situation where Roy stayed with the Houston ballclub.

Not that Roy, or his agents or Drayton would ever use the word "karma."

I've often said that I can't stand it when some superstar athlete--like Roy, like Jeff Bagwell--makes his lament to the media that he's been "reminded that it's a business," and that's still so. But what's last night's signing reminds me is that just because it's a business doesn't mean that things can't turn out the right way.