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Thursday Morning Astros, etc. Round Up: Now with bonus fiction

In case you've been under a rock for the last 12-14 hours, you might have missed this. There are a pantheon of names that strike fear and respect into the hearts of us mere mortals.  Last night, another named was added to the greats—Chuck Norris, Bill Braski—Clif Lee.  Incredible.

Alyson Footer's new role with the Astros is awesome.  For proof, see her coverage of the Mills signing and press conference. There are very few fan bases with someone giving them this perspective, and I think we should all savor it. Also, if you were on the fence about liking Mills, trying to like Mills, or anything like that, I think the quotes from her Boston-beat-writer-friends might help sway you.

If the Richard Justice interview of Drayton McLane wasn't enough to strike true terror into your heart, maybe this quote from JJO's interview with Mr. McLane, Jr. will:

"We're trying to build that champion," McLane said. "Our mission and our goal is to be back. We need to be where the Phillies are. We need to work hard and continue to build the team. We just need to make some corrections. We certainly need to do that. We did that with the manager and some coaches. We're turning the apple cart upside down. That's why we focused in on Brad (Mills)."

Somehow, working hard and continuing to build the team, in McLane-speak, seems to mean cross your fingers and ferverntly hope players have career years and the things get better with no real effort or risk.  I'm excited to see what happens when the apple cart that is this franchise gets turned upside down, but somehow, I think that nothing actually happens.  Why? Because Drayton seems to have wool over his eyes.

Solomon takes a look at the Mills signing with an eye towards the pragmatic.  I'm not sure I can agree with everything that Solomon says about Mills and everything related to his new job title, but I'm glad that he's throwing it out there for us to think about it.

This quote from a Justice piece got me thinking.  And then that thinking turned into a really long day dream.  And that really long day dream has now turned into the a fictional scene that I hope actually takes place in the next week or two.

The quote:

And how many times did you see Carlos Lee allow a routine fly ball to fall in? Did you lose count of the silly baserunning mistakes? "We're going to try and stop those issues before they come up," Mills said. "It goes back to communicating. They're going to find out right away."

Scene: Corner office, MMP.  Time early afternoon.  A bald-headed man sits with an air of impatience in a high-back leather chair.  His foot is tapping steadily as he checks his watch for what feels like, to him, the millionth time. Suddenly, the man's face turns resolute as he stares at the door (not unlike a dog).  We hear plodding thuds, and then a hulking figure appears in the doorway.

Mills (with a mixture of relief and frustration): Carlos, I'm glad you made it.

Lee (with a huge bag of McDonald's and what is obviously a super-sized coke): Hey boss, how's it going?

Mills (just now recognizing the monstrosity of the McDonald's paraphernalia): It's going well, Carlos...Listen, I thought I told I didn't want anything from McDonald's. Right?

Lee (with a totally blank stare that turns quizzical): Yeah. I know. 

Mills (breathing a heavy sigh of disgust): OK.  Now this is part of what I wanted to talk to you about today, Carlos...This team...well, it's invested a lot of money in you—

Lee (interupting, with a mouth full of Big Mac): I know. Isn't it great? (he brandishes his Big Mac and super-sized coke as if to symbolize the spoils of his victory).

Mills: —and...OK, I just can't sugar coat this anymore...Carlos, you need to lose weight.  You're pretty much a tool-and-a-falf player getting paid like you're at least a four tool player.  It's absurd.  It's distasteful.  And most of all, it's disrespectful. Put the hamburger down: We're going for run.

Lee: (chokes on a piece of Big Mac due to his shock at these statements).


It'd be great.

Final link of the day: From the WSJ, a thought provoking look at the free agent system in baseball through the prism of Mark Teixeria's career path.