Astros fans probably aren't going to have all that much to cheer about in the coming seasons. We've come to accept that. Accept the losing, accept the fact that Drayton McLane, Jr. is still pulling the strings. It comes with the territory.
This week's announcement that our own Michael Bourn has won a Gold Glove sort of gave us a jolt of life. It was good news after a season of poor play and a botched hiring process for a manager. A week's vacation of sorts.
Damn it all, I was feeling good. I knew Bourn had a nice season, but this gave him and the team some positive national recognition. There were a ton of sketchy choices for the award (as there always is) but Bourn seemed like a legitimate choice.
Not so fast. Good 'ol Joe Sheehan weighed in on the situation, and per usual didn't mince words when talking about an Astro:
The NL awards were marked by a lot of turnover, unusual for an award of this nature. The turnover was unnecessary. Michael Bourn wasn't a better defender than Mike Cameron was, and Matt Kemp and Shane Victorino certainly weren't.
That may be true. Cameron was statistically the best centerfielder in the NL in 2009, at least going by one measure. Advanced defensive metrics are still in their relative infancy, and nobody can seem to decide on which one is the best at ascertaining true defensive ability and skill. Yes, by both measures linked by me Cameron was better than Bourn...barely. Better by such an small amount that you could hardly criticize Bourn's selection over Cameron.
If this isn't the ultimate picking of nits and splitting of hairs, I don't know what is. I understand that the apparent theme of his article "I know more about baseball than most everyone on earth, especially the simpletons who dole out the Gold Glove Award" mandated that he denigrate most every selection, but come on. This act of telling people how smart you are and how much information you have to bestow on us is getting old.
Maybe I'm the one splitting hairs and am being overly sensitive. Yes, Sheehan does say you can make a case for Bourn winning (thanks for throwing us a bone, Joe). From the general tenor of his articles, to his nearly constant implicit reminders that: 1) we're not as smart as he is, and 2) we need to be taught on a near daily basis that we aren't, I am beginning to grow weary of that website. Yea, yea, yea: I know a lot of people love BPro, and they don't need Evan Hochschild's readership to get by. I understand. The simple fact that the great majority of Sheehan's articles are negative and quasi condescending frustrates/angers/befuddles me. Sorry for the rant, but I just had to get this off my chest.
(Yes, I saw he said something positive about Jason Castro...within a thinly veiled pot shot at the Astros' having selected him over Justin Smoak.)