Ed Wade has two pages chock full of people who want to manage the Astros. One of the more interesting names that has been bandied about, Dave Duncan, isn't one of them. It would have been interesting to have Duncan in the mix, seeing as how he's worked side by side with TLR all these years in both Oakland and St. Louis.
Richard Justice points out that Drayton McLane's Astros have been a well run franchise. Obviously the biggest reason to think otherwise has been his neglect of the farm system and unwillingness to spend the necessary money on draft picks in the past. If Ed Wade truly has convinced McLane that it's wise to invest in the farm system, and that to fail to do so assures either the need for a high payroll or a lousy record, then this team may be able to break this recent pattern of poor drafting and struggling big league teams.
Baseball Prospectus gives a pretty even handed assessment of the Astros, suggesting that the future ain't so bright around Houston. They give the usual suggestion to trade Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt, and also mention Darin Erstad, Brandon Backe and Jason Michaels more than probably need be, but such is their way I suppose.
The United States has clinched the top spot in the Baseball World Cup! Kudos to our young ballplayers for dominating thus far. Sadly, one player who hasn't been dominating is Mr. Jason Castro, who sports a .095 batting average in six games. That's ok, Jason- JR Towles can't do much better over here.
My thought of the day: This economic crisis the country has had to battle for the past year or so has seen large companies basically taken over by the government to ensure that reckless decision making is kept to a minimum. Now, I'm not trying to make a political statement or anything, but I think this is an interesting idea to apply...not necessarily to the economy, but to MLB teams.
Take the Astros, for instance. For years, the Astros mismanaged the amateur draft like an AIG executive looking at a balance sheet. Look at the Astros now. A shell of our former, once respectable selves. What can happen to change this? Why not let MLB make decisions for the Astros? Buy out the bad parts of the team, back all decisions with the security of the MLB brand and dig us out the hole. Once operations return to normal, pick us a new owner, and let us free. It's like nursing an injured animal back to health. Or hell, what if the Astros made an agreement with Tampa or Atlanta or Oakland to allow their GM to somehow help the decision making process in return for a prospect here, or a Roy Oswalt there? Just a thought.