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J-Mike, Footer and the Astros Offseason Plans

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The baseball season runs from February through October. We here at TCB write about the Astros more than that. We write about them year-round. That means talking about the team before the offseason gets started, when other teams are still in the playoffs and trying to win the World Series. After all those games and days, I don't blame you if you need a break from the local nine. It's only natural to take some time, recharge your batteries and come back a better fan. What better time to do that than this weird limbo period before anything happens?

We've speculated a lot already about what the Astros might do once the free agency period opens in three days. Brian McTaggart speculated the other day that Ed Wade would get "creative" with his free agent choices. Last month, Alyson Footer mentioned in this post that the Astros would be comfortable with Jason Michaels as the starting left fielder (with a platoon mate) if Carlos Lee moves more permanently to first base.

Clack pointed out that the McTaggart story was more his opinion than it was fact from Ed Wade. It's probably a pretty safe opinion, since it comes from lots of conversations and familiarity with the team. Footer's comment is even more intriguing, since she actually works for the team. She was a reporter for MLB.com, though, and knows quite a bit about baseball. I'm guessing she is also just speculating at the Astros plans, but can we be sure?

That's the main thrust of what I wanted to discuss today. Our main source of information about what the front office is thinking comes straight from Ed Wade. His press conferences, his quotes to reporters, it all adds up to give us a picture of what the Astros might do. That's the primary source for these discussions.

A secondary source for all our info is the reporters themselves. As Evan talked about on Monday, we do have some very good writers covering this team, who provide us with lots of information and their own opinions. The question is where does Footer fall. Is she more of a primary source, because she's inside the organization? Or is she stil a secondary source, who has excellent contacts but no "insider" knowledge of what the club is doing? Should we listen more closely to what she says about the Astros plans or view it the same way we might McTaggart's opinions?

I tend to think that she falls somewhere in the middle. Because of her position, she gets access to execs and players that the other reporters just don't. But, she is not sitting in on the planning meetings with these guys. She's still basically media relations, so she knows what she can talk about and what she can't.

What do you think? How should we view the opinions of our unique Senior Director for Digital Media?