Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Feelings on the Lost 2012 season of my beloved Astros...

The other day, I wrote an e-mail to a co-worker. This guy actually writes guest blog posts for the Houston Chronicle, so after reading one of his posts debating whether the Astros have "bottomed out" (I sure as hell hope this season is "bottomed out" status") I shot back a long winded rant/response, summary of my feelings toward this season. I am tired of hearing Red Sox fans whine about this season's "disaster" or the Yankees moan about their collapse... or any other team complaining about how bad things are. The Astros are in serious danger of not even eclipsing 50 wins... 50... 50!!!!! Damn it this is just pissing me off...

Here's the e-mail...

"I’m in the category of fan who believes that as painful as this season has been, it’s a necessary evil. We need to bottom out. I never thought last year was the end. There were too many bloated salaries for veterans who I never really felt earned their pay (Wandy, Lee, Lyon and Myers). There is a reason the last three were available on the free agent market for Houston , and it is remarkable to me that the best deal we got for Wandy (supposedly our ace and best pitcher on the staff) was from the Pirates and not a “premier” team like the Yankees or Angels who arguably could have offered better packages. I’m not amazed by any of the prospects we’ve gotten in return on all these trades, although I am surprised with the Blue Jays deal in total, I just don’t see what the end game was for Toronto . They got older and took on money. Good move by our GM, for sure, especially since we’ve moved Francisco on for a PTBNL. We gave up no prospects or players of real impact on our system and picked up some prospects who might just pan out.

I’ve been encouraged by the early progress of our draft class this year, as well as the development of our minor league program in just the first year under Ludhow. Almost every level is in playoff contention within their respective league. Draft picks have been promoted to the level of being challenged, which I feel Wade was inadequate at doing. He let too many guys stay in the lower levels for too long and I think it stifled their competitive nature. Hopefully some of the last few picks from the Wade regime pan out with Springer, DeShields and some of the pitchers as they’ve shown the ability to succeed thus far.As for Mills, I felt he needed to go last off-season. There was no point in bringing him back for this season knowing he was a lame duck manager on a team that was going to be stripped of pretty much all the veteran talent that was on the club, and that his philosophies did not exactly mesh with the new front office saber-mantra. I think it would have behooved Ludhow to bring in a complete new staff of “his guys” before the season to get the rebuilding kicked off a little more soundly. Keeping Mills around may be one of the few missteps made this year. I’ll be very interested to see who comes in as part of the coaching search.

I think there will be an additional culling of talent from the roster before Spring Training and wouldn’t be surprised to see Bougesevic, Schafer, half the bullpen and other fringe guys put on waivers at the end of the year. The question is whether Crane will be open to chasing free agents. Not counting any arbitration eligible players, they only have $5.5 million committed to contracts for next year, least in the majors. Do they fill in the roster with prospects being promoted and low-cost free agents, or do we make a splash or two in free agency. If I were a betting man, I’d say the former rather than the latter. I think Crane is working to reduce the payroll in an attempt to make up some of the debt he incurred in buying the team. We’ll get the revenue sharing money and however much is required to be spent will, but I think we’re in a 5 year re-build that will be based on shrewd drafts and timely trades for prospects at the peak value for current players. With Paredes looking to be a solid 2B option, I think it gives us the ability to trade Altuve this off-season if the right package of prospects is put together. I’d hate to see him go, but if you’re going to sell high on Altuve then now would be the time to do it.

Well, that turned out to be a lot more in depth than I thought it would be. Haha, I should copy and paste this into my blog! I had a bet at the beginning of the season with two buyers over on the 10th floor there in the tower. They both felt the Astros would win 60+ games, I took the under and predicted 54 wins. Looks like I’m going to win that bet!"

Yes, readers I bet against my team. I looked at the roster and minors and just knew that this was going to be a train wreck of a season. It can only get better, right? Right? I sure as heck hope we aren't stuck in a Pittsburgh scenario where it's another 10 years of this...

2 comments:

  1. I feel your pain, and even my team (the Cubs) are in better standing than the 'Stros. We're in solid position for the #2 pick in next year's June draft.

    I've been looking at the free agent projections for this upcoming winter. Most of the guys are on the wrong side of 30. Here's a decent site that will be listing more tomorrow: http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/06/2013-top-111-free-agents-nos-80-51/

    I'm hoping the Cubs stay away from free agency and LONG term deals. If they can sign a few more guys in the winter and trade them for prospects in July (like Maholm), then I'm okay with it.

    I'm hoping the Cubs are approaching .500 in 2014 and chasing the 2nd wild card in 2015.
    Perhaps your Astros will have a similar time table?

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  2. For the record, the only people in Boston bemoaning this season are the sports writers, and they're like little children whose favorite toy just broke. Please don't confuse them and the "pink hats" (fair-weather fans) for those of us who knew, just like with the Astros, that this season was going to be a wash. The clubhouse was a complete mess and the whole thing needed to be gutted and restarted. I, and anyone who truly considers themselves to be a Sox fan, were doing a little happy dance when we jettisoned that entire mess to the Dodgers. I would expect the exodus to continue well into the off-season. The bleeding is far from over. And that's ok, it needs to happen. I welcome it.

    As for the Astros, I'd agree on pretty much every point. They're in the same position. They needed a complete restart as well. The major difference being the depth of the farm system. Not to brag, but we'll have the ability to build from within. The Astros need to establish and grow that farm system by leaps and bounds before it starts producing fruit. Thats their biggest hurdle.

    And, for as much as it hurts "tradition wise" to move to the AL, that's going to be huge for ticket sales. I'm even considering getting season tickets, just to see visiting teams. I know that's kind of the opposite reason they'd want to hear, but that doesn't matter to the front office. Ticket sales means more revenue, revenue means more money to go after free agents and sign better draft prospects.

    I saw this train wreck coming too. All I can say is that it's going to be an awesome 2018 season for your Astros. I think they're going to be in a much much better place to build a competitive franchise now. I wouldn't be surprised to see "the next Harper" coming out of a Houston farm team in the next couple years.

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