Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Apparently Fox Sports circled April 15 as "Hammer Houston Day"

Another article from Fox Sports intended to send all Astros fans into a deep, bottomless, spiraling depression.

Off to their worst start since 1984, the Astros have confirmed what those on the outside widely believed going into the season: The Astros are headed into an eclipse.
In the National League, Washington is bad by design. The Nationals faithfully follow the Atlanta model, which means having young pitchers take their lumps while learning on the job. But the Astros are bad because they are caught in a trap of their own making, a trap that offers no hope of escape soon. Houston has the worst possible mix of players — the Astros field the oldest team in the majors, with no hope of getting help from the player-development system any time soon.

So basically the Astros are the Nationals, but without a plan. But in a departure from the Ken Rosenthal Apparatus, Gerry Fraley puts it squarely on the shoulders of Run-DMc:

The Astros have been a strong club for a generation. Houston last season had a winning record for the 14th time in the last 16 years. The club had six playoff appearances in that span. To understand the drop from that long-running high, take a good look at owner Drayton McLane. He wants to win but still does not understand how to go about it.

McLane has consistently cut into the scouting and player-development budgets. He has refused to go against the "slotting" system set by the commissioner's office in an attempt to limit signing bonuses for draft picks. If one bad draft sets a franchise back by about three years, what does a series of poor drafts do?

Then, a closing zinger:
The Astros will lead the NL in one category: team meetings. They had their first after Monday's listless 7-0 loss at Pittsburgh. But it will take a lot more than heart-to-heart talks to fix the Astros.

That's actually pretty funny. +1.