Monday, August 10, 2009

Examiner says Astros signing Smoltz a "strong possibility"

Which is also like saying it's an option. However, the Examiner chimes in:

With reliever Doug Brocail landing on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder and left-handed starter Mike Hampton battling a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee, Astros general manager Ed Wade could be in the market for a veteran arm to provide stability to both the rotation and bullpen.

History proves that owner Drayton McLane jumps at the opportunity to sign aging veterans to cost-effective, low-risk, potential high reward contracts. Like Hampton in the offseason, Smoltz fits the profile for McLane.

After taking the weekend series at Minute Maid Park against the Brewers, Houston remains tied for third and six games out of first in the NL Central. It may appear to be a lost cause, but McLane typically refuses to throw in the towel

In 2006, the no-hope Astros were eight games behind the divisional-leading St. Louis Cardinals before going on a 10-2 tear to close out the season. Had they not dropped the final game of the season in Atlanta, Houston would have forced a playoff.

Ironically, it was Smoltz's six scoreless innings which officially concluded the Astros' season.

With the door closing on Smoltz in Boston, another might open in Houston. Ultimately, the decision to continue playing comes down to Smoltz, but he should have plenty of options.

I hope Smoltz does pitch, and pitch well, again. I just hope it isn't here.

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