Because it's Rip the Astros time in Richard Justice's new blog post!
This time, it's about the poor draft history of the post-World Series era (a valid sore spot, sure):
I still don't think Drayton gets it, and some of the people involved are still employed. What a joke. Just thinking about it makes me mad all over again.
The reasons for the Astros decline, according to Justice, are three-fold:
1) Scouts sucked - with Chris Burke as Example A
2) Max Sapp - no kidding:
Another first-round pick. Scouts thought he would be a big league catcher. So far, he has been a bust.
3) Brian Bogusevic:
Another first-round pick. Scouts said he would be a big-league pitcher. He won't be. He may make it as an outfielder, but the point is that what the Astros drafted him to do he won't be doing.
Three huge mistakes. Three big signing bonuses.
If the main reason for the Astros' decline is scouting woes, that's valid. And I've read this four or five times to figure out if that's the underlying message, or Justice thinks that two of the three reasons the Astros are in trouble is because of a catcher who almost died last year, and our very own Rick Ankiel. Surely that's not what he's saying.
Then we get to the 2007 draft, with Chad Bettis and Derek Dietrich as prime examples:
It's a bad deal those guys aren't going to be in Corpus Christi or Round Rock this summer. Scouts did great jobs, but the front office dragged its feet about getting them signed. I think Drayton McLane didn't want to be out in front because he didn't want to offend MLB. I'm sure there were others to blame, but it came down to absolute incompetence top to bottom.
And how about some words on Drew Stubbs?
He'd agreed to a $900,000 deal with the Astros out of high school, but when MLB complained about the Astros paying over the slot price, Drayton ordered his people to pull the offer...
...Organizations fall apart when scouts miss on certain guys, when ownership pulls the money on certain guys, and when idiots don't let good scouts do their jobs. Hopefully, those days are over. The Astros appear to have had two solid drafts in a row and seem to be on their way back.
This post is a train wreck. There's so much going on here, it's like reading a Guy Ritchie screenplay about baseball.
So...uh. Who's ready for baseball?