Sports Illustrated has taken notice of the Astros' slow start, eliminating valuable AL-East space to check in with Ed Wade.
"I wouldn't call [our start] a concern, but the fact is we just haven't swung the bats well. But our feeling is that the guys who are struggling have pretty good track records, and this is a slump that teams normally hit at some point in the season. It's always magnified at the beginning of the season, and it's magnified even more because this is becoming thematic with the franchise -- 'The Astros always get off to slow starts.'"
Barry Larkin, whose Reds started 0-6 and still made the playoffs in 1995:
"I remember we had a 'Let's not panic, we're not where we need to be yet' attitude. Without Berkman on that team for the Astros, that's going to be a tough hole. On our team in '95 we had some really good players. We didn't have a lot of new, non-established guys."
And about the leadership in the clubhouse (as opposed to his '95 Reds or the Astros of the early 2000s):
"I don't know if there is an identifiable leader of that team."
Now this is a troubling aspect, and it's one we've brought up before. As much as Berkman says he wants to be a leader, and has been around as long as anyone else, "baseball people" can't look at the Astros and see any definable leadership. Now they (or I) are in the clubhouse seeing the players interact, and that is worth noting, but there was no doubt who was in charge when Bagwell and Biggio were here, and while we're not exactly asking for Lance to fill their shoes, Miguel Tejada shouldn't have been The Leader in the clubhouse last year.