In Richard Justice's Hope-Springs-Eternal column this morning, we hear your regular "Mills is awesome," "The Astros are better than people think" line of reasoning. But there's an interesting quote from Ed Wade on this rebuilding process:
"The system was thinner than I anticipated. I wasn't aware it was as tough as it was."
And then it's comparison time from Justice:
They're not there, but they're a lot closer than they were this time last year. They appear to be long shots in 2011. Just like the Reds were in 2010.
To call the 2011 Astros the 2010 Reds is a stretch. But what we should focus on is Wade's quote. This either tells you one of two things:
1. The farm system was so brutal that it shocked a baseball lifer.
2. Wade didn't really do his homework. Any serious Astros fan could have told you that the system was in trouble, and two or three bad drafts can set your team back for years.
Still, with the progress made over the last couple of seasons, I'll give Wade the benefit of the doubt. Somebody should.