Thursday, November 8, 2012

"How this club will compete in its first season in the American League West, I have no earthly idea."

That wonderful, uplifting quote comes to us courtesy of Ken Rosenthal. Yes, there's nothing else to write about, so let's talk about how the Astros have become Major League Baseball's version of Andrew Jackson (he paid off the National Debt in 1835 - bet you didn't expect to read that on Astros County today, huh?) - don't owe anybody any money, and don't even care.

There's all sorts of hand-wringing about "How are they going to be competitive!" and there's the channeling of Derrick Goold. Rosenthal estimates an Opening Day payroll of around $30m. Luhnow says it might happen.

"But how this club will compete in its first season in the American League West, I have no earthly idea."

I don't understand what the hang-up is with this. Maybe it's because the Astros aren't in Michigan (eliminating Jon Morosi's, who is still drunk after the Tigers got swept, interest). Maybe Ken Rosenthal could wear a bow-tie that would support the Astros one Saturday in 2013.

How will the Astros compete in 2013? They won't. They're not supposed to. We've said it over and over again. 2012's 107  losses sucked approximately one loss more than 2011, and that's about it. 2012 was not about 2012, just as 2013 will not be about 2013. 2013 will be about 2014, 2015, and beyond. 2013 will be another year of development for the minor-leaguers (Singleton, Cosart, Springer, DeShields, etc.), and a year of getting familiar with Bo Porter, his methods, expectations, and his staff.

Think of how incredulous everyone will be if the Astros throw money at Josh Hamilton. "What for!" they'll yell. "They've got a bunch of raisin cakes down there running things!" they'll scream. (The Astros won't sign Josh Hamilton, by the way.) So, save your money, invest in scouting, sign international free agents, prepare for the draft, and build the war chest to pay good money to Jon Singleton - don't sign a free agent because it would be fun, and it would get Rosenthal off their backs. 

2012 should have been a prime example about how the Astros don't give two craps about what anyone thinks - and I don't mean that in a bad way. This team does things the way they want to. Convention got them to 100 losses, being unconventional will get them to respectability quicker.