Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In Defense of the Astros? Craig Calcaterra Defends the 2013 Choices

Perhaps we're all a bit jaded and used to the national sportswriters blasting the Astros so much that it's hard to realize they don't all share the same brain.

Looks like Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports' Hardball Talk has gone and decided to think for himself and *gasp* use logical thought. This morning he posted an article entitled, "Hating on the Astros is trendy. But it's also rather silly."

It's one of those articles that rationalizes what the Astros have done this season, or rather not done this season. In the post, Calcaterra reflects on what else the Astros could have or should have done in 2013 and whether or not any other actions would have made any difference in the win column.
The Astros’ previous owners totally strip-mined that team. They left the minor league cupboard more than bare, in large part because they tried to squeeze way too much out of the Biggio-Bagwell years and put off rebuilding far too long. With the team in the gutter and Houston being about as low on the free agent-desirability list as it comes what, exactly, should the Astros have done differently than they have? Signed Michael Bourn or Josh Hamilton? That woulda been swell. They may have challenged for 60 wins in such an event and raised their TV ratings from 0.0 to 0.2 maybe.
While Buster Olney and Peter Gammons rail about how the Astros are ruining baseball without offering any way in which changes could alter their ability to destroy America's past time, Calcaterra offers this,
Is it so galling to see a team lose 100 games multiple years in a row and to see them ending the season so poorly? Is it all the more galling to see a team losing because it simply lacks talent rather than because it lacks money and talent? Maybe that’s what the Astros’ critics are on about. I have no idea. All I do know is that nothing that the Astros are doing suggests that they particularly enjoy losing or want to continue losing. They simply stink and are doing what they can to get better while the system’s chips fall where they are designed to fall.
Or am I missing something?
I can promise you this, Craig. The fans have not enjoyed losing and we get to turn off the games when we're over it. Those poor players have to stay on the field.