Pudge an Astro! …I’m confused.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been into this idea from the start. I just have a few questions about how this happened and what this means.

Are the Astros acting rationally when it comes to Scott Boras?

The Astros have signed a Scott Boras client, going back on their pledge never to do so again. The Boras-shunning came as a result of the Carlos Beltran debacle, as the Astros were uncomfortable with someone who is all business and no folksiness. Perhaps this signals a new found self-confidence in the front office; maybe they can deal with all agents and not fear being made fools of.

Has Ed Wade learned how to bargain?

It doesn’t help your side in negotiations when you indicate from the get-go how interested you are in signing someone (Randy Wolf), or if you say many times that acquiring someone has long been an interest of your owner (Miguel Tejada). Wade actually sounded convincing as he tried to pull off the whole “you need us more than we need you” attitude. Ed Wade played this one almost right. The only mistake he made was waiting for Pudge to light it up during the WBC. Pudge would have come cheaper two weeks ago.

Is Ed Wade a liar?

Apparently, we can’t believe a word Ed Wade says when it comes to whether he’s interested in a free agent. Good for him (see above). As recently as Friday, Alyson Footer sounded scared to ever say Pudge’s name around Ed Wade again:

I was happy to see that Pudge Rodriguez is no longer mentioning the Astros as the teams who are supposedly interested in him. The latest news I read listed only the Mets and Marlins. That is good, because after checking with Ed Wade yet again today, I can assure you the Astros are not pursuing him. And judging from the irritated look on his face, I can also assure you I won’t be asking him about Pudge again anytime soon. At least not for two weeks. Or maybe 10 days. At the very least, I’ll wait a week.

Oh, and he’s not bidding on Pedro Martinez, either.

Alyson, thanks for the scoop. I guess that means we’re signing Pedro next. You know what, let’s all promise each other to never believe Ed again. That was so mean of him.

Are the Astros in preseason panic mode?

Either Wade is a filthy liar/good negotiator, or the Astros are in panic mode. Perhaps the team is finally ready to recognize that even though Spring Training win/loss records don’t matter, it does matter if it looks like your team sucks and your current catchers make Brad Ausmus look like Ted Williams.

What next?

Assuming Ed Wade is a liar AND the Astros are in panic mode, perhaps the team isn’t done wheeling and dealing. The “Good Guys” slogans are gone this year. Could that leave an opening for Jim Edmonds? He’s still out there folks, he did well last year (especially at Minute Maid), and Michael Bourn still looks bad. I know, I know, I hate him too. I’m just saying, he knows how to run up Tal’s Hill.

Will the Astros cut Brandon Backe?

Reports are that Ivan Rodriguez’s base salary will be $1.5 Million. Coincidentally, Brandon Backe will make $1.55 Million, unless the club cuts him loose prior to the start of the season. Ed Wade is saying that their budget for Pudge has changed in the past month or so. There has already been a lot of speculation that Backe could get cut, but with Nieve being claimed off waivers by the Mets, could the ‘Stros afford to be without yet another replacement level pitcher?

Where do we send Lou Palmisano?

Looks like there’s no room for the catcher the Astros picked up in the Rule 5 draft. Technically, the pick was the Orioles’. The two teams had previously arranged a trade if the O’s picked Palmisano from the Brewers. So… who gets him? Baltimore has the top rated prospect in the country, Matt Wieters, ready to play catcher this year. So, Milwakee, I guess you can have him back. That is, unless, Wade slips Quintero through waivers so he can have his cake and eat it too. I sure wouldn’t think he could do that to Q, but it might be that they think Pudge is an injury risk at his age.

How long until Berkman complains about not knowing this guy?

The Puma has been awfully content with his clubhouse mates this spring. But then again, he knows them. As you’ve probably heard, Pudge is currently kicking ass for his native Puerto Rico. So when does he meet the rest of the team? Quick Pudge, learn something about Texas high school football. Also, in case team USA and team PR meet again, he might also want to tell Roy O that he hates Jeff Gordon/loves Dale Jr.

 

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6 Responses to “Pudge an Astro! …I’m confused.”

  1. Pudge hasn’t been good since 2004. Catchers age like wine in that it turns to vinegar.

    But he’s cheap, and he’s a body to stop the ball from rolling all the way to the wall after every pitch.

    In terms of Pedro rumors, does he still have an arm? I don’t mean, can he throw hard? I know he CAN’T do that. I mean, does he still have an arm attached to his body that he can use to throw a baseball period?

    In researching whether Pedro still has all his limbs, I came across this from mlbtraderumors.com linking some other guy ‘The Mets don’t seem thrilled with Tim Redding, who “came to camp with a sore shoulder and 20 pounds overweight.” ‘

    Has anyone ever been thrilled with Tim Redding? What a loser!

  2. Cabeza De Vaca Says:

    Tim Redding, Roy Oswalt, and Johan Santana all came up through the Astros’ system at the same time, and the organization thought the world of Redding. He was THE prospect in that group. Wow. I wonder if they still had the same guys scouting Pudge during the WBC. That’s right, they had to scout him. Hmm… how does he look against Bruce Chen?

    God, I hope the big announcement tomorrow isn’t Pedro. Can I hold out hope that Drayton is firing Cooper? That guy has no respect from the players.

    Unfortunately, Drayton will probably be announcing a cost cutting measure posed as something to be excited about. “To cover Ivan Rodriguez’s salary, and in the furtherance of our constant pursuit to be champions, I am happy to announce that the Houston Astros organization, in conjunction with the J.M. Smucker Company, has switched the coffee in the clubhouse to Folger’s crystals. Let’s see if anyone can tell the difference!”

  3. berkmaniac Says:

    Whoa, Cabeza, your remark that the boys in the clubhouse have no respect for Cooper is completely unfounded.
    Where’s the speculation on that coming from?

  4. Cabeza De Vaca Says:

    I started paying attention to the players quoted responses to Cooper after the whole Shawn Chacon choking incident. I couldn’t believe how Roy and Lance’s only criticisms of that situation had to do with Wade’s and Cooper’s involvement/culpability. Then, everything Cooper said about the incident, the players would NOT back up. It was crazy. Drayton McLane even had to get involved with a closed-door meeting in which he reportedly said “we can’t have anarchy.” Does that sound like a manager that has things under control? Since then, each time Cooper gets pissed off about something, I have been sensitive to what the players say. Trust me, they are not on board with his philosophy. I wish I could point to specific examples, but that would take too many hours of reading through chronicle and astros.com articles. For now, this will have to do: http://blogs.chron.com/baseballblog/archives/2008/06/toxic_time_for.html

  5. berkmaniac Says:

    Yikes, Cabeza, that is well researched. I hope to high heaven the boys in the clubhouse get over it, because I find Cooper to be a strong minded manager who cares about his club. I think Lance is the key here. I guess they’ll have to win a bunch early and find a born again chemistry for each other.

  6. Ooh, I clicked on your link, and, dang it!, I have to go off on a tangent…

    What “pains me the most” (to use his phrase) as I read that old JJO blog is exactly what “pains me the most” about reading every JJO blog, and everything on the chron site ever, actually. Y’all, JJO and co. can’t write.

    “It’s toxic in here?!” That’s a Britney Spears lyric.

    For real. I go to the gym.

    Oh, and I totally buy the players not digging Cooper. He’s a young manager, so of course he doesn’t know what he’s doing yet. Also, he used to be the assistant manager, so he used to be the players’ guy. His sudden shift to supreme authority figure probably wasn’t well handled (again, he’s a rookie manager) and I’m sure created hard feelings. Actually, on this note, I wonder if players who are newer to the team are less critical. What do you think, Cabeza? Add to this the fact that he’s backed by Selig…

    All could be forgiven if the team were winning, but we all know how that’s going. I can believe the players feel unsupported and voiceless. I can absolutely believe it.

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