Archive for ed wade

Say There, Need A Tonic What Ails Your Rubber Arm?

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by Astropolithecus


Okay ladies and germs, now listen good and listen fast and listen with your wallets out, no seriously folks I’m only gonna say it three or four hundred more times, no now I’m absolutely serious, so listen tight, peel your ears proper and lean close to my friendly lips whilst I reveal to you this fine evening the most locked down, whizbang, firecracker, hardsmack, sharp as diamond can’t miss cure for  all your pitching troubles.

Your team struggling? Right at .500? WAYYYYY BEELLOOOOWW .500? Not a problem here! Got a wily veteran losing his stuff?A young gun with a herky jerky throwing motion? Wild man who can’t find the plate?  Mental case?  Just your standard ace in need of a real confidence booster?  Heck be burned I’ve got The SOLUTION!

Why bottled and glittering right here on my state of the art sanitized portable laboratory table I’ve got two ounces of the best kept secret in all of stickball! See now, just three drops of WADE HOUSTON’S HITTING SAUCE, and those pitiful pitchers will perk up like hounds at a hotdog stand!

This sauce is a scientific miracle for revolutionary relief. Drawn from the center of each Houston Astros game used baseball bat, this cold, syrupy, flavorless goo is sure to wipe out any lineup!

Simply sneak into your visiting clubhouse, flick three drops onto any bat of your choosing, even pour it on their fancy catered spread, and watch the futile unfold!

I promise your pitcher has never had it so hunky dory! He’ll think he’s Cy Young reincarnated!

I have clients in San Francisco that swear by the stuff. Trust me!

You’ll see more first pitch swinging, pop up lifting, caught looking, ground outing, double play inducing goodness than you can shake a stick at. Or shake a stick at and miss for that matter! No seriously folks, I tell you with WADE HOUSTON’S HITTING SAUCE your paralyzed grandmother could pitch a three hit complete game shutout backwards against the New York Yankees!

Facing a patient hitter? Not anymore!

In town against a team with thunder rolling in the middle of the lineup? More like refreshing spring showers for your starting staff!

Worried about an overworked bullpen? Ha! Tuck those late inning babies tight at 9:30 sharp, because they won’t be needed this series!

And all after only ONE application of WADE HOUSTON’S HITTING SAUCE!

It’s just one thin dime, one tenth of a dollar for 15 drops of my most efficient elixir!

Here now, all of you step right up and make me the richest man this side of the Mississippi! And I thank you dearly for your business!

******side effects may include harmless infield singles and long home-run distance foul balls: Do not be alarmed*******


Never, under any circumstances, open a bottle inside your own clubhouse!!!

Calling True Astros Fans! Come One, Come All to the Great Wade-Chacon Debates!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , on April 1, 2009 by Astropolithecus

Hello fair readers. Reader. Please jump in and comment on my argument with beckeesh and Cabeza about the merits of Ed Wade, and the demerits of Shawn Chacon. Agree with me, disagree, but bring your Sharpies, some facts or JUICY speculation, and a taste for friendly combat.

 To Beckeesh and Cabeza:

                            Are you both out of your gourds? Your odd, Ed Wade shaped gourds?
Wade is one of the main reasons this team is running at all. HE didn’t fire Jim Hendry, so stop taking it out on him.  He’s certainly not my hero, but I don’t see why he’s so horrible either.  I’m not sure how much you both actually know about the “unwritten baseball clubhouse honor code”, Serpicos, but I readily admit I know very little about it. I rate the players by their performance, what they say in the media, and what they do off the field. Almost none of them are Paul Newmans (Biggio), some are admirable yet conservative Gregory Pecks (Berkman), some are even forgivable scoundrel Robert Downey Jrs. (Caminiti), but Chacon isn’t even a movie star. Tell me one thing he did for the Astros, except pitch well for one month, and then bitch, moan, and strangle HIS EMPLOYER AND CAUSE ALL THIS WHISPERING DOUBT cause he has major issues (maybe he’s a poor man’s Sean Penn). 

 No doubt Wade may have crossed some lines, but until you bring me some bona fide proof as to why I should not only hate Ed Wade but FREAKIN’ ADMIRE Shawn Chacon, I place Wade into the category of solid GMs that helped to build world champions, and Chacon goes into the worm pile, just under Derek Bell and just above Julio Lugo, not only for being a blowhard wannabe machismo idiot, but for being that guy in an Astros uniform and helping to disrupt,distract, and degrade a season with promise, and in a clubhouse I have always admired. Though from the outside.

New-han’s On Deck, or, Predictions Schmictions

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by Astropolithecus

Quick check in on our beloved and terrifyingly inconsistent disAstros.

I have not blogged in a bit, mostly because I was intently watching my NCAA Tigers go all the way to the Sweet 16, only to be dismantled by Missouri. And Now I’m watching Kentucky try to woo Memphis’ future away.

ANYhoo, this is not a Memphis blog, though Calipari could learn from the loyalty of Bagwell, Biggio, and Berkman.

This is an Astro blog, and though hope springs eternal yada yada, No one in baseball has the slightest respect for the Astros’ chances to even compete in the NL Central. Despite our scrappy pedigree, even the Reds are consistently picked ahead of us, though they have proven nothing more than the Stros as far as I’m concerned.  

I state this now. Listen oh predicting and Astro loving world.  A very slow start, or more than 3 early injuries, and we can kiss the Astros’ season goodbye, but even a medium start, and I will guarantee you the Astros hang around for postseason contention.  Our pitching staff, though the weak point of the team, isn’t as horrifying as everyone predicts.  I respect Moehler, Hampton is solid if healthy, and Wandy could easily have his best year this year, put it all together, so to speak. 

How many times has a team’s pitching staff proven saltier and more durable than anyone expected.  There are at least two story lines like that EVERY YEAR in Major League Baseball. 

And don’t get me started on how disrespected our hitters are, at least as a group.  Now that we’ve got Pudge too, Our lineup is very solid. I’d take our club’s hitters over the Red’s any day of the week.  Berkman and Lee are blue chippers, and the only knock against Pence is that his sophomore season wasn’t spectacular. The only knock on Matsui is his health, which is a legitimate worry, but when he’s playing, baby, money all the way.  Remember the Rockies folks? Not that long ago.   And Tejada? Still one of the best hitting shortstops in the game. And he’ll have something to prove coming in.

I’d put our bullpen up against any in the majors.

So, there you go. All the predictors can BITE ME!

The 2009 Astros probably won’t win the division, but they will compete for the Wild Card.    

My only major concern now(besides injuries)?


After Cabeza’s research, and after reading about Newhan’s anger concerning Cooper’s handling of his release, I am worried about his leadership. I was a big supporter last year, and I think he is a gritty, cool guy, but he may not be a good leader with the Astros. Now, he may be, Newhan could just be blowing justifiable steam, but if the players don’t respect Cooper, we’ve got a problem.  Wade may not be liked all around, but I bet he’s got some respect from the boys.

If the players leave it out on the field, then the weird Wade and Cooper vibes will dissipate, but if not…

Of course Drayton McClane is a weirdo, and they’ve been fine under him for a number of years. 

A player, and soon, should make a statement of solidarity concerning Cooper. Please.

P.S. Concerning Wade, I’ll hear other arguments, but don’t bring up Chacon and how Wade handled that badly.  Shawn Chacon is an idiot.  Don’t attack your boss after you instigated an argument.  Don’t PHYSICALLY attack him anyway.

I repeat, I don’t care what Oswalt said, Chacon is a hot headed moron, who blew a chance at late career glory because he wanted to flex up against a sixty year old man who gave him a second chance to start. At least Caminiti waited till he was retired.

Pudge an Astro! …I’m confused.

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

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.


Pudgy Sun Shines on the Big Puma!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , on March 16, 2009 by Astropolithecus

My goal was to sit down tonight and drop a few doses of optimism on this dismal Astros spring. 

Well, Astros fans, we just got a bucket of complimentary rose colored glasses, so pass ’em out!

The veteran and sparky IVAN “PUDGE” RODRIGUEZ has just signed with the Stros! 

   There are definitely criticisms due Rodriguez, but they are outweighed, big time, by what he brings to the “Juice Box” come opening day. 

   First, though he’s older, he can still rake, and is clearly a better hitter come crunch time than any of the catchers we currently have on staff. Sorry, Q, it’s true.  He brings an enhancement to the line-up, batting sixth or seventh, that makes it that much harder to pitch around Lee, Pence, and Tejada. His mere presence should also give Bourn more incentive to get on board the basepaths, assuming he’s batting in front of Pudge, and in perfect symbiosis, Pudge marked in on the batting order will give Bourn better pitches to hit.  Pudge takes a very good line-up and makes it better. 

Monetarily, the Puerto Rican legend is a steal, possibly the only steal credited to his name this year.  He doesn’t bust the budget, and this deal should give Wade critics  a pause. I’m not saying Wade deserves no verbal bludgeoning, but  credit is due here for a smooth and tight under the radar signing.

Psychologically, Rodriguez gives the other Astro veterans(and Cooper) a boost I’m sure, because management just gave them a clear signal that “we’re in it to win it”. I also have a feeling Tejada and Rodriguez will be freakin’ clubhouse magic together.

One of the most important elements of Pudge’s signing that I don’t want fellow fans to overlook is the effect he’ll have on the pitching staff.  He’s a real veteran, not in the style of Milton Bradley attitude wise, who is known around the leagues in his ability to call a good game.  His ability to help a Moehler stay in the game longer is matched by his ability to help newer starters, like Capellan, work out of trouble.  I know in my gut that young pitchers will benefit huge with Pudge behind the plate.  One of the few guys who can call a better game is Ausmus, but think of Pudge as an almost Ausmus with a real sweet bat.  

Certain fellow bloggers may freak out that certain catchers may get less playing time, hmm, but I hope they and all of our fine readers see the bigger picture.  Lou could use another season at Round Rock, and Rodriguez’s signing only solidifies Quintero’s job as the official backup catcher.  Q will still get a start every five days, two many weeks, and I think a seasoned fellow catcher can provide him unique bits of wisdom on how to approach hitting.

So there you have it, my take on this great signing.  I just read an article in which Berkman said basically to ‘relax and look ahead, we’ve got the real season ahead of us’.  His only major criticism of the team is he wished a few more proven free agents had been signed. Puma, your wish is Wade’s command.


 Yes, of COURSE we still need better starting pitching.   But if you look closely, you’ll see Pudge is a start.


Reunited And It Feels So Good

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2008 by beckeesh

With last night’s win over the San Francisco Giants, the Astros reached the .500 mark for the first time since June 11.  Here’s a look back at the road from and to .500.


First of all, on June 11, we actually lost our game to Milwaukee.  We had been doing a lot of losing.  Although the month of May was in large part a fun one, with the ‘Stros winning seventeen out of twenty-eight games (for an overall wining percentage of .607), they lost four in a row at the end of May and began June by winning only three out of their first seven games (through June 10th).  On June 11, we were either going to stay above .500 or drop to just .500.  We did the latter, and went on to lose the next seven games in a row.  In June, we won only ten out of twenty-five (for a winning percentage of .400).  Yikes!

July was also a tough month to be a ‘Stros fan.  We kicked it off by losing four straight, and won only ten out of twenty-four games total.  July would also be the first month of Lance Berkman’s career in which he did not hit a homerun.

This August, we are trending up.  Having won nine of eleven to begin the month we are finally back to .500 ball.

Here’s a list of ‘Stros-related events that have occurred since the last time we were respectable:

6/11 Astros lose to Milwaukee, drop to .500.

6/12 – 6/19 Astros lose seven in a row, ending with a sweep by the Baltimore Orioles, and our winning percentage drops to .452

6/22 Shawn Chacon is moved to the bullpen.

6/24 Kaz Matsui strains hammy, is put on the 15-day DL.

6/25 Ed Wade confronts Shawn Chacon, Shawn Chacon throws Ed Wade to the ground, Shawn Chacon suspended, later released (here, here, here… and opinion here, here…)

7/1 Humberto Quintero is hit on the head  by Dodger Luis Maza’s bat, diagnosed with a concussion, and placed on the 15-day DL.

7/6 MLB All-Star rosters  are announced.  Lance Berkman and Miguel Tejada are voted onto the NL team.  Carlos Lee is on the ballot for the final fan vote. 

7/8 The Astros make an All-Star fan vote campaign video for Carlos.  (If you have never seen this, you should check it out!)

7/10 Oscar Villarreal  is designated for assignment, eventually released.  Matsui returns from the DL.

7/15 MLB All-Star game.  (Carlos Lee did not make the team.)

7/19 Roy Oswalt is placed on 15-day DL (left hip adductor).

7/21 Humberto Quintero returns from the DL.

7/23 Astros acquire Randy Wolf  from San Diego. 

7/28 Roy Oswalt returns from the DL, starts, defeats Reds.

7/31 Astros acquire LaTroy Hawkins  from the Yankees.

8/4  We all almost die in a tornado / lightning storm in Chicago, but survive to get the win.

8/11 Astros defeat Giants, return to .500!

Astros Trade Deadline Masterstrokes

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , on August 3, 2008 by Cabeza De Vaca

Well, the trade deadline has come and gone, with one “blockbuster” deal getting in under the wire. The Astros, 14 games back in the NL Central, certainly made some moves with an eye to the future, right? Gotta try and restock baseball’s worst farm system, right? Wait, what? We picked up Randy Wolf?… and LaTroy Hawkins?… at the price of a prospect each? Hang on a second, we’re….. BUYERS?

Okay, okay, never say die. Never give up. I just need to give this a chance. Maybe it’s time for the Chronicle’s tombstone, version 2.0. This is a second half team. Always was, always will be. Drayton is a champion, and champions don’t give up.

Y’all ever seen Rocky? Drayton’s just like Sly Stallone in that movie. He’s got the heart of a champion. Probably has the eye of the tiger, too, and he doesn’t know any other way. I reckon he’s pounding on slabs of meat right now. Heck yeah, I’m excited!

Ed Wade doesn’t roll over either. That’s just who he is. He, too, has that “champion” chromosome, hard-wired in his DNA. It’s complicated. Let’s just say that the only thing rolling over in the Astros’ front office will be Ed Wade’s anytime minutes rolling over to next month. Why should he waste them on the Dodgers, who were desperate for a shortstop? Sure, Matt Kemp sounds awfully nice, but we just got Miggy, and trading him would be like telling all those other GMs “I messed up.” Ed Wade doesn’t make mistakes, this team is built to win and win now! So let’s do this!

The first player, Woody Williams, err, I mean, uh, Randy Wolf. Oops. How could I confuse them? The former is a right-handed Petco Park-created mirage, and the latter is a left-handed Petco Park-created mirage. By the way, the only thing that could have made Woody a worse fit for Minute Maid Park is if he were left-handed. Yo, Ed, that 6.63 road ERA didn’t worry you a little?

Aww, shoot. There I go getting negative again. This is gonna be great. We were just one Randy Wolf away from a stretch run. Oh, dang, did you notice that 3 of Wolf’s 10 road starts were in San Francisco and Seattle? Not exactly places were the home team crushes the ball. Does it worry you that his career ERA and BAA are strikingly similar to another post-Tommy John Astros pitcher in his early thirties?

I don’t mean to sound like a naysayer, or worse, a Chad Reineke fan. However, it seems to me that the problem isn’t so much what we gave up, it’s that this doesn’t help the team. It certainly does nothing to help the team’s chances next year. Couldn’t anyone have a 6.63 road ERA? I mean, John Van Benschoten has history’s worst ERA for anyone with 75 innings of work, and his road ERA is 7.36.

Since I’m looking for silver linings, I’ll go ahead and point out that Wolf has a chance to go ahead and suck really bad for us this year so that Wade doesn’t try to sign him as a free agent this winter.

Next up, LaTroy Hawkins, who was designated for assignment by the Yankees a week ago. Hey, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or, I mean, one man’s trash is another man’s Oscar Villareal/Chad Paronto gap-filler. If you like those guys, a 23:17 K:BB ratio and a 5.71 ERA await.

Aren’t we getting older when we need to be getting younger? On the bright side, next year, when we’re talking about the Astros in Spring Training, we’ll be saying, “Sure we don’t have any up and coming talent, but remember how Ed Wade’s moves near the trade deadline kept us from finishing in last place? That, my friend, was a summer to remember!”

A Look Ahead at the Pirates Series

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , on July 21, 2008 by beckeesh

With just a couple hours to go before this series begins, I find myself asking the obvious question.  No, no, Ed Wade, not How many RBIs will Tejada get out of the Pittsburgh starters? (Alas, he’s hitless against the three we face).  And no, Eddie, not Will Valverde collect his 27th save this series?  (He may very well, but the Pirates’ 2-3-4 hitters have all touched him for hits.)  No, Mr. Polyanna, my question is also not, How close is Berkman to the triple crown? (He’s great, but we’ve stopped throwing that idea around haven’t we?) And, unfortunately, we both know that neither of us is asking, Can Roy nail down another win? (DL, DL, DL.)

Although these were the questions that we might like to be asking ourselves, Mr. Wade, the types of questions that back in March we were hoping to be asking ourselves, that you told us we would be asking ourselves…Today, ‘Stros fans who live in reality (ahem) must look at the standings in the NL Central and find only one question in their minds: 

What will it take to land a solid reliever before the deadline

Ed!  No!  Stop interrupting my blog.

The question we fans down here are asking ourselves is,

Can we do it?  Can we hold onto our two game lead over the Pirates in order to stay out of the cellar? 

God, I hope we can.  I hope that tonight Hernandez fans 9 over 7 innings.  Oh but when I say that I “hope” that happens, of course what I mean is that I doubt it will, since the Pirates – yes, the Pirates – scored 10 earned in Hernandez’s last start and in fact he hasn’t pitched more than 5 innings in the majors since he went 5 1/3 in September of 06 with the Kansas City Royals.

Oh, OK, Ed, I’ll wait and see what happens.  Maybe you’re right, I’m being too negative.  No no no, I do love the team.  Yes, I’ll be watching and rooting.  Yes, I’ll write a follow up blog.  Right, right, you’ll be busy working the phones.

Say, didn’t we leave some young pitchers in Colorado a couple years ago?  I’m pretty sure one of them is a pretty good reliever right now.  Send somebody over to pick him up, Ed.  Yeah, and while you’re at it, get that snappy center fielder with 41 stolen bases.  He used to be ours, too.

I know, I know, that’s not how you roll. 

Is Michael Bourn starting tonight?