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!”