Something’s been nagging at me for a while about the Astros, and about Drayton McLane in particular. Why is it he, moreso than perhaps any other baseball owner, gets singled out as misguided or foolish in his expectations and management of the franchise?
I’m looking primarily at the national media, the Ken Rosenthals, Keith Laws and Jayson Starks of the world. If another owner makes an ill-advised or risky free agent signing, there will be hemming and hawing about the cost and what they were thinking, but when the Astros sign a Kaz Matsui or Mike Hampton, the knives come out. He’s delusional, he’s cheap, he spends too much, he has tunnel vision, he strong-arms his GM. We who know better know the lines so well, they’re like barroom standards that refuse to die. And yet dumbass radio fans just regurgitate them like liturgy.
I literally cannot think of any other owner who gets this particular kind of criticism; Steinbrenner has a somewhat similar “just win, baby” attitude, but his endless coffers are the chief target of critics. David Glass in Kansas City is hounded for driving a once-successful franchise into the ground and a dedicated fanbase to despair, but he’s mostly portrayed as cheap and clueless. Tom Hicks is a spend-crazy gringo, but his star has crashed significantly later, and he’s only technically still the Rangers’ owner. Dan Loria is a cheapskate, and Peter Angelos is an asshole, but beyond them, everyone else is pretty much anonymous.
So why does Drayton get hated on? Consider this: Colorado signed Eric Byrnes to a similarly delusional contract, and released him sooner, yet it was treated like a light hearted comedy, with a beer league ending. Yet Kaz’s release was treated as though the ill-omen albatross had finally flown away. What’s the difference between those two signings?
Is it the earnestness with which Drayton makes his pitch to fans, with the inevitable response being , “Do you really believe this shit?” Is it that the writers just generally like Gerry, and have been opposed to Drayton since Gerry lost that battle of the wills? Does he sneak into the press box and crop dust the rows with burrito farts? Did the writers have an actual uncle named Drayton who used to dress up in an ice cream vendor outfit and molest them? I’ve got nothing.
Friday, May 28th. 6:10 PM CST
Great American Ballpark
Wandy Rodriguez (2-6, 4.33) v. Sam LeCure (0-0, 0.00)
Well, shit. Another gat-dam rookie. We know where this is going. We want it to be different. We want to believe that each subsequent time will be different. But it won’t.
Wandy is 6-6 lifetime against the Reds; he owns Jay Bruce , but Ramon Hernandez and Jonny “Not A Typo” Gomes hit him well.
Saturday, May 29th. 6:10 PM CST
Great American Ballpark
Brian Moehler (0-1, 4.42) v. Aaron Harang (3-5, 5.98)
This was Bud’s spot, but he pulled a muscle or some shit. So Moehler gets to start, and he’s been pretty horrible against the Pasta-Chili-Fuckers, so expect some lucky fans in outfield deck seats to get a ball to play with. Ahem. Joey Votto has a preposterous 1.857 OPS against him. I think that means that he hits two homers each at bat, but my math could be wrong.
Harang has been a launching pad for Berkman, so hopefully homer #8 will happen here. Most other ‘stros hit him well, including Moehler, who’s .500 for life against Harang. Oh yeah: Gunther has 5 K’s against him. Of course.
Sunday, May 30th. 12:10 PM CST
Great American Ballpark
Felipe Paulino (0-7, 5.08) v. Mike Leake (4-0, 2.70)
It’d be a damned shame for Paulino to start 0’fer against the damned Reds, but Leake is their de facto ace this year. Paulino is 1-4 lifetime against Cincy, and Laynce Nix and Bruce hitting him hard as well.
I could write about how Leake was the latest pitcher to do well in his only start against us, but I’m getting the Hate Shakes just thinking about it, so at the insistence of my cardiologist, we’re moving on to….
Friday: Bald Eagle Flight. Guess what the bird has that Ohioans don’t? That’s right: a job.
Saturday: Joey Votto RealDoll Figurine Gawd, that’s creepy looking.
Sunday: Run the Bases Day AND Reds Skateboard Deck. Kids caught using the skateboards to navigate the bases will be shot on sight.
Bud Norris – 15 Day DL: Bursitis and tendonitis. Basically, Bud’s got The Itis. Too much ribs, man.
Tim Byrdak – Rehabing in Round Rock. Telling Wes Wright that people in Houston miss him, but mostly because they think he’s Michael Bourn’s teenage brother.
Alberto Arias – Missing in Action, Chuck Norris is looking to bring him home…or else.
Homer Bailey: 15-Day DL, appearing in a John Steinbeck novel.
Chris Dickerson: 15-Day DL, starring in porn film as Dick Chrisserson.
Edinson Volquez: 60-Day DL, starring in anti-drug PSA.
Joey Votto: day-to-day, planning his one man show, “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Joey Votto.”
What to Watch For:
- Oswalt isn’t pitching, so all bets are off
- But Berkman is batting, so some dingers.
- Like you’ll be watching. You’re going to your beach house, aren’t you?
- I wish I had a beach house.
- How do you stop the list function?
- am I trapped here?
- all weekend?