Thank you, Drayton (!?)

Richard Justice today sent out a “thank you” to Houston Astros manager Drayton McLane:

They’re doing what smart franchises are supposed to. They’re getting their draft picks signed and in uniform in a hurry. Meanwhile, the general manager has made enough smart moves to somehow managed [sic] to keep the big league team competitive.

They were pieced together with old guys because Ed Wade had run out of money.

This is what happens when you’ve got wise ownership, when you’ve got ownership willing to spend and when you’ve got an owner that hires good people and allows them to do their job.

Houston has a payroll of roughly $103 million, seventh in the bigs and behind just the Mets, Cubs and Phillies in the National League.

They have the worst farm system in the majors, as ranked by Baseball America.

They’re the oldest team in baseball with an average age of 30.3, ahead of Philadelphia (29.5).

Their only saving grace is they will lose roughly half of their payroll to free agency (before arbitration), freeing up enough money for Ed Wade to go sign more of those wonderful, aging veterans.

Just because a team is improbably winning this year doesn’t mean they’re set up for future success.

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  1. Don Mynack said...

    How long is team “improbably winning” when they seem to do it every year? Couldn’t you have made that comment every year since 1999 or so?  I admit I have no idea how they do it – they should be under .500 each year, and always have a lot of flaws – but they seem to keep their heads above water. That’s what Justice is getting at…

  2. Evan Brunell said...

    I definitely sympathize with you there, but I think it’s foolhardy to applaud Drayton for it. If anyone, applaud Ed Wade.

  3. Pat Andriola said...

    If you follow Ricahrd Justice’s twitter feed (which I unfortunately do), it’s just a laundry list of good things about the Astros. Here are a few:

    -Roy Oswalt is 67-20 with a 2.89 ERA after the All-Star Break. Only Johan Santana has a better win pct. (.770) and ERA after the break

    -Michael Bourn leads the NL in stolen bases (32) and triples (8) and is 3rd in infield hits (23) and 2nd in bunt hits (9).

    -Astros have the NL Central’s best record & the NL’s 3rd-best record since the 2008 All-Star Break: Dodgers 94-61, Phils 88-64, Astros 86-68

    -The Astros are the only NL club with three OF in the top 10 in assists: Hunter Pence (7), Michael Bourn (8) and Carlos Lee (6).

    -Astros starters have a 3.42 ERA in the last 17 games, including two complete games and 13 quality starts. The Astros have won 11 of these 17

    -Hard to believe, but some people still think those moon landings actually happened. How sad. How ridiculous.

    All of those were tweeted within five hours. And yes, the last one was real.

    Delusion and being a homer is a dangerous combo.

  4. ed bates said...

    being a regular chronicle reader, i can say in his defense that Justice employs a lot of sarcasm occasionally when he writes about the astros and especially Drayton. But also must tell you that about half the time he seem’s to be coming our of left field somewhere with some of his statements.

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