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Baseball America discusses Astros' top prospects

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by bigtexxx, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    No...i'm not satisfied with not winning championships. I'm just not gonna throw out things like, "we have a bad owner" when the track record for success has been well above average. If your only criteria is winning championships, then there is one good owner ever year. Bottom line is, this organization has put teams out there that were more than capable of winning a championship. that's all you can ask of management and ownership. in the end, the players still have to hit...you have to get some breaks go your way...the pitchers still have to shut them down...and you have to have your team stay away from injury. The team McLane fielded last season was more than enough. A healthy Pettitte and Miller would have been the difference vs. the Cards. I'm not sure that anyone was going to be the Sox...but they would have been in the World Series as NL champs. It didn't work out.
     
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    i think he's just saying it doesn't guarantee you anything. hell, it doesn't even guarantee you a good team. the orioles are the poster boys for that.
     
  3. bobmarley

    bobmarley Contributing Member

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    Whoa.:eek:

    i thought when i opened this thread it would be about the Astros prospects.
     
  4. gunn

    gunn Contributing Member

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    I never claimed that Drayton was a "bad owner", but that doesn't mean that he's a great owner either. With Drayton, it's about money first and winning second, which sadly, is on par with many of the average owners throughout the league. Winning a championship in not my criteria for defining a good owner. A good owner has a will to try to consistently make his team the best. He doesn't let his team regress coming off the their best season in franchise history. He doesn't let one million dollars a year over seven years come between signing one of the best players in baseball.

    And last year's team wasn't "more than enough". They realized at season's end that the team they started the season with was not more than enough. They knew and said so publicly after getting Beltran, that they still needed bullpen help. Gerry's exact words were "we're not done yet", in reference to adding pieces to better the bullpen.
     
  5. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    1. wow...if your first statement above is correct, then i apologize because i grossly misread your posts prior.

    2. it was more than enough. did they have holes? sure. so did the cardinals. the red sox had middle relief concerns as well. going down the stretch of the season our middle relief was nails...it was really, really good. yes, they added beltran...that bolsters my point! they made a big move when a lot of other teams might have thrown in the towel. beltran's contributions down the stretch of the season were not huge...they were HUGE in the playoffs, though. either way...that team was one game away from the World Series. with the Cy Young winner on the mound. i'll blame players...but i can't blame ownership and management for coming up one game short of the World freaking Series.

    one more thing...people make statements like, "you should have gone out there late in the season and gotten us bullpen help" like these players are apples on trees waiting to be picked. i dont' think it's as easy as all that.
     
  6. gunn

    gunn Contributing Member

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    Apology accepted.

    ... and they had to add Beltran. They had to do something because their back were against the wall in a season that was supposed to be "the season". Desperate times call for desperate measures. Where is Beltran now.
     
  7. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    ok..."had to." no one "has to" do anything. what if we hadn't added beltran? how many average joes out there would ever have missed him? taxes. death. those are "had to" events. with or without beltran, this team gets back in the hunt last season. i know we would have missed those crucial 7 RBI's in September...but this team turned a corner. you could argue he provided some psychological help to the team in turning the corner...but it's not like he came there and they instantly turned it around.

    anyway...we're arguing in circles. i know how you feel. i know better now than before.
     
  8. gunn

    gunn Contributing Member

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    You just don't want to get it, do you? Of course no one was holding a gun to their head saying "you have to get Carlos", but at the expense of saving face in what was "the season", they had to make a move. Drayton was again back saving face this offseason with the signing of Clemens to 18 million after he let everything get away. He had to sign Roger.

    You can bring up Beltran's slumping September all you want because if Beltran would not have singlehandedly carried the team on his shoulders by beating Mark Prior and the rest of the Cubs staff in Chicago in one of his first series with the Astros (after which we were swept at home in demoralizing fashion just a week or so prior by the same Cubs) we would not have even been in position to win the central. Without Beltran, we would not have been in the hunt. Yes, he did close the regular season in a slump, but he also deserves the credit for singlehandedly carrying this team out from the gutters and changing the mindset of a team, that by all accounts, was done. And their play on the field reflected as such. I also think it's suffice to say, that had some miracle happened and they made the playoffs without Carlos, they would have lost again in the NLDS.
     
  9. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    gunn -- i'm not even sure what we're arguing about anymore, frankly. my impression was you thought mclane was an awful owner whom alll of our failures could be blamed on. i'm pretty sure that's the impression those on "my side" of this argument had as well.
     
  10. gunn

    gunn Contributing Member

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    He's not great by any stretch of the imagination. And alot of things are on him (especially pertaining to this offseason).
     
  11. DVauthrin

    DVauthrin Contributing Member

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    Sammy Sosa was acquired to be used from a marketing standpoint primarily, besides the fact the Orioles wanted to grab some of the headlines. The Orioles aren't any closer today to being a threat to the Yankees or Red Sox than they were a week ago. Want to know why? Oh, that's right they don't have a starting rotation that can even sniff playoff contention. And also, Baltimore is already going nuts and willing to sign Sammy to an extension asap. Fiscal irresponsibility at it's finest.

    Secondly, I said spending more doesn't promise you a damn thing winning wise, except if you do it wisely you increase your odds. What it does do though, is with most teams not named NY or Boston or Chicago, etc, is promise cutbacks down the road with the kind of extra spending fans are talking about here, whether the fans like it or not. The Yankees spent almost 200 million dollars last year only to not make the World Series. All the spending in the world doesn't mean a damn if you don't do it wisely. The Yankees thought Vasquez and Brown could replace Clemens and Pettitte. They were dead wrong and thus spent foolishly. And I'll tell you I think Jaret Wright is going to be one of the biggest busts of the offseason and they let a better pitcher who got the same money walk(Lieber).

    For a good look at a big market team and spending wisely, look at the WS champion RedSox and some of their key pieces. David Ortiz was signed off the scrap heap from Minnesota and has turned into one of the biggest FA steals in history. Bill Mueller and Mark Bellhorn are solid but unheralded middle infielders that play multiple positions for cheap. Of course the RedSox are a big spender, but for 50 million less than the Yankees last year they put together a better team and arguably their most valuable postseason player(Ortiz) was as shrewd an acquisition in FA that has been done in a long time.

    Of course, you have to spend a little bit to compete in baseball, but spending well over your revenue one year just because you think it guarantees you a championship is stupid, because it's no guarantee at all. Even if you spend very little, but that very little is on top notch prospects who prove their worth in their first few big league seasons before moving on to bigger markets you can compete and have just as much a chance of winning it all as the free spenders(see A's, Oakland and Twins, Minnesota). The only difference is the margin of error is much smaller for a small market team than the huge market team because of their respective resources. Obviously, if a big market team has a strong front office and spends wisely, their odds of success are very high(see Yankees/RedSox).

    Would you like for me to sit here and list all the high priced team flops in recent baseball history for you? The Angelos Orioles, the Dodgers, the Mets, the, A-Rod Rangers to name a few. Imagine had the Marlins in 97 hadn't gotten past the Braves. They still would have had the firesale, except their would be no ring to soothe the oncoming pain for their fans. They were lucky it worked out for them. But they are the exception, not the norm.

    I know it makes fans feel better if their team makes moves, but sometimes you need to look at the types of moves being made. Look at the Orioles and Sosa, the DBacks with Glaus and Ortiz, the Mets with Benson, Pedro and Beltran and the Mariners with Sexson. Compare that with the Marlins and Carlos Delgado. Which team spent the wisest here? I say the Marlins by far. I also think they end up with the best record of any of these 5 teams listed and are one of the favorites in the NL. The first 4 team's moves fall in the category of PR moves, plain and simple. Heck last year some of the most unheralded moves were done by the NL champion St Louis Cardinals. Getting Tony Womack off the scrap heap in Spring Training, and signing Reggie Sanders, Chris Carpenter and Jeff Suppan to reasonable deals were important but often overlooked keys to their success last year. And that is not including the emergence of Jason Marquis either.

    In conclusion, the point is every fan here(myself included) want a championship just as bad as everyone else. The difference is in how to go about doing it, and whether the Astros are doing enough. I don't believe in drastically overspending your revenue because the odds of being that one team left standing are still very slim. And on the other hand, that overspending will catch up to you in the long run and will affect the product on the field. I'd rather spend wisely and maintain long term success than go for gold one year, knowing full well it could mean a decade of bad baseball afterwards. Some people right now want the Astros to trade for anyone or sign anyone at any cost. The thing is do you really think it's smart business to do trades such as Jason Lane for Jose Cruz Jr, or Burke and Backe for Alfonso Soriano before the season even starts. If teams won't come down on their asking price now, I'd rather wait until midseason to make a move as long they are hanging around contention, which they should be. That is way too much for the two players above. And lastly, as far as FA's go, Magglio Ordonez wants a 7 year deal and is coming off major knee surgery. Not to mention Scott Boras is his agent.

    The bottom line is Drayton Mclane just can't win fan wise. If he signs his star player(ie like Bagwell) to a big contract, the fans whine that Bagwell at age 35-36 years old is being paid too much money. Then he goes all out on Carlos Beltran, but some people still think the Astros lost Carlos because of Drayton primarily, which is just not the case at all. Just because he keeps a budget doesn't mean he isn't about winning. His tenure as the owner proves otherwise.
     
  12. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    ok..if you say so.
     
  13. gunn

    gunn Contributing Member

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    You sure wasted alot of time rambling and god only knows what point you are trying to make with ill cited references. I find it funny that you cite the Redsox and Cardinals as points of reference to financial savvy, when both teams are in the top five in payroll. No one is saying the Astros should not spend their money wisely. Drayton did not go "all out on Carlos Beltran", as you say. Beltran signed with the Mets for 7 more million dollars than the Astros offered. 7 million. That's one more million per year over the course of the contract. Hardly going all out.
     
  14. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    Although Beltran had a marvelous series against the Cubs that you refer to, the Astros went 1-2 during those 3 games. They lost the game that Prior pitched, although he did not get the win.

    In case you doubt me, you can see the series you refer to here:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlbhist/teams/schedule?team=hou&season=2004&seasonType=2&half=1

    Check out the dates 06/29 - 07/01. This was about 12 days after they were swept in 4 by the Cubs.
     
  15. Dennis2112

    Dennis2112 Contributing Member

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    Yes because the Dodgers are consistantly around 100 mill payroll and they have barely sniffed the playoffs over the last few years.

    Money does not guarntee success but smart spending puts you in a better position.

    Your statement of 80% is way too high
     
  16. gunn

    gunn Contributing Member

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    Yea, they did drop that series, thanks to the Sosa walk-off on Lidge. I still stick by what I said that he carried the team from the gutter and changed the mindset of the team.
     
  17. DVauthrin

    DVauthrin Contributing Member

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    First, Beltran signed for 11 million dollars more(his bonus to be exact. ( it was 119 not 112), Let's get that straight right now. And yes, Drayton Mclane went all out on Carlos Beltran, if you think seriously it was him lowballing him that has Beltran a Met today, you are really reaching here. If Carlos had any desire to be an Astro, he wouldn't have blown off January 8th the way he did.

    Secondly my references were not ill cited in the least. Let me put it together for you again. Your contention is that the Astros/Drayton don't do enough to really say they are trying to win it all. That spending more translates into massive success. I proved besides the marlins and angels, that many key players on big market teams are relative bargains. That even while some teams spend gobs of money, it's the minor deals not for a lot of money that have many of them where they are today, which I used the Cardinals and Red Sox to demonstrate(and I forgot Kevin Millar as well for Boston). In fact, I do consider Boston and St Louis to be two fiscally savvy organizations because of how they use their money, not how much their payroll is altogether. On the other hand, I used last years Yankees as the model for spending unwisely along with other high payroll clubs have have been massive failures in recent years. And then I contrasted that with the success of the low budget A's and Twins. Proving how no matter what you spend, it doesn't guarantee you anything.

    That is my point as to why I don't support the idea that many fans share about being willing to try the 97 Marlins route and why I don't agree with fans that Drayton isn't committed to winning. More often than not, that method fails. And the bottom line is there is only one real guarantee in that scenario. That is down the line, costs will have to come down to match revenue within reason no matter what, and the fans will be the ones truly suffering. And I don't want to go through that. The risk outweighs the reward to be honest. That is why I am understanding of Drayton trying to win on a reasonably flexible budget, which it has been over the years.

    Finally, you say the no one is suggesting the Astros not spend their money wisely. Face the music, man. These types of fans want the team to make moves for the sake of making moves, regardless of how smart those moves may be. That is how teams get in serious financial trouble in the first place. Do you really think that signing Magglio Ordonez for 5 years 55 million dollars is wise spending? Or that trading Jason Lane for an enigmatic hometown CF making 4.5 mil next year is wise? And finally, that trading two cheap but talented youngsters in Chris Burke and Brandon Backe for Alfonso Soriano at this point and time(before they have been given a decent look at the big league level) is a prudent move at this time? That is what these types of fans are looking for with the Astros current situation.
     
  18. SamCassell

    SamCassell Contributing Member

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    I would never cite the Red Sox as a spend-wisely club. They make plenty of payroll mistakes that would cripple a smaller club. Manny, for instance, is horribly overpaid. Witness their attempt to put him on waivers last year and nobody wanting to pick him up. And as the team with the 2nd biggest payroll, they're supposed to win a championship every now and then.

    The As and Twins are teams I'd cite as being well above-par on a year to year basis, payroll wise. Alot of that goes back to the draft too, which is a big reason why Florida is currently so successful.
     
  19. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    Perhaps the team's mindset was changed by the fact that management went out and got a marquee player. In addition, management did not throw in the towel at the 2 trading deadlines. How many folks were saying the Astros should look into trading Beltran, Kent, Clemens, etc. at the end of July and import some young players?
     
  20. DVauthrin

    DVauthrin Contributing Member

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    Since Theo took over as the Boston GM, I disagree with you. The payroll mistakes were made by his predecessor, Jim Duquette(ie Manny, etc). The Red Sox do still spend a lot, but they have become entirely fiscally responsible with that large spending under Theo. Just look at the last year. They traded Nomar for two cheaper players, let Pedro go because of years on his contract, acquired cheap players via FA/trade like Mueller, Bellhorn, Ortiz, Millar to fill important roles, and this offseason signed Matt Clement, Wade Miller and David Wells for the same price as one Pedro would have cost them. And none of those 3 pitchers has more than a 3 year deal. And of the big moves, (ie: Schilling, Foulke, Renteria) they are all considered elite players that their positions and consistent every day performers. In fact, the Red Sox would love nothing more than to get out of Manny's contract under Theo Epstein's regime. It's just that deal makes him virtually untradeable for his value as a top 10 hitter.
    And because they can afford his contract it means they aren't entirely desperate to dump it for complete trash.

    Just because a team spends a lot, doesn't mean they can't also be classified as a fiscally responsible organization. The Red Sox and Cardinals fall into this group.
     

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