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[Chron] Hunsicker must prove that he's trustworthy

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Vengeance, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. RIET

    RIET Contributing Member

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    The Yankees spend money on players they feel will help them win. They don't care if it's Joe Smith or Bob Doe. When they trade players or refuse to resign players, it's based on performance as they'll spend the money on another player with a similiar salary.

    When you look at the Astros payroll, yes, they are 12th in the league but let's look at where they spend their money:

    Ausmus, Brad$ 3,000,000 Catcher
    Backe, Brandon $ 350,000 Pitcher
    Bagwell, Jeff $ 18,000,000 First Baseman
    Berkman, Lance $ 10,500,000 Outfielder
    Biggio, Craig $ 3,000,000 Outfielder
    Bruntlett, Eric $ 335,000 Shortstop
    Burke, Chris $ 316,000 Second Baseman
    Chavez, Raul $ 360,000 Catcher
    Clemens, Roger $ 18,000,000 Pitcher
    Duckworth, Brandon $ 500,000 Pitcher
    Ensberg, Morgan $ 450,000 Third Baseman
    Everett, Adam $ 445,000 Shortstop
    Franco, John $ 700,000 Pitcher
    Harville, Chad $ 365,000 Pitcher
    Lamb, Mike $ 1,300,000 Third Baseman
    Lane, Jason $ 345,000 Outfielder
    Lidge, Brad $ 500,000 Pitcher
    Oswalt, Roy $ 5,900,000 Pitcher
    Palmeiro, Orlando $ 800,000 Outfielder
    Pettitte, Andy $ 8,500,000 Pitcher
    Qualls, Chad $ 316,000 Pitcher
    Scott, Luke $ 316,000 Outfielder
    Springer, Russ $ 550,000 Pitcher
    Taveras, Willy $ 316,000 Outfielder
    Vizcaino, Jose $ 1,250,000 Shortstop
    Wheeler, Dan $ 365,000 Pitcher

    $36,000,000 is divided between Clemens and Jeff Bagwell. That's almost half the payroll.

    If Clemens and Bagwell retire, does that mean McLane will be willing to shell out an additional $36,000,000 in player acquisition? I hypothesize no, because it wasn't necessarily just about winning but about the public relations of having Bagwell and Clemens on the team.

    Maybe he'll surprise me but I doubt he'll bring in 3 players worth $12,000,000 a piece or even 2 at $18,000,000.

    Of course resigning some of our own cheap players will eat up a lot of the excess but I doubt we'll have anywhere near the payroll when Clemens and/or Bagwell are gone.
     
    #41 RIET, Nov 2, 2005
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2005
  2. Major

    Major Member

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    This theory doesn't hold water if you look at the past. We had high payrolls before Clemens too. Before Clemens, we had Kent. Before that, we had Alou. Before that, Derek Bell. At various times, we've had high paid pitchers too. None of those were PR moves. Besides which, this high payroll is not a 2-year wonder of any sort. Our payroll has been fairly consistently and steadily growing over the past decade.
     
  3. RIET

    RIET Contributing Member

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    We've never had a "high payroll". The highest payroll we've had since 2000 was 12th (2004, 2005) which is slightly less than our media market. Yes our payroll has gone up but so has the average MLB salary in general.

    Other than these last 2 seasons, between 2000-2005 our payroll has fluctuated between 14th and 18th in the league.
     
  4. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    For those critical of Drayton, what owner would you prefer him to emulate, considering all the financial issues?

    Also, how good do you believe Les Alexander and Bob McNair would be if they were owners in MLB instead of the NBA or NFL?
     
  5. msn

    msn Member

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    Major is doing a great job presenting the facts here, so I will only add that the Astros' revenue does not compare with their media market size--it's smaller. Although Texas systematically cranks out some of the *best* baseball talent, it is still a "football first" area. It's hard for the Astros to generate revenue, just like it would be hard for a Steinbrenner-owned team to generate revenue.
     
  6. msn

    msn Member

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    This is one stupid, tired argument.

    It *is* possible to be pleased and still want more.

    Secondly, if the Yankees are so freaking good at "not just making the playoffs because that's not good enough", then where in the hell have they been since 2000?? Why aren't the precious, all-knowledgeable NE fans "ripping them apart"? A five-year hiatus from the only acceptable result, and this year they almost didn't even make the playoffs. Did NE fans say, "wait till next year"? Does that make them "bandwagonners"?

    What the Yanks did from 1996-2001 was *amazing*. Not the norm. Everyone can shoot for it and hope for it, but to hold it up as the standard for success is, well, stupid. Shortsighted. People who talk like a WS ring every freaking year is the only acceptable result have no clue how difficult it really is to win playoff baseball--much less to even get there.

    I've been around since 1979 and I ain't going nowhere. I'm thrilled that my Astros made brought a pennant home to Houston and went to the big dance. I hope they make the playoffs next year so they'll have a chance to win it all. Guess that makes be a "bandwagon fan". :rolleyes:
     
  7. Major

    Major Member

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    The funny this, when they made their huge run, they didn't have the massive (or as massive) payroll, and most of their talent was homegrown. Brosious, Jeter, Bernie Williams, Pettitte, Tino Martinez, Mariano Rivera, etc, etc. It was when they started signing all the big name free agents that they started losing.
     
  8. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    My issue with Drayton (can't speak for all) is that it's known that he is possibly the wealthiest owner in baseball (give or take 1 or 2 guys)...he has a new cable deal...he's made a ton of money the last 2 years....but refuses to budge on raising the budget significantly with the exception of grabbing a high paid player in July for 3 months. Granted, this formula has worked....and worked well...but I would just like to see our name in the mix and not be an afterthought when the big names become available.

    I wouldn't want him to emulate George....in fact, I think it was a lot more satisfying doing what we did this year with the players/payroll we have....but I'd like to be in the mix if/when the time comes that a big name/high paid player becomes available through trade or free agency. My guess is that if a guy like Manny is available, Drayton isn't on the "must call" list (unless its July) for the Red Sox...I could be wrong....but who knows.
     
  9. msn

    msn Member

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    I think the Astros are more than an afterthought in the real world. Whether or not they are an afterthought in the media is beside the point.

    As far as his cable deal, he should just now begin reaping the benefits of it, and I did read that the initial payroll figures for the Astros in 2006 were $86M (iirc).

    As far as Drayton being the wealthiest owner in baseball, that should have positively no bearing on the Astros' personnel decisions. None. Zilch. Nada. You are setting a business up to fail if you begin throwing personal resources into it. In the same manner that you wouldn't expect your CEO to give you a bonus out of his own pocket, we shouldn't expect Drayton to personally fund any signings, salaries, or bonuses (although he did buy Roy O a tractor for his farm). It makes absolutely zero business sense, and this *is* a business.
     
  10. Rileydog

    Rileydog Contributing Member

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    1. I couldn't agree more. I think some folks are missing the point. We're not ignoring the fact that the Astros are one of the 5-10 best franchises in MLB.

    2. What absolutely CHAPS MY ASS is that we are always, always, always left to wonder how good the Astros COULD BE if McLane would go after another hitter, a great middle reliever or whatever. Nobody is saying that spending more is guaranteed to work. No. We're not saying that at all. But if McLane spent more and it did not work, I guarantee you that I would be the first to say - - - it's not for a lack of effort on the part of ownership. I'm sure many feel this way. Nobody is saying we have to be the Yankees.

    So I'm not all that receptive to the idea that we should be so thankful for the successful franchise and quit banging on Uncle Drayton.

    3. Finally, last offseason, we were all saying that this is the time to strike. Ownership needs to capture momentum and load up the team for a big run. McLane whiffs. Completely whiff.

    4. This year, we get to the WS. I confidently predict that McLane will do nothing but attempt to maintain status quo. He'll just say - "See, I was right. I didn't spend last offseason and we got to the WS. Let's just do nothing and see what happens." Maybe everyone will have career years.

    5. But Drayton owes Biggio more than that. He owes Bagwell, Clemens, Pettitte, Oswalt, more than that. He owes these guys for taking less to stay home. He owes these guys for making the decision to try to do something special for the hometown. Yeah, he's paid millions to each of them and they're not paupers by any stretch. But everyone has to sacrifice something and everyone has, in their own relative terms. I'm not saying he legally owes anything. I'm talking about the fact that it takes a team effort to win. The team includes upper management and ownership. Nobody would accuse the players of dogging it, because they haven't. Drayton's the one that's been dogging it. It's time for Drayton to ante up.

    6. And, yes, he owes the fans more. The fans shelled out dollars to support the team. We bought tickets, beer, dogs, jerseys, Tshirts. Drayton owes, yes, owes us a response.

    7. Finally, I don't see how spending a little more does not make financial sense. An extra 5 million for a decent additional bat, or upgrading a position. It's not guaranteed to increase revenue but, if you push the team to another level, the financial rewards far outweigh the cost.

    ------

    In stark contrast, let's consider les alexander. I grant you that bball has a salary cap, so it's totally different from baseball. But does anyone question whether Les wants to be a champion? Hell no. He is willing to make bold trades, moves, signings to make the team better. No, he hasn't wandered willy nilly into luxury tax land because the moves, at least the ones that I recall from public discussion, don't look like they'd help.

    yeah, rockets management had bad contracts, but at least we as fans have never felt hamstrung because of ownership cheapness.

    Here's a hypothetical: let's say the Rockets make it to the WCF but lose. I don't think there's any chance that Les fails to seize momentum and, if req'd, he'd re sign players or go after FA's that would give us the best chance to win it all.
     
  11. msn

    msn Member

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    Exactly. All the bold moves are possible *because* of the salary cap, and some pretty wise cap management, at least currently, by that front office. In baseball, other guys simply outbid you with no repurcussions whatsoever. The Astros have made quite a few bold bids, offering some pretty significant tender, only to be outbid by others.
     
  12. Svpernaut

    Svpernaut Contributing Member

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    Since when is JOSE DE JESUS ORTIZ invited to these "baseball inner-circles?" give me a break... This story may be 100% true but De Whatever his name is is also "fluffing" himself up just as he accuses Hunsicker of doing by acting like he is "in the know" on issues in MLB.
     
  13. Oski2005

    Oski2005 Contributing Member

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    Seems to me that article was written with the collective #&ck of the astros front office in Ortiz's mouth. He's definately sucking up to the Astros brass by bashing Hun.
     
  14. RIET

    RIET Contributing Member

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    You really have no clue about Yankees fans. They do expect to win it every year and if they don't add personnel to try to win it, they get roasted.

    As far as Houston fans, are you serious?

    How many Oilers games were blacked out by television and the local station had to bail them out - even during the playoffs.

    How many 2 for 1 Rockets coupons were printed in the middle 80's, when Hakeem was at his prime. We have Yao and Tracy McGrady and we can barely sell out.

    How many Astros games drew less than 25,000 people?

    Houstonians are some of the worst fans in the nation because many of our residents are transplants from other cities.

    How would you compare Drayton McLane vs Dr. John McMullen? One is beloved and defended by people like you while the other was hated.

    Ive been a Houston fan since 1977 and I can say McLane and McMullen are probably two of the worst owners this city has had during that time period.

    McMullen was also succesful getting the Astros to the brink because of good management decisions by Tal Smith just like McLane with Hunsicker.

    The difference was McMullen didn't properly play the PR game and let Nolan Ryan go while McLane is much more PR saavy with local heroes like Roger Clemens.
     
    #54 RIET, Nov 3, 2005
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  15. msn

    msn Member

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    You tell me if Yankee stadium was sold out in the late '80s and early '90swhen they were a doormat for the rest of the junior circuit, and then you may have a point. But probably not.

    *Every* city wants a quality product, and *every* city's attendance wanes when they don't get one, except of course for Atlanta who doesn't show up regardless of how good the product is.

    Also, comparing McLane to McMullen is humorous, but that's about it. There are sooooo many other factors involved.
     
  16. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    of course, McMullen drove the team into receivership..while drayton has actually been at the helm during their very best years. but you know..whatever.
     
  17. RIET

    RIET Contributing Member

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    McMullen had the foresight to bring in Tal Smith. He outbid the Angels , $1 million to get Nolan Ryan. He oversaw some very competitive teams in the late 70's all the way through the mid 80's based on pitching and defense.

    The JR Richards tragedy was a big blow and other than a few bad breaks, we shouldve played in the World Series in 1980 and 1986. We had great starters, played small ball, and had a great bullpen with Sambito and Dave Smith.

    His only flaw was making the PR mistake of refusing to pay Nolan Ryan more than Mike Scott who was at that time, the best pitcher on the team.

    And please explain to me exactly what the differences are between the 2 men? Try me.
     
  18. RIET

    RIET Contributing Member

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    I would argue that other than this season, 1980 and 1986 were our "best years".
     
  19. msn

    msn Member

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    Some competitive teams in the late 70s? You mean like half a season in 1979? How much credit should McMullen get for 1979 when he didn't even own the team until May 26, 1979? After just his first two full seasons as owner, the Astros went to hell as a competitive ballclub--sucking balls from 82-85. Tal Smith was brought in in August of 1975--not by Dr. McMullen. Dr. McMullen actually fired Tal Smith after the Astros came within 6 outs of the World Series in 1980.

    Let's have a lil' year-by-year comparison, hmm?
    McMullen:
    1979: good
    1980: good
    1981: good
    1982: suck
    1983: suck
    1984: suck
    1985: suck
    1986: good
    1987: suck
    1988: suck
    1989: suck
    1990: suck
    1991: suck

    Lesseee, that's four good years and nine sucky years.

    Drayton McLane:
    1992: suck
    1993: suck
    1994: good
    1995: so-so
    1996: suck
    1997: good
    1998: good
    1999: good
    2000: suck
    2001: good
    2002: suck
    2003: good
    2004: good
    2005: WS

    Lesseee, that's eight good years, one on the border, and five sucky years.

    About hirings and firings:
    McMullen: fired a great GM (Tal Smith) after just one full season, a season in which the Astros nearly reached the WS.
    McLane: hired a great GM (Hunsicker) and we'd still have him had he not left of his own volition.

    Did you even research your facts before you posted this stuff?
     
  20. RIET

    RIET Contributing Member

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    You just wasted 4 hours researching this? You need therapy.
     

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