Thursday, July 14, 2005

Baseball's 2nd season

Half a season down, half a season to go ...

Those who voted not to trade Roger Clemens when we ran that question by you in Banjo's Mini Poll in late May are looking pretty darn smart. If you'll recall, 44 percent voted not to trade Clemens, 33 percent voted to trade him because the season was a lost cause and 23 percent said they didn't care cause the world is so messed up it's silly to ponder such meaningless questions.

The conventional wisdom has the Astros trying to make a mid-season trade to bolster the team's offense.

While Astros fans wait to see if that happens, Albert Chen of SI.COM already has decided the Astros will win the wild card playoff spot.

"They're very dangerous, no one should be surprised by their run right now," an NL general manager said of the Astros. "Who doesn't like a team with Roger Clemens, Roy Oswalt and Andy Pettitte [starting] and Brad Lidge closing games?"

Houston owner Drayton McLane has a track record of opening up his checkbook down the stretch if he thinks his team is a player away from the playoffs. (See Randy Johnson in 1998 and Carlos Beltran in 2004.) The Astros have a pitching staff that could dominate a postseason, but they don't have the pop to advance to October. That's why McLane will give first-year Houston GM Tim Purpura the green light to strike a big deal.

Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of The Sporting News thinks Astros centerfielder Willy Taveras should win Rookie of the Year, admitting his preseason choice of the Brew Crew's J.J. Hardy hasn't panned out while the Crew's promising second baseman didn't make the show til early June.
Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks didn't reach the majors until June 11. Taveras, the Astros' center fielder, has been grinding out infield hits and stealing bases all season, his first above Class AA.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With Burke, Lane, Everett and Ausmus in the lineup, the Astros will be out of the race quicker than they got back in it. Purpura lacks the killer-instict Hunsicker had to make a trade.