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Fish, Meet Barrel

I make it a point to try and keep things relatively positive around here. Sometimes I just can't help it, particularly on slow sports news days like this. Check out this piece by KHOU's Daniel Gotera. 

Did you catch all the errors? Did you notice that this was basically a bad blog (and trust me, I know something about writing those!) written on a mainstream site? 

Daniel, a few helpful tips and rebuttals await you behind the jump.

1) All caps is a great way to get your point across when you are 15 or when you're texting. You don't have to take your rage out on the eyes of the reader.

2) Win-Loss record isn't a smart way to evaluate starting pitchers. Granted, Rowland-Smith was awful last year, but you're trying to sum it up in a stat that doesn't measure his effectiveness. You're operating behind even recent Cy Young voters in that regard.

3) 5th starters spot. Fifth starter spot. Picky, I know.

4) Part of your argument seems to be that the Astros needed to sign or acquire somebody great. You point out teams that have acquired great players and not the price that had to be paid to make those moves. The Nationals were absolutely panned for signing Werth to the contract that they gave him, and the Red Sox would have been panned had they not been the Red Sox for signing Crawford to his contract. The last time the Astros dipped into $100 MM free agency, they came out with Carlos Lee. Think about that.

5)  

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? 6.75 ERA? Wow.

His ERA last year is still better than your outraged-punctuation-to-salient-points ratio. Also, if you look at his past three years, he'd kept his ERA's under 4 in the American League every year outside of the last one. He's not going to turn the franchise around, but he's a solid low-risk signing.

6) 

I know it's a tough economy, but it's not like the Astros are losing money. It's a nice ballpark and fans still come out to watch, so I am guessing you have some money to spend on good players.

Well they could, but they're actually spending money on Lee, Brandon Lyon, and Brett Myers. You know, the big free agent moves of the Ed Wade Era? You really want to send him out there with the checkbook? He'd come out with...well, Clint Barmes. Kaz Matsui. Guy Who Played For The Phillies When He GM'ed Them. You can make a pretty compelling argument that Wade is a better GM when he's not handing out contracts.

7) 

They are trying to sell the franchise. More attractive players would help. Nothing against Rowland-Smith, but he's not exactly the "star-power" Astros fans and potential buyers were thinking about.

Potential buyers also like clubs that don't have awful contracts on their books long-term. You know, contracts like Carlos Lee's. Or Jayson Werth's this year. 

In closing, the failure of the Astros organization to go out and acquire a big name player to add to their untalented roster is less about money and more the price of the market this year. The Astros had to give up a pretty nice arm in Felipe Paulino just to get Barmes. Teams are handing out $20 million a year contracts to stars and giving $6 million a year to the Juan Uribes of the world. The Astros aren't talented enough right now to be a contender with their roster plus $20-30 million worth of this market's players. On top of that, no franchise player ala Crawford or Cliff Lee, who could arguably add value to the franchise, is going to sign with a non-contender like the Astros rather than a contender unless they are as overpaid as Werth was. 

So in that case, the Astros are correct to identify low-cost players who they feel can bounce back and aggressively pursue them. 

Or we could let Ed Wade find someone mediocre to overpay. Like say, Rick Ankiel, 2 years, $8 million. Your call.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.