Last night, the Houston Astros made franchise history when their new general manager got online at astros.com to chat with fans.â†µ
That's right. The GM actually interacted with this fan base, talked about trades, the farm system and his philosophy for building the team. It was a glorious event for people wondering about the new direction of this team.â†µ
There were some interesting answers and questions, including one from TCB's own Tim:â†µ
7:09 pm What did you ask Santa for, for Christmas?
7:09 pm A shortstop and a starting pitcher. The Red Sox delivered!
A smart trader and a sense of humor to boot? Genius!â†µ
I also liked this answer about Brett Wallace:â†µ
7:06 pm Brett and I have history since the Cardinals drafted him. He has had an up and down career but he is a talented baseball player with a bright future. He will get every opportunity to have an impact on this team in 2012.
Wallace still has plenty of talent, but didn't get the best opportunity to showcase his abilities last season. Maybe if Carlos Lee finds greener pastures this season, Wally will be able to get a full season to show what he can become as a hitter.â†µ
Oh and another really interesting answer about the minor leagues:â†µ
7:24 pm The Astros have "Scouting" and "Player Development" as different positions, but you played both roles for the Cardinals. What are some of the benefits of merging the Scouting/Player Development positions?
7:25 pm The scouts are always optimistic and the coaches often see a different aspect of the player because they are with them day in and day out. It is important in my opinion to have one voice across both areas. We will have that here too.
That's a very astute point and may bridge the gap between how the team has drafted players and what the coaches were doing with them the past few years. Like asking Jay Austin to bunt instead of hitting for power (even though it was probably a good decision). Maybe that dual role will bring the end to the toolsy guys who are very raw. I'm tired of getting excited about guys who won't play beyond Double-A...â†µ
Really, though, you need to go read the whole transcript. It's quite illuminating and makes me even happier with the Astros decision on who to hire.â†µ