View from Spring Training: 2011 Houston Astros

2011 Houston Astros

NFL Equivalent – Seattle Seahawks: Always a bridesmaid, but never quite a bride. The Seahawks reached the Super Bowl in 2006, only to fall to the Steelers, while the Astros lost to the White Sox in the World Series the year before.  Both teams were constantly in the mix throughout this past decade, while both now seem miles away from championship hopes.  Both the ‘Hawks and the ‘Stros have recently sent the faces of their respective franchises packing, and are relying on much younger, more anonymous casts going forward.  So the question remains, is there a “Beast Mode” moment waiting for these Astros in October?

Google Search: Drayton McLain, as he has been known to do in the past—like a true Texas gambler—is choosing to play the hand that he was dealt.  The Astros have brought in 2B Bill Hall and SS Clint Barmes, but will choose to fill out their roster with a couple of aging prospects in C J.R. Towles and 1B Brett Wallace.  It might be the end of the line for these two in Houston, if their Spring numbers are any indication. All this and presumptive 2011 team MVP outfielder Hunter Pence is considered to be the worst team MVP in MLB by Baseball Prospectus. Talk about a backhanded compliment.

Famous Movie Quote: Listen, here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker – Mike McDermott from Rounders

Here’s some feedback, Mr. McLain: fold, then run.  The Killer B’s are not walking through that door, and after having FINALLY moved INF/OF Lance Berkman and P Roy Oswalt last season, the last vestiges of the Astros’ heyday have faded into that big Texas sky alongside Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, and J.R. Ewing.  Houston has a productive starting outfield with the powerful Carlos Lee, the speedy Michael Bourne, and the gutty Hunter Pence, but they’ll only go as far as their starting pitching staff will take them. Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, and J.A. Happ will all have to have career years just to keep the Astros relevant at the All-Star break. 2011 record: 71 – 91; 5th Place NL Central

view from Space Coast Stadium courtesy of @actionsports360