Seriously, How Is It Not Phil Garner's Fault?

A couple of amazing things happened out at MMP last night. The Astros won the game. Woody Williams got the win. Woody Williams pitched a good game. And Jason Lane got sent to the minors.

Yes, that’s right. Lane got sent back to Round Rock. It’s kind of shocking. Even though Hunter Pence is back off of the DL, it’s still rather surprising to see Lane not starting in center while Pence sits on the bench.

The Astros even improved their record to 57-70, which not only moved them to within 13 games of the .500 mark, but also kept them barely in front of the fifth place Cincinnati Reds.

I just want to point out a little matter. The Astros have been struggling with shoddy pitching all season. Key members of the staff have been injured. Key members of the team have been injured. Big stars have failed to perform. Key free agent signings have failed. Aging superstars have looked aged. And the team sucks. And we’re told this is not Phil Garner’s fault.

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I point you to the St. Louis Cardinals. The team currently sitting in third place in the NL Central, only three games out of first. Now, the NL Central is bad, but this is rather amazing. You see, the Cardinals rotation last season, at one point, consisted of Chris Carpenter, Jeff Suppan, Jason Marquis and Jeff Weaver. None of these men has pitched this season for the Cards. Carpenter’s been injured, and the others signed contracts with other teams. Tony La Russa has jury-rigged a rotation consisting of young kids, cast-offs from other teams, and failed closers.

Albert Pujols has performed at Lance Berkman levels. Stars Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen html have battled injuries and are nowhere near playing at the level they played in their prime. One pitcher was killed in a drunk driving accident. There’s a key bench player who has checked himself into drug rehab. And La Russa’s playing a converted pitcher – one of the great flameouts of all time – in the outfield.

And yet, despite all of this, the Cards are in the race for the NL Central title. And the Astros, who have had to contend with less, are awful.

Do any of you really want to go and say that Phil Garner’s not at fault regarding anything?

All that I know is that the time to collect my free lunch is growing closer.

Is it time for Houston Cougar football yet? – John Royal

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