20 Ways the Astros Are Still Losing Even Though They're Not Playing

This past season was a painful one to watch and endure for Houston Astros fans. But even in the off-season the painful hits just keep on coming.

20. The owner of the Texas Rangers, Nolan Ryan, is getting plenty of airtime from Fox and TBS every night during the postseason. It's almost as if they go to a shot of him between every pitch. And to think, if not for Drayton McLane's undying affection for Tal Smith and letting Ryan split for the Rangers, then it could be Ryan purchasing the Astros right now and not Jim Crane.

19. Then there's the indignity brought on by Moneyball in that scene where Brad Pitt Billy Beane decides to trade the hard-partying clubhouse distraction Jeremy Giambi from his Oakland A's. So he storms into his office and puts in a call to Ed Wade, who he suckers into a trade in a matter of minutes. Sure, Wade was with the Phillies then, but you just know that, when it comes to making a stupid trade, the first person every GM in baseball thinks of is Ed Wade.

18. For now, Drayton McLane is still the official owner.

17. All of the coaches for the team that was the absolute worst team in the majors this past season were just re-upped for another year. And nobody cares because the team sucks so bad that not even the coaching staff of a good team, like the Rangers, Tigers, Cardinals, etc. could turn this current Astros squad into a good one.

16. One of the best teams in baseball, a team that made an all-too-quick exit from the playoffs, the Tampa Bay Rays, is run by Gerry Hunsicker, the former GM of the Astros, and Andrew Friedman, a native Houstonian. And they put together a winning team with a very small payroll, a deep farm system, good scouting and good coaching -- all things currently missing from the Astros.

15. Hey, look at all of the ex-Astros that were in the playoffs or are in the Series. Like Ben Zobrist. And Lance Berkman. And Hunter Pence. And Roy Oswalt. And Octavio Dotel. And Jose Valverde. And Randy Wolf. And LaTroy Hawkins. And Darren Oliver.

14. Watching the Texas Rangers quickly become the team of Texas and not the Astros.

13. There's the upcoming arrival of free agency and the dread that comes from wondering what mediocre middle infielder and middle reliever Ed Wade's going to sign to a huge and unwarranted contract.

12. Speaking of which, remember, Brandon Lyon returns next season.

11. Damn, there's still one more year to pay off on Carlos Lee's contract.

10. J.A. Happ, after the god-awful season he just had, is still a favorite to make the Astros starting rotation next year. 9. The Three Stooges -- Tal Smith, Ed Wade and Brad Mills -- are still in charge.

8. On the plus side, at least the Astros won't get ripped off by the Phillies at the trade deadline next season. Mainly because there's nobody on this roster that anybody's going to want.

7. At least the Astros still have the choo-choo train in left field.

6. Art Howe was upset about how he came off in the Moneyball movie. And while I'm not sure how accurate that really is, anybody who watched him when he managed the Astros knows the movie nailed his obsession with the lefty-righty match-ups. But having watched Howe in Houston, it's also very doubtful that he would have benched Brett Wallace in favor of Jason Michaels because only Brad Mills is stupid enough to think that lefty-righty match-up move makes any sense.

5. What? Lance Berkman wanted to come back to the Astros, but Ed Wade didn't want him?

4. At least the Astros will get to lose to the Rangers a whole lot more if realignment really comes to pass.

3. The best known Astro at the moment is probably Jordan Schafer, and that's because he was stupid enough to get busted for pot possession outside of a Cheesecake Factory in Tampa.

2. Hey, no matter who the owner is, we can all be confident that he'll be Bud Selig's bitch.

1. And could anything be worse than seeing Jeff Bagwell's reputation dragged through the mud thanks to his involvement with the wife of The Hand Doctor?

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