The Houston Astros: As Bad As We Thought They Were

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John Royal
Upset with the Astros, well the Aeros give you a reason to cheer
Okay Houston sports fans. There's good news, and there's bad news. The bad news is that the Astros are 8-14 for the season and are, as expected, battling for the worst record in major league baseball. The good news is that there are still 140 games to go in the season. On second thought, maybe that's bad news followed by more bad news.

So with the Astros having an off day today, let's offer up a few observations on this season.

1. Astros manager Brad Mills is upset by his team's defense, saying that he didn't think it was going to be this bad. But one has to ask: what in the hell was Mills expecting? He's starting Bill Hall every night. There's a reason that Hall can't find a position. It's because he sucks.

2. But Bill Hall's not the only reason the Astros lead the majors in errors -- he's the primary reason, true, but not the only reason. Chris Johnson's not exactly known for his defensive abilities. Jason Michaels flopping around in left field yesterday made Carlos Lee look graceful, and after reliever Mark Melancon took out first baseman Brett Wallace on Saturday, one should not be shocked to see Astros infielders be a bit more careful when it comes to getting close to the pitching mound.

3. On the plus side, the Astros almost turned a triple play on Saturday night. Of course, a bad throw across the mound to Wallace prevented the Astros from getting the third out. But then, if Melancon would not have legged whipped Wallace a couple of plays earlier, the near-triple play wouldn't have been needed.

4. Just an aside, if you want to see a Houston professional sports team that's actually good, the Aeros are in the playoffs. They swept their first-round series, and are now awaiting for the Texas/Milwaukee series to finish up so they can find out their next opponent.

5. Has anybody seen the current issue of Texas Monthly? Apparently, while nobody was looking, the Texas Rangers became America's team. One can only hope that Drayton McLane is hanging his head in shame at what he's done to the Astros.

6. The Astros pitching has been sucking pretty bad lately. But what would one expect from a rotation that includes J.A. Happ and Nelson Figueroa? At least Bud Norris is pitching against the St. Louis Cardinals this week, and if Norris pitched against nobody but the Cards, he would be well on his way to the Hall of Fame.

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No, this Christopher Wallace is not the future of the Astros. You're thinking about Chris Wallace the catcher
7. Speaking of the Cardinals, just how weird is it going to be seeing Lance Berkman wearing that uniform? Which version of Astros fan are we going to see at this game: the morons who still boo Carlos Beltran for taking the better contract offer from the Mets, or those who know that Berkman wanted to come back to Houston, but the Astros didn't want him?

8. Hey, does Berkman's return to town mean the return of the Little Pumas? If so, MMP's attendance might approach 23,000 per game against the Cards.

9. There have been numerous, breathless updates as to when Clint Barmes will finally come off of the DL and join the Astros. When that happens, expect the team's awful defense to become even worse. And since it's Barmes, expect him to be back on the DL within a month.

10. The supposed future of the Astros at catcher is Jason Castro. But while he recovers from injury, one might want to take a glance at Houston's single-A team in Lexington where former Houston Cougar catcher Chris Wallace is tearing apart the minors in his first full season of professional baseball. If Wallace keeps this up, one can't help but wonder how much longer it is until Wallace is promoted to Corpus Christi. And if you're name is Jason Castro, you might really want to start paying some attention to what Wallace is doing.

11. Just a reminder, instead of throwing away your money going to MMP to watch one of the worst teams in baseball, consider instead buying some Aeros playoff tickets so that you can see what a good team looks like. And with teams like the Astros, Rockets, Texans, and Dynamo, the Aeros might provide the city with its only glimpse at a playoff team for a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.

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