I've read that there are companies out there that employ people who do nothing but Quality Control. These people are supposed to make sure that the best product comes out while catching the errors. I'm not sure if Drayton McLane has such a person working for the Astros, but if he does, that person must be somehow related to Creed Bratton because there's just no other way to explain some of the things to have happened to the Astros over the past several years.
After all, would a real person in charge of Quality Control allow the Astros to trade for Miguel Tejada on the day before The Mitchell Report was due to be released, especially one knowing of all of the rumors surrounding Tejada?
Would a Quality Control person allow for such a trade without first verifying all of the information surrounding Tejada, especially the basic stuff? Like his age?
And what decent Quality Control person would sign off on the contracts for Kaz Matsui, Mike Hampton, and Russ Ortiz -- that old risk/reward balancing thing would definitely come out on the risk side. And what about that whole fiasco with Shaun Chacon? Did anybody bother to look into the guy's history and ask just why it was he'd been with so many teams?
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Then there's the latest. As discovered by The Astros Dugout's Lisa Gray yesterday, the Astros have quietly changed the birth date of reliever Jose Valverde so that he, too, is older than what the Astros have chose to allow the fans to believe -- Brian McTaggart with MLB.com got Ed Wade to confirm this, and Wade made it sound like this was just a simple paperwork error.
Of course, as Gray points out, this is a little paperwork error that has been going on for many years and which points to more than just a paperwork error.
So Drayton really needs to get another Quality Control person involved in his organization. Someone who will tell him that Carlos Lee might be a great DH, but he really sucks as a left fielder so giving him a huge six-year contract really makes no sense. Or someone who might tell him that just because Chris Burke can be signed to a decent contract doesn't mean he can play shortstop.
Or someone who, when the Astros are contemplating a deal for a pitcher, asks the current management team if they bothered to take a look at the guy's medical records. I'm sure Drayton has people like this involved with his other businesses, and it's really time he looked at getting a good one involved with his baseball team, because Tal Smith, Ed Wade, Tim Purpura, etc. sure haven't been doing a good job of this.