Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Failure to launch

I'd write about the playoffs, but a Yankees championship seems at this point so terrifyingly inevitable that I'd rather not think about it. So instead, let's talk about the Astros. More specifically, the surprising announcement that they're considering re-hiring Phil Garner as their manager.

You remember: Phil Garner took over after Jimy Williams was unceremoniously canned over the 2004 All-Star Break. Garner turned the team around and took them to the playoffs that year, then the World Series the following season. And then...well. 2006 wasn't so good, and 2007 was worse, leading to Garner himself getting the boot midseason. His replacement, Cecil Cooper, accomplished exactly fuckall and has since been fired.

So we're talking about a team that's gone through three managers in the last six seasons. A team that's wildly, frustratingly inconsistent, with wide gaping holes in its roster.

Honestly, does anyone think a manager is really going to make that much of a difference?

Go ahead, then. Bring Garner back. I'm not sure if he ever should have been fired in the first place. But hey -- maybe you should put the names of all the candidates in a hat and decide the manager that way. Because the problem with the Astros isn't who's drawing up the lineup cards. It's who's writing the checks.

'Cause let's all take a deep breath and say it together: the Astros suck. That's right. They suck. And unless the players get a major overhaul, this team is going nowhere and getting there at warp speed.

And the only ones who can do anything about that are the ones in the front office. But they've raised "treading water" to a damn art.

Look: I hate Andy Pettitte -- Petitte? Pettite? fuck it, Pettttitttttttee with an immeasurable rage, but you know what? He can still pitch his ass off. Maybe we should have been a tad nicer to him and just given him the four million dollars he was so bent out of shape about. Maybe instead of signing Roger Clemens those two years, we should have paid someone else a bajillion dollars to not win the big game. Maybe Miguel Tejada was a bad investment. Maybe letting Willy Taveras go was a bad idea. Hell, Clay Bucholz is apparently good now. What the hell?

So don't expect the Astros to be playing in any of the next few Octobers. No matter who gets the managing job. Because you can't expect Phil Garner to fix this team's problems.

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