Look, I know you can't tell it by the Gleemanesque length of my entries here, but honestly, there are times when I long for a peaceful morning in which the thought of baseball may continue to simmer quietly at the back of my mind as I read the book reviews but mostly I can just sit and chill for once. Some days I just want to shut up and be quiet, already.
And then I turn to the Houston Chronicle sports pages and I read:
1. The worst headline ever: SLUMPING OFFENSE CONTRIBUTES TO ASTROS DECLINE. Well, no shit.
2. Drayton McLane announcing that firing Jimy Williams is not a possibility. This is the same man who fired Larry Dierker because, after Dierker led Houston to the first round of the playoffs four times in five years, McLane was frustrated because the Astros couldn't break through to the next level. That is one thing you can say for Jimy, I suppose. The Astros have reached a new low this week. Jimy can break through levels just fine.
3. And look, if we can't fire Jimy, I think most of us can agree that Richard Justice needs to go. Today he offers that the Astros' woes come from the fact that they have no black position players. Further, his suggestion for remedying this: Hire Don Baylor as Houston's next manager.
Let me tell you the sum total of what I know about Don Baylor. He is so ineffective that even the lovably losing Cubs of 2002 had to fire him.
4. Grades from Jose de Jesus Ortiz on each Astro's performance this season. Now I fully acknowledge that Roy Oswalt deserves a B-, but when it is sitting next to Andy Pettitte's big shiny A, it's a little irritating. Pettitte has made only seven starts for Houston this season, and while he has been effective, for the most part, I don't know, folks. Any of you just slightly disappointed that Houston is paying $11 million a year for a pitcher who has thrown just 617 pitches this season?
Ortiz goes on to say that "the Astros cannot use his absence as an excuse for the team's troubles because they have won the majority of the games that fell on his day in the rotation, with him or a spot starter." While I acknowledge that the Astros have many, many other excuses for losing (see offense, slumping above), the fact that Houston has lucked into winning his missing starts ignores the fact that the bullpen we relied on to cover those starts for the most part was therefore unable to help out on other days.
I know the hidden agenda here is that Houston wants Pettitte to be happy here, because Pettitte is the key to 2005 Clemens. But come on, Jose! If you can give Chad Harville an incomplete because of his injuries, at least do not insult Oswalt, Miller (grade of C), and Redding (C-) by paying lip-service to Pettitte's "excellent" performance.
I'm going back to bed. Wake me in November.