Expectations: Are Astros’ fans demanding enough?


I think everyone who has read my posts over the last few seasons would call me a 1/2 full cup kind of guy. I don’t think I am a rose colored glasses type of person – I am not saying that Alex Presley, Jerome Williams, Robbie Grossman, or Paul Clemens have shown they “belong” on the big club. But I also think there are plenty of signs of a long term Renaissance within the Astros organization. I like what I see coming up from the minors, but I can be a bit impatient about waiting for the oranges to ripen on the trees.

People who come from other areas of the country – especially New Yaawkers and Baaahstonians think we Astro fans are way too accepting of our team’s recent descent into baseball hell.  They think that the fans and the media give the team and its management too much of a pass on producing results.

So a few questions for you readers who I consider loyal beyond belief fans of the team.

  1. Do you feel the fans and / or the media are too easy on or too apathetic towards the team?
  2. Would a more demanding fan base have caused a faster re-build of the minor league system and the major league team?
  3. Would that additional “speed” in rebuilding the organization have been a long term good thing or not?
  4. If the fans would have forced the team to accept a less than robust TV deal – would that have been better than no deal?

 

Anyways – I am very interested in what your thoughts are on this subject.  Let it rip.

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40 comments on “Expectations: Are Astros’ fans demanding enough?

  1. Dan……..as the Ghost Buster’s movie says, “Who ya gonna call”?? Sure, we go back and forth with one another on *here*, but who listens to any of us? Still can’t get that smell from today’s game outta here…….must be Jerome Williams stink.
    I’m not sure why Luhnow isn’t letting some guys come up, but he and Crane are losing fans faster than greased Owl sh_t. I hope they let Buchanan have another start, just to give him a second chance to prove himself. This team needs help, and SOON. I’ll step off my soap box now……….*sigh*

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    • Becky – If Peacock is ready I’m betting he will get the next start and Buchanan will head back to OKC.
      I think we will see more roster changes throughout July all the way to the end of the season.
      The organization has been pretty consistent about making sure the guys get a certain amount of ABs or IPs at AAA – so things are not going to happen as fast as we may wish.
      Don’t despair – they have been on the road a lot lately – getting home for a bit may help them.

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  2. I’m not in “despair”, I’m kinda indifferent. The same lame guys are in the lineup every day. How many times can you watch Carter strike out, and the same with Grossman, Presley, Guzman ect….. and as far as the T.V. deal, I’ve given up being
    able to watch these guys, unless they play the Rangers. Bad news on Correa, he injured himself sliding into third base tonight, and had to be carried off on the golf cart. Oh……and the stink of Jerome Williams still lingers tonight.

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    • Yeah I know what you mean. There are guys who are mostly just taking up space – though Carter did have some big hits not that long ago.
      But it is tough to watch guys who do not make contact often and probably a lot tougher just to listen to them.

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      • Lots of good points Kevin – they really do have too many guys taking up space that don’t seem to be long term major leaguers or very marginal ones – though looking at 2013 you might have said that about Keuchel and even Altuve. It is tough to find out about young guys and make quick decisions on them – when they have to learn and play too. A guy like Carter might have started clicking – who knows without trying it.
        Anyways – the cup half full part of me says they are making progress – if not as fast as I would like. Last season the Astros had more than 1/2 their games started by guys with ERAs of greater than 5.00. This season only 5 of their 76 games (including Buchanan’s spot start) have been started by pitchers with ERAs above 4.76. More then 70% of their starts have been by guys with ERAs below 4.00. That is huge improvement.
        The lineup is the place where I am losing patience – but I would still rather get guys like Santana or Wates some experience than trade for someone right now.

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    • Ok my soap box. First of all we gave a lot of good arms coming up I have always looked at Buchanan as a soft tossing average AAA guy , he didn’t prove me wrong. I’m thinking if he was full time in the majors a sub .500 guys with a 5.20 ERA.

      I’m so tired of watching Guzman, Presely. Grossman, Carter, at times Castro.Clemens, Williams, Zeid. I have said this so many times i’m hoarse, a major league team needs 1 sort of AAAA guy on the team, that spots guys days off etc, we have 10.

      Watching the last 4 games I hate to say this but we have 2 major league bats, Altuve and Fowler I have high Hopes for Springer and Singleton. WE just have to many kids and retreads. Lunhow needs to make some trades, get us a Major league Proven Bull Pen Arm and anotherlmajor league proven bat to mix in with the kids. I’m all for a great farm system, promoting from within, home grown talent, but Im not sure you can win that way if 75% of your 25 man roster are unproven MLB talent.

      If not I see us to continue to be sub .500

      UGH

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  3. If they send Buchanan back down who will come up? Surely not Clemens. I’m hoping Buchanan gets a shot at being the long guy. I’m sure he would rather be a major league reliever than a minor league starter.

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    • It is a good point – maybe they will keep him up as the most likely replacements are on the DL (Bass, Albers, etc) and not ready to come back. I guess Alex White would be another choice.

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  4. Dan, the Fans have done what they could, but it wasn’t going to matter because the team was going to lose whether the fans showed up or not.
    The media wasn’t merely apathetic because the national media abandoned the Astros when the owners of their favorite teams sold Houston down the creek to the American League and the local media just moved on to another local team when the wins disappeared.
    The fans can’t change the team or the tv deal or any other part because the Astros ship has sailed and the only people who can make it faster or better is the ship itself.
    The television deal would not have helped because there was no television deal. There never was going to be a deal because the carriers were never, never going to charge all their customers to carry the Astros and the Rockets. It wasn’t going to happen and it hasn’t happened. The TV deal was a stunt that Crane fell for and what is happening now is what happens when someone makes a huge bad purchase. The seller gets rich and the buyer gets under water.
    So here is where we stand, as fans of the Astros. We either live with the plan(or die) or jump ship and find another. The Astros will slowly improve as the young prospects mature and give us a decent team. We can’t make them go faster and we can’t make them get better until the team starts making some money and getting better players. Until they can afford it we are gonna be stuck with the Carters and the Dominguezes until we bring up better players to the majors when they are good enough or until we can afford to buy better ones. If you think 2015 is gonna be great, you had better settle yourself down, because it is probably going to be 2016 before they are capable of being a winning team.

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  5. Perhaps we are far too accepting of the New Yaawkers and Baaahstonians.

    I’m perfectly happy to watch the organization implement The Plan. It is far more compelling than just buying a bunch of players, that in the case of the Yankees at least, have disappointed. One WS in 13 years is very Florida Marlins.

    No yankee is going to tell me how to root for my team.

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  6. File this under hindsight is 20-20, but back before this TV debacle happened, I read too many accounts that the Astros could have accepted the same TV deal that the Rangers have. One could have argued, well then CSN would have sued Crane. However, the Astros have no deal, no revenue stream, and are paying millions to lawyers. And CSN is STILL suing Crane. We can claim them as “our team” but they are just a rich man’s toy. (God, I read this before posting, and I am suffering from the Bopert Syndrome)

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    • Well, it is always that way – Astro45 – these teams are never really ours. When Drayton was here – he would spend bucks – but there were times when it seemed that budgetary concerns trumped getting them to the promised land – like when they let Jeff Kent walk. Sports are always vicarious – something we would love to do but which we lack the talent to the billions to do.

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  7. So, McCullers goes on the DL, Aplin is on the DL, Fontana breaks a finger and goes on the DL and Correa breaks his fibula and may miss the rest of the season. The 2012 Astros draft takes a huge hit right there. Aaron West has practically disappeared and Brady Rodgers has a 2-9 record for CC. Rio Ruiz is carrying the banner up the hill by himself right now.
    Bo Porter, the consumate comedian, said that Jason Castro’s bruised knee will allow him DH so that the Astros won’t have to lose Jason’s bat in the lineup. Castro is en fuero with a .176 BA in his last ten games.
    The picture I saw of Correa’s teammates carrying him off the field last night was like a slap in my face with a big wet towel.

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  8. It is rather strange – I really can’t find an official source announcing that Correa has a definite broken leg. Anybody have an official source on that?

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  9. If you want to know how bad it is, look at the headline at Astros.com: “Astros prospect Correa appears to injure leg”.
    What a crock! I’m deep in the woods and I can see more than that. If the Astros didn’t know his situation within an hour of it occurring, I’ll eat my camo shorts.

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    • I’m not saying I don’t believe he broke his leg – but I can’t find anything that updates when he left the field last night. It is all unofficial tweets and speculaton.
      And you are absolutely right – they know – they must know.

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  10. Can’t help but thinking if he had been promoted to CC – he would not have been in that exact position at that exact time…
    The Lancaster official site does not even mention yesterday’s game yet. Astros have a Brian McT short story about a possible serious injury.

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    • My knee jerk reaction is they should take a closer look at field conditions. It’s probably a freak injury, but you want to do everything you can to avoid such fate. It’s why NFL starters get fewer reps in the pre-season. In summary, it’s nice that they wanted to throw Lancaster a bone by putting our top prospect there for half a year, but he showed enough ability on defense, the base paths, and especially at the plate to have been facing AA competition already.

      Oddly this more or less sums up my answers to the questions posited by the blog post. I’m fine with “the plan” and didn’t expect to lose fewer than 100 games this year. I don’t think that’s OK, but it’s where we’re at. We need to see upward momentum continue until we’re competing for pennants. We don’t need to be KC 2.0. We don’t need to see any players blocked or languishing due to concerns over their arbitration dollars in future years. Build a winning big league club because only the players and a few people in Iowa will ever care if Quad Cities wins a championship.

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      • Thanks for the answers Devin – I think it sums up where most of us are at – we don’t have a problem with them building from mostly within – but get on with it.

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  11. Dan- Luhnow is keeping this VERY quiet………he had x-rays done yesterday afternoon, and one of the scouts watching the game found out how bad it was and tweeted about it. If he only had a minor injury……it would be in BIG BLACK letters.
    Fontana breaking his little finger, and requiring surgery is bad news as well. Still can’t get rid of the stench of Jerome Williams………I hope when we get the guys back
    from DL, Luhnow will let him walk.

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  12. Luhnow reports that Correa’s injury is a “significant injury”. That tells us he’s being sent back to Houston, to let thedoctors at Methodist Hospital evaluate him………..

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    • Becky – the only thing that makes sense is that they are getting additional testing or evaluation done – otherwise – if they know it is broken and he is out, why hide it. Perhaps the delay is just to be able to say how really bad it is.

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  13. Answering my own questions – here is what I think:
    Do you feel the fans and / or the media are too easy on or too apathetic towards the team?
    – I think the fans and media are more apathetic than easy. The last 3 years drove out the casual fans and since the Astros no longer move the needle on ratings or blog hits or tweets – the casual media does not care.
    Would a more demanding fan base have caused a faster re-build of the minor league system and the major league team?
    – I keep thinking about the results of some of what I would consider demanding media and/or fan markets. The Bosox with like 90 years of no championships. The Cubs and W’Sox with nothing for almost forever. The Mets who have been stinking it up for a long time. You can say the Yankees success was because of their fan base – but it was based on tons of bucks and choosing the right people to pursue under Steinbrenner the elder. Not working now.
    Would that additional “speed” in rebuilding the organization have been a long term good thing or not?
    – I think if they had short cut the system they might have a short term better major league team and a worse system. Since we lived through 50+ years of 1 WS appearance and 0 championships, I’m willing to have some patience that going a totally different way might bring us better success.
    If the fans would have forced the team to accept a less than robust TV deal – would that have been better than no deal?
    – Nope – don’t think so. I think better Astro and Rocket teams will eventually drive a compromise deal. At least I hope so.

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  14. Regarding the TV deal it is the chicken and the egg theory…Do the Astros have to be competitive to get the TV deal worked out or does a TV deal have to get worked out before the Astros can be competitive again? Yes, you can follow the A’s and Rays plan, but at least they have TV money to spend.

    How long do the Astros wait on guys like Grossman, Carter, Guzman, Williams and Farnsworth before we realize our mistakes and cut bait? Is Luhnow’s ego so big that he can’t just admit his own mistakes? Dan, I am with you in that I like the plan, but let’s get it moving along please. After a nice run we have now lost 3 straight series and 2 of them to the team with the rorst record in baseball.

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    • Well we saw Luhnow cut ties with guys like Pena and Ankiel last season – so I don’t think he is that tied to any player. I just think he wants the kids coming up to have X amount of ABs or Y amount of IPs before he calls them up.
      In my mind I would like to see them up here because they are not being blocked by players putting up MLB numbers.

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  15. While I understand the hitting coach can’t go out and hit the ball…..something is *very* wrong with these guys.It might be time to look for another hitting coach, ’cause these guys are AWFUL. I guess there’s no use to gripe, and moan
    they are what they are. Thank God we have Altuve, because he’s the only guy who looks like he knows what to do. These guys struck out *13* times today

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    • I thought Fowler – 2 hits including a HR and another shot to the warning track hit well. Springer missed a HR by a smidgen got way under it and it ended up a foot short.
      It bothers me that Castro seems to be doing nothing different to improve – his swing is looking more and more like Carter’s every day.
      Yes they are sliding back towards 2013 where they struck out way too much and left guys all over the bases.
      Mallee has to be on a hot seat.

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  16. The Astros may have woke the Ray’s up from their fog, because looking at their pitching staff and the guys on the field……..they are a pretty good team.

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  17. Based on a statement by Jeff Luhnow today – the interpretation is that they don’t think people outside Houston can make a diagnosis on a broken bone.
    And they have Correa refusing to directly answer broken bone questions either – until he is looked at here in Houston.

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