For years and years, and it seems like decades that we’ve been playing a 6 inning game in a 9 inning battle (take out SS, C, & Pitcher –all batting below .230). First all, for those following the Astros, in between Miguel Tejada and Ricky Guiterrez, we’ve had a disaster at SS. Do you want a 300 +20hr guy at SS? No need to answer that. We’re all tired of a slick fielding SS that can’t hit; you can pick them up on any waiver wire or minor league systems, including your own. Manzella, trial is still out on him, looks like he maybe a grade above of Everette in batting or maybe not. I’m not taking my chances. I will take Sanchez’s batting average any day. As long as the guy can hit 270+ avg & plays good defense, I’m good. Wait..wait..’that SS defense can save you runs!’ True, Tim Bogar.Would you take a number 7 / 8 slot hitter with great defense or a 2 slot hitter with average and good defense? Especially for a team have been notoriously known to not provide runs for their pitchers. Should we flip a coin?..It’s a two-way street for production, to help out your team in every aspect of the game as much as you can.

Same lack of offensive production with the catcher situation. Humberto Quintero, who has proven to be an active defensive catcher that brings his value up..but don’t stick and settle for a Brad Ausmus clone. Don’t give the ‘he’s good at calling games!?!’ Really? We’re in the majors and we want someone that will put up batting average; not asking for G. Soto (Cubs) power. As if we haven’t notice in this era, it’s a plus to have a 8 position players that can get on base. Just get on base with a 270’s avg or so. J. Castro….sure strikes-out a lot! He’s on trial for potential, we are all waiting for him just to hit for average. Castro potentially can bring us to another lever if he can hit. Can’t ask too much of him right now, but we want to from a 1st rounder. Who wouldn’t right?


Who’s dogging J.Mike? Age is an easy excuse for not understanding. So what’s he’s having not so great 2nd half, tons of star players have that dilemma year in and year out. But Age..age..give me a break. He can hit with power with some clutch and not be in the 220s, be grateful for a pinch hitter.

Bourn is a true defensive miracle that we really really like…need…like him to hit at least 270-280. I’m going to start counting how many super fast center fielders that we’ve had that can steal bases at will and track down fly balls like a hawk, but can seem to get on base for the life of them. Start with Gerald Young, if you like.

Biggest upgrade problem goes to Espn’s LVP, Carlos Lee. The Manny Ramirez jog to 1st, right? Is he truely a Least Value Player? Hands down for the first half, but not the second half. He’s got clutch, more than I can say about Berkman (super streaky & liability with southpaws). Put him at first and get an OF or get a 1B? Will Lee go cloak and dagger next season with the 1st half again & carry that to the 2nd half too? Will B.Wallace develop soon? There you have it, offensive upgrade tweeking indeed needed.

Remember Pence and L.Scott was tearing up the league in their first full extensive season? Then they came down because they’re not the Tony Gwyn batting average type of player. Chris Johnson is having that type of season. Finally, a 3B that can start and can hit for power with some average. Sophomore stinkers coming up? I just don’t know, but I’m enjoying his production right now. Can he hit 280 or 290 with +20 hrs and maybe sneak up in +100 RBIs? Depends on adjustments of the league and him improving.


Even without the Great O (he deserves where’s he’s going to this year, Amen), This is the best I’ve felt of the pitching staff coming somewhere near the consistency of the ’05 season (Roger, Andy, Roy & scraps).

Paulino looks promising breaking out of the 5 inning barrier of last year where he complete implodes. At least TBD right now after injury. Norris finally putting his zips into keeping the game to winnable situations. We all know he can strikeout the side. Paulino and Norris can easily put up back to back 10k days. Myer’s..getting in age right??? He’s been a miracle man striking out lots and lots of folks; finally living up to the potential? Up in age right? Who cares! Keep it up Myers, I was wrong about you at the beginning. Wandy‘s got the second half magic…wait we have potentially 4 guys that can maybe average a strikeout an inning? Impressive! Wait, did we forget JA Happ, he’s no Roy, but we’re expecting him to be, can he be?…I don’t know, but he looks good enough to be excited over.

Figga who? Figga what? Figueroa, a pleasant upgrade from the inconsistent Moehler. Good to know that we’re not a rehab center for a needle in a haystack for next year’s ‘what might he do next year with his pitching?’ Bullpen may need more work…hmmm. Who knows how these rookies are going to do or how long they are going to last next year..looks a little over worked to me. Lindstrom and Lyons are doing an exceptional job in the close out department. No, Valverde or Wagner, yet if we do get a superstar closer, our bullpen will look lock-down ready. Can we get that superstar closer to show up or drop in? Or should we concentrate on the Lee/contract/true prototype Josh Hamilton / Joey Votto / Pujols type of a cleanup hitter addition or replacement? Overall, we have great potential at pitching front end and back end.


Hunter’s lodge. Pence is really coming to his own in becoming a clutch hitter, but to ask him to be SF’s Will Clark & Keith Mitchell and/or Matt Williams that brings chills down a starting pitcher? Nope. Can he be? We like to and want him to…as of right now? No way. We can’t ask that of him or expect him to be. As of right now, he looks like an ideal guy that can be a great asset to lineup with true & consistent 4 and 5 hitters. This again leads to the Lee 1B experiment.

Question is, if somehow you get rid of Lee’s contract, who can hands down replace that power and clutch? Can we add some else with him? Can a realistic deal be done to replace him and his contract? If so, are we ready for a two or three year of searching, testing, and finding that elusive elite clean up hitter? Can it be Wallace? C. Johnson? Pence?

Can we survive off of the 2nd half power surge of Pence, Lee, and Johnson? Maybe, but don’t rely on power alone to win games.

2011 looks like we’re able to compete. To put on paper as a postseason threat to win? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That remains to be seen with trades and development of maybe players.

Remember, going into last year and this year, we had the seventh highest payroll with $107 mil and ++$90 mil or so. Now, we’re looking at $70 mil payroll including the eating up Berkman’s and Oswalt’s contract. If we play it cheap, then we wait til after the 2012 season assuming their contract does get picked up by their current team. Or should we get up into the $100 mil to get that TRUE Elite Superstar? Whatever you do, don’t trade half of our farm system again for picking up declining stars such as Lee &Tejada or junk quick fixes as Matzsui & Feliz. Let’s not make that same mistake, please don’t. We’re not in the mood to hear..’making the team more competitive’, Cecil Cooper. We want the later, TRUE Elite Superstar now..but is Drayton going to sit & play with… ‘A bunch of these guys are eligible for arbitration and new contracts’. Isn’t that what the GM is for? Wheel and deal this time again…Mr-I-Have-My-Own-Award, GM (google Ed Wade Award).

Simple formula, not solution to winning it all, yet effective.

Elite Superstar Hitter = Higher Percentage of Clutch Game Deciding Hits = Higher Fan Expectation & Interest = Higher Ticket Sales + Higher Jersey/Product Sales = Higher Revenue.

Was that so hard to figure out? We’re in a position to financially make that commitment with our strong won’t guarantee a World Series, but give a boost in the attendance bubble where Drayton has been hurting all season long. AKA, it shows the owner is really listening to the fans’ demand for excellence, oh…we’re also speaking for whole team too. We know what happens when non superstar speak up.

Will Ed push that confidence into Drayton and can he pull it off? It’s not just a team effort, it’s an organization effort.

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