Tag: Kazuo Matsui

Sorry, Houston Astros Fans: Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman Must Go

As I write this, the Houston Astros are enduring yet another typical night.

Wandy Rodriguez, who’s on-again, off-again pitching deserves its own theme song (Jerry Reid’s When You’re Hot, You’re Hot, and When You’re Not, You’re Not ) left tonight’s game against the Cincinnati Reds after getting shelled for eight runs and eight hits over three-and-a-third innings.

We like to think he mistakenly thought he was pitching batting practice.

The ‘Stros, as usual, have shown that hitting the ball into play and getting to first base before the ball does remains a foreign concept to them. One has to wonder if Sean Berry is unaware that Kaz Matsui is no longer with the team and is giving hitting instructions in Japanese.

If the Astros lose tonight’s game, they’ll be at 16-32 and a frigid 16 games below .500. Houston has the worst record in the National League and would have the worst record in baseball if not for the Baltimore Orioles.

Right now, it would probably be easier to get Houston schoolchildren to eat a meal of creamed cauliflower and fried liver* than to get them to watch the Astros play.

I worry that in a few years if things continue, Brad Mills will be fired. It would be a shame, since I honestly believe he’d be a fine manager IF he had decent players to work with.

I know that Jack McKeon brought the Florida Marlins back from the dead one year. Asking Mills to win with this team is tantamount to asking KISS bassist Gene Simmons to marry longtime girlfriend Shannon Tweed and bid adieu to adding more female conquests to his infamous Polaroid collection.

If Mills did that with this team (the winning part, not the sleeping with every woman in the solar system), forget a World Series parade in downtown Houston: He should be admitted simultaneously into both the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian.

I can just see the Smithsonian exhibit:

Brad Mills, the rookie manager of the Houston Astros who’d never managed a major league team before, took a team that sucked so bad it could suck a proverbial golfball through a proverbial garden hose and radically turned the Astros around. After starting the season 16-32 and losing an exhibition game against the Little League World Series champion 84-0, the Astros went 114-0 en route to their first World Series championship. Fans named their sons Brad, daughters Brad-ette, and Mills ended up doing a commercial where he said, “Forget Disney World! I want Six Flags to re-open Astroworld!!!”*

Fat chance.

I’m afraid Houston needs to start rebuilding.

My suggestion: Trade Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman.

Oswalt, who will turn 33 in August, currently has an impressive career win-loss record of 139-74 and a 3.21 ERA. This season, he is 3-6 with a 2.35 ERA. He conjures up memories of Nolan Ryan, who had a National League-leading 2.79 ERA and 270 strikeouts in 1987 en route to a sickening 8-17 record.

(As a side note, many whine about how Ryan shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame because he was only a .500 career pitcher [324 wins versus 292 losses]. But what they don’t tell you is that Ryan spent much of his career on mediocre teams).

In short, Roy O is wasting his talent in Houston with this team. As he’s hinted already, he’d like to go somewhere where he can win a championship. 

Is it possible Houston will miraculously rebound the next year and be a contender?

My feeling is it would be better to trade Oswalt and insist on getting some quality prospects and even a major-leaguer or two. Pitching and hitting. Any team that wants Oswalt will have to cough up some good players in return.

What if they don’t? Then Houston better play hard ball or else: Oswalt’s contract expires in 2011.

It’ll stink if Oswalt goes. Chances are, he’ll pull a Nolan Ryan, and have so much fun at his new home that if he makes baseball’s Hall of Fame, he’ll request to wear that team’s cap.

Berkman is 34 and has struggled the past few years. He hit .274 last year and again got off to a slow start this year as he’s at .235. Lifetime, he’s at .298 with 318 home runs and 1,056 RBI. Surely, Houston could get some solid prospects in return for Berkman.

The Big Puma is in the final year of his six-year deal with the club holding a $15 million option for 2011.

Let me get this straight: I don’t really want to see Oswalt or Berkman leave Houston.

I’d love to see them end their careers in Astros uniforms. I have fond memories of Berkman in 2005 hitting everything in sight, and Oswalt calmly shutting the St. Louis Cardinals down in Game Six after the Albert Pujols/Brad Lidge Game Five heartache.

But I also know that Oswalt may choose to leave for another team once his contract expires, and that Berkman has suggested he’d waive his no-trade clause.

I hate seeing both waste their time playing on a team that’ll go nowhere, and I’d hate to see Roy O and Mr. Eligibility Major leave Houston with the Astros receiving absolutely nothing in return.


Richard Zowie blogs about the joy and (mostly) the pain of being an Astros fan at Bleacher Report. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com .

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The Next Five Guys the Houston Astros Will Get Rid of

Kaz Matsui’s time with the Houston Astros is officially in the books. We are left to wonder his options. Perhaps he will join fellow Japanese export Ichiro Suzuki in Seattle, or maybe he’ll head back to Japan and play for the Yomiyuri Giants, the Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows or the Nagasaki Yakuza.

With that, we are left to wonder who will be next to be issued their walking papers with the Astros…

Begin Slideshow

Kaz Matsui Released from Houston Astros, Jeff Keppinger to Start at 2B

It’s about time the Houston Astros made a positive move.

That move came in the form of releasing slumping second baseman Kaz Matsui—who has two days to clear waivers.

According to Astros senior director of social media Alyson Footer, the Astros “asked for waivers on Matsui for purposes of granting him release. If he clears wavers in two days, [the] Astros [are] on the hook for [the] remainder of [his] salary.”

Jeff Keppinger will get a majority of the starts at second base, according to Footer.

And Keppinger was more than enormous in his latest outing on Wednesday night, driving in four runs for the Astros to help end the team’s skid in a 7-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Minute Maid Park.

Matsui is batting .141 this season—with just 10 hits in 71 at-bats—through 27 games this season for Houston.

Keppinger, meanwhile, has been a pleasant surprise for the Astros—with the young infielder batting .270 this season with nine doubles and 12 runs batted in (through 33 games and 115 at-bats). 

Check back soon for more information on this latest breaking news coming out of Houston…


Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at denton.ramsey@gmail.com



Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Five Houston Astros Trade Scenarios in 2010 to Maximize Future Success

With the Astros continuing their recent slump and offensive slumber, it’s time to quickly take a look at a few trade options especially if Houston has to begin looking at 2011 rather than making plans for late October.

Big names that are obviously wanted by other clubs include the likes of starting right-handed pitcher Roy Oswalt (who has a no-trade clause), first baseman Lance Berkman (also has a no-trade clause in his contract), and All-Star youngster outfielder Hunter Pence (whom is likely untouchable as a major part of the future of the franchise).

Some other Houston players who may draw some trade interest include outfielder Carlos Lee (who has a big contract that most teams will aim to avoid), second baseman Kaz Matsui (whom has been overpaid and underachieving since joining the Astros), left-handed starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (a lefty in the rotation is always something big league managers are looking for), and reliever Chris Sampson (who has a sparkling 1.64 ERA this season).

Of the seven aforementioned names, I truly believe Berkman and Pence are in Houston to stay. All five others, however, (including starters Oswalt and Rodriguez) could very well be used as part of a major trade as the Astros begin building towards the future around the young guys like outfielders Pence and Michael Bourn, pitcher Bud Norris, and infielders Jeff Keppinger and Tommy Manzella (just to name a handful of the up-and-comers in the majors).

Could Roy Oswalt be pitching elsewhere come late summer?

Will Carlos Lee still be an Astro in August?

Is Wandy Rodriguez going to be with the ball club next year?

All these answers and more as we quickly delve into possible trade scenarios surrounding the Houston Astros and the future of the franchise…

Begin Slideshow

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress