The Houston Astros have now established themselves as a full-blown minor league team toiling at the bottom of the Major Leagues. In addition to its minor league roster (with a couple of exceptions), the Astros have named Tony DeFranscesco, the manager of their AAA affiliate in Oklahoma City, as interim manager.
This move follows the inexplicable firing of Brad Mills after the Astros lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
Brad Mills wasn't a good manager. He couldn't manage a bullpen and his day-to-day decisions would often leave folks scratching their heads. But Brad Mills can't be blamed for the steamy pile of dung the Astros have become.
Brad Mills isn't the person who traded away Berkman, Oswalt, Pence and Bourne, among others. Brad Mills isn't the person responsible for sorry state of the Astros' farm system. During the late 90's and into the 00's, the Astros would trade away prospects from their minor league system for rent-a-players who would leave via free agency after the season. You can't continue to do that unless you are planning on spending a whole lot of money on free agents down the road.
But back to the pathetic excuse for a major league baseball team that graces Minute Maid Park this season...
The only major league caliber player in the Astros' lineup is Jose Altuve. No one else who graces the infield or roams the outfield will ever be confused with a major leaguer (sorry, Brett Wallace - but the truth hurts). Bud Norris is the only consistent arm on the mound (Jordan Lyles may get there someday, but not today). With the massive salary dump this summer, who on earth would've thought this season would go any other way than it's gone so far?
This team is on pace to post a worst record than last year's sorry excuse for a major league team. That's saying something. And it doesn't look to get any better as the Astros "prepare" for the move to the American League next season (and don't even get me started again on that topic). The happiest team in the big leagues is Seattle because they know they won't finish in the AL West cellar next season. The next happiest team is the Texas Rangers because they get to beat up on the Astros 18 times next year in their own time zone.
Thanks to everyone involved for turning the Astros' 50th anniversary season into a year everyone would just like to forget.