Today we hear the best four words during the winter - Pitchers and catchers report.
Sure, it's just the Astros who are giving us nothing to look forward to this season. They are looking at their third straight 100 loss season with no end to the misery in sight.
The problem is that the Astros spent too many years trying to figure out how to build the club. As I've written before, you can either build a club through homegrown talent down on the farm or you can spend a mint signing free agents. Develop your own talent and you can win on the cheap; rely on the free agent market and you'll be bleeding cash.
The Astros, on the other hand, tried to build a winning club by trading minor league prospects at the trade deadline for "rent-a-players" heading into free agency. The problem was the free agents weren't resigning with the club. The result was a depleted farm system. And, since the club didn't want to open up the wallet to buy proven talent, they always came up a bit short.
With nothing good down on the farm, and without the cash to sign A-list free agents, the only option was to strip the club down to the studs and try to rebuild. And what a painful project that has turned out to be.
But, being that it's baseball, the sun shines a bit brighter, the sky's a deeper shade of blue and the grass is soft under the feet. Even though I know better - it's time for baseball!