I'm back in Flagstaff, but Carlos Beltran will not be back in Houston. WAAAAH. Apparently the last-minute reason was that we wouldn't give Beltran a no-trade clause, as an insurance policy in case he blows it. It sucks that it had to come down to something that small, and now the Mets get him for 7/119, which is approximately the same as our 7/105 offer.
So we put all our eggs in one basket, and dropped it. Now we're left with the pitiful remains of the free agent market: a possibly hurt Magglio Ordonez, Esteban Loaiza, and some used toilet paper.
The first and most important step to take is to recognize 2005 as what it is: the start of a rebuilding process, not one last hurrah for Bagwell and Biggio. New GM Tim Purpura grew up in player development, so he understands how to rebuild, and he may be better suited to do so than even Hunsicker was. It'll be tough for him this year, as the Astros will likely struggle to reach .500 without Beltran or Clemens, but it should pay off in the long term.
Here's my final advice for you, Mr. Purpura: the next great (or even good) Astros team will not include Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Brad Ausmus, Jose Vizcaino, or Andy Pettitte. It should include Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Brad Lidge, and Chris Burke. Good luck.
I went 2-for-4 on my football picks, missing the Jets and the Vikings winning.
My next round of picks will come later this week, after I've had a chance to consult my football advisor: the dog next door.
I don't have too much to do this whole week, so count on a post or two a day.