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Sorry, Houston fans: Wade, Justice share same brain

Dec 10, 2009, 4:07 PM EDT

Each time I start to wonder why I still have the Houston Chronicle’s Richard Justice on my RSS reader, he produces a gem like this:

Here’s my five-minute analysis of the $4.5-million signing of Pedro Feliz. I haven’t spoken to GM Ed Wade. In other words, I’m thinking for myself. Run for your lives!
I believe Chris Johnson will still be given every opportunity to win the third-base position this spring. Remember that he was so highly regarded last spring that the Astros figured he’d spend a few weeks at Round Rock, then become the everyday third baseman.

Actually, I do remember the terribly misguided belief that Johnson was nearly ready to take over at third base. Then he went on to hit a thoroughly unexceptional .281/.323/.461 with 13 homers in 384 at-bats in the PCL.
And one of the very important things to remember here is that Johnson’s bat is the strongest part of his game. He lacks range at third base, and he offers nothing on the basepaths.
But one can still be sane and believe Johnson is a legitimate prospect. The insanity is that Justice thinks the cash-strapped Astros just spent $4.5 million on a backup third baseman when they’re faced with a rotation that’s set to include Bud Norris, Felipe Paulno and Brian Moehler.
Sadly, the Astros are probably out of cash now and they still have two-fifths of a rotation, one above average infielder and questionable bullpen depth. It’s going to be an awfully long year for fans. Frankly, they might as well root for 100 losses, since 90 might not be enough to cost Wade his job.

  1. Joey B - Dec 10, 2009 at 4:58 PM

    2/5′s of a rotation? I know he is not an established vet or anything, but as a RS fan, I’d be glad to make Norris 1/5 of our rotation. It’s really tough to see him being any less than a legit #3. He just cruised through September. 4 good outings with a 24/6 in 23 IPs.

  2. Matthew Pouliot - Dec 10, 2009 at 5:10 PM

    I see Norris as having two pitches and subpar command. He’s a talent anyway, but I’d feel a lot more comfortable with him as a No. 5 than as a No. 3.

  3. Old Gator - Dec 10, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    If you’re in Houston this summer, check to see if the Michelle Brangwen Dance Ensemble is presenting any works at the Barnevelder Center. It’s directly across from the Enro…heh heh, pardon me, whatever they’re calling it now, on the other side of the US 59 expressway. It’ll cost you a lot less than the ballgame, will surprise and delight you instead of putting you to sleep (unless, of course, you think Madonna videos are the pinnacle of dance, in which case by all means go to the game instead), and won’t offer you hot dogs to fertilize your tumor garden.

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