Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle has been covering the Astros for a long time, and he’s one of the very best baseball writers this great country has to offer. However his affection for the Dodger-bound Brad Ausmus is a bit … how to you say … wacky. Allow my to quote at length (h/t Jamal G.):
The Astros have had some good players through the years. They’ve had nice pitchers and big sluggers and dazzling defensive players.
They’ve never quite had one as valuable to the franchise as Brad Ausmus. This guy was all about winning.
You can look it up. The Astros had their best years when he was the man wearing the tools of ignorance.
Some of you will quibble about his indvidual (sic) stats. All you’re doing is showing how little you know about baseball.
If you understand winning, you understand how critical the things Ausmus brought to the table were.
This guy was all about the bottom line. The Los Angeles Dodgers showed again why they’re the National League’s smartest franchise.
The Dodgers appear to be on the cusp of doing something special, and now they’ve added Brad Ausmus.
I guess there’ll still be a season, but there doesn’t seem to be much point. The Dodgers will be in the playoffs, probably the World Series.
Umm … we’re talking about the same Brad Ausmus here, right? His avg OPS+ this century is 63.875. Ah, but presenting stats – factual information, mind you – shows how little I know about baseball. Because, after all, winning is done by things that can’t be measured. Stuff like grit and pride and smarts and understanding the game and pixie dust and being a young pitcher’s best friend, stuff that … apparently is so hard to explain that Justice doesn’t even bother to attempt it.
Instead, Justice just makes a blanket statement saying that anyone who points to his individual stats knows little about baseball, that the Dodgers will probably be in the World Series JUST BECAUSE Brad Ausmus is on the team. Why? Who cares, it will happen, because it’s Brad motherfreakin’ Ausmus. All that time he’ll spend sitting on the bench while Russ Martin plays will be invaluable to the team. And what is with all the one/two sentence paragraphs?
The Astros may have the weakest farm system in the game, but that’s irrelevant. If a couple of their kids contribute, they might have enough to stay in contention until the trading deadline. At that point, Drayton McLane almost certainly would allow Wade to add a piece or two.
I love it. It’s irrelevant that the team has the weakest farm system in the game, because some of the kids from the worst farm system in the game could contribute, and if so they’ll add a piece or two at the deadline by trading … young … players … from … their …. farm … system. Huh?
I don’t mean to harp on Richard Justice, he truly is one of the best and most respected sportswriters in the country. I just hate to see him take the route “I say it, therefore it’s true” route.
Here’s your open thread. The NHL Superskills competition is on Versus at 7pm, that’s always fun (it’s hockey’s version of the Homerun Derby/NBA Skills Challenge). You know the deal, the floors is yours.