Kaz Matsui's time with the Houston Astros is officially in the books. We are left to wonder his options. Perhaps he will join fellow Japanese export Ichiro Suzuki in Seattle, or maybe he'll head back to Japan and play for the Yomiyuri Giants, the Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows, or the Nagasaki Yakuza.
With that, we are left to wonder who will be next to be issued their walking papers with the Astros...
Just a few years ago, Drayton McLane was so enamored with Roy Oswalt that he bought the pitcher a tractor for his Mississippi farm.
Since then, Roy O has struggled as his arm and back have bothered him while the Houston LASTros batters have lived up to their name. McLane will decide to trade away the O-ster in return for some hitting prospects along with the DNA of Ted Williams and Tony Gwynn.
We hope Oswalt goes far and away to a team Houston won't regularly face, such as the Seattle Mariners or the Yomiyuri Giants.
The longtime joke, which I will retread here because I have even less of a sense of humor than normal, is that Lance Berkman majored in "eligibility" while at that Texas ivy league-caliber university, Rice.
Well, now it looks like he's been majoring in Staying in the Big Leagues. It's time to trade him for some hitting prospects, perhaps another left-handed pitcher to replace Wandy Rodriguez (since we know the Wand will probably be gone).
There is, of course, one condition: whoever takes Berkman will probably expect Houston to throw in an interpreter. In places like Boston, New York, Seattle, and Japan, a Texas accent can be hard to understand.
Now that he has a broken thumb, J.R. Towles is no longer needed by the club. I was hoping he would become the J.R. Ewing of catchers, but, sadly, it looks now as though he doesn't even qualify to be a soused Sue Ellen. Perhaps Houston could acquire Larry Hagman for an oil field worker to be named later.
Before the thumb injury, J.R. (Towles, not Ewing) was hitting .191 with a home run. Perhaps he can be placed on waivers. Or perhaps McLane can strike a special deal with a Japanese league to trade Towles to Japan for enough sushi to cover Mount Fuji. This way, McLane's grocery store chain can branch out and offer a Far East flavor.
This picture of Carlos Lee swinging and breaking his bat says it all. True, he now has five homers on the season, but he's still at .201 and is off to aaaa veeerrrrrry slllooooow staaaaaart.
Years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that said "If This Car Were a Horse I'd Have to Shoot It." Am I suggesting the LASTros shoot El Caballo? Of course not. But what I am suggesting is that Lee, sadly, has not turned out to be a good free agent acquisition.
Perhaps the L.A. Dodgers could use him. Or perhaps a team in Japan. Or a team far away in the American League. Perhaps Houston could trade him to the Dallas Mavericks for owner Mark Cuban.
There's still hope the Houston Astros could trade away Jose Valverde and get some quality prospects—oh, wait. The LASTros DID let him go to the Detroit Tigers.
Granted, Valverde asked for a lot of money, but right now he's 1-1 with a 0.51 ERA and 10 saves in 17.2 innings with the Tigers. Too late.