Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Sunday, November 05, 2006

If You Love Someone, Set Them Free

Various other duties have prevented me from blogging this week, but I had to comment on ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick’s take on the Astros’ off-season:

Since 1991, Bagwell and Craig Biggio have worked in tandem to establish a professional tone in the Houston clubhouse, grinding from spring training to the end of the season, disdaining excuses and showing teammates the meaning of the word "accountable."

Their faces appeared on bobblehead dolls, media guides and pocket schedules, while their names and numbers showed up on the backs of thousands of replica jerseys. Coming or going, you knew they were around.

Now the end has arrived for one and is progressively closer for the other. While most teams concentrate on the immediate future at this time of year, no club has a bigger challenge balancing sentiment and practicality than the Astros. It seems they're always balancing the future with the past.

Great googaly moogaly! If the Astros are challenged by the sentiment involved in cutting loose Bagwell (and eventually Biggio), that’s their problem. The Astros front office has given the pair an inordinate amount of deference in all matter of things (like checking with them before allowing Roger Clemens to stay home if he wasn’t starting). But the players are there to play, not run the team.

Bagwell and Biggio have given the Astros great careers. But everything has its time, and everything ends. Sentiment isn’t going to help the Killer B’s play any longer than they can.

Heck, even the Yankees released Babe Ruth. And Ruth didn’t have a multi-million dollar buyout to fall back on. If baseball can survive Ruth getting canned, it can probably survive the inevitable end of Bagwell, Biggio, and every other player out there.

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