to those who were disheartened by the cards' against-the-grain selections in the early rounds of the amateur draft --- and that thread will remain active for as long as the selections continue --- here's some cheery news: the astros blew a late lead in colorado just now and dropped to 11 games below .500. the astros are the team that spent much blood and money on carlos lee and woody williams and jason jennings and mark loretta over the winter, hoping to make up that game-and-a-half gap that separated them from the cardinals . . . . not happening for them so far. they've won just 3 of their last 17 games.
as far as the draft goes: i do understand the frustration, up to a point. the cardinals could have had top prospect rick porcello if they'd been willing to shell out the bucks --- and they weren't willing. they've said all along they aren't going to spend lots of $$$ in the free-agent market, concentrating their resources instead on player development . . . . and then they wouldn't spend the money to acquire an amateur player with a great resume. that's aggravating; i get that. but i believe luhnow and his team have earned the benefit of the doubt. their judgment --- or lack thereof --- will prove out on the field over the next few years. i have no basis for questioning their selections at the moment, because i haven't seen any of the amateurs play; i've read some of the scouting reports and digested some of the draft experts' opinions, but those are very often inaccurate. nearly 10 of kevin goldstein's top 50 players are still available . . . . and we're on pick #80. the pundits are more knowledgeable than you or me, but they're not all-knowing.
i will promise this: next time i get the opportunity to exchange views with luhnow, i'll ask him why porcello was considered unsignable, and whether any player of that ilk would be considered signable --- and if so, under what circumstances. i'll also tell him that the failure to draft porcello, when he unexpectedly fell to 18, left a lot of fans disillusioned --- and i will ask what the organization will say to those fans if pete kozma and clay mortensen prove to be merely affordable, rather than good.
i'll also ask if adverse outcomes with this year's first-rounders might cause the organization to loosen the pursestrings in future drafts . . . .