I suppose you have to admire Drayton McLane's confidence, his determination and his willingness to spend money.
Or waste money.
It still makes no sense that the Astros were buyers at last week's non-waiver trading deadline. It still makes no sense that the Astros, 13 games out of first place and eight games out of the wild-card lead (with five teams in front of them) traded for Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins, let alone that they didn't get a start on rebuilding an organization that badly needs it.
It makes no sense to me, I should say. Because after talking to McLane before the Astros' game tonight at Wrigley Field, I'm convinced that it makes sense to him.
"We never considered selling," he said. "It's not in my makeup. That was never in consideration. We had a lot of offers. You heard about (Miguel) Tejada. There was interest in Carlos Lee. Even Lance Berkman's name was mentioned. Roy Oswalt's, too. We wouldn't ever consider any of those things."
The natural question is "Why the heck not?" But McLane has an answer for that, too.
Quite simply, he expects this team to win. He still expects it.
"Absolutely," he said. "Look at 2004. We were in about the same position we're in now. In 2005, same thing, and we went to the World Series."
So he thinks the Astros are going to win in 2008?
"Yeah, I think we're going to make a great run for it, and I think we have the capacity to win," he said.
Sorry, but I still think it's nuts. I do, however, admire his confidence.
Oh, and for the record, on Aug. 4, 2004, the Astros were 14 1/2 games out of first place and five games back in the wild-card race, which they ended up winning. A year later, they were nine games out of first place, but were already leading the wild-card race (which they won again enroute to the World Series.