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$14 million to start about 16 regular season games. Maybe from an attendance standpoint it will be worth it for the Astros. The 2005 NL Champs are averaging about 34,000 per home game in a stadium that seats over 40,000.

But from a baseball standpoint, is he really worth it? I doubt it. But the Stros think so and they'll be getting Backe back soon too. They're going for the Series one more time. Good luck with that. Houston is 10th in runs scored in the NL and 14th in OPS. (Yes, the Cubs are last). So maybe they need a stick more than a $14 million 43-year-old pitcher.

But then you look at their pitching numbers. They have given up more HRs than any team but the Reds and are also 13th in ERA in the NL. (The Cubs aren't last--Milwaukee is!). Maybe they just aren't a good ballclub, period. According to Bill James' expected win totals they should be 24-29. Looking at their stats in depth it's easy to see why.

I just don't see postseason for them. Of course if Clemens starts out 7-0 I might have to change my tune. But I doubt that will happen too.


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