Shawn Chacon was in the clubhouse before the Astros' game against the interstate rival Texas Rangers. The battle of the Silver Boot Award would wage on soon yet again. Chacon sat down and started to eat when Astros G.M. Ed Wade walked up to him:
Wade: You need to come with me to the office.
Chacon: For what? I don't wanna go to your office with you and Cooper. You can tell me whatever you got to tell me right here.
Wade: (his voice raising) Oh, you want me to tell you right here?
Chacon: Yeah. I'm not yelling. I'm calm.
Wade: (yelling expletives) %$^&%^$*& &***%@##$ %$&$@#%$#^^ %&%$%^%^** *%##@@# $%%^$^
Chacon: Ed, you need to stop yelling at me. (Chacon stands up) Ed, you better stop yelling at me.
Wade: **&%$%^&% ***&#@$@4*&& Look in the mirror %^&*##$@%*&%$# *&*******
(Chacon grabs Wade by the neck and throws him down on the ground. Chacon than jumps on Wade.)
The event that took place inside the confines of the Astros' clubhouse feels like it's taken from a playbill of some new wacky production on Broadway. And this continues the trend of events in baseball this season. As I said in my last blog, baseball has been turned upside down lately with an overload of new problems and new conflicts that are too ridiculous to make up. Even with a baseball player and a G.M. having a war of words over two counties, even with umpires getting more highlights on Sportscenter than the Washington Nationals, this might be the one that tops them all. A disgruntled journeyman relief pitcher choking his boss. Many things led to this. Chacon was picked up by the Astros during the off-season to bolster the think starting rotation that has contributed to the Astros falling out of the playoff contention. Chacon, like most of the rotation, started out good but has fallen on some hard times recently. He lost 3 out of his last 4 games as a starter while giving up 18 runs in 17.1 innings (9.35 ERA). Overall, he's 2-3 with a 5.04 ERA this season. Walks have hurt him a lot as he's walked 41 while striking out 53.
Upon his recent struggles, the Astros decided to move Shawn to the bullpen. Shawn did not like that move at all. Chacon is obviously not shy about voicing his feelings:
"I think it's ****. That's pretty much how I feel about it. Sums it up."
Now Chacon, I understand why you can be frustrated. You got signed to be a starter and that's what you've always wanted to be. And you're probably still a little bitter over your poor performance that led to you getting moved. But Shawn, the fact is you weren't pitching good and this team needs some good pitching in the worst way to try and stay in contention. The Astros have realized that the offense won't carry them and the pitching depth is far too shallow on this team. On the other side of the coin, maybe Chacon thinks he's just going through a cold stretch. He started off solid this year and has had his moments when he's looked like a solid #3/#4 starter. Him and Aaron Small basically single-handedly carried the Yanks to the AL East pennant in 2005. But ever since than he hasn't been too good. So Chacon is angry about moving to the bullpen. Alright, not something you want but not a huge deal.
Then the news came out that Chacon asked for a trade and Houston reacted by suspending him. Seems like an odd, stupid knee-jerk reaction. If he asks for a trade, just ship him off or cut him. This is only Shawn Chacon, not Lance Berkman. Turns out that wasn't the reason for suspending him. It turns out the act of violence against general manager Ed Wade was the reason. Well, that makes more sense. Now Chacon will obviously not be an Astro for much longer. If his bags aren't packed yet, I'm not sure what he's waiting for. Some large problems now arise:
Chacon's trade value has taking a severe plummeting because of this. I'm sure someone will give him a shot, but not for much at all after this. Maybe some new maple bats since everyone could use more of those lately (I‘d love to see the figure of how many bats have broken this season). Add the fact he wasn't pitching good before this incident. With that said, he's still young and has once again shown flashes. One team that comes to mind right away: the White Sox. He'd fit well believe it or not. I think Ozzie would like him, he could help out in the rotation or bullpen, and it wouldn't cost much money. I think the Astros will just end up releasing him because no one is giving up any of their players for him right now.
Another thing is the Astros clubhouse and now the reputation of Ed Wade. I know who loved this: Philly fans. I bet most of them wanted to deck Wade in the face. I'll laugh non-stop if Philly picks Chacon up because they'll love him over there. While Ed Wade did draft and sign some good pieces when he was the Phillies' G.M., he made some truly brainless decisions (trading Curt Schilling to the D-Backs for Omar Daal, Travis Lee, and Vicente Padilla greatly hurt the franchise). And now Ed Wade is the manager of the Astros who've been falling apart lately. Not only does this dispute hurt matters more for the team and Chacon acted horribly, but Ed Wade in this conflict comes across as a horrible, immature boss. And the Astros as a team will now have to field questions about all this the next week or so. Not fun.
All in all, this is another crazy happening that's taken place around baseball lately. If the Cubs win the World Series, this would probably the weirdest year in baseball history. I know I keep going back to the Cubs, but it's so damn odd. The Cubs franchise has been known for collapses, choke jobs, bizarre heartbreak, and turmoil. Yet for the first time in about 100 years, they're the ones having the most fun this year. Given their history, you'd expect this kind of stuff to happen to them.