The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 04, 2003, Image 5

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Sports iber4ji Jcte SSOI ’s makeupi many pj chologists will saj said Mis i r woman d lartmenm. Criminal It ty. :used the® )ing. /iew will hours befe sued, Bulls ed him inti oyed then m the piil the case.l I him he BI special, that's noi erviews. not want mi f er just topi id fomiet / Directord “You can ile in anil can't mat rosecution. andldouh: d do that." ;en critical e case. Bui lagues have the Nan nces protest I John As! a I invest! secution, li ing plague :ars and c« vorld's for ease. The Battalion Page 5 ♦ Tuesday, November 4, 2003 Billy dealt to Philly Money more important to McLane than winning title DALLAS SHIPP I t’s happened again. Another all-star from the Houston Astros has been traded to put more money in the bank account of Astros owner Drayton McLane. And the best news of all? It probably isn’t the last boneheaded move McLane will make this off-sea son since catcher Brad Ausmus and outfielder Richard Hidalgo are both facing the cutting block. The Astros traded Billy Wagner — a 100-mph fastball throwing southpaw — to the Philadelphia Phillies Monday in exchange for a mediocre right-hand ed pitcher who barely qualifies as a major league caliber pitcher in Brandon Duckworth, who was 4-7 last year with an ERA of 4.94. The move proved what Wagner said about McLane and the Astros’ front office following the final game of the Astros’ season. “This team is based on competing, not winning,” he said. There isn’t a sportswriter in America who could write it more eloquently. McLane and Co. have traded or released all-star after all-star to dump big salaries in exchange for young players with potential. Wagner, who was due $8 million next season along with a $2 million buyout, is the team’s all-time leading doser with 225 saves in nine years. But McLane said those fans who are most loyal — the ones who shell out $45 per game for a seat and pay $6 for a watered-down beer — should look at what he has done for the team in recent history. “1 think you judge us for what we’ve accomplished and the commit ments we’ve made in the past,” he said. Do those commitments include National League MVP Ken Caminitti? Cy Young Award winners Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling? Or all stars Freddy Garcia, Mike Hampton, Vinny Castilla and Moises Alou? Which commitment are fans supposed to be thankful for McLane? If McLane wanted to dump some large salaries, why not centerfielder Craig Biggio, who can barely throw the ball to second base, or first base- man Jeff Bagwell, who will make $16 million next year? Biggio and Bagwell have combined for a career postseason batting average near .125. Why not get rid of these enormous contracts for players who are on the way down instead of a 32-year-old closer who is among the best in baseball? As much as Houston fans love Biggio and Bagwell and everything the two have done for the city, they would appreciate a World Series champi onship more. But why is McLane worried about such petty amounts of money in the first place? According to an article in The Houston Chronicle this September, McLane claimed the No. 195 spot on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America, up 16 spots from last year. Since 1996, McLane has increased his net worth by at least $680 million. Not bad for an owner who whines relentlessly about losing money every year with the Astros. Who didn’t make the Forbes 400 list? Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who goes out every year to buy up free agents who give the hated Yankees a chance to win the World Series every year. If McLane is losing so much money, he should do the team and its fans a favor and sell the Astros to an owner like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. While he may not be the typical Ruben DeLuna • THE BATTALION owner of a sports team, Cuban is a fan first. He doesn’t care how much of his money he spends because he is never going to miss it. He just wants to win. That’s the kind of owner the Astros need. Senior wildlife and fisheries science major Chris Niebuhr, a lifelong AstroS fan, said the trade makes it difficult to See Money on page 7 I Wagner just the beginning of reducing payroll By Michael Lutz THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HOUSTON — The trade of Billy Wagner to Philadelphia was only the start of general man ager Gerry Hunsicker’s restructuring of the Houston Astros. “This is a major move toward regaining the flexibility in our payroll,” Hunsicker said Monday. “We are in a situation that we have a small number of players taking up a significant part of our payroll and it causes tremendous inflexibility.” Houston got rid of Wagner, who makes $8 million next season, for right-hander Brandon Duckworth and a pair of minor league right handers, Taylor Buchholz and Ezequiel Astacio. Wagner converted a career-high 44 saves in 47 chances last season. The Astros had a payroll of about $71 mil lion last season and owner Drayton McLane doesn’t intend to increase it next season. “We’re not there yet,” Hunsicker said. “This is not the end result of a process. This is the beginning of a process. We’ve got to con tinue to look for opportunities, and where that takes us is difficult to say.” Wagner predicted his own departure on the final day of the regular season when he criti cized the Astros for not making a move to bol ster the roster for a playoff run. “I’d heard rumbling that I might be traded and stuff,” Wagner said. “I was surprised when it happened just because of how close the Astros were to getting to the playoffs and hav ing the season I had. We might have made a step and got another starting pitcher. They obviously are going a different way.” See Wagner on page 7 Student Health Services is offering again this year a limited number of ar Wednesday Nov. 5th & Thursday Nov. 6th At the following locations: gg ie! 1 per fa Gig ^ ) Flops g Em 1 on llcction. lip Flops." 8-0100 Evaluation/ egotiation ATTENTION GRADUATES OF DECEMBER ’03 & MAY ’04!!! Commons Lobb ,r 11 am-7pm Wehner Lobby 9am - 5pm Free vaccines are available to currently enrolled students only, Staff and faculty flu vaccines will be available for $18.00 Meningitis vaccines will also be available for a fee of $90.00 Rec Center Lobby 11am-7pm MSC Room 225 9am - 5pm I Special thanks to the following TAMU departments for their donations: Athletics - Memorial Student Center - Residence Life - VP of Student Affairs -learn about salary -discover how y -evaluate ben -discern how and ranges and averages Jur offer compares efit packages when to negotiate Wednesda 4-5 111 y,Nov. 5 pm dus CoW P [ £ Ameri c< , Career CenterI Texas A&M University With you every step of the way 209 Koldus 845-5139