I’ve been critical of Astros owner Drayton McLane for several years, and while there’s all sorts of weird personnel decisions in Houston’s past (ie. refusing to give Carlos Beltran more money than god, but lavishing crazy loot on the part-time Rocket or flag-footballing Lance Berkman), today,  I’ll have to eat crow.

Not only have the lowly Astros completed a home sweep of the free-falling New York Mets, but McLane gainfully employs the gentleman on the right.

What could possibly make for worse television for a Mets fan than his or her fave club leaving several dozen runners on base Sunday afternoon?  Aside from the announcement John Maine is headed to the disabled list, it would have to be watching ex-Mets Kaz Matsui and Ty Wigginton feast on their former team’s pitching this weekend.   Hey, if the Padres are interested, it’s entirely possible Jeromy Burnitz and Tsuyoshi Shinjo could come out of retirement in time for Tuesday’s game at Shea.

If the past 3 days are any measure, a change of scenery seems to have done both Jason Bay and Manny Ramirez a world of good.  The former collected his first outfield assist for the Red Sox earlier today while scoring a pair of runs in Boston’s 5-2 defeat of Oakland, while the latter has hit his 2nd HR in as many games for the Dodgers, who are currently leading the Snakes, 6-3 in the 6th.

The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rogers scoffs at the notion Bay could be every bit as valuable to the Red Sox down the stretch as Ramirez, insisting, “no matter how far manager Terry Francona and veterans like Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell go to welcome him to Boston, Bay will feel pressure like he never has.” While Bay’s first 3 games at Fenway have been a wild success, I’m not sure how Rogers has determined the former Pirate outfielder is under intense scrutiny.  Sure, he’s playing in front of capacity home crowds for a change, but if he were to fail, chances are it would be management and ownership to catch the lion’s share of the public’s grief.