Friday, October 28, 2005

What does the future hold?

I figured I'd take a minute and try to do a bit of baseball analysis. I make no bones of my being a huge Houston Astros fan. Have been since '89 when I moved to the Houston area with my family. Glenn Davis was the first player I ever idolized and followed. I was distraught when he was traded to the Orioles, but it was for the best as Jeff Bagwell was only a couple years away.

Anyway, I figured I'd take a look at what the future might hold for the Astros. Where my ignorant opinion thinks they can improve, what players I think they should hold on to, so on and so forth. I'm not an expert, I barely qualify as an ignorant outsider. But I like baseball, and I love the Astros, and I have a medium which allows me to write about them. Yay.


Brad Ausmus: The Astros long-time catcher. He's done two tours with the 'Stros and is a good friend of Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio. He's got a reputation as a good defensive catcher and as someone who works very well with pitchers. He also entered the season 35 years old and deep into the decline phase of his career. So what does he do? He might have just had the best year of his career. His OBP was the fourth best of his career, and his best since 2000. His power was down though with only 3 HRs, but he walked more than he struck out (48/51 K/BB) and he wasn't the GIDP machine he's been in years past.

Going forward Ausmus is a potential free agent. He earn $3m from the Astros last season and will probably command a similar annual salary on the market. There are not a lot of top-tier catchers hitting the market this season. Although I'd like to see the Astros make a play for Eli Marrero if he files for free agency they'll probably stick with Ausmus. And then be stuck when he goes pumpkin for the rest of his career. Dear God let the Astros sign him to an incentive-heavy contract, not big guaranteed money.

Jeff Bagwell: With Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell is the face of the Astros. There are children in Houston who's first phrase was "Biggio to Bagwell for the double play". He's my all-time favorite Astro. I've got dozens of his baseball cards, several with his signature. All of them are precious and treasured and will be passed on to any future SSG B Jrs. He's also the albatross around the Astros neck.

His $18m salary, and the $17m he'll receive next year, make up a sizable portion of the team's budget. Paying that much for an aging hitter not named Bonds is a gross overspending. If Bagwell was able to be 50% of the player he once was his contract would still be bloated, but at least it'd be acceptable. As it stands though there is serious doubt if he'll ever be more than a PH or DH. His right shoulder is shot, and it makes him a serious liability on the field.

Going forward the Astros do not really have a whole lot of options with Bags. He's expensive and it's not clear if he'll even be able to hit (it was painful to watch him pinch hit and DH during the WS. It hurt me to see such a great player overmatched by Bobby Hill, I mean Jenks). His performance and contract make him immovable. The Astros will probably get to spend next season saddled by a sizable resource drain.

Lance Berkman: Every Astro with a last name that starts with "B" gets roped into the "Killer B's". Berkman is the latest one to deserve such high praise. He's probably one of the five best hitters in the game. Although he's going to be 30 this coming season he should remain a valuable hitter for years to come (and hopefully so, his contract is a biggun). Although he probably won't return to CF again (He was the Astros' CF in 2002, and doing an adequate job for a guy drafted as a first baseman) he plays LF in MMP very well and has the arm for RF. His only weakness is against left handed pitchers. He's actually a slightly better hitter from the right side (.294 avg and .419 obp vs. .292 and .409 from the left) but he loses over 100 points of slugging when facing a southpaw (.558 down to .429). He's improved over his career but his power just disappears when he switches sides.

Going forward if Bagwell can't play the field next year Berkman is the natural replacement for him. If Bagwell does play the field Lance will return to the OF with occasional forays to 1B to spell Bags. Hopefully he'll do it all while healthy and sending 40 some odd balls into the stands.

Craig Biggio: Opening Day 2006 will mark Craig Biggio's 19th year with the Astros. He's been an Astro for about 6 months longer than I've been a Texan. At age 39 he set a new career high for home runs at 26. His previous high of 24 was set last year. He's well removed from his peak, but at his peak he was an MVP-caliber talent, even far removed he's still a valuable player. He signed a new contract that will make him an Astro for next year, at a very reasonable $4m. He remains one of the best 2b in the game, even as one of the oldest players on the team. However all is not rosey. He's a liability in the field. His range is very limited now, and his arm has never been that great. There were many slow rollers through the right side that an average defender would have gotten to that Biggio didn't.

Going forward Biggio is in the twilight, and I sincerely hope that he'll ride off into the sunset wearing the star. Having Biggio on the Astros is something emotional to me. I like him on this team. He's overcome some personal demons to become the Houston icon he's become. He's a genuinely nice guy who's earned the chance to to finish his career with the team he helped build. Sure, his presence at 2b blocks the development of Chris Burke, or some other future prospect, and will hurt the team in the long run. But you know what? Biggio bats and throws right handed, but writes left-handed. That's something in short supply in the world.

Eric Bruntlett: Jose Vizcaino's heir apparent. He plays all infield positions well and hits for nothing. Despite a couple of big, huge, game winning homeruns it's not something he's going to do with any consistency. But he's young, cheap, and has a year until he's eligible for FA. Going forward he'll remain a glove off the bench in the late innings to keep slow rollers from getting by Biggio.

Chris Burke: Drafted as a SS, groomed to play 2B, moved to the OF to have a place to play. His sub .400 slg was probably the lowest by a corner OF ever. Despite some rookie miscues in the OF he's got the speed and arm to make it, but he can't hit enough to play there. He's a 2B playing in the open spaces because the Astros don't think he'll outperform Biggio at this point in time.

Going forward the Astros are going to jerk Burke around this coming season. He's got too much potential to let go in a trade, and they know they're going to need him when Biggio finally hangs it up. Hopefully he can rediscover his batting eye (.396 obp in AAA last year) and force the issue of why he isn't playing. The Astros will be better in the long term if he does.

Raul Chavez: Why? When Brad Ausmus is your catcher why have a back-up who has Ausmus' offensive skill set, but worse? His OBP flirts with sub-.200 and his slg is .268. Going forward the Astros picked up Humberto Quintero during the season in a trade w/ San Diego. Quintero is similar to Chavez in that he's a catcher who can't hit. Be he's 6 years younger and earns less money. At least Quintero has the potential to possibly not totally suck.

Morgan Ensberg: The Astros savior. This was the sort of season predicted for Ensberg after his break-out 2003. Instead he spent 2004 as one of the most disappointing players in baseball, and jerked around by Jimy Williams until his well-earned departure. Ensberg played 2005 like 2004 never happened. He hit more homeruns (36) than in 2003 and 4 combined (25 and 10). He set career marks in obp and slg. He made the All-Star team and without him the Astros don't make the playoffs, let alone their first WS. He also plays plus defense at 3b, with a solid glove and a strong arm. He's a smart hitter who only gets better when the game is on the line. His poor performance in the playoffs can be attributed to a broken hand he suffered when he was HBP in September. He wasn't the same after that, but with surgery to repair the bone, and an offseason to recover, I think it's a legit chance that he'll retain his gains from this season.

Going forward Ensberg gives the Astros a big advantage. He is past his prime in that he's now 30, and will turn 31 before the end of the season. But he's gotten a late start and his skill set, obp and power, tend to age well. He also provides good offense from a position, 3b, which is pretty weak in the NL. Ensberg is a smart player who should be an Astro for a while to come.

Adam Everett: All-glove, no stick poster boy. He somehow poked a career high 11 HRs, but 7 of them were hit at home by poking them into the inviting Crawfish Boxes in MMP. On a team without Brad Ausmus (or Chris Burke playing an outfield corner) Adam Everett would be the 8-hitter, increasing his obp as teams mysteriously walk him to face the pitcher who is only a marginally worse hitter than Everett. Instead the Astros spent the year essentially giving the pitcher a free inning when Everett-Ausmus-pitcher went down quickly and quietly. He's a defensive whiz though. In a world before A-Rod, Jeter, Nomar, Tejada, or Renteria his lack of offense wouldn't be noticed. Everett has good range, smooth hands, a strong arm, and he turns the double play well. Defensive statistics are not well-developed, but when looking at Everett's numbers he's always on the good die of them. Plus he's one of Mrs. SSG B's favorite players.

Going forward the problem the Astros have with Adam Everett isn't Adam Everett. It that the Astros basically punted offense from three positions with Ausmus, Burke when he was in the OF, and Everett. That might not have been a problem with a full year of a healthy Bagwell and Berkman. But they didn't get that. Everett is a good enough defender to allow his glove to carry his bat, but as long as he's on the Astros they cannot afford to sacrifice a corner outfield position the way they did with Burke this year. As fond as I am of Everett I'd almost like to see what would happen if the Astros can get Nomar for a cheap, incentive heavy contract. I feel dirty for saying that.

Mike Lamb: Lamb had a career year at the plate last season when he his 14 HR, with a .288/.356/.511 batting line. 2005 wasn't as good, but that was due to a big drop in his walk rate. He's a career .329 obp so his .284 this year is out of line. Hopefully it's a fluke because if it is the Astros are a better team. Lamb is a left hander with some pop who can fill in at the corner infield positions. Although he's a poor defender at 1b and 3b, he's not totally lost and the Astros don't suffer horribly if they need to give Ensberg or Bagwell/Berkman a day off.

Going forward Lamb will probably become the Astros number on leftie off the bench if Orlando Palmerio is allowed to move on. Either way he'll continue to be a valuable member of the brick and tan.

Jason Lane: Last year was a lost season for Lane. He spent most of the year miscast as a PH. This year, given the starting RF job, he rewarded some of the faith the organization had in him. He's not perfect. His k/bb this year was 105/32, and he had some pretty hellacious droughts during the year where he wasn't putting the ball into play. But he also jacked 26 HR, 34 doubles and 4 triples for a .499 slg. He's got power. He just needs to use it more. Batting behind Ensberg he provided him with the protection that a clean-up hitter normally needs. I'm curious if Lane would improve marginally if he had someone more threatening than Adam Everett batting behind him.

Going forward Lane should remain in the Astros outfield until either free agency/ arbitration make him expensive, or a better options comes through the system. In the mean time the Astros have a RF capable of getting on base occasionally with 30 HR power. It's a nice thing to have.

Orland Palmerio: OP is a free agent this year. He's a PH specialist who excels when he plays ~100 games a year w/ about 200 ABs. Anytime a manager has gotten too entranced with Palmerio's success it's turned out badly. He's a quality player off the bench. He can draw a walk if needed, has some doubles power too. He's also an acceptable defender in any outfield position, but better in LF or CF because he doesn't have a strong arm.

Going forward I hope the Astros resign OP. They paid more money for a poorer hitter in Jose Vizcaino. That being said, if he's seeking over $1m per year left him go. There are other players out there with his skill set. Maybe $1m is a bit high even

Humberto Quintero: A younger Raul Chavez. Like The original Quintero is a catch-and-throw receiver who doesn't have a lot of pop or get on base.

Going forward he'll be cheaper than Chavez, and there is a chance he might become useful.

Luke Scott: Scott had a red hot spring training and played his way into the Opening Day roster. His lack of April production, total lack of production, resulted in him being sent down in May. While at Round Rock he set fire to AAA pitching hitting .286/.360/.603 with 31 HRs and 60 extra base hits. He earned a call-up in late August and was put on the NLDS roster. He can hit, but he'll have to do so at the ML level to avoid being branded as a AAAA player and doomed to a life of mid-season injury replacements.

Going forward if Scott can somehow catch lightening in a bottle and hit in the majors like he did in the minors the Astros could find themselves in a nice situation.

Willy Taveras: Willy T. Speedy. His two doubles in Game 2 of the WS went farther than 90% of Willy's other hits combined. He don't have power. Every time I saw him bat all I could think of was the scene in the movie Major League where the manager would make Wesley Snipe's Willy Mays Hayes do push-ups for every ball not hit on the ground. Willy T's entire game plan is to hit the ball on the ground and try to beat the throw. There is nothing wrong with that gameplan, but it will make for a very short career if he can't figure out how to hit the ball out of the infield. Once defenses figured out that Taveras couldn't hit the ball past a drawn-in infield his season declined. Willy needs to learn the strike zone too. His k/bb ratio is 4/1. And his 529 ABs as the Astros lead off hitter were painful since his obp is only .325. Taveras does make good use of his speed. He swiped 34 bases while getting caught only 11 times, keeping his percentage over the magic breakeven point for SBs. If he learns to study tape and gets better at identifying pitcher's moves he'll become a better thief. The Astros may be willing to live with his poor hitting though because, like Everett, he's a good enough defender to make it palatable. Despite taking some funky routes to fly balls and occasionally making rookie mistakes he's a plus defender in CF, and uses his speed to make up for some bad jumps and reads. An up-the-middle defense of Burke, Everett, and Taveras would probably make the Astros pitchers very happy. At least on defense, when they lose 3-1 it might get a bit annoying.

Going forward Taveras is still young enough to make a step forward, but will he? I'm not alone in hoping that some team, somewhere, decides to pair Rickey Henderson up with some young, over eager speedster. I'd like for it to be the Astros with Taveras. Who knows if it would work, but Rickey has too much knowledge to waste it in Independent League teams in Arizona. Taveras is young, two years from arbitration, and he had an acceptable rookie year. If he takes a step forward this year the Astros will be in good shape, if he doesn't at least they were the NL champions in 2005.

Jose Vizcaino: He's been an Astro since 2001 when he came over as a free agent from the World Champion Yankees. As a free-swinging contact switch hitter he's had some value off the bench. Although he's got a good glove at both SS and 2b his range is lacking for both. Like many older role players Vizcaino's problem isn't himself, but what is being spent to have him around. His two year, $3m contract was a lot of money for production that can easily be gotten from a younger player for the league minimum. Although part of Viz's value is tied to the fact he's taken several young Spanish-speaking players under his wing, giving them some help and guidance at adapting to the major league level. I do hope he'll find Ozzie Guillen-like success as if he decided to move on to coaching.

Going forward the Astros are not likely to resign Vizcaino. Bruntlett is viewed as a better gloveman who provides a similar batting eye with a little more power, for about $1m less per year. There are always decent hitting bench players available on the FA market or through the minors. The Astros will do well to search for someone at the league minimum to replace the uber-pinch hitter role that Vizcaino has filled.


Ezequiel Astacio: One of the three pitchers received from Philly in the Billy Wagner trade. Brandon Duckworth has been the worst pitcher the Astros have had for the past two years. Astacio wasn't much better in his rookie year. Unlike Duckworth though there is hope for Zeke. He's still young (he'll turn 26 next week) and he strikes out more than 6 batters per 9 (6.8k/9IP). He allows too many baserunners though (WHIP 1.54) by giving up a lot of hits and walks (10H/9 and 2.4BB/9). But the real bane of his existence has been the long ball. Astacio is tater-riffic, giving up 2 per 9 innings.

Going forward Astacio will be given every shot at earning a spot in the rotation next season. He has the stuff, he just needs to learn to control it a bit better and not allow so many long flies. Playing in MMP a pitcher cannot afford to allow a lot of homeruns. If everything about Astacio remains the same, but he cuts his HR rate next season it will be a big step forward.

Brandon Backe I'll admit to a bias about Backe. I like him. He's excitable, always moving, always hanging on the railing cheering for his teammates, and to top it all off he's got some good stuff. He's a converted outfielder who's only been pitching for the past four years. It's starting to look like the conversion is going to work out very well. His strike out rate dipped a bit this year (from 6.3 to 5.3 per 9), but he had an injured muscle in his abdomen which was affecting his play. When he returned to the team in early September he struggled a bit before kicking it up a notch in the playoffs. The postseason is where Backe shines. He's got a career ERA of 4.95 from April to September, but when the calendar switches to October and he gets into the post season his ERA is 2.95. It is a small sample size at a little over 36 innings in 7 games, but his control improves significantly when he's pitching in October. Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus thinks there is a slight chance that Backe's October success is tied to his concentration. If so, and Jim Hickey can get him to pay attention, 2006 could be a huge year.

Going forward Backe will be the Astros third or fourth starter, depending on what Clemens does. There are many poorer 4th starters out there, but if he begins the year as the number 3 the Astros might be in trouble. Then again Backe has some good stuff, and he would surprise some people, if he hadn't showcased his stuff in the WS and NLCS.

Roger Clemens: Best. Pitcher. In. Baseball. When Chris Carpenter or Dontrelle Willis have their Cy Young award dinners they need to invite the Astros offense to the banquet, because they wouldn't have won it if the Astros hadn't been shut out in 9 of Clemens' starts. His 1.87 ERA was the lowest of his 21 year career. He was at or near his career averages for hits, walks, home runs, and strike outs per 9 innings. And he did it all in a season where he turned 43. In a world where the baseball writers looked beyond W-L record for deciding pitching awards this wouldn't even be a debate: Clemens would win his 8th Cy Young.

Going forward Clemens was only signed for one season. He's a free agent again. He pitches at his leisure. He has nothing left to prove. Unless he's on a quest to join Nolan Ryan as baseball's only 5,000 strike out pitchers if he comes back again he'll do it on his terms. The only darkside to Clemens could be his hamstring. It started to bother him late in the year and he noticeably struggled in his last few starts in the regular and post season. But even limited by injury he'll still be the leading candidate to be the best pitcher in baseball in 2006, if he comes back. And if he does I hope it's in the Astros pinstripes again.

Mike Gallo: In 36 games Gallo pitched a total of 20.1 innings facing 28 batters. He's a total one-trick pony, and he's not even good at the trick. Lefthanders hit .268/.340/.439 against him. Although Gallo did better against righties, holding them to a lower average and slugging percentage, it was a small sample size though and, over his career, he's been very flammable when exposed to righties.

Going forward the Astros will decide to continue to "need" a southpaw for the marginal value that such a one-trick pony as the lefty specialist represents. They will do well to find one that is actually good against left handed hitters. Oh, and going WAY forward I've already told Mrs. SSG B when we have a son I'm tying his right arm behind his back and teaching him to throw left-handed so he can have a long, well-paid career as a one-batter lefty specialist.

Brad Lidge: It's a shame that Lidge's 2005 is going to break down to three highlights: Albert Pujols' sending a homerun into low orbit in Game 5 of the NLCS. Scott Podsednik hitting a walk-off shot in Game 2 of the WS. Jermaine Dye driving in the winning run in Game 4 of the WS. Lidge spent most of the season being one of the most dominant closers in the game. His fastball is dangerous, coming in at 97-99 mph, and almost unhittable when he's putting it on the corners. But his slider is the out pitch. He can throw it at will and when his fastball is on, his slider is unhittable. When Lidge is not on it's because his fastball isn't going where he wants it to. If his fastball isn't on hitters can just wait for him to miss badly enough with the heat, or see if he'll hang a slider. And Pujols showed what can happen when the slider hangs.

Going forward Lidge gives the Astros a real advantage at the end of games. Phil Gardner has become too traditional with him though. Lidge can throw multiple inning appearances. He might even be a bit more effective going 1+ because he's able to adjust when something isn't right. Between Lidge, Dan Wheeler, and Chad Qualls the Astros have a trio of durable, quality relievers who can make a game 7 innings long. Phil Gardner just needs to be "scrap iron" enough to take the heat of the media when he uses his best relievers in the most important points in the game.

Roy Oswalt: The future of the franchise. Roy is a gritty competitor who came to the Astros in the 23rd round of the draft in 1996. He's a short right-hander who throws hard, soft, and everything in between. His fastball can reach 97 and his 12-6 curveball will travel at less than 70. He mixes in a good slider and will change speeds on his fastball. He also has a change-up that he can use to keep hitters off balance. Despite playing in the offense-friendly MMP Roy is better at home than on the road, holding batters to a .248/.278/.388 line at home. He's spent his entire career in MMP and he's never given up 20 HRs in a season. In a world without Clemens Oswalt is in the Cy Young discussion.

Going forward Roy Oswalt is the ace of the Astros staff. Although Clemens and Pettitte had better numbers, Oswalt will be the one wearing Brick and Tan for the next 10 years. He appears over his groin problems of a few years ago, and he hasn't missed a start in two years. As long as he remains healthy, and the Astros score more than 1 run for him in his starts, Oswalt should probably be considered a Cy Young candidate until he shows he's not.

Andy Pettitte: The Astros were hoping for something better than the injury-plagued 2004 that they got from their big free agent signee Andy Pettitte. Boy did they get it. When Roger Clemens went from UNGODLY to merely superhuman late in the season Pettitte kicked it up a notch. He went 11-2 after the All-Star break with an ERA of 1.69. He held opposing hitters to a .201 avg and was a big reason the Astros were able to charge into the Wild Card. He is lethal to left handed hitters.

Going forward Pettitte is under contract for one more year. It's a doosey though. He'll be earning about $17m in 2006. He'll be untradable, and if he performs the way he did this year, they won't want to trade him. An Oswalt-Pettitte 1-2 punch should make for one of the better top-of-the-rotations in baseball.

Chad Qualls: Another young right hander out of the 'pen, another quality reliever to end a game. Qualls got some seasoning last year, but was still a rookie going into this season. He performed up to expectations. He was able to bridge any gap between the starter and Wheeler/Lidge. He actually has a reverse split being more effective against lefties than righties. A fact that might be useful to remember when it comes time to replace Gallo.

Going forward the Astros seem to have an assembly line of relievers. They started with Lidge-Octavio Dotel-Wagner. Moved on to Wheeler-Lidge-Dotel. Now to Qualls-Wheeler-Lidge. They parted ways with Wagner and Dotel because Wagner WAS expensive, and Dotel was going to be expensive soon. Lidge still has time before he enters the vastly overpaid part of his career, so whether he'll be used as the next trading chit for a Beltran-esque deal is iffy. But if he does go, or goes down to injury the Astros don't have much to worry about because the relief-pitching line remains strong.

Wandy Rodriguez: Ugh. Between Astacio and Wandy Rodriguez I would have been happy to see the Astros resurrect the four-man rotation. But that is unfair. Where Astacio's weakness was in allowing too many homeruns, Rodriguez allowed too many people to be on base when he'd give up a HR. Although his k/9 rate was an acceptable 5.1/9, Wandy allowed 3.4bb per 9 innings. He needs to gain some control before he can become an acceptable starter. It doesn't help that he allowed more HR in fewer innings than any of the Astros Big 3 starters. But that's a unfair comparison.

Going forward Wandy is going to be competing with Astacio, Carlos Hernandez, Taylor Buchholz, and who knows who else for the 5th starter spot. Wandy throws left handed and he breathes. He'll be around for a long time, just probably not very effective.

Russ Springer: He's 36, will be 37 in a little over a week. He's the prototypical middle reliever. He's good enough to usually not cost his team the game, but dangerous enough that you don't want him to be used too often. With three studs like Qualls, Wheeler, and Lidge Springer tended to be used in blow-outs, games where the starter got shelled, or when he just hadn't pitched in too many days. Chad Qualls mentioned that he enjoyed having Springer around to teach him some of the more important points of relief pitching, and he credits Springer with showing him a good warm-up program for getting ready to pitch. Teams need 25 players and there are worse ways to spend a roster spot.

Going forward there's been talk that this would be Springer's last year. He's got his 10 year of ML service so he's got his pension. If he stays, fine, if he doesn't, the waiver wire will hold his replacement.

Dan Wheeler: Dave Matthews, I mean Dan Wheeler, made a name for himself in last years NLCS when he baffled the St. Louis Cardinals. He built on his excellent 2004 with an amazing 2005. Although Lidge is the closer, and thus nominally the best reliever, by some stats Wheeler was really the Astros relief ace. Wheeler is hard on righties, tough at home, and does it all by relying on pin point control. Watching Wheeler pitch reminds me of Maddux (he's no where near as good of course). Everything he throws looks SO hittable, but he sets down hitter after hitter after hitter.

Going forward Wheeler to Lidge to end the game works. In a saner world the Astros would be using Wheeler and Lidge in alternating two-inning appearances to end games. They're both that good. He'll probably be an Astro until arbitration make him too expensive. As long as other teams are willing to overpay for relief the Astros really should be able to enjoy some quality innings after the starter ices his arm for the evening.


There is simply no way to accurately predict what could happen for Houston next year. Their success was completely reliant upon Clemens, Oswalt, and Pettitte turning in the second best performance by a trio of starting pitchers in history. That's the sort of thing you can't rely on. Oswalt will remain excellent, but Pettitte and Clemens were so far to the extreme of performance that even a slight drop off next season will seem like a huge loss. If Backe can remain healthy and pitch like he is capable of pitching that will go a long way to replacing the loss that Clemens and Pettitte could have.

But no matter what the mound provides the Astros need hitting. They were shut-out 16 times during the year, 6 of them were 1-0 losses. They were one of the poorest hitting teams in the majors, and the poorest in the playoffs. A full year of Berkman will help that, but they're still well-below league average every day at three positions. My dream transaction, one that would solve a lot of their production issues, involves the big Texas lefthander in Cincinnati, Adam Dunn. But I'm dreaming on that. The Reds would be foolish to part with their best hitter, particularly to their division rivals.

Oh well. I'll remain an Astros fan no matter what. 2005 has been a magical year, one that I've been thankful to ride along with. They came up 5 runs short over 4 games. It doesn't get much closer than that. Flags fly forever and Spring Training starts in 109 days. Can't wait.


Got my guy in today. Second volume GA this month with three more contracts lined up for the rest of the RCM. I'm happy so I popped smoke early today.

Just to upset IRR Soldier, the guy has a 4-year degree and is working on his masters. What is he going to be now? A 63B. BUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

No,I'm not happy that a well qualified applicant didn't become an officer. I'd have loved to do an OCS packet and get the nice points. But the guy wanted to leave now and he didn't have the patience for an OCS packet. He doesn't want to do it, I'm not going to make him. He's a GA and a hi-grad, worth almost as many points. Yay.

Well... it's a weekend. I've got it off.

Fantasy football for this weekend is pretty complex for me. My RB situation is in a bit of a flux. Shuan Alexander has been my stud, but he's off this weekend so I'm in a less than optimal situation. I usually have four RBs on my team, two starters two on the bench. My starters have been Alexander and Tiki Barber with Clinton Portis on the bench. I've been through Warrick Dunn and Deuce McCallister as my fourth. And it's worked out for me pretty well. This weekend is looking interesting though.

You see, I really don't believe that Portis is going to be able to score or run well on the Giants. Because of that I picked up Ronnie Brown of the Dolphins. They're playing the Saints who have been pretty weak against the run, and Brown has been playing pretty well so far. But I've adopted a plan lately where I try and start someone playing against the 49ers or the Texans. Carnell Williams from TB has been injured and questionable for the weekend and Michael Pittman has been very good in his stead. Pittman was available so I picked him up. I'mplanning to hold Brown as the starter, but if Williams isn't going to start for TB, I'll swap him out for Brown. Am I trying to be too smart here? It feels like I am, but even if Pittman doesn't make the start I'm not going to be hurt roster-wise for next week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I apologize for the lack of recruiting-related stuff. I've just been very involved in the Astros and their recent failures have absorbed most of the energy I normally use to post.

I'm still on my net zero, but with the kindness of the powerful, mighty, evil gods of recruiting I should be +1 again soon. Another DUI waiver came back for me and the guy should join Friday. Since he's out-of-area he takes the shuttle and stays in the hotel, so I get to avoid the early-morning run to MEPS. Yay.

If he gets in that means I just need to come up with five more contracts in three weeks to box the station and company. Needless to say I'm hoping to get to four-of-six for the month so I have a reasonable chance of quarter boxing. Eh... we'll see. Please be kind Recruiting Gods. Surely there is another infidel you can punish since the gods of Baseball and Fantasy Football have been taking turns tea-bagging me this week.

Oh Come ON!

Home team. Tie game. Runner on third, less than two outs. Twice. The Astros lost.

This was not a game the White Sox won. This was a game the Astros lost. They choked. They choked bad. The Houston Chronicle should probably consider dusting off the old Choke City headlines from the mid 90's.

It's like the Astros keep finding new and better ways to drive me to drink.

I don't think I have ever been more upset about something as ultimatly meaningless as a freaking game.

I'm hoping the baseball gods will at least be kind enough to let the Astros win a game and avoid the indignity of a sweep.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


It's another early morning. Gotta take a shipper downtown. Needless to say I've also got an appointment scheduled for freaking 1700 in a town about 90 minutes from where I work. This is going to be a long day, and I'll probably miss the Astros game tonight. Odds are though missing the game will be in my best interests. I'll explain that later.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Horror

Humanity is doomed.

I was looking at the top downloads on iTunes today and I realized that My Hump by the Black Eyes Peas was number 3.

Number 3.

The third most popular download.

It is the stupidest song ever.

Listening to it lowers your IQ by 5 points.

The first time I'd heard it I forgot how to calculate batting average.

There is no way for me to overstate just how innane the song is. But let me try.

It is a 4 minute song where "Fergie", the hot chick in the group, sings about her butt and breasts for 3:30 of the song. I'm all for songs glorifying Fergie's butt and boobs. I'm a guy. But she does not do so by referring to them as "butt" or "breasts". Or any of the other many ways to refer to those parts of a woman's anatomy. Instead she refers to them as... her hump... and her lumps.

When I first realized that I was equal parts horrified, distainful, and depressed, with a little bit of amusement thrown in.

It is a simply stupid song. It repeats "My hump, my hump my hump my hump my hump, my lovely lady lumps, in the back and in the front," over and over and over again. Just writing that made me forget how to drive a standard.

Ugh... if that is actually a popular song humanity is doomed.

I'm feeling old.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

And the was much rejoicing

Astros win 4-3 and take a 2-1 lead in the NLCS against the Cards.


(happy dance)

*20051016 UPDATE*

Astros win 2-1 to take a 3-1 lead in the NLCS against the Cards.

What a game! Mrs. SSG B and were jumping around the living room when the Astros turned that game-ending double play! I didn't think they had a chance the turn it with how close to the first base side Bruntlett was. But they did!

(happier dance)

*20051016 UPDATE II*

Yes. This is being played REPEATEDLY on my iPod.

I really hope I get to spend the next 10 days or so making my pathetic blog into an Astros-only zone. My mom and Mrs. SSG B would be cool with it, so at least 10% on my readers will approve.

*20051017 UPDATE III*

And that hurt. I shall be on suicide watch for the next couple days.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Who to start?

Tom Brady or Carson Palmer as QB on my fantasy team for this weekend? Palmer has been MONEY so far this season, but Brady hasn't been far behind him. Palmer is matching up with the Titans who can be scored upon, while Brady is going against the Bronc's who have a very inexperienced secondary that Brady and Bill can probably exploit to great effect.

I'm thinking coin-flip but I'm open to suggestions.

*UPDATE 20051016*

I went with the horse that brought me and started Palmer. 272 Yards, 2 TDs (one to Chad Johnson who is one of my receivers (ka-ching!)) and worth 39 points in my league's fantasy format. Brady was 299 for 1 TD and 12 yards on the ground for 36 points. So Palmer comes through for me again.

I'm already looking ahead to week 7 when my choice is easy. Brady is off.

For anyone who might be curious about how my team did (not even my mom would actually be interested, but it's my blog, I'll write what I want to) I should be able to hold on for my second league-best finish in a row, and fifth week in a row without having to buy lunch. I'm up for 40 on SSG Rage, but he's got a WR and RB playing. Luckily they're on different teams so he'd need a VERY high scoring game for both of his guys to over take me. Although I'm almost 80 points up on SSG George, he's got Mannging, Harrison, and Vanderjagt playing. If Manning has a big game going to Harrison a few times I might be in trouble.

To answer your question...

Sorry it took so long for me to get around to this. I wish I could blame it on traffic, or work, or something other than my lack of motivation to give an answer.

A while ago Russ at Boxing Alcibiades asked me a question about recruiting. It seems that Russ has been talking with a recruiter about joining and he wanted to know why they were "selling" him on a job for which he didn't think he was suited.

Reserves is something where most RA recruiters, particulary the detailed ones who only focus on the RA side get themselves strung-up. Anyone in recruiting knows the facts. The money, the benefits, the incentives, they're all in writing. Where RA recruiters get themselves in trouble though when crossing components is how the Reserves "works".

Russ, I can't know where you are or what units are in your area. But that is a very important fact to know for a reserve recruiter. You see, the Regular Army can assign you to any vacancy around the world. If you want to be a 96B or whatever, and there is a slot open for one in Germany, you can be assigned there. It doesn't work that way for the Reserve. The Reserve is local. You might be the most qualified CI Agent the world would ever know, but if you're enlisting in the Reserve, and there isn't a CI position within 200 miles of where you live, they won't assign you to one. With the Reserve you need to choose what is available in the area in which you live.

That's one reason they could be "pushing" 37F.

Recruiters also try and become friends with the people who work in the units. I've gotten a couple of quality referrals from the FTUS at my local reserve centers. And I try very hard to repay their kindness by getting prospects and applicants into their units. It doesn't always (ever?) work. Recruiters have no control over what a NPS applicant will get for a job. None. Nada. Nil. But just because we have no control doesn't mean we won't tell you that we may to get you in for an appointment, or to commit to test, or phys, or even enlist.

As for some of the comments about why they might not be talking toyou about becoming an officer. More paperwork and it takes more time to do get an OCS packet done. Plus there is the whole board process. It's a lot of work for someone who only counts as a single GA. Recruiters can be like water: we'll take the path of least resistance.

Anyway, wish you the best of luck man and hope to see you in boots some time.


My previous post angered the recruiting gods greatly. Very very very greatly

I got an email the next day, THE NEXT DAY, saying I'd had a positive match.


Quick phone call to the DEP in question. The phone call went something like this.

"Hey, this is SSG B. I need you to tell me what sort of trouble with thw law you've had."
"Well, I had that traffic ticket."
"No, what else have you had?"
(silence) "Nothing."
"What did you do?"
"What did you do?"
"I'm not a felon."
(a little bit of SSG B dies) "That's good. But there is a whole lot of other things you could be. So now you need to tell me what you did."
"Well, I was busted for possession of pot."
(a little bit more) "When and where?"
"Uhhh... I was like 17 and I was in Seattle."
"Okay. Okay. The damage is being done. The only way to possibly keep this from getting worse is for you to tell me everything. What else have you done?"
"No SSG B. That was it."
"Is that all?"
"Yes, that is all."
"A possession of pot charge as a juve in Seattle. That is the extent of your history with law enforcement?"
"Okay. We'll be in touch. You'll need to come to (our town) on Monday for an interview to see if you'll be able to stay in the Army."
"Okay. I'll be there."
"Talk to you soon man."

I get the police checks and court checks back.

No possession of pot.

Nope. Not on there.

Although he DID get arrested for theft and for failure to appear/bail jumping.

Oh well. First DEP loss. Won't be that last I'm sure. He's lying to me and it's going to get him put out for the Army. I feel nothing.

Oh, and SSG George, quit bitching about having to buy lunch because your fantasy football team sucks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I've never taken a DEP loss. The recruiting gods will punish me for that arrogant statement soon I'm sure. But I haven't. When you don't put a lot of people into the Army it's hard for them to not ship. Being a zero roller does have its benefits.

Our station is preparing to take a DEP loss. It is my ignorant opinion that USAREC as an entity hates recruiters. I reached that opinion based on a couple of different things, one of those being the DEP loss policy.

When a recruiter enlists an individual they can receive recruiter incentive points for the enlistment. I need to emphasize the fact that points for a contract are a possibility, not a guarantee. Unless there is a special incentive in effect a recruiter needs to enlist 2 quality contracts in a month to receive points for the enlisting. Two. First one is a freebie, all after that are 30 points. Reserve recruiters, like me, can get 15 points for a prior service enlistee, and there are incentives for special programs like OCS, WOFT, college level, etc. But the basic incentive qualification is two quality contracts.

The points nowadays are based on someone shipping. When a DEP, regardless of category, ships out BAM 30 points.

Now, this is where the "hate" comes in.

If someone fails to ship the recruiter's station loses 10 to 35 incentive points. Every recruiter loses those points. The recruiter is even worse off since they lose the 10-35 points, AND they won't get the 30 points for a shipper. So, they're out 40-65 points. The reason for the point spread is part of the hate as well. You see, if a station successfully ships all DEPs scheduled during a month the recruiters receive a 25 point bonus. So that first DEP loss costs every recruiter 35 points, then 10 for each additional one that month.

Of course we're given alllllll sorts of explainations for these policies. "DEP management is a station function," seems to be a popular theory. My problem with that theory is that successful DEP management doesn't receive a similar reward. I get pounded for every loss from the station, yet I get nothing for every success. And it is every DEP loss too. If a recruiter jacks up by not maintaining their DEP and the kid gets fat. Or is a fail-to-grad that they didn't see coming. Or even DEP losses for a DUI or something like that I can uderstand punishing the recruiter and the station. But my station has two cases which, in a sane, caring command, reason would have prevailed.

One of our recruiters had a prior service Soldier enlist into the RA. He had been a 31B in the USAR and MEPS got him a job as a 31B. It worked out well. It was what he wanted to do. Problem was the guy wasn't qualified for the job! Since he didn't want to do anything else the guy was put out of the RA and back into the USAR, becoming a DEP loss for the recruiter and the station. He was a loss because the guidance shop put him into a job for which he wasn't qualified. Not the recruiter's fault. The recruiter and his fellow NCO's took the blame.

Case two. Another recruiter has a DEP who started to feel ill. It wasn't serious at first, but the DEP got worse. Had to go see a doctor and the results weren't good. This DEP had some sort of heart condition. I never really found out what because I didn't feel like prying. The girl as physically qualified by the doc's at MEPS, yet she had some sort of heart condition which caused rapidly deteriorating health. Not the recruiter's fault the DEP was really ill. cost us 35 points each since it was the only DEP loss that month.

About the only way a recruiter isn't punished for a DEP loss is if the kid dies. I would never kill a person just to avoid losing some incentive points, but I'd have a hard time convicting a recruiter who did.

Anyway, my guy from yesterday got in (yay!). Now I just need to find 5 more (boo).

Back to suck

Well, last month rocked. Three GAs, one PS, and a red circle on my tin badge because the station and company boxed. I ruled.

Past tense.

Today marks the start of RCM November and I'm back on suck.

If the recruiting gods do not hate me though I shall not be on suck for long.

Mr. Robb is ready to join. He was a serious misconduct waiver and the waiver came back approved over the weekend. With some begging we managed to get him set-up for a walk-on enlistment this morning. He's already test (75 QT!) and phys qualified so the waiver was all that remained.

I drove him downtown this morning, dropped him off, and headed back to the office. As I'm driving to the office the recruiting gods decided to toy with me.

Mr. Robb calls me to say that the guidance counselor doesn't have his approved waiver.


I double time it to my lap top and find the email with the approved waiver. Lo and behold, the counselor is ON THE "TO:" LINE!!!!


No matter. I just call MEPS, tell the counselor to check his email and he'll find the approval. I also suggest that he checks his email before saying that he doesn't have something. The counselor agrees with me and thanks me for not making a big deal out of his mistake.

Sorry. I was in a fantasy world where MEPS actually likes recruiters and tries to make our lives a bit easier.

In reality I spend 10 minutes searching for the email with the approved waiver, then rapidly email it to the counselor and pray that he checks his email before he tells my guy to call me for a pick-up because he won't be enlisting today since the counselor didn't check his email in the first place.

Oh well. Email has been sent, I haven't heard anything back and I'm a firm believer in no news being good news when it comes to people on the floor. Nothing good ever comes from a 7am call from MEPS.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

OH MY GOD!!!!!!



Greatest game EVER! 18 innings. Eighteen innings. Eight-teen innings. A tale of two games. Literally.

The Astros got down 6-1 thanks to a grand slam by Adam LaRoche, and a solo shot by Brian McCann surrounding a sac fly going into the 8th. Lance Berkman hits a grand slam in the 8th to bring the Astros to 6-5 and then Brad Ausmus. Brad Ausmus, he of 3 homeruns during the season, hits a homerun barely above the line to mark a HR and barely beyond the reach of Andruw Jones to tie it up. To tie it up with two out in the bottom of the 9th.

That ended the first game and started the second. A second game within a game. This game would be a long, long, stressful one. One that would make a scorecard run in fear. The Astros would use four pitchers in the 9 extra innings. Including the Hall of Fame bound Roger Clemens, who pitched poorly and lost in Game 2, to close it out for a redeeming win.

Chris Burke won't have to worry about buying a drink in Houston any time soon. Good for him. I'm still pumped about this game. I won't sleep well tonight.


I went and saw Serenity with Mrs. SSG B last night.



Yeah. REALLY liked the movie. It was pretty damned awesome. I'd never seen Firefly, but I might have to find someone with the DVDs now because the movie rocked.

It was like the best parts of Star Wars, Star Trek: DS9, and 5th Element all rolled into one. I think I will be seeing it again.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I'm sure it differs

Army Recruiter seems to have attracted a bit of attention to himself because of his airing of USAREC secrets.


I mention this because one of my readers (not my mom) sent me an email (3rd one, thank you Mauser Girl for being my first!) asking me what I thought about some of what he's saying.

I honestly and truely believe that USAREC is the Army's official Urban Legend generating factory. Everyone has a story about someone they know who had something horrible happen to them. But when questioned it turned out that they knew someone who knew someone who had something horrible happen to them in another brigade. It's all basically rumors and innuendo.

But the thing about rumors and innuendo is that it has to start somewhere. Someone had to have those things happen. I've seen enough of USAREC to know that it is entirely possible and plausible that what Army Recruiter says has happened has happened. I just know that in my little slice of the world it doesn't. Ask me again though when I'm on a -2 for the quarter and I'm sure I'll have more to say about how evil USAREC can be.

Anyway, tired. Late. Back to bed.

Annnnnnnnnnnd I'm spent

With two in yesterday (Both GAs!) I'm done. AR for the company is boxed. The station boxed once the second guy wrote. I'm done. I am physicially exhausted at this point. Yesterday was painful. I was up at 2am because my wife was ill. I was doing recruiting functions from 5am until I got back to the office at 7pm. During those 14 hours I put about 300 miles on m GOV, enlisted two people, conducted one appointment, and one follow-up with a prospect and spouse. All on about 3 hours of sleep with not one power-nap I'd hoped for coming to fruition.

In some strange way it felt worth it. Mission Accomplished. Now the new mission starts in a week. But between now and then I shall be useless.

I put four people in this month. Now, prior to this month putting four people in would have left me with na-da for next month. But by some weird confluence of Recruiting Gods evil I actually have something of a funnel. I'm awaiting a waiver approval which will give me a GA for week one. If another kid gets his head out of his fourth point I'll have a tester for today and he should write next week as well. If those two get in it will leave me in a position to put in the six (6 six!) that I'm on for next month.

I just depressed myself by reminding myself of my mission that starts next week.

The Astros and Braves start play today. Huge series. SSG Rage is a Braves fan. I think the Brave struck a bargain with Satan back in about 1993 and them and all their fans are doomed to an eternity of burning, nasty, stinging hell. Braves, I don't like 'em.

Should be a fun week.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Mrs. SSG B is not feeling well. She's coughing a lot. It's happened before unfortunatly. It's nothing serious but it does make her miserable. Normally I'd just try and snuggle and make her feel better, but she wants the damn AC off so it's freaking hot in the bedroom. I've got to be up at 4 to take a guy dowtown and when I have to get up early I always sleep poorly anyway. Too nervous about oversleeping that I fail to sleep.

So I got up and I'm basically cruising the 'net at the moment. It's going to be a long day.

*UPDATE* One in. One to go.

*UPDATE 2* Two in! Station boxed! Company should box this week too! YAY!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Out of my way

Ah, what a good day. There are three people who's work inspired me to start my little blog here.

Jack Army.

Kevin at Command T.O.C.

The final one recently quipped in on my comments. IRR Soldier.

I doubt that anyone who would find and read my scribblings is unfamiliar w/ the IRR. Except maybe my mom (Hi mom! Astros rule!). So for her I'm including this little primer. The Individual Ready Reserve is, for lack of a smarter description, a man-power pool. It's made up of all the Soldiers who are waiting to ship out (DEP/RDEP), in ROTC, Retired but not yet to retirement age, and Soldiers who have served their contractual obligation but still have a remaining service obligation (the second number in a 6x2 contract). They are Soldiers who are supposed to be available to fill in any manpower shortages that cannot be made up any other way.

In the recruiting world a paper contract is someone who the Army Reserve recruiter (only AGR recruiters can write these contract) takes from the IRR and transfers them into a TPU. It's called a paper contract because a trip to MEPS isn't required. Hell, it would be possible to do the entire contract over the fax with no face-to-face time required.

As a recruiter I like paper contracts. They're quick, they're relativly easy, and they count as a PS contract. Prior to becoming a recruiter I was a PSNCO for a couple reserve units. As a PSNCO I liked paper contracts because they were already available. They had completed their MOS training so, for Unit Status Report (USR) purposes they were available for deployment. NCO paper contracts were the best because they tended to be someone who you could put right into a leadership position. They weren't always MOSQ, but hey, they're an NCO, you don't need to be DMOSQ to know how to lead. As a Soldier coming from the IRR into a TPU I'd prefer it. An affiliation bonus, continued advancement, and, damnit, I'm a real Soldier again, not some pogue collecting 15 retirement points a year.

IRR Soldier disagrees.

"There are no more 'good gigs' in the USAR or nondeployable units. Units nondeployable, yes, individuals, no. Soldiers are getting cross-levelled left and right from TDA USAR units to go downrange. To suggest otherwise is denying raelity (SSG B: his typo, not mine. I make plenty of my own thankyouverymuch)."

Any job within the Army is a "good gig". You're serving your country. All those people walking around, clueless to the pain, suffering, and fear known through much of the world, owe that to YOU. The fact that we get paid pretty well to do so is just ice cream with my cake. He is right that there are no more non-deployable individuals. Everyone in the Army, excluding some medical conditions, is deployable. I'm a recruiter. I'm going NO WHERE. I'm, technically, deployable, but I'm not being let out of USAREC until they're gotten their time out of me. Drill Sergeants are in a similar situation. They're not going anywhere. So, yes, IRR Soldier is right that a DS is deployable. However it is highly unlikely that they will be deployed.

"Secondly, your post misportrays what happens with an IRR recall. From the IRR, you have due process rights and the right to appeal your mobilization all the way to the Army G-1 before ever even having to report or put on BDUs/ACUs. Even if you lose your appeals, an IRR recall can stall the mobilization for 10-12 months to get their life back in order. In a TPU - you have NO rights. You go when and where they tell you ... there are no appeals. If you are, say, in a NY DS unit and get cross-levelled to New Mexicao - too bad - you have no say."

I'm sure the Army G1 loves to deal with every private who "objects" to a transfer. Let me guess, when you were at Basic you were one of those baracks lawyers who knew how everything worked.

In a TPU unit you have a chain of command who knows you. Who is able to fight for you if you don't want to be cross-leveled. And even if they fail, you are still able to contact the unit you're going to and build some connections so you're not going into a totally unfamiliar situation. You still have no say when being involuntarily transferred from the IRR. All you're able to do is hopefully delay your transfer. Maybe. I'd still prefer to know the people I'll be deploying with and being in a TPU allows that.

"Anyone who is INFORMED about what is going on in the USAR personnel arena would take their chances in the IRR any day over a TPU.
FYI, I've been IRR for 3.5 years now and have gotten 3 good years, always performed an AT and 'stayed current' without playing 'Rumsfeld Roulette' on a daily basis in a TPU."

Anyone who is a SOLDIER would rather be doing what a Soldier does. Going to ATs like some sort of lamprey and hoping to find enough correspondance courses to make up the difference doesn't strike me as being a Soldier.

Am I alone in simply tuning someone out the moment they show signs of Bush Derangement Syndrome? Honestly dude, you were making some seriously good points. I think you're wrong, but that doesn't mean I can't see some wisdom in what you said. But the moment I saw that "Rumsfeld Roulette" thing I stopped. Yes, it is alllllllllll Rumsfeld's fault. He's sitting at DoD looking over rosters going "Eeny-meeny-miney-moe, tell this Soldier it's their turn to go."

"Paper contracts to nothing for the Army ... they only save recruiters asses."

As SFC Chairborne said "What's wrong with saving recruiter's asses?"

SFC C's point was valid to me no matter what. But a paper contract puts another SOLDIER BACK IN BOOTS! It's one more person there to cover your ass. It's my JOB to put qualified people into the Army. Someone who is already in the Army sounds pretty damned qualified to me. If you object to me doing my job. Fine. I really don't care. Luckily for me I'm not reliant upon IRR Soldier manning up and signing the 4187.

I love the whole Counter Recruiter movement. It's ammo. I can show prospects they shallow, self-centered people who think what they're doing in checking out the Army is stupid. I can show they "Hey, you see these websites? They are all people who want to see you, your friends, and their friends drafted." Cause that's what happens when people don't volunteer.

I don't want that.

The all-volunteer force has shown itself to be the most effecive, efficient, and deadly fighting force the world has ever known. It relies people who are willing to put a greater good ahead of their own wants and needs. Someone who is willing to make a commitment like that, and follow through on that commitment for 2, 4, 8, 20 years is an exceptional human being. Worthy of all the praise and honor accorded to our veterans. I am proud of my function in the Army to find these people. I might not always approve of the system that supports me in that mission, but I am proud to do that mission.

I look at it like this. As a recruiter my job is to find people who want to serve. It is my job to take these men and women and make them into better people. To make them into Soldiers. By doing so I am helping better their lives, as well as all the lives that they will affect during their service. By putting people into the Army I am making the world a slightly better place. The counter recruiter movement wants to accomplish the exact opposite.

As a recruiter I have more passion, desire, and will to do good in my cheap tin-plated silver badge than the entire counter recruiter movement has in their... whatever. I have no fear of my job being made impossible by some nip-picking nabob with an axe to grind. The only people affected by counter recruiters are people who weren't going to join anyway. Unless you want to grab a LRL and start smilin' and dialin', or come into a recruiting station, get some leads cards, and find me someone who wants to know about the Army, get out of my way. I've got a job to do.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Somewhere a recruiter strikes off a name

Saw this while I was waiting for the Astros to start losing to the Cubs.

There is a recruiter in the SF area who saw that picture in the paper and scratched a girl's name off the LRL.

I've always been aware how easy it is for a media outlet to manipulate reports, stories, pictures, and video to make the facts fit the story. It's kinda neat to see exactly how they did it.