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Ankiel gets his release

There were no claims for former Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel when the waiver period expired and the Houston Astros have given him his outright release.

It's a shame to see Ankiel, who had become very popular quickly in the Astros clubhouse, have the rug pulled out from under him. He was hitting less than .200 in part time play. But he'd hit several homers and made some memorable plays with his legendary home runs.

Houston GM Jeff Luhnow, said he moved Ankiel as part of a plan to try to make his outfield more productive. But who is he trying to fool? The Astros are light years away from being competitive. 

He signed Ankiel, who is 33, to be a positive influence on young prospects and to provide some experienced stability to the roster. No one thought Ankiel was going hit .275 with 30 home runs. You can't argue that Ankiel's numbers aren't sub par. But what was expected? He was obviously fulfilling the role he was signed to handle. So it's a shame he was cut loose so abruptly.