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Monday, July 28, 2014

Former OF Jason Lane takes loss in first start

At an age when most players are thinking retirement, Jason Lane is trying to get started on a new career.

He might be on to something.

The 37-year-old former outfielder threw six scoreless innings in his first big league start as a pitcher before surrendering a homer to Evan Gattis that carried the Atlanta Braves to a 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 28, 2014 at 05:26 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, old timers' day, padres

Friday, July 25, 2014

BA Report: MLBPA Files Grievance Against Astros Over Aiken, Nix, Marshall

When the Astros found an irregularity in Aiken’s elbow during a physical, they backed out of their $6.5 million agreement and reduced their offer. The two sides could not complete a deal before Friday’s deadline, which meant the Astros no longer had the money to honor their agreement with Nix (who passed his physical) without forfeiting a pair of future first-round picks.

The MLB players’ union indicated Friday that it was concerned about the way the two players were treated by the Astros, and the filing of a grievance was one possible avenue to pursue.

The grievance could be aimed at either forcing Houston to honor its agreement with Aiken or to get him declared a free agent. The other options available to Aiken and Nix are to attend UCLA and re-enter the draft in three years; to enroll at a junior college and re-enter the draft next year; or to play in an independent league for a year. Mac Marshall is the third player and Astros draft pick involved, according to the report.

eddieot Posted: July 25, 2014 at 12:47 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, brady aiken, mlbpa

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MLB: Astros telecasts catching on to advanced metrics

Meanwhile back in the media capital of the world…derisive “analyst” Paul O’Neill says: “Frank Thomas was a one dimensional player.”

The idea was bandied about last year by CSN Houston senior producer Carl Patterson, who discussed with his staff how to realistically work some of this into the telecasts. Because the Astros’ front office relies so much on advanced metrics, introducing some of it, independently, into the telecasts seemed like a logical next step. The question was, how to do it?

“Normally, the standard thing is RBIs, batting average, home runs,” Patterson said. “Last year, we talked about doing a whole game where we just talked about sabermetrics stuff. But we kind of realized that none of us understood it well enough to talk about it intelligently. So I spent the offseason just thinking about how to do it.”

...This is something Astros TV analyst Alan Ashby—who admittedly is not a huge sabermetrics fan—feels comfortable with, and often expounds on it when a WAR stat pops up on screen.

“One of the reasons that I bring it up is some part of it is subjective on the defensive side,” Ashby said. “You’ve got Mike Trout from a couple of years ago that has so much WAR positive created on his defensive side. That’s the kind of stuff that makes it intriguing to me.”

Patterson limits the metrics-speak to five main concepts: WAR, BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), wRC (Weighted Runs Created), FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and Z-Contact% (Inside-the-zone contact percentage).

“I feel like five is enough,” Patterson said. “Pick five that make sense to our guys, then talk about it fluently and passionately.”

Repoz Posted: July 22, 2014 at 09:15 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, media, sabermetrics

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Padres’ Offense May Go Down as Worst Ever

“Because of baseball’s long history, there is usually comfort in knowing that as bad as it gets for your team, there is almost always some other club that was worse. But the 2014 San Diego Padres might not have that consolation. At this point, their awful offense is about as bad as any in history, and there are still more than 60 games to be played.”

NattyBoh Posted: July 20, 2014 at 08:40 AM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, offense, padres, yankees

Friday, July 18, 2014

Calcaterra: The Astros didn’t sign #1 overall pick Brady Aiken

Aiken: “Not On My Way Here”

The signing deadline for players selected in this year’s Rule 4 draft came and went at 5PM Eastern. And the number one overall pick, Brady Aiken, did not sign with the Houston Astros, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com.

If you aren’t up to speed, the Astros selected Aiken with the first overall pick and the parties agreed to a $6.5 million bonus in early June. But following a physical on June 23, the Astros became concerned about something in his left elbow and subsequently offered Aiken $3,168,840. Aiken’s agent, Casey Close, lashed out at the Astros, saying there was nothing wrong with Aiken…

since [the Astros’] offer to Aiken was at least 40% of the his slot value (it was exactly that, actually) they will be given the number two overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation in addition to whatever pick they have…

The practical fallout for Aiken: he has to wait a year [if he goes to junior college or the independent leagues] or maybe three [if he goes to college] to cash in and when he does it’s unlikely that he’ll do as well as he was set to do this year. And many, depending on how much stock they put in the Astros’ word on Aiken’s health, may consider him damaged goods.

The practical fallout for the Astros, they will be without a top pick. This, a year after their 2013 top pick, Mark Appel, has struggled mightily. More significantly, may have their reputation among agents and future draft picks substantially damaged. Casey Close is not a bomb-thrower. That he was as angry with the team as he has been suggests some seriously toxic dealings between the parties.

The District Attorney Posted: July 18, 2014 at 05:43 PM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, brady aiken, craig calcaterra, draft

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Journal News: Recap of Derek Jeter Retirement Gifts

The big 2nd half issue at BBTF is likely to be the retirement gifts The Captain receives as he completes his Final Journey. To provide perspective, the LoHud Yankee Blog reviews the 1st half:

May 25 — White Sox
Once a powerful hitter for both the Yankees and White Sox, retired slugger Ron Kittle built Jeter’s U.S. Cellular Field retirement gift. Kittle created a bench made of baseball equipment with bases as the seat, bats as the back and arm rests, and baseballs used for decoration and spacing. Long time White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko also presented Jeter with clay removed from the shortstop position at U.S. Cellular, plus a $5,000 donation to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

Looks like it wouldn’t be difficult for Furtdao to top the Cubs effort on behalf of BBTF.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rosenthal: Agent calls Foul on Astros, MLB in negotiations with No. 1 overall pick

“We are extremely disappointed that Major League Baseball is allowing the Astros to conduct business in this manner with a complete disregard for the rules governing the draft and the 29 other clubs who have followed those same rules,” said Close, who serves as a family advisor to Aiken.
The standoff could lead the Astros to lose their reported $6.5 million agreement with Aiken and $1.5 million deal with their fifth-round pick, high-school right-hander Jacob Nix, who also is advised by Close.
At issue: Whether the Astros are using a medical concern to pressure Aiken into accepting a lower bonus so that they can sign Nix and their 21st-round pick, high-school left-hander Mac Marshall.

kthejoker Posted: July 15, 2014 at 12:28 PM | 119 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, draft

Sunday, July 06, 2014

MLB.COM: Eight Run Seventh Catapults Angels to Comeback Win

I was resigned to a loss tonight as Hector Santiago gave up a grand slam early and the Angels were down 5-2 in the 7th.  Then…..

David Freese, Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron all homered in the (seventh) inning, with Freese’s two-run shot trimming the deficit to one, Pujols’ two-run dinger putting the Angels up by one and Cron’s three-run blast supplying insurance runs.

For the Angels, the eight runs were a season high in one inning.

This season is starting to resemble 2002 in the AL West.  The Angels get hot and go on a crazy streak (10 in a row at home and 18-3 in their last 21 at home) but they look up to see the A’s doing as well or better!

Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, comebacks

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Techie’s website hits ‘cool’ factor out of the park - Houston Chronicle

Baseball cool or geek cool?

You don’t have to work for the Astros or any team to be baseball cool in this town, and Daren Willman is quintessential baseball cool.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2014 at 07:23 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, sabermetrics, technology

Monday, June 30, 2014

Leaked: 10 Months Of The Houston Astros’ Internal Trade Talks

Some of these asks were just foolish.

Two years ago, the Houston Astros constructed “Ground Control”—a built-from-scratch online database for the private use of the Astros front office. It is by all accounts a marvel, an easy-to-use interface giving executives instant access to player statistics, video, and communications with other front offices around baseball. All it needs, apparently, is a little better password protection.
....
7/26/2013
[Nationals GM Mike] Rizzo called [Luhnow] to inquire on Harrell. JL told him we would still need a headliner like Giolito because we still value Harrell highly. Rizzo did not respond immediately.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 30, 2014 at 02:04 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ben Reiter: Astro-Matic Baseball

A must read…

Other criticisms have surfaced more recently. In an article published in the Houston Chronicle on May 25—the day, as it turned out, the Astros began a seven-game winning streak—beat writer Evan Drellich detailed the ways in which, as the headline read, radical ways paint astros as ‘outcast.’ “They are definitely the outcast of major league baseball right now, and it’s kind of frustrating for everyone else to have to watch it,” Norris, who was traded to the Orioles last July 31, told Drellich. “When you talk to agents, when you talk to other players and you talk amongst the league, yeah, there’s going to be some opinions about it, and they’re not always pretty.”

The criticisms fell into two categories. The first was that the Astros’ analytics-based approach dehumanizes players. “It was a difficult thing for me to read, because I spend so much time personally getting to know our players, and so does our staff,” says Luhnow. “There is a perception that anybody who is doing analytics in a serious way is doing that at the expense of the human element. It’s just not true, in our case.”

Adds Mejdal, “We realize these are human beings, not widgets. As far as assigning a number to a person—well, I assume you get a salary? Do you feel dehumanized because your boss has put a number on you?”

The other criticism stemmed from the Astros’ use of new competitive tactics, such as a heavy reliance on extreme defensive shifts. The club’s proprietary database—christened Ground Control by Elias’s wife, Alexandra—contains not just projections of the future value of every player but also spray charts for every hitter on every count against every type of pitch thrown by every type of pitcher, as well as the probabilistically optimal way to position defenders in each scenario. This sometimes leads to shifts in which, say, the Astros’ second baseman plays well to the left of second base against a pull-happy righthanded hitter—a violation of traditional baseball norms, though one that’s becoming more common across the game.

Mejdal puts the Astros’ tactics into perspective. “A year ago, with the defensive positioning that was going on, we were in the top half dozen, and there was tremendous pushback,” he says. “Well, the rate at which we shifted last year, that would be below average in the major leagues now. Innovation, by definition, suggests change will be taking place. If there’s change taking place, it’s not likely going to feel right at first. If it felt right, it would have been done a long time ago.”

The Astros’ leadership bristles at the notion that it thinks it knows how to operate better than anyone else. All it knows is what it believes to represent best long-term practices, based on the information it has acquired and processed. “We’re far from perfect,” Mejdal says. Even what they believe to be optimal decisions often don’t work out. Sometimes a righthanded pull hitter goes the other way. Sometimes players they discard, or decline to draft, turn into stars. “Sometimes you hit on a 16,” Mejdal says, “and if you stayed, you would have won.”

Repoz Posted: June 27, 2014 at 06:03 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, sabermetrics

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Contextualizing The Jon Singleton Extension – MLB Trade Rumors

Here’s a great look at the Singleton extension.

If anything, perhaps, the Singleton extension really marks the latest instance of a general trend away from formulaic contractual models. His deal opens new doors, especially, for players who did not have the opportunity to capture downside protection at their point of entry into the professional ranks, at which time they immediately become subject to the limitations of the reserve clause (as expressed in the collectively bargained Basic Agreement). There are potentially other, yet more creative options as well, such as private insurance (assuming it could be had by a prospect at a reasonable rate) or even public investment. But all players and teams will not pursue such a path; indeed, several of Singleton’s teammates (and others) have declined the opportunity, while some (if not most) clubs will remain largely uninterested in making such early commitments.

History teaches us that, even at his relatively exalted place in the eyes of the game as a top-100 prospect, Singleton was not assured of cashing in on his talent until he decided to forego the chance of becoming the next Fielder. That he chose to do so should have relatively minimal impact on those other players who have the means and desire to bear the inherent risk of transitioning from top prospect to established major league player.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 17, 2014 at 06:44 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, contract extensions, contracts, economics, jon singleton

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Davidoff: Mets’ fear of tearing it all down puts them behind Astros

As we sit on Thursday, the Astros (30-37) are percentage points ahead of the Mets (29-36). From Opening Day 2009 through the present, the Astros are 342-535, a .390 winning percentage. In the same time period, the Mets are 403-472 (.461). Few would dispute the Astros possess a deeper base of young talent than do the Mets, with rookies Jon Singleton and George Springer joining the club this year and many more coming.

You know why the Astros’ future seems brighter than the Mets’? In my opinion, it’s because the Astros committed to an epic rebuild, while the Mets tried to sort of have it both ways, even as they slashed their payroll at an unconscionable rate.

Earlier this season, I was chatting with a talent evaluator from an American League team, and I asked him if he was as high on the Mets’ organizational pitching as everyone else seemed to be. Yes, the official said, he was.

But then he volunteered: “What I don’t get about the Mets is why they didn’t sell high on guys like Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda.”

You could reasonably throw Dillon Gee, Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell into that conversation, and Ike Davis, too, back when he was a prized Mets piece rather than the human roller coaster he became.

Ironically, this is an instance in which you can fault Mets ownership for not being cheap enough. In neglecting to look at a bigger picture. And really, I’m not even sure how much we should fault them.

bobm Posted: June 12, 2014 at 06:25 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mets

Monday, June 02, 2014

Astros, Singleton Create Sign & Promote Model

For the last year or so, the Astros have reportedly been offering various long-term deals to some of the young players in their organization, using the carrot of guaranteed millions to try and buy out a couple of free agent years. Up until now, no one had signed the offer, and Evan Longoria remained the record holder for fewest number of days of service before signing a long-term deal. However, with first base prospect Jon Singleton, the Astros have now codified the first deal that officially includes a Major League call-up as part of the package…Singleton’s deal is for $10 million guaranteed over the next five seasons, beginning in 2014, with three team options that could push the total value of the deal to $35 million. By getting seven more years of team control after this season, the Astros are essentially buying one free agent year in advance — they would have owned the rest of 2014 anyway, plus six full seasons afterwards — and signing this deal now allowed Singleton to get promoted without worrying about the Super-Two deadline.

Tricky Dick Posted: June 02, 2014 at 03:14 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How much longer before Royals shake things up in dugout, front office?

Robothol’s latest. A lot of good stuff.

An agent, of all people, suggested a perfect replacement for the retiring Derek Jeter: Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.
The agent, who has no affiliation with either player, made an excellent point: Hardy is steady and unassuming, and his low-maintenance personality would make him well-suited to replace a legend.
Hardy, who turns 32 on Aug. 19, missed nearly a month with a strained left oblique earlier this season. He’s batting .304 with a .701 OPS, albeit with no home runs, in 158 at-bats.
His defense remains solid. And his transition could be relatively seamless, considering that this is his fourth season in the AL East.

As a Red Sox fan I highly endorse the Yankees signing Hardy to a five-year contract.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2014 at 10:34 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, j.j. hardy, mariners, mets, padres, phillies, rangers, royals, yankees

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Conrad Gregor’s first home run of season caught by his dad

Gregor’s first home run of the season went to right-center and landed in the hands of a delighted guy. Though few knew it at the time, Gregor said after the game that his dad, Marty Gregor, was the one who caught the ball. Gregor’s parents drove five hours from Indiana to watch their son play this weekend. Aw.

Nice advance Father’s Day present.

Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: May 25, 2014 at 04:30 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, homers, randomness

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Brandon Backe to seek another trial

A federal jury deadlocked Monday on a brutality claim by former Houston Astros pitcher Brandon Backe, who had sought millions in damages after accusing police of causing career-ending injuries when they broke up a 2008 wedding party.

The jury did rule that four Galveston, Texas, police officers used excessive force to break up the party. Nine officers were suspended without pay and four received written reprimands after the Oct. 5, 2008, incident at a bar at the San Luis Resort and Conference Center.

The jury awarded nearly $50,000 in damages in the lawsuit against the four officers. Backe, who helped the Astros to the 2005 National League pennant, said the plaintiffs were beaten by officers responding to reports of rowdy partygoers at an outdoor bar.

jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 09:24 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, police blotter

Monday, April 28, 2014

Rosenthal: Difficult to figure what Astros are doing, but GM has answers

Robothal meets Advanced Step in Innovative MObility.

In any case, given all the commotion surrounding these Astros, I figured it was again time to go to the source, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, for some explanations. Luhnow, as always, tackled the questions head-on.

• Shifts: Some think the “team of the future” is making frequent use of shifts merely to gather information for the future.

Not so, Luhnow said.

“I do think that any time you set up defense differently, part of what you’re learning is how the offense is going to react, if they’re even going to attempt to react or not,” Luhnow said.

“We do want to learn as much as we can every time we do something differently out there. But are we doing things just to learn? No. We’re doing things for reasons that we have. We believe we’€™re going to get more outs that way.”

Why shift on someone like Trout? Well, Trout’s spray charts show that he hits more grounders to the left side than the right. His line drive and fly-ball distribution is more even but not relevant when shifting infielders.

“When we’re talking about our infielders, we focus on the ground-ball distribution,” Luhnow said. “In general, we’ve been aligning ourselves as an industry (in a way) that covers real estate proportionally. That may not be the best way to do it. It’s not the best way to do it. I think we’re proving that.”

...The Astros exercised caution bringing Appel back, but again he was unable to get into a pitcher’s normal professional routine. Luhnow said that the decision to send him to Lancaster was a mistake—the GM’s own mistake.

“It was really my fault,” Luhnow said. “I made a decision to send him out to Lancaster to have him try and build up there, to try to catch up for the time he missed in Florida. He ended up pitching twice on a four-day cycle and then he skipped a start and pitched on an eight-day cycle. It wasn’t like he was in the tandem for a month and couldn’t handle it.

“I happened to be there last week. I watched his start. I talked to him afterward. You could just tell he was not in the flow of pro ball, irrespective of five-day, four-day, six-day. He hasn’t gotten conditioned to throwing and resting, throwing and resting, the way you need to get conditioned in order to be in a five-man rotation, much less a four-man.”

So, Luhnow said, he decided to take Appel “off the grid,” away from the media, away from the hitter-friendly Lancaster environment.

“I don’t expect this to be more than a couple of weeks,” Luhnow said. “Really, it’s just to make up for spring training. It’s my fault for sending him to Lancaster. I thought he could do it there. But once I started to think back on the history of what happened, I realized that he just didn’t have a proper spring training.”

Repoz Posted: April 28, 2014 at 05:50 AM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, sabermetrics

Friday, April 25, 2014

Leitch: Anger Management

Bo más!

It’s fun when people try new things, and while it’s worth noting that the owners probably didn’t mind the payroll slashing (and fans generally are paying major league prices to watch a team bottom out on purpose), you find yourself giving the Astros the benefit of the doubt. It’s exciting to see smart people doing something different. You want to see it work out for them. You want them to, eventually, succeed.

Which is why it’s probably time for the manager to get with the program. Because all this new school innovation that’s making them so likable is being completely undone by a manager who is starting to look like a reactionary, delusional idiot. ...

It would be fair to say that the last fortnight of Bo Porter’s professional life has not been among his proudest. (It has been even worse than that time he failed to understand basic substitution patterns.) I’m beginning to wonder if losing 111 games in a season caused something in his brain to pop. ...

Basically, Bo Porter, as the public face of this supposedly likable Astros organization has decided that the fact that Jed Lowrie bunted against his shift in the first inning of a seven-run game—something almost no one other than Porter seriously thinks was wrong—means there should be a lifetime bounty out on him. Even under the vague, confusing umbrella of unwritten rules, this makes no sense. It’s reckless and moronic. He’s a toddler carrying around a gun without a safety.

I don’t know what’s going on with Porter and the Houston Astros. Maybe he has just lost too many games and has snapped. Maybe he’s just an angry person. Maybe he is a time traveler who has come to us from the future, and it turns out Lowrie, via the butterfly effect, needed to be hit to stop future Hitler or something. But right now, he’s making that whole organization look worse than 111 losses ever could.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 08:27 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, mental health, unwritten rules

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A’s Jed Lowrie “flabbergasted” by Astros’ response to bunt

Holy mackerel!

Last night’s game featured some strangeness, with Astros manager Bo Porter getting bent out of shape about Jed Lowrie’s bunt attempt against the shift in the first inning and the A’s up 7-0. Consensus around the Oakland clubhouse: The first inning is way too early to get upset about a guy bunting – plus, if you put the shift on, you’re inviting the bunt. Why would you then get upset about it?

“I’m really flabbergasted by the reaction,” Lowrie said of Porter’s heated words after Paul Clemens threw a pitch near Lowrie’s legs his next at bat. “He was yelling, ‘Just go play shortstop!’ He made it into such a big deal.”

As Lowrie pointed out, he was doing exactly what the Astros wanted when he bunted – and he bunted into an out, presumably their best-case scenario.

“The shortstop was on the other side, all I had to do was get it past the pitcher, and I didn’t,” Lowrie said. “I screwed up. I gave them an out. It was the first inning of a major-league game.”

I asked Porter about the incident this morning, and he said what he’d said yesterday, “The game polices itself.”

Porter is a fiery type – and with his team down 7-0 in the first, he could well have been trying to get the Astros going. At any rate, Clemens missed Lowrie and really, it all should be over by now.  A’s manager Bob Melvin said he can understand being “perturbed” with an opponent bunting when the team is down 7-0, but it was so early in the game.

“Hopefully, we can move on,” Melvin said. “I don’t think it’s that big an issue, to tell you the truth.”

Repoz Posted: April 19, 2014 at 08:04 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, oakland

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Astros To Promote George Springer

Good couple of weeks for UConn!

(Astros also demote the hapless Lucas Harrell.)

Top outfield prospect George Springer will join the Astros tomorrow, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter)...

Springer climbed up prospect rating boards after a monster 2013 campaign in which he hit a combined .303/.411/.600, and posted 37 home runs and 45 stolen bases, in 589 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A. Entering the 2014 season, analysts rated Springer between 18th (Baseball America) to 21st (MLB.com) among all MLB prospects. The 2011 first-round pick looked well on his way to a repeat of that performance in the season’s early going…

Though he is a tall and powerful ballplayer, Springer profiles as a center fielder. But with that position occupied in Houston by offseason acquisition Dexter Fowler, Springer will presumably take over in left field for the optioned Robbie Grossman. 

The District Attorney Posted: April 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, george springer

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Astros game gets a 0.0 TV rating again

SoCalDemon Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, tv ratings

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Ortiz: With too many retired numbers, Astros should reintroduce numbers

Take Umbricht people, take Umbricht.

Larry Dierker also points out that the Astros standards weren’t very high when deciding which numbers to retire, so one must wonder if it’s time to reintroduce some of those numbers.

As far as Dierker is concerned, Oswalt and Berkman did enough during their Astros tenure to surpass the franchise’s previous standards for having their jerseys retired. As candid as ever, however, Dierker admits that the previous standard hadn’t been very high.

Some make valid arguments that J.R. Richard’s No. 50 should be retired by the Astros, but I disagree. Moreover, I will argue that the Astros should actually reintroduce some of the retired numbers and find different ways to honor Don Wilson, Jim Umbricht and perhaps even Jimmy Wynn.

“If they retired my jersey (No. 49), they got to retire Roy’s,” Dierker said. “If they retired Jimmy Wynn’s, they got to retire Lance’s. That’s one of the issues that we have here is that I think they jumped the gun when Jim Umbricht died and Don Wilson died.

“And all of a sudden we have some retired numbers but we weren’t producing any Hall of Famers. Usually if you have your number retired by a team, you’re in the Hall of Fame. But we kind of set a precedent that now J.R. Richard, Joe Niekro, there are a whole bunch of guys that you could make an argument for based on the guys that are already retired. (Jeff) Bagwell and (Craig) Biggio are obvious.”

...Wynn spent 11 years with the Astros from 1963 through 1973, leading the team in homers, hits and RBIs when he left Houston. Bagwell is the franchise leader in home runs with 449, and Biggio is in the exclusive 3,000-hit club. He is the Astros’ all-time leader in hits (3,060), runs (1,844), games (2,850), seasons (20). The seven-time All-Star made 19 opening day starts.

“I think Bagwell and Biggio probably with what they did, their numbers would be retired by any team,” Dierker said. “And Jose Cruz, he was special. I think that one was legit. I think if you add the success we had when I managed to what I did pitching, I might get to that point without being a Hall of Fame player.

“But for me, the rest of them I don’t think they’d be retired for most teams. So now we have a whole bunch of other guys that really deserve to have their numbers retired and we’re going to run out of numbers. You wouldn’t think in a franchise that hasn’t been exactly the Yankees that you’d get yourself in that position. But that’s kind of where we are right now. But as far as I’m concerned as far as this goes (Saturday night), if some of the guys have their numbers retired up there have them retired, these two guys should definitely have them retired.”

Repoz Posted: April 08, 2014 at 07:51 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jonah Keri: 2014 AL West Preview

This article is pretty much what it sounds like. Keri goes over each team, additions and subtractions, and projections. It makes me fondly remember the days of team season previews on baseball primer.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 25, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, athletics, mariners, rangers

Thursday, March 20, 2014

MLB system discourages teams like Astros from promoting top young talent | FOX Sports on MSN

Outfielder George Springer, the Astros’ top prospect, has yet to play an inning in the major leagues. He almost certainly will not make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Yet last September, the Astros offered him a seven-year, $23 million contract, according to major league sources.

Springer, 24, rejected the offer, sources said, declining to give up three years of arbitration and one year of free agency.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:27 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, george springer

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