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Monday, April 01, 2013

Justice: Opening victory is bold step for Porter, Astros

I haven’t seen so many Texans step forward since The Hugh Beaumont Experience held a band reunion!

Anyway, on this one Sunday night, the Astros, this team no one expects anything from, played a perfect baseball game. They ran the bases aggressively and forced the Rangers into a couple of mistakes. They got great pitching from Bud Norris and Erik Bedard.

Ankiel hit a three-run pinch-homer, and Maxwell drove in two runs and made a couple of flashy plays in center field to back, and the Astros began their American League era with an 8-2 victory.

Afterward, the players talked about their manager, how he’d gotten them prepared mentally as well as physically, how he’d made them believe in themselves when almost no one else would.

“I think it starts with Bo—the tone he sets every day,” first baseman Brett Wallace said. “He’s got that energy and an aggressiveness about him. He’s really instilled that in us. Every day, whether we had drills or we had a game, we were attacking it and being aggressive. I think you can already see it in Game 1 today.”

...Porter got the job, in part, because of his energy and ideas. He also got the job because he convinced Luhnow he would be open to the volumes of data his front office will prepare.

There was a glimpse of that data in the top of the seventh inning when Astros shortstop Ronny Cedeno was positioned almost behind second base and fielded a Mitch Moreland grounder hit directly at him.

Upstairs in Luhnow’s box, Astros owner Jim Crane turned to Sig Mejdal, who has the title of “director of decision science,” and asked, “Did you move him there?”

Mejdal smiled and nodded.

Repoz Posted: April 01, 2013 at 03:38 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros

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   1. Bhaakon Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:43 AM (#4400636)
They'll come to regret this victory. It's just made the other teams angry.
   2. John Northey Posted: April 01, 2013 at 05:54 AM (#4400640)
Hey, for one magical day the Astro fans can look at the standings and see themselves at the top. Enjoy it, as it won't last long and might be a long, long time before it happens again.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:50 AM (#4400713)
The Wolf: "Let's not start ****ing each others **** just yet"

Your clean-up hitter is going to K 180 times and provide (at best) 85 OPS+
   4. BDC Posted: April 01, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4400725)
Meanwhile, today's Startlegram advises Rangers fans not to panic. C'mon, we're Rangers fans. Blank despair is more like it.

BBC, if you're out there, are you now reconciled to Astros and American League baseball? :)
   5. Greg K Posted: April 01, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4400777)
Your clean-up hitter is going to K 180 times and provide (at best) 85 OPS+

And so is the 3rd hitter!

EDIT: Brett Wallace as the no. 2 hitter seems not a great fit either.
   6. JE (Jason) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4400790)
He also got the job because he convinced Luhnow he would be open to the volumes of data his front office will prepare.

This team may lose 110 games but Astros fans -- and BBC -- should be relieved that grown-ups are finally in control of the franchise's day-to-day activities.
   7. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4400791)
All-Time American League Leaders:
1. Houston (1-0), 1.000
2. New York (9862-7493), .568
3. Boston (8978-8398), .517
   8. The District Attorney Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4400798)
And so is the 3rd hitter!
I hope not; I have Carter in Strat-O-Matic. (Definitely the 180 K part, though, if he plays that much.)

Carter certainly is an atypical 3rd hitter, insofar as the #3 hitter is traditionally (probably illogically, but it's tradition) the best BA/power mix, and Carter is a career .214 hitter. I guess on this team, the closest thing to a "#3 hitter" is Altuve. But they don't have another leadoff man, so they're probably doing the right thing.
   9. Tricky Dick Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4400823)
FWIW, ZIPS and Steamer OPS projections for Carlos Pena and Chris Carter:
Pena Z .776 S .742 Carter Z .791 S .838
   10. Dale Sams Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4400856)
Carlos Pena and Chris Carter:


I will say it was *fun* watching last night and seeing familiar names. That also includes seeing Bedard.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4400897)
I'm not one to go all "Reggie Cleveland" on you, but until last night, I had no idea Bo Porter was black.
   12. just plain joe Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4400911)
I'm not one to go all "Reggie Cleveland" on you, but until last night, I had no idea Bo Porter was black.


I had no idea that Chris Carter and Justin Maxwell were black either.
   13. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4400913)
Bedard looked great. They should trade him right now before he hurts himself.
   14. Delorians Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4400985)
"I'm not one to go all "Reggie Cleveland" on you, but until last night, I had no idea Bo Porter was black."

Neither did I. And I'm an Astros fan.
   15. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4400988)
Maybe it is me, but i tend to assume a man named bo is black.
   16. Delorians Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4401007)
Maybe it is me, but i tend to assume a man named bo is black.

Bo Duke
Bo Belinsky
Bo Brady
Bo Peep

Of course, only one of these was not a fictional character, so maybe real Bos are black and fake Bos are white.
   17. Esoteric Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4401021)
so maybe real Bos are black and fake Bos are white.
I wish Bo Ryan was a figment of my imagination, but alas he is all too real.

Bo Schembechler, too.

And what about the "Beau"s?
   18. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: April 01, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4401113)
Now see, a Beau I think of as a white dude.
   19. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 01, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4401148)
I think of a guy named Bo as being a roadie for the Eagles.
   20. Astroenteritis (tom) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:53 PM (#4401412)
Bedard looked great. They should trade him right now before he hurts himself.


OK, I laughed out loud. Really, I hope he has a decent season. For some reason I spend a disproportionate amount of time rooting for injury-plagued players to miraculously salvage their careers.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4401427)
Given the heavy saber-osity of the Stros, they're possibly doing a Book style lineup. And, given the personnel on hand, Carter (or Pena) are good choices for the #3 slot. The #3 slot is the slot with the most PA with 2 outs and nobody on so high OBP is somewhat wasted and you want guys who can generate their own offense. And, when he does come up with guys on base, at least a K isn't a DP. And Wallace in #2 probably makes slightly more sense -- he might be the better overall hitter, might have the better OBP.

But a lineup with Wallace, Carter and Pena in it? That's solid defense there. (I know, Pena gets to sit on his butt not play the field.)
   22. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 01, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4401456)
Hey Gonfalon, I had to share #7 (attributed of course) with my Facebook friends. That is hilaripus!
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: April 01, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4401508)
This team may lose 110 games but Astros fans -- and BBC -- should be relieved that grown-ups are finally in control of the franchise's day-to-day activities.


Problem is if they lose 110 games, then the naysayers will say "see that stuff doesn't work...Omar Minaya needs a new job"..


All-Time American League Leaders:
1. Houston (1-0), 1.000
2. New York (9862-7493), .568
3. Boston (8978-8398), .517


St Louis Cardinals .532
Atlanta Braves .529
Miami Marlins .519

:) (of course if we included interleague play, then the Astros .465 percentage would have hurt the original point)


Of course, only one of these was not a fictional character, so maybe real Bos are black and fake Bos are white.

I figure if there was a (new)black manager in baseball it would have been somewhat newsworthy, don't really remember seeing it written that way(especially with the rumors of the Astros previous ownership being relatively racist) I guess it's great that Porter being black wasn't what all the press was about, but it's a surprise to me. (although to be fair, I still do a double take everytime I see Bryce Harper is white. With the press about his talent and his attitude, he just reads like a typical black prodigy)
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 01, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4401532)
I remember someone last year was saying they were surprised that Brett Lawrie wasn't black. Never mind that there's been 20 people named "Brett" in major league history and none of them have been black as far as I can tell ... this is a guy who grew up in a suburb of Vancouver, and has a sister who was a noted collegiate softball star. What element of his biography would lead one to assume he was black? Everyone has their own perceptions of this stuff.

I thought Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith was black for some reason.
   25. base ball chick Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:09 PM (#4401600)
BDC Posted: April 01, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4400725)

Meanwhile, today's Startlegram advises Rangers fans not to panic. C'mon, we're Rangers fans. Blank despair is more like it.

BBC, if you're out there, are you now reconciled to Astros and American League baseball? :)


- sure i'm reconciled to it, which is why the divorce was final on oct 4
they ain't mah team no mo

ah gots a new luuuuvvvv

and tells yall what kind of face the houston team gets when hiring a Black manager gets zero mention. just like the rest of the team. except for the stat geekiness of it all

worst part of the game was not getting to see nolie-poo's sour sulking face
   26. Esoteric Posted: April 01, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4401695)
ah gots a new luuuuvvvv
Oh Lisa...this makes me sad, seeing you cut the cord with Mr. 'Stros. Though I guess I can't fault your loyalty -- you were so faithful to him, even when he was such a bad Baseball Spouse over all those years. I guess he finally went one step too far, with the whole "league switch" thing...some betrayals in a relationship just can't be forgiven, I suppose.

Pray tell, who is your new hot-'n'-heavy baseball fling?
   27. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2013 at 12:02 AM (#4401746)
Oh Lisa...this makes me sad

I dunno.

I've met married couples that shouldn't have been married but I don't think I've ever met a divorced couple that shouldn't have been divorced.

bbc has wisely moved on rather than making the classic mistake of hoping a baby with the Astros would heal the relationship.

Perhaps I have taken the analogy too far.
   28. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 02, 2013 at 01:14 AM (#4401763)
With the press about his talent and his attitude, he just reads like a typical black prodigy


As in, "seems so effortless out there", with no reference to any extra work put in?

Perhaps I have taken the analogy too far.


Far enough to make me laugh out loud, fwiw.
   29. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 02, 2013 at 08:49 AM (#4401821)
Perhaps I have taken the analogy too far.

It was good in the beginning.
   30. BDC Posted: April 02, 2013 at 09:08 AM (#4401832)
Well, I notice Lisa seemed to have watched the whole game despite being over the Astros and all :)
   31. Delorians Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4401878)
I figure if there was a (new) black manager in baseball it would have been somewhat newsworthy, don't really remember seeing it written that way, I guess it's great that Porter being black wasn't what all the press was about

The same could be said about the Aggies hiring of Kevin Sumlin. I think this is progress.

especially with the rumors of the Astros previous ownership being relatively racist)

Wait, wait, whaaaat??? I know there was a period during the last decade when there were almost no blacks on the roster, but I followed the team closely then, and there weren't any questionable releases/trades/nonsignings of black players, it was just a fluke of the distribution of talent for that brief period. If anything, I think they made a signing or two (Preston Wilson) that didn't pan out, that was probably more about quelling the rumors about the white roster than being baseball related. And they always had plenty of Hispanics.
   32. Delorians Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4401881)
Well, I notice Lisa seemed to have watched the whole game despite being over the Astros and all :)

Maybe her new love is the Rangers.
   33. Esoteric Posted: April 02, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4401891)
Maybe her new love is the Rangers.
That would like divorcing your husband and immediately beginning to date his handsomer, more successful older brother. Oof.

EDIT: And I doubt it's correct, since IIRC the killer for her about the Astros was the switch to the AL, where they play an inauthentic brand of baseball because of the DH (I definitely agree with this).

Hey Lisa -- the Nats are always looking for quality new fans! Still room on this bandwagon...
   34. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4401962)
I guess he finally went one step too far, with the whole "league switch" thin

I understood the Seinfeld "switching teams" but "switching leagues" takes it to another level altogether!
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: April 02, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4401978)
Wait, wait, whaaaat??? I know there was a period during the last decade when there were almost no blacks on the roster, but I followed the team closely then, and there weren't any questionable releases/trades/nonsignings of black players, it was just a fluke of the distribution of talent for that brief period. If anything, I think they made a signing or two (Preston Wilson) that didn't pan out, that was probably more about quelling the rumors about the white roster than being baseball related. And they always had plenty of Hispanics.


The rumor was that the owner didn't like players who didn't have two parents. Some people took that as code that he didn't like black athletes.

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