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Monday, December 06, 2021

Red Sox, Astros Interested In Trevor Story

The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros have expressed interest in free agent shortstop Trevor Story, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman in his latest insider piece for Audacy’s “Big Time Baseball” podcast. Heyman reiterates that he’s also heard Seattle convey interest in the shortstop, as MLBTR covered prior to the lockout last week. As is the case with all player-team connections made in the lockout age, no talks can take place between either party until the lockout is lifted.

Interestingly, Boston was recently cited as a team who reached out to free agent shortstop Carlos Correa’s camp. The path to that connection being anything more than due diligence lies in moving All-Star Xander Bogaerts off the position, an option neither the player nor Boston front office have indicated is on the table. The takeaway from a potential Correa pursuit is in many ways identical to a hypothetical Story one— sign an All-Star shortstop to guard against a Bogaerts departure, improving infield defense in the interim.

Just like Boagaerts, Story has yet to give a firm indication that he’ll be anything but a shortstop heading into the 2022 season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2021 at 07:49 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, red sox, trevor story

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Astros net Héctor Neris with a 2-year, $17 million contract

It appears the Astros have found their replacement for Kendall Graveman, who recently signed a three-year deal with the White Sox. Héctor Neris, a longtime late-inning reliever for the Phillies, has landed in Houston on a $17 million deal over 2 years.

The 32-year-old Neris possesses one of the game’s most devastating split-fingers, which has helped him sustain an elite whiff percentage and a high strikeout rate the last several years. He has a career ERA of 3.42 and collected 84 saves during his 7-year tenure in Philly, including 12 in 2021. Although walks and ill-timed home runs have been an issue in recent years, Neris posted the highest ground ball rate in his career in 2021.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2021 at 04:57 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, hector neris

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Sources: Houston Astros keep ace Justin Verlander with one-year, $25 million deal

The Houston Astros and right-hander Justin Verlander have agreed to a one-year, $25 million contract with a player option for a second season, sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

Verlander won the American League Cy Young Award for Houston in 2019 but made just one appearance during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season because of elbow troubles. He had surgery to repair an ulnar collateral ligament Sept. 30, 2020, and missed all of the 2021 season, his last before the end of his contract with the Astros.

He held a showcase for about 20 teams earlier this month and looked healthy and sharp, Astros general manager James Click said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 17, 2021 at 07:40 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, justin verlander

Saturday, November 06, 2021

Astros Offer Carlos Correa Five-Year, $160MM Contract

When the Astros and Carlos Correa talked contract extension last spring, the shortstop said the Astros made him offers of six years and $120MM, and then five years and $125MM.  While Correa is just hours away from the free agent market, the Astros are still trying to retain his services, and Mark Berman of FOX 26 (Twitter link) reports that the club’s last offer is a five-year deal worth $160MM.

This would be the largest contract Houston has ever given a player, topping the team’s five-year, $151MM extension with Jose Altuve.  The offer’s $32MM average annual value would also be the 10th-highest AAV of any contract in baseball history, making it a pretty significant commitment on the Astros’ part.

However, it is also drastically below what Correa is likely to receive on the open market.  Correa is only entering his age-27 season, and he has already indicated that he’ll be looking for a pact in the nine- or ten-year range.  It isn’t out of the question that Correa might even hit $32MM (or at least come close) in average annual value on such a long-term deal, so it doesn’t seem like Houston’s offer is going to inspire a late-minute change of mind on Correa’s part.

In fact, there is enough of a gap between the Astros’ offer and Correa’s asking price that it’s probably safe to assume the team didn’t have much expectation of Correa actually accepting the deal.  There could be some public relations logistics at play, since the team can now present that $32MM AAV as a “we tried” gesture to fans upset over Correa’s departure.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 06, 2021 at 06:50 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos correa

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Atlanta Braves finish off Houston Astros for first World Series championship since 1995

Jorge Soler coiled, and then he unleashed the mightiest swing he could muster. His batted ball would clear the left-field train tracks in Houston’s Minute Maid Park, soaring 446 feet to give his team the early three-run lead that Max Fried would not relinquish. He dropped his bat upon contact, turned to his dugout, patted his chest repeatedly and pointed to the ground as if to say the Atlanta Braves’ time had finally arrived.

Undeniably, improbably, it was here.

They were ravaged by injuries early, dismissed as late as August and counted out at practically every juncture of these playoffs, but the 2021 Braves—with a brand-new outfield at midseason and a depleted starting rotation by the end—are World Series champions for the first time since 1995. Their long-elusive title was sealed with a 7-0 victory over the Houston Astros in Tuesday’s Game 6, powered by six scoreless innings from Fried and an emphatic, prodigious home run from Soler.

Soler’s shot—on a two-out cutter by Luis Garcia, who was making a rare start on short rest for an Astros rotation that was equally short-handed—accounted for his third home run and sixth hit of the series, and cemented him as the clear choice for MVP.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 03, 2021 at 12:14 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves

Sunday, October 31, 2021

How two balls hit to left field put the Atlanta Braves one win from a World Series title

A lot happened in left field at Truist Park in Game 4, and Rosario’s catch was only half of the story. Yordan Alvarez attracted attention for failing to make a catch that was ridiculously difficult but still possible. After Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson hit a solo homer in the seventh to tie the score at 2, pinch-hitter Jorge Soler followed with a 107-mph warhead that hung in the air for 3.8 seconds, long enough for Alvarez to travel 59 feet—at a clip of 22.9 feet per second, for those counting—and get within a glove string of a catch that would have preserved the tie. Alvarez threw his arm above the wall a split-second after the ball had passed, and then he hung over the wall by his left underarm just long enough to make it seem possible he might stick there.

When he returned to the ground, he stayed there. The crowd spontaneously combusted in outright delirium. Soler raised a fist as he floated around the bases, and it seemed as if Alvarez’s immobility was merely frustration. Shortstop Carlos Correa, the closest Astro to Alvarez, immediately ran toward his teammate, along with the Astros trainer.

“I was very worried, very worried,” Correa said. “When I saw him, I made sure to get out to him and translate for him and thank God he’s fine.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2021 at 11:04 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Houston vs. Atlanta Is Rob Manfred’s Nightmare World Series

One is Houston, the site of Tuesday night’s Game 1, where Manfred is seen as a villain over his handling of the sign-stealing scandal that tarnished the Astros’ title in 2017 and stained their players’ legacies. Many fans here believe Manfred scapegoated the Astros for committing a crime that was widespread at the time and unfairly transformed them into the most hated franchise in professional sports.

The other is Atlanta, where Manfred sparked a political firestorm by pulling the All-Star Game in response to Georgia’s new voting law. The move, which the Braves publicly opposed, enraged some state officials and alienated a portion of fans, who are now celebrating even more important games coming to town.

However it shakes out, it is a hellish proposition for Manfred. Sports commissioners frequently hear boos. (Just ask Roger Goodell how much he enjoys showing his face in New England.) But the vitriol Manfred will face at the end of this World Series will be particularly vicious, and coming from all directions—whatever he does now.

Manfred is pinned between liberal and conservative American politics in part because MLB began to respond to calls to act on social issues last year. It left the commissioner simultaneously under pressure to take those stances to their logical conclusion, at the same time he is still facing resentment from people aggrieved at the positions.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 26, 2021 at 10:28 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves, rob manfred

Saturday, October 23, 2021

How Dusty Baker, Brent Strom and Martín Maldonado Seized the ALCS From the Red Sox

It was during that game that Strom, the chief navigator of pitching, decided to tack to the starboard side. The change Cora referenced was a decision by Strom to have his pitchers attack the Red Sox with fastballs.

“Yeah, very much so,” Strom said. “Basically, the Red Sox were spitting on so many non-competitive breaking balls in the first couple of games. We were falling behind [counts]. I basically told the group, ‘If you’re going to get beat, throw your best stuff over the plate, then you can sleep at night. Rather than dancing around the strike zone.’ Young pitchers start dancing, and you can’t do that.”...

Baker has evolved and adapted, which is why this time he quickly yanked Garcia, who is notoriously shaky the third time around, for Phil Maton.

“It’s a combination of observing other games, knowing yourself and trying to stay modern on how the game is played and how the players expect the game to be played,” Baker said before ALCS Game 6 when explaining how he has evolved with pitcher use. “You know, when I took Russ Ortiz out in that game, today that would have been the move to make. But then it was, ‘Why’d you take him out so early?’ So who knows? Maybe I was ahead of my time.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 23, 2021 at 03:00 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dusty baker

Friday, October 22, 2021

Red Sox’s explanation for center field light during Astros’ Game 5 win

Game 5 of the Astros-Red Sox American League Championship Series had a slight delay Wednesday when umpires noticed a light against the outfield wall with the Astros leading big in the sixth inning.

Because the Red Sox have been busted illegally stealing signs before and Red Sox manager Alex Cora was part of the 2017 Astros’ sign-stealing scheme, people immediately jumped to conclusions that something nefarious was going on.

Although FS1 cameras showed what appeared to be a flashlight moving around behind the outfield wall, that’s not what the umpires and managers were talking about at all. Astros manager Dusty Baker said it actually was a piece of reflective tape on the outfield wall and Cora is the one who pointed it out to him.

“I know that Alex Cora had said something about the light out in center, and then he came over to me and said it really wasn’t a light,” Baker said after the Astros’ 9-1 win. “It wasn’t in anybody’s eyes or point of vision or distraction. It was some reflective tape that somebody had put out there. It looked like a light shining off the lights, but I didn’t really see it. I didn’t have the angle to see it.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 22, 2021 at 03:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, red sox, sign-stealing

Monday, October 18, 2021

One of best ever? Astros INF has a case

Over the next five years, Gurriel at first, Altuve at second, Correa at short and Bregman at third have represented excellence on the diamond for the Astros, who have reached the AL Championship Series for five consecutive seasons with a core that includes those four on the infield.

When the Astros play the Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday at Fenway Park, Gurriel, Altuve, Correa and Bregman will play in their 64th career postseason game together. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the most postseason games played by four teammates at any position in Major League history….

Astros manager Dusty Baker said the foursome will go down as one of the best infields in history, and that’s probably based mostly on what they’ve done in the playoffs. Correa and Altuve are two of the greatest postseason performers of this generation, but Bregman and Gurriel have had huge moments in the playoffs, too.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:14 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Monday, October 11, 2021

White Sox’s Ryan Tepera suspects Astros may still be stealing signs at home

Ryan Tepera was happy to be in Chicago for Game 3 of the ALDS on Sunday night. He thinks the White Sox will get an honest couple of games there against the Astros.

The right-hander wasn’t very subtle in suggesting that the Astros might still be stealing signs four years after the team put a camera in center field in its home park to spy on catchers and relayed the intel to hitters by beating on a garbage can in the dugout. Houston has been accused of cheating in 2018 and 2019, as well.

“The stadium (Guaranteed Rate Field) was rocking. It’s a different game here at our field, you know,” he said. “You play at Minute Maid (Park in Houston) and they’re doing something over there that’s a little different. It shows you how many swings and misses they had tonight compared to at Minute Maid.

“That’s why you have home-field advantage and tomorrow we’ve got another home-field advantage, so we’re ready to go.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:07 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, sign-stealing

Chicago White Sox’s Yasmani Grandal says he didn’t intentionally get in way of throw to home as Houston Astros claim interference

The Sox were leading 7-6 with runners on first and third and no outs when Grandal hit a ground ball to Gurriel, who attempted to cut down Luis Robert at the plate.

As the Sox’s catcher ran toward first while on the grass to the left of the chalk, he was hit by the ball coming home to Maldonado. It deflected away from the Astros’ catcher, allowing Robert to score and the inning to continue without the Astros getting an out on the play. Houston claimed interference.

“I tried to make the argument that he did get in the way,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.

Interference would be called only if Grandal intentionally got in the way of the throw. All six umpires huddled on the infield grass, eventually declaring there was no intention.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:06 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, white sox

Friday, October 01, 2021

Carlos Correa carries Astros to fourth AL West title in five years

It’s the fourth division title in five seasons and 10th overall for the Astros. They’re in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, extending a franchise record.

“That sounds pretty special,” Correa said.

The Astros will open the AL Division Series on Oct. 7 against the Chicago White Sox—home field for that best-of-five matchup is still to be determined. Houston went 5-2 against the White Sox this year.

Houston was a wild-card team last year in manager Dusty Baker’s first season with the club. So where did this division-clinching victory rate on his list?

“Every time you win, it ranks higher than the last time. And you never get tired of winning,” he said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 01, 2021 at 10:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Report: Astros legend J.R. Richard dead at 71

J.R. Richard died in a Houston hospital at the age of 71 on Wednesday night, according to Fox 26’s Mark Berman, who cited an MLB source.

Richard, who was part of the Astros’ inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2020, pitched all 10 of his big league seasons with the Astros before his career was cut short when he suffered a stroke while playing catch inside the Astrodome on July 30, 1980.

Before the stroke, Richard was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, twice leading the National League in strikeouts and once in ERA. He held the Astros’ single-season strikeout record - he struck out 313 batters in 1979 - before Gerrit Cole broke it in 2019.

Richard, who started in the 1980 All-Star Game three weeks before the stroke, ranks third on the team’s all-time strikeouts list behind Nolan Ryan and Roy Oswalt and is fifth in franchise history in wins.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2021 at 12:41 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, j.r. richard, obituaries

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Houston Astros bolster pen, deal for Miami Marlins closer Yimi Garcia

The Houston Astros continued to fortify their bullpen before the trade deadline, acquiring right-hander Yimi Garcia from the Miami Marlins on Wednesday for two players.

In exchange for Garcia, the Astros sent outfielder Bryan De La Cruz and right-hander Austin Pruitt to the Marlins.

It’s the second straight day the AL West-leading Astros have swung a trade to add bullpen help. On Tuesday, Houston acquired Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero from the Mariners.

Garcia, 30, has 15 saves for the Marlins this season and is 3-7 with a 3.47 ERA. He has struck out 35 and walked just five batters in 36⅓ innings pitched. He has a 3.41 ERA over seven major league seasons.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 28, 2021 at 11:07 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, marlins, yimi garcia

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Seattle Mariners players feel ‘betrayed’ after Kendall Graveman traded to Astros, per report

The Seattle Mariners completed an exhilarating comeback to erase a 6-0, first-inning deficit and beat the AL West rival Houston Astros (SEA 11, HOU 8) on Monday night. It was the thrilling game for a Mariners team that has far exceeded expectations.

Less than 24 hours later, the clubhouse was enraged. The Mariners on Tuesday not only traded away ace reliever Kendall Graveman, who struck out two in a scoreless inning Monday, but they traded him to the Astros in a four-player swap. Graveman has been lights out all season (three earned runs in 33 innings) and now he’ll help Houston as it tries to win the division crown.

“(This) is a move we feel makes us a deeper team today, as well as moving forward,” GM Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “We are certain to be very active in the hours and days ahead as we remain committed to making moves that will enhance our chances over the season’s final 60 games and hopefully beyond.”

Mariners players in the clubhouse were unwilling to take Dipoto’s words at face value. They were very upset with Graveman being traded to a division rival. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times has the details:

Several players opted not to speak on the record about the move, but their anger was palpable. Sources said equipment was broken and smashed while one player “went absolutely mad.”

“Betrayed” was a word used often.

“Are you (expletive) kidding me?” said the same player. “It never changes. They don’t care about winning. How do you trade him and say you care about winning? And you trade him to Houston? It never changes.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 27, 2021 at 10:53 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, kendall graveman, mariners

Friday, January 20, 2012

WSJ: Houston Astros Owner Mucked Up in JeffCo Bankruptcy

We release things drip by drip…and when I have my sewer bonds settlement statements ready for this year, I’ll release them!

Stuck at the unfortunate end of the debt-clogged sewer system of Jefferson County, Ala., you’ll find Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.

Fresh into his takeover of the Texas baseball team, Crane has been ordered by a bankruptcy judge to reveal details of his settlement with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. over $35 million worth of sewer bonds that he bought from the investment bank four years ago—a personal investment that quickly turned to, er, garbage.

Those dirty details, which are not public, are what Jefferson County attorney are seeking amid their own fight with the bank over the complicated series of dealings that, with a little help from a corruption scheme that ensnared the county’s top elected leaders, left the county swimming in a pool of toxic debt.

Ultimately, the county—Alabama’s most populous with roughly 658,000 residents—filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, marking the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Crane said he got stuck with a bum deal, too, according to court documents filed in Texas state court.

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:48 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, media

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MLB: Astros reach one-year deal with Cust

CustomInk: Compare prices!

Jack Cust, who has hit 105 home runs in a 10-year Major League career that has spanned six teams, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Astros that includes an option for 2013, according to a baseball source.

The deal is pending a physical and could be announced as soon as Wednesday. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow declined to comment.

Cust, 33, appeared in 67 games before being cut loose last July by the Mariners, for whom he batted .213 with three homers and 23 RBIs. He spent the previous four seasons with the Oakland A’s, hitting 97 homers and driving in 281 runs in that span. He’s played primarily left field, right field and designated hitter in his career.

The addition of Cust likely puts him in the mix to start in right field in an increasingly crowded group that includes Brian Bogusevic, Jason Bourgeois, J.B. Shuck and Fernando Martinez, the former top prospect of the Mets who was claimed off waivers last week.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 05:57 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RLYW: Salvaging a Sunken cost

Burnett projects to have an RA of 5.03 in CAIRO.  The following possible starting pitchers project better than that.

CC Sabathia (3.57)
Michael Pineda (4.37)
Freddy Garcia (4.55)
Brad Meyers (4.56)
Hiroki Kuroda (4.57)
Phil Hughes (4.63)
Ivan Nova (4.93)
...

If that’s true, then every start that goes to Burnett is a start that should be going to one of the above.

...

Unfortunately, since Burnett is owed $33 million over the next two years, the Yankees probably feel obligated to try and get some value out of him.

I don’t think they can do that by pitching him…. trading Burnett’s bad contract to another team for their bad contract might be a way to recoup some of that value.

Mr Dashwood Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cubs, mets, projections, white sox, yankees

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Adam Everett retires, joins Indians as special assistant

I forget if Roger Clemens said it or if someone said it to him when he went to the Astros…but the “Now I’ll/you’ll finally have a Major League shortstop behind me/you.” was pure Jeterkill.

I guess this means Adam Everett is officially retired.

Everett was released by Cleveland in the middle of his 11th big-league season last June, and the light-hitting, Gold Glove-caliber shortstop has decided to end his playing career and join the Indians’ front office as a “special assistant to baseball operations.”

Everett hit just .242 with a .294 on-base percentage and .346 slugging percentage in 880 games and never won a Gold Glove, but consistently rated among the elite shortstops in baseball according to various defensive metrics. He also earned about $12 million in addition to the signing bonus he received as the Red Sox’s first-round pick in 1998, so all in all that’s a pretty solid career.

Repoz Posted: January 13, 2012 at 06:01 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, indians

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

F-Mart to the Houston Astros

Shop smart…

One-time top Mets prospect Fernando Martinez is now a Houston Astro.

Houston, which has first dibs in waiver claims by virtue of its MLB-worst record in 2011, selected the 23-year-old outfielder…

Because Martinez has an option remaining, he needs to remain on Houston’s 40-man roster, but can be optioned to Triple-A in spring training if he does not make the major league club.

Martinez is a lifetime .183 hitter with two homers and 12 RBIs in 131 at-bats spanning the past three seasons. His biggest obstacle has been injuries, including an arthritic knee that severely limits his mobility, even when technically healthy. Including his major league activity, Martinez has averaged only 77 games a regular season since 2006.

The District Attorney Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:45 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mets

Monday, January 09, 2012

Blasts from the Past

With the Hall of Fame results being announced today, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and dig up some old scouting reports from the Baseball America archives on some of the ballot’s notable candidates. . .

8. Barry Larkin, ss, 21, 5-11, 175, R-R
Larkin looked right at home in AA, hitting .267 for Vermont. He didn’t show power (one home run in 255 at-bats), but that will come. The key for him was just getting his feet on the ground, and he was not overpowered by the high level of competition (21 strikeouts in 255 at-bats). He will have good power for a shortstop.

6. Edgar Martinez, 3b, 25, 5-11, 175, R-R
Martinez’s discipline will produce runs. He’s averaged 70 RBIs the last four years. In the field, he’s solid, with good reactions and the soft hands of a middle infielder.


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Neyer: Elect Jeff Bagwell To The Hall, And Cooperstown Will Bloom Again

Apparently “Craig” only needs a first name, like Cher, Madonna or Snooki.

This morning, Craig [Calcaterra] wrote a couple of compelling Hall of Fame-related posts.

In the first, he noted that attendance at the Museum is way, way down: more than 20 percent just from 2007 through 2011… In the second, Craig gave some Calcaterrian whatfor and whatnot to three Chicagoland Hall of Fame voters who have (again) not voted for Jeff Bagwell because of suspicions that he used performance-enhancing drugs (not including amphetamines, because hey if Willie Mays used greenies it’s cool)...

While I believe Bagwell should be in the Hall of Fame, I’ve never quite understood the argument that a Hall of Fame voter—if he thinks steroid use is germane—should ignore every scrap of evidence that doesn’t appear in the Mitchell Report or wherever… I believe that it’s intellectually indefensible to disqualify a player solely because you think he used steroids ... but I also believe it’s perfectly defensible to decide for yourself, based on everything you’ve seen and heard, if a player did use steroids.

Some of that makes sense, I hope. And I really didn’t intend to get into this whole thing. Really, I just wanted to express my mild surprise that Craig didn’t make any connection between Hall of Fame voting and Hall of Fame visitors. The Hall of Fame derives 98 percent of it publicity from one thing: new Hall of Famers. But lately—and for some years into the future, I’m afraid—a great deal of that 98 percent is going to be negative. It will be about Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield and Mike Piazza and all the terrible things they did, and there might well be years when literally nobody is elected to the Hall of Fame. You think attendance has been down? You ain’t seen nothing.

The District Attorney Posted: January 03, 2012 at 10:50 PM | 240 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, awards, baseball geeks, hall of fame, history

MLB: Astros add two to baseball operations staff

Astroland: A Team’s Obsessive Bid to Win the World’s Most Ruthless Baseball League!

The Astros have hired Sig Mejdal as Director of Decision Sciences and Stephanie Wilka as Coordinator of Amateur Scouting, General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today.

Mejdal, 46, had worked with the St. Louis Cardinals since 2005, most recently as Director, Amateur Draft Analytics. While with the Cardinals, he was involved with modeling, analysis and data-driven decision making throughout all levels of the organization and was a key contributor in the draft decision processes that led to more Major League players than any other organization during that time frame.

Mejdal earned two engineering degrees at the University of California at Davis and later completed advanced degrees in Operations Research and Cognitive Psychology/Human Factors. He has also worked at Lockheed Martin in California and for NASA. Mejdal has been active in baseball statistics and analytics since earning his membership in The Society for Baseball Research (SABR) while in grade school.

Repoz Posted: January 03, 2012 at 07:20 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, media, projections, sabermetrics

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