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Topics - toddthebod

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Beer and Queso / Avett Brothers
« on: October 07, 2019, 11:33:40 am »
I saw the Avett Brothers this past Saturday night in Brooklyn.  (Don't ask.  I bought the tickets way before the post-season schedule was announced so I had to watch the game on DVR when I got home.)

My wife was asking me how I had heard of the band, which has become one of my favorites, and which gets no radio playtime.  I was thinking about it for a while.  Did I hear them on one of my Pandora stations?  Did a friend recommend them?  And then I realized that I read about them on one of the annual music posts here.  So thanks.  I appreciate the fact that good music gets discussed here.

Talk Zone / Choose Wisely
« on: September 25, 2019, 10:02:54 am »
If you are the Astros, and you can only afford to keep one, do you keep Springer or Cole?

Talk Zone / The Mets
« on: September 18, 2019, 03:24:30 pm »
My son once asked me why I don't root for the Mets since I live in the NY metropolitan area.  And I told him that first of all, I was an Astros fan and you can only have one team.  And then I said that I could never root for the Mets (even passively) because of 1986.  And he told me to get over it.  And I said that there is no getting over 1986.

I think that I'm over it.  Maybe because the Astros finally won a world series.  Maybe because we are going through an Astros golden age and I don't need to focus on past misery.  Maybe because the Astros aren't in the National League any more and they only play the Mets every three years.  Maybe because there are actually a couple of likeable players on the Mets, including JD Davis.

I've got lots of friends who are Mets fans.  And I feel for them.  Because they are good people.  And they have had little but disappointment from their baseball team for a pretty long time.  And even when the Mets do well, they still get overshadowed by the Yankees.  So along with my friends, I've been rooting for the Mets to make the wildcard -- which is unlikely going to happen.  But still I've been rooting for it.

Curious to know if anyone else has softened up about some of your past hates. 

Beer and Queso / Louisville
« on: September 16, 2019, 01:27:48 pm »
I'm heading down to Louisville this weekend for the Bourbon and Beyond music festival.  Anyone have any suggestions for things/places/restaurants/bars not to miss?  Thanks.

Talk Zone / Verlander -- Sleep Guru
« on: July 09, 2019, 08:26:11 am »
I don't remember the last time I got more than 6 hours of sleep.  I guess that's why I'm not a professional athlete.

Talk Zone / Wade Miley
« on: February 05, 2019, 02:07:07 pm »
Is on SiriusXM baseball network now talking about the cattle business that he runs with his brother.  This guy was meant for Houston. 

Talk Zone / McCullers
« on: November 07, 2018, 04:31:05 pm »
A couple of questions:

1.  I think that service time continues when you are on the 60 day DL.  Does McCullers have options?  Could the Astros option McCullers down to the minor leagues so that they don't lose this year or is that just considered so scummy that no one would ever do that.
2.  How does McCullers get paid this year?  He's arbitration eligible.  Last year, the Astros avoided arbitration by signing him to a 1 yr. contact.  Does he get paid the same thing this year?  Does he get a raise?  Does he get a pay cut because he isn't playing?  Do the Astros go to arbitration with him over this? 

Talk Zone / Avenida Cantina
« on: October 17, 2018, 11:32:32 am »
So I found the bar/restaurant in NY to watch Astros games -- the Avenida Cantina on Avenue B.

The place has an Astros flag outside and Shiner inside. 

And there had to be at least 50 Astros fans watching the game last night -- maybe not a lot for Houston, but for New York, it was like a sold out show at the Garden.  There obviously weren't a lot of highlights, but the lot of us singing deep in the heart of Texas during the seventh inning stretch was pretty good.

Because I keep kosher, I was drinking and not eating.  But I'm told that its the worst Tex Mex food in NY. 

Pros -- lots of Astros fans and a decent tequila selection
Cons -- the food sucks and its not easy to get to by public transportation.   

Talk Zone / Ben Reiter Predicts
« on: October 11, 2018, 01:30:11 pm »
Just finished a segment on high heat. 

Says the series doesn't go back to Boston.  Astros in 5

Says the Astros are a "generational kind of team"

Reiter previously picked the Astros over in the Indians in 4.

Talk Zone / Travel to Cleveland
« on: October 04, 2018, 10:48:52 pm »
Anyone going to be in Cleveland for game 3?  I decided to drive 7 hours to see the game.

Talk Zone / Frito Pie
« on: October 02, 2018, 07:01:56 pm »
So the Jewish holiday of succot ended tonight.  And my wife and I often invite over a bunch of people over to our house after synagogue one of the days for food and drinks.

I served two gigantic platters of frito pie to all of those Yankees and Mets fans.  They didn't even know that the very food they ate was supporting the Astros.

Talk Zone / Nelson Cruz in 2019
« on: September 17, 2018, 11:24:57 am »

I also think its unlikely that Gattis is with the Astros next season.  And Nelson Cruz would be a great DH on this team. 

I guess the answer is whether they really believe that Tyler White (or JD Davis) could be successful in the fulltime DH role, and, therefore, the money that would be used to get Cruz could be better spent elsewhere. 

Talk Zone / unique item up for auction
« on: August 20, 2018, 02:38:23 pm »
A Craig Biggio signed baseball.  Okay, that's not so unique.  But this one was inscribed to Ronnie James Dio.

Talk Zone / Waiver Deals
« on: August 06, 2018, 09:08:02 am »
I was trying to think of hitters who the Astros might be able to trade for during in August.  The list isn't long.

I know that people are saying McCutchen, but I don't think he makes it to the Astros in a waiver trade.  But maybe Mark Trumbo does.  He's signed through 2019 so he does have some money coming to him, which may allow him to get through waivers.  But he's not making so much money that the Astros would shy away.  His contract in 2019 is for a "reasonable" $13.5 million.  Trumbo isn't the best defensive player, but he's not just a DH and the Astros could use him in the outfield this season.  And next year, he could replace Gattis as the DH.   

Talk Zone / Harper
« on: July 25, 2018, 11:14:26 am »
The Nationals are 7 games out of the division and 6 games out of the WC (with multiple teams ahead of them).

If they continue to slide, might they be incentivized to trade Harper before the deadline?

What would you be willing to give up to get a couple of months of Harper? 

Talk Zone / Jose Abreu Rumor
« on: June 20, 2018, 02:01:24 pm »
Read on Twitter that Gammons says that Astros and White Sox are talking about an Abreu trade.


Talk Zone / crazy outfield tonight
« on: May 22, 2018, 04:52:09 pm »
Kemp in center.  JD in left. 

Probably not the Astros best defensive outfield. 

Talk Zone / Rotation
« on: April 09, 2018, 10:01:32 pm »
Does anyone remember the Astros having a better rotation than what we are seeing right now?

Talk Zone / Yankees
« on: March 12, 2018, 11:22:37 am »
Apparently have signed Neil Walker.

They have a very good lineup.   This is going to be a scary team to face. 

Talk Zone / Spring Training
« on: February 14, 2018, 02:37:14 pm »
I just booked my tickets and will be at the March 14 and 15 Spring Training games against the Cardinals and Nationals.  Is anyone else going to be there at that time.  Love to meet you all.

I've never been to spring training in West Palm.  Are you limited to just seeing the games or can you watch the players practice on the back fields as well?  When is morning practice and when should you get there to watch. 

Beer and Queso / Bowling
« on: January 28, 2018, 05:04:14 pm »
I just bowled my high game 221 and my high series 549.

Just wanted to share.  I'm feeling pretty good right now.

Talk Zone / Bored
« on: January 22, 2018, 04:22:10 pm »
Even though the Astros made a couple of big deals, this "hot stove" season has been so boring.  So boring that the hosts on MLB Radio have to talk about pace of play.

So boring that Lance McCullers is responding to Yankee trolls on Twitter.

<blockquoteclass="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="und" dir="ltr"></p>&mdash; Lance McCullers Jr. (@LMcCullers43) January 22, 2018 <script asyncsrc="" charset="utf-8"></script>


Talk Zone / yelich
« on: January 16, 2018, 08:13:21 pm »
According to Crasnick, Yelich's relationship with the Marlins is irretrievably broken and he needs to be traded.

Call me greedy, but I'd love to get Yelich on the Astros.  Let's be real, Tucker would for sure have to be included.  I'd still be hesitant to give up Whitley.  What else gets the deal done?

Talk Zone / Dicks
« on: January 11, 2018, 09:13:59 am »
I (probably like many here) ordered Astros stuff from Dicks when they had their little internet meltdown two weeks ago.  I then received many emails saying that I was/wasn't going to get anything but that they would take care of me.  At the end they said I wasn't going to get any of the goods I ordered, but that I would get a gift card.

Last night I got a package in the mail with the Springer jersey I ordered.  I checked my credit card and was charged $9.98.  Pretty awesome.  No gift card as of yet and nothing about the rest of my order (sweatshirt and mugs).

Curious to hear about other people's experiences. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Options
« on: January 08, 2018, 12:32:28 pm »
Who are out of options this coming season? 

Talk Zone / Stanton
« on: November 30, 2017, 10:09:50 am »
I've been thinking a lot about Stanton recently.  And this post echoes a lot of what is going on in my head.

I believe that Stanton will opt out of his contract after 2020.  Which means three years of paying his admittedly ridiculous salary.  But those three years largely coincide with the window for many of the current Astros stars.

Would Stanton go to Houston?  It's not LA (which may be his top choice), but who wouldn't want to come to Houston right now.  It's a fun team that just won the world series and is in a position to win for the next several years.

Stanton batting cleanup for this team.  Good god. 

So who would you trade to get Stanton?  Fisher obviously goes.  With Stanton, Fisher is totally unnecessary.  I would trade Martes as well.  And one of Reed, Davis, Moran.  And I would take all of the Stanton money.

The Dodgers are apparently not interested because they don't want to go over the luxury tax.  Same for the Yankees.  Stanton may not be interested in San Francisco because they suck.  He apparently doesn't want to go to St. Louis.  This situation is rip for Luhnow to come in and make a tremendous deal.     

Talk Zone / Free Agents
« on: November 07, 2017, 10:17:12 am »

NYPost predicts that Astros sign Jay Bruce and Brandon Morrow. 

Talk Zone / world series stuff
« on: November 07, 2017, 08:08:46 am »
I am curious to hear about what kind of Astros stuff people have bought after the series.  And if someone found something really cool and unusual, I'd love to hear about it.

So far, my purchases have been pretty routine.  I bought a hat and a shirt.  I also bought some commemorative stuff that the Chronicle was putting out, the special SI issue, and some stuff that Topps has on their site. 

Talk Zone / Game 6
« on: October 30, 2017, 10:23:12 am »
I assume that the plan is for Verlander to pitch until his arm falls off.

Maybe you go to Harris or perhaps Morton? 

Talk Zone / Another Reason to Love AJ
« on: October 26, 2017, 04:35:09 pm »
Gets into a bar fight with trash-talking Dodgers fans.

Talk Zone / times like these ...
« on: October 24, 2017, 04:35:18 pm »

Talk Zone / Tonight's Game (Tues)
« on: October 17, 2017, 08:39:47 am »
I will be in Section 231 wearing my Astros holiday sweater and winter cap.  If anyone else is at Yankee Stadium tonight feel free to come on by and have a beer (or just cheer on the Astros).

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / BA ARticle
« on: October 16, 2017, 10:14:51 am »

Can anyone with a subscription summarize how BA rated the Astros draft?

Talk Zone / Wild Card Race
« on: September 19, 2017, 11:06:12 pm »
I have given up on the Yankmees not winning one of the wild cards.  The question is the second wild card.  I really don't want the Angels to make the playoffs.  I can just see Poo Holes killing the Astros if we faced him.  Not to mention Trout and Phillips who had 40 doubles against the Astros last week.  And I think the Astros match up well against the Twins.  On the other hand, I want the Astros to reclaim the top spot in the AL so the Angels beating the Indians would be a good thing.  I hate all of these permutations. 

Talk Zone / Christmas Morning
« on: September 01, 2017, 09:04:57 am »
I never had the experience of waking up on Christmas morning to find presents under the tree.  As an observant Jew, that just wasn't part of the deal.  And I'm not sure entirely what that feels like.  But when I woke up this morning and saw the news that the Astros had traded for Verlander ... well, this was Christmas morning for me.  I'm not sure that I properly explained to my wife why I was dancing around the bedroom shouting (nay singing) "fuck yeah" at the top of my lungs.   And I scared the dog.  But god-damn!!!!!

Thanks Jeff Luhnow.  I never doubted you.  :) 

Talk Zone / Fiers
« on: August 17, 2017, 11:04:23 am »
What's the over/under on how many HRs Fiers gives up today?  I'm saying 4.  Goldschmidt gets 2, Lamb gets 1 and someone random and unexpected (like Hermann) gets the 4th. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / 40-man roster question
« on: July 27, 2017, 10:15:25 am »
As the White Sox continue to trade major league players for prospects, I wonder how they are going to be able to manage their 40 man roster and aren't they going to start losing players in the Rule 5 draft.  The Astros had to deal with this and the White Sox seem to be accumulating even more players than the Astros ever did. 

Talk Zone / Cooperstown
« on: July 27, 2017, 09:23:42 am »
I'm driving up for the HOF induction this Sunday.  Is anyone else going?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Drew Rasmussen
« on: July 05, 2017, 03:12:52 pm »
Callis says that the Rays aren't going to be able to sign their supp 1st rd pick Drew Rasmussen and that he will either be a free agent or could return as a redshirt junior if he doesn't sign.

I wonder if the Astros might be interested.  Power pitcher with a high 90s fastball and a plus slider.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Keith Law
« on: June 22, 2017, 03:31:21 pm »
Apparently, he has an "insider" article on the ESPN website where he discusses some Astros prospects.

Could someone who has an account summarize?

Talk Zone / Rangers
« on: May 15, 2017, 12:10:46 pm »
I love the fact that the Astros are up by 7.5 games.  But I liked it a lot better when the Rangers were at the bottom of the division instead of in second.  I see their name right below the Astros and I just start getting nervous.  And now they face the Phillies -- so I would expect the Rangers' winning ways to continue. 

Talk Zone / question re starters
« on: December 07, 2016, 09:30:23 pm »
So lets assume that the Astros go out and get another starting pitcher which seems to be the plan.  What the hell do they do with all the starters that they already have?

Keuchel, McCullers, McHugh are locks for the rotation. 

I'm assuming that Morton has to be a starter because we just paid a bunch of money for him.

So there's the starting five (when you include Quintana or whoever else they get).

Then you have Devenski and Feliz who I assume stay in the bullpen.

Then you have Fiers.  What do you do with him?  He hasn't been very good out of the bullpen.  Does he even have any options left? 

And you have Musgrove.  I assume that he would go back to AAA.

What about Brad Peacock who pitched really well as a starter when he came back?  Does he also go back to AAA?  Does he have options left?

And Brady Rogers and David Paulino go back to AAA.

So I count 12 potential starting pitchers. 

Talk Zone / Allison Footer
« on: August 22, 2016, 10:01:16 pm »
Posted a Scott Baio picture on Twitter. 

Talk Zone / Thank God for Rain
« on: August 10, 2016, 11:22:35 pm »
What a miserable game.  And now it totally disappeared -- as if it never happened. 

Beer and Queso / Interesting Concert
« on: June 15, 2016, 10:40:34 pm »
So I got a $15 coupon from ticketmaster and I was going through the available shows.  I saw that Hall & Oates was playing and a fit of nostalgia hit and I thought that I might get tickets.  This was the first concert I ever attended (the H2O tour at the Summit) plus my wife likes them.  And then I saw that the two opening bands were Trombone Shorty and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.  And then I was like, hey, this is going to be a pretty decent show.  Kind of psyched.

Talk Zone / Fister
« on: June 15, 2016, 01:29:50 pm »
Where would the Astros be without him?  Right now, he is the only starter that I have any confidence in. 

Talk Zone / Lance McCullers
« on: June 05, 2016, 08:44:52 pm »
I was really concerned after the first inning, but good god, he pitched a great game afterwards.  What a curve.

Talk Zone / Astros/Yankees
« on: March 07, 2016, 12:16:23 pm »
Listening to the game reminded me that I didn't buy my tickets yet for the first series at Yankee Stadium.  Is anyone else from here going to go? 

Talk Zone / Cliff Lee
« on: December 03, 2015, 10:05:02 pm »
He's been cleared to pitch.  As he is coming off an injury and will be 38 during the middle of next season, I can't imagine that he will get anything more than a two year contract and probably at a decent price.  I wonder if the Astros might be interested in a guy like this.  If he is healthy, he could be a great addition.

Talk Zone / Matt Harvey
« on: November 02, 2015, 10:09:29 pm »
I wonder what it would take to pry Harvey from the Mets.  The Mets could certainly use some offense and there are a number of people in New York who are not enthused with Harvey.

Appel, Tucker, and Valbuena?  (I know that Valbuena seems a little strange, but the Mets are going to need a second baseman if Murphy leaves).  Probably not enough.   

Talk Zone / Anyone else at Yankee Stadium???
« on: October 06, 2015, 09:08:28 pm »
I'm in section 417 in the Pettite jersey!

Talk Zone / Oliver Perez
« on: September 01, 2015, 12:49:16 am »
I know he's only a small cog in the bullpen, but Perez has been absolutely awful in his last couple of games.   The Astros have so many good options in the bullpen.  Perez just isn't one of them right now.

Talk Zone / Starting pitching
« on: August 13, 2015, 11:24:40 am »
Out of curiosity, what do you see the Astros doing next season.  The Astros have Keuchel, McHugh, Feldman, and Fiers, and I assume that they are going to make a run at Kazmir.

So what do they do with McCullers, Velasquez, and Appel? 

and why is Peacock still on the team?  He sucked when he was healthy. 

Talk Zone / A good problem to have
« on: June 16, 2015, 10:42:05 pm »
What do the Astros do with Jed Lowrie when he comes back from injury?  He's not going to play shortstop.  He's not going to play second.  The widely held belief was that he was going to play third when Correa was ready (next season).  The problem is that Luis Valbuena is a very good defensive third-baseman who is on pace to hit 39 HRs.  Yes, I wish that Valbuena was more consistent and was hitting for better average, but I don't think he sits. 

Talk Zone / I don't understand tonight's lineup at all
« on: June 08, 2015, 09:30:40 pm »
Why are the Astros playing both Villar and Gonzalez?  Why is either one of them playing at all?  Why is Villar back in left field. 

Why the hell is Altuve batting 3rd?  Can we please move him back to leadoff. 

Why are Gattis and Carter batting back to back? 

Beer and Queso / Houston Marathon
« on: January 15, 2015, 04:18:32 pm »
I'm down in Houston to run the marathon.  Is anyone else running?  If so, I'm happy to talk Astros for a couple of hours.   If anyone is coming to watch, my bib says Todd the Bod on it. 

Beer and Queso / Dr. Dog
« on: January 15, 2015, 04:15:52 pm »
I don't remember who recommended Dr. Dog in the music thread, but I've become a big fan thanks to that recommendation.  Saw them twice this past week in NY.  Great shows.

Talk Zone / Trading from surplus
« on: December 15, 2014, 04:36:44 pm »
With Lowrie playing short, I'm wondering if the astros might want to take a shortstop like Gonzalez and try packaging him and something else for Jon Niese.  The Mets seem like they want to trade one or more of Niese, Gee or Colon.  Niese is at a pretty decent price for the next 4 years (including 2 option years) maxing out in 2018 at 11 million. 

Talk Zone / Chase Headley? Really?
« on: December 08, 2014, 08:43:29 pm »
Bill Madden says that it was the Astros who made the ridiculous 4 year, $65 million offer for Chase Headley.  This makes no sense to me and smacks of desperation.  Headley had one good year in 2012.  Otherwise, he's been fairly pedestrian.  And two of the Astros best hitting prospects -- Moran and Ruiz -- are third-basemen.  I'd rather give Dominguez another chance than waste $65 million of the Astros' finite budget on Headley.

Beer and Queso / Houston Marathon
« on: September 09, 2014, 12:53:50 pm »
As some of you guys know, about ten years ago my brother donated a life-saving kidney to my father.  To commemorate this occasion, I am running the Houston Marathon in January and raising money for the national kidney foundation.  If anyone wants to come out and cheer me on that would be awesome.  I promise to throw out lots of patented TTB ridiculous trade proposals on the fly.  If you want to help support the national kidney foundation, you can click on the link below.  Thanks for your support.

Talk Zone / Billy Butler
« on: November 14, 2013, 04:52:41 pm »

Seems that he might be available for trade.  His contract isn't terrible because he's only got one year left plus there's an option.  So if the Astros are looking for a short-term solution to give Singleton a little more time in the minors, he's not a bad choice.

I have no idea what the Royals would be looking for, but since he's a 1 year player, I wouldn't give up a whole lot.
[From Cots]
Billy Butler 1b-dh
4 years/$30M (2011-14), plus 2015 club option

    4 years/$30M (2011-14), plus 2015 club option
        signed extension with Kansas City 1/22/11 (avoided arbitration, $4.3M-$3.4M)
        $2M signing bonus
        11:$3M, 12:$8M, 13:$8M, 14:$8M, 15:$12.5M club option ($1M buyout)
        option may increase by $2M to $14.5M based on performance
        assignment bonus if traded

Talk Zone / desperate times
« on: February 04, 2013, 09:41:23 pm »
I can't believe that either Marwin Gonzalez or Tyler Greene is going to be the Astros shortstop this season.  Jason Bartlett is still available.  And I have to believe that the Astros could get him for real cheap. 

Talk Zone / Funny
« on: July 17, 2012, 08:06:30 am »
Wade Boggs is on WFAN this morning and is talking about the arbitration process.  When the hosts asked him how he lost so manny arbitration proceedings when he had won 3 batting titles, Boggs simply replied:

"Tal Smith"

Talk Zone / now that's what I call an audition
« on: July 27, 2010, 10:17:30 pm »
Myers pitched a beautiful game tonight.  I wonder how many scouts were in attendance tonight. 

Talk Zone / Matt Capps = Astros' Bitch
« on: June 03, 2010, 04:13:12 pm »
This was looking like a disheartening loss.  Kudos to the Astros, to the Nats bad fielding, and to Berkman and Lee who are finally showing signs of coming out of season-long slumps.

Talk Zone / When your child asks you . . .
« on: April 22, 2010, 09:26:36 am »
Daddy . . . why do you hate the Cubs so much?  What do you say?

I ask this question because I took my son to see the Mets/Cubs game last night.  And he said to me:  "I understand why you don't like the Mets.  1986.  But why do you hate the Cubs so much?" 

Talk Zone / Fantasy Baseball
« on: March 22, 2010, 12:37:08 pm »
Yesterday was my auction in a keeper league that I've been in for about 7 years.  We had a new owner this season.  His name is Jed Latkin who apparently is the star in a new movie called Fantasyland, based on the book of the same name.  Hopefully, I will be kicking his ass this year.  I have a couple of Astros on my team -- Berkman, Towles, Castro, and Norris. 

Talk Zone / interesting stats re Sammy Gervacio
« on: January 20, 2010, 12:02:38 pm »

Talk Zone / curious
« on: January 14, 2010, 11:37:11 am »
Adam LaRoche, who apparently had previously turned down a 2yr $17.5 million offer from the SF Giants now signed with the Diamondbacks for 1 yr $4-5 million.  Obviously a bad decision by him and his agent.

But this started me wondering whether Tejada might come back.  I know that Wade said that there was no chance of bringing him back given that Tejada wanted a multi-year deal (, but considering where the market is right now and the apparent lack of potential suitors for Tejada's services, maybe Tejada's worldview has changed. 

Talk Zone / doug davis claimed off waivers
« on: August 12, 2009, 09:32:09 pm »
Hmmm.  No team announced.  But this would be the exact type of deal that Ed Wade should have made.

Talk Zone / I don't understand the baserunning decisions last night
« on: July 28, 2009, 08:21:08 am »
Michael Bourn decides to steal with a 3-0 count.  Matsui's not swinging on a 3-0 count.  Why not wait to see if Matsui gets walked.  Not a huge deal.  But it's a pretty aggressive decision given the count. 

But then in the 13th.  Bourn gets a lead-off single.  And immediately the Astros sacrifice him over.  Why not steal at that point?  Fox is catching.  According to the Cubs broadcasters, he hasn't played at catcher this year either in the majors or the minors and he has never been known as a defensive player.  Why waste an out when you can get him over to second more easily by stealing?

Talk Zone / calf muscle injuries
« on: July 21, 2009, 09:31:17 am »
About 6 weeks ago, I was playing softball on my beer league team.  The field was wet and muddy.  When I was running to first (on a ball that I smoked by the way) my cleats got stuck in the mud and I pulled the calf muscle in my left leg.  I barely made it to first.  Between innings, I stretched it out and tried massaging the muscle.  It felt a little better so I limped back into the field.  A couple of innings later, I tried batting and hurt myself again running to first.  My calf just couldn't handle going from standing still to a full sprint.  I took myself out of the game and decided to take off a couple weeks to try and heal. 

In the two weeks that followed, I saw a doctor who told me that the muscle was not torn, but that I pulled the muscle.  Following his instructions, I iced the muscle, heated the muscle, massaged the muscle, stretched the muscle, and did some very light jogs when I felt up to it.  I took pain killers for the pain and muscle relaxants to help.  Before the next game, I rubbed icy hot into the muscle, stretched, wore a neoprene sleeve over the muscle, took warmup runs at different speeds.  And I felt okay.  Well enough to play.  And, of course, the first time at bat, I pulled the calf muscle again. 

It has taken a full 6 weeks to feel almost back to normal.  I still can't run at full speed, but at least I don't hurt myself every time I run.

Watching Lance run to second on his double was painful for me because he pretty much looked about as well as I have looked over the past couple of weeks.  I know that Lance is tough.  I know that he is following the example set by Bagwell and Biggio.  I know that the Astros really need Lance right now if they are going to have any chance to make the playoffs.  I just don't know how his leg is going to get better if he keeps putting stress on the muscle.           

Talk Zone / Inspiration
« on: July 17, 2009, 05:58:10 pm »
I was watching one of my favorite movies last night (after the Astros game ended, of course) and I was thinking that this could be our inspiration as we cheer on the Astros and hope for another second-half run.

Talk Zone / Chicago
« on: July 06, 2009, 03:29:26 pm »
I am going to be in Chicago this Sunday.  I've never been to the bar called Wrigley Field.  Anyway, the Cubs are playing the Cardinals Sunday night (ESPN game) and I am thinking about going to heckle both teams.  Anyone interested?

Talk Zone / Pudge
« on: May 15, 2009, 09:22:06 am »
When the Astros signed Pudge, there was a lot of talk about how he wasn't a good game caller and didn't have good relationships with the pitchers.  Wandy says otherwise.  Innuresting.

“I’ve learned a lot from Pudge,” Wandy Rodriguez said. “He’s a very smart catcher. And with him I’m not afraid to throw any pitch at any count because I trust the way he calls games.”

“I’ve learned to have more confidence in myself,” Wandy said. “He’s given me a lot of confidence this season. For a player of his caliber in the top category of players in history, he makes it easy to feel comfortable with him.

“He’s like a friend, and that has given me more confidence.”

Talk Zone / awesome ending to USA/Puerto Rico game
« on: March 17, 2009, 10:04:10 pm »
Pudge.  Welcome to the Astros.

Talk Zone / wtf?
« on: January 14, 2009, 06:07:18 pm »
Astros signed Danny Graves to a minor league deal?

Hmmmmmmm.  Astros confirm.

Toby Hall is an interesting signing.  Is he the veteran catcher that the Astros were looking at?

Talk Zone / Carl Pavano anyone?
« on: December 11, 2008, 10:04:45 am »
I read somewhere that the expectations regarding Pavano is a 2-3 million contract with incentives.  It seems to me that this might not be a terrible idea for the Astros given their purported financial limitations.

Talk Zone / Javier Vazquez anyone?
« on: November 04, 2008, 09:38:55 am »
Apparently, it wouldn't take much to get Vazquez.  The Astros would just have to be prepared to pick up the remainder of his salary -- 11.5 million in 2009 and 11.5 million in 2010.,0,1769835.story

Talk Zone / dreaming about baseball
« on: October 22, 2008, 07:09:50 pm »
So I had a dream that the Astros signed Mike Lowell as a free agent.  My first thought was that it was a good deal because Lowell is a very good defender.  And then I started thinking about his injury status.  And then I started wondering where the Astros were going to play Wigginton, but then I realized that they were going to move him to first and Lance Berkman to right because the Astros were going to trade Pence to get Peavy.  And then I woke up.  Fucking wierd.  Lowell isn't even a free agent.

Talk Zone / Matsui
« on: September 26, 2008, 10:46:18 am »
During Matsui's long time on the DL, I had almost forgotten what a great player he was with the Astros this season and how much better the lineup is with him in it.  It is a pleasure watching him at bat and in the field.

This injury looks really ugly.  Dives for a ball and misses.  Ball shatters his glasses and bounces off his face.

Talk Zone / torn . . .
« on: September 03, 2008, 01:41:21 pm »
Let me preface this by saying that I hate the Mets.  More than any other team in baseball.  More than the Cardinals, more than the Cubs, more than the Dodgers, more than the Braves.  Even more than the Yankmees.  I hate their stadium.  I hate their fans.  I hate their fucking "let's go Mets" cheer.  I hate the "ya gotta believe" signs.  And "Meet the Mets" is the most annoying song ever written.  I hate the Mets even more than Craig hates the Reds.  Last year's Mets collapse was a thing of beauty and I can only hope for a repeat performance this season.  But I have been torn the past few days.   

On the one hand, if the Mets beat the Brewers, the Astros are closer to being the wild card from the national league.  On the other hand, the Astros are not likely going to catch the Brewers (and they also have to pass the Cardinals and the Phillies) and every Mets win brings the Mets that much closer to the playoffs.  What to do?  Who to pull for?  (Make your own masturbation comment here).   

With the Mets taking a 6 run lead in the first, the whole issue seems pretty academic right now and the Mets are probably going to sweep.  But it's caused a lot of hand-wringing in my house.  (Make another masturbation comment here).

Talk Zone / do the Astros resign Loretta?
« on: September 03, 2008, 11:30:11 am »
With David Newhan playing decent baseball (albeit in limited at bats), do the Astros resign Loretta for next season?  And if that the Astros don't resign Loretta, is the team looking at a bench for next year of Erstad, Blum, Newhan, Towles, and a 5th outfielder?

Talk Zone / didn't see this before -- Cabrera?
« on: August 25, 2008, 03:03:02 pm »
Jim Moloney says in his blog that the Red Sox contacted the Astros about Erstad "but were rebuffed."  Does anyone have any additional information.  I don't recall having seen this.  I wonder what they were offering.

Talk Zone / Berkman's Testimonial
« on: August 13, 2008, 04:14:01 pm »
So I haven't seen any discussion of Faith & Family night at Minute Maid Park.  I think it's a little strange to have a player give "testimony" before a game.  Was this his idea?  Also, Lance is only budgeted for 15 minutes.  What's going to happen?  Has this ever happened before at an MLB game?

While flipping back and forth between the Astros blowout and the Twins/Yankmees game, I heard an interesting story about a conversation between Astronaut Robert Cabana (who had thrown out the ceremonial first pitch the night before) and Adam Everett.  Found the article and here it is:

"[Cabana] was a season-ticket holder in Houston and that made me his all-time favorite shortstop, supposedly," Everett said of Cabana. "He was telling me that and then said, 'I just wish you hit a little better.' It was sort of a double-edged compliment."  Cabana's comment was overheard by several occupants of the Twins dugout, including manager Ron Gardenhire.  "Gardy gave me this shocked look and said, 'Did he really just say that?' " Everett said.

Cabana's bio (he looks like a tool):

Talk Zone / Definition of "Balls"
« on: July 23, 2008, 05:33:02 pm »
The Astros sending out an email today with the heading:  "Trade Increases Astros' Playoff Hopes."

Well I suppose if the Astros playoff hopes were previously .001% and now they are .002%, the e-mail is true.  But really . . . who are they fucking kidding.

Talk Zone / can we please end the Runelvys Hernandez experiment
« on: July 07, 2008, 07:54:40 pm »
Bring back Chris Sampson.  Anything has to be better than this.

Talk Zone / Darrel Rasner Interview
« on: June 30, 2008, 01:15:17 pm »
Anyone know what they serve at MMP?

IIATMS: Best lockerroom pre-/post-game spread?
DR: Tampa and Houston, hands down.

Talk Zone / DePodesta's blog
« on: May 13, 2008, 06:20:19 pm »
Kind of mindboggling that Paul DePodesta now has a blog where he talks about the Padres.

I wonder if we can expect this from all teams in the future.

Talk Zone / Jimmy Kimmel . . . fan of the mud and blood
« on: May 06, 2008, 11:26:55 pm »

Talk Zone / Astros Buddies
« on: April 24, 2008, 04:05:59 pm »
So I was signing up my kids for Astros Buddies today online (yes, I know I'm a little late) and I saw that you could still choose Bagwell and Biggio as your child's favorite player.  Does anyone remember if Bagwell was a choice last season?  It seems a little strange to offer retired players -- I understand it in this case -- but I don't remember if the Astros have ever done this before.

Talk Zone / for anyone at the game last night
« on: April 08, 2008, 11:32:02 am »
Didn't see the opening day ceremonies on the out-of-town baseball package.  Did they introduce the entire team?  If so, what was the crowd reaction to Jose Cruz, Jr. during the introductions.  What about when he got his at bat.  I could hear smatterings of Cruuuuuuuz.  How loud was it?

Talk Zone / a pox on the Cubs and the Brewers
« on: March 31, 2008, 05:24:05 pm »
Wood gives up 3 runs in the top of the 9th.  Gagne gives up 3 runs in the bottom of the 9th.

Talk Zone / baseball movie brackets
« on: March 28, 2008, 10:10:18 am »
MLB is doing a "brackets" style contest of baseball movies.  The link is below.  Something to think about (besides the woeful Astros' starting pitching) on the last Friday of the void.

Talk Zone / I know it's spring . . .
« on: March 27, 2008, 01:42:47 pm »
and spring stats don't count for a lot, but . . . Cruz and Erstad (probably the two biggest question marks on the bench going into the season) are having great springs.

I really like a bench of Cruz, Erstad, Loretta, Blum, and Ausmus.  Really solid.

Talk Zone / Brewers Release Pitcher
« on: March 25, 2008, 01:52:41 pm »
From Rotoworld:

Brewers released RHP Claudio Vargas.

It looks like Vargas is signed for $3.6 million for this year, which may have been why the Brewers weren't able to trade him.  He has a 3.86 ERA this spring (not bad) but his numbers in the majors have not been great.  Would the Astros be interested?

Talk Zone / would you trade within the division?
« on: March 18, 2008, 04:26:35 pm »
Reports in Cincy that they are looking for a catcher and Freel might be the bait.

The Astros could trade Loretta to the Orioles for whichever prospect they can get back and trade Quintero to the Reds for Freel.

Freel has a couple of advantages over Loretta.  (1) He plays the infield as well as the outfield, which makes him more valuable as a supersub.  (2) He has the ability to steal bases.  Assuming that the Astros do not keep Abercrombie on the roster, there is little speed on the bench (Cruz?  Erstad?)  Freel is also signed for 2009, which isn't a terrible thing. 

Talk Zone / You know how I know you're gay?
« on: February 28, 2008, 08:46:31 am »
I'm a little excited about it because I want to see guys in real live action . . . You can play against yourself and all that other stuff, but it helps when you get the juices flowing for real.

Talk Zone / Did I miss this about Towles?
« on: February 14, 2008, 11:05:12 am »
Likes to hunt, involved of lots of church activities, and has a smoking hot girlfriend.

I think he'll fit in well on the Astros and shouldn't hurt Berkman's beloved team chemistry.

Just checked out the products section.  He's really into god.

Talk Zone / Twins sign Livan?
« on: February 12, 2008, 08:56:31 am »
1 yr. contract -- 5 million.

Talk Zone / Ringolsby says the Mets are about to sign Livan Hernandez
« on: January 25, 2008, 10:44:37 am »

This would be too bad.  Livan appears to be the best free agent pitcher (not named Clemens) left on the market.

Talk Zone / Non-Baseball Topic for a Slow Friday
« on: January 11, 2008, 12:47:19 pm »
What was the first rock song you really remember listening to.

Mine was "Two Tickets to Paradise" by Eddie Money. 

I don't think that the answers to this question are going to be pretty. 

Talk Zone / Another reason to hate the Comical
« on: January 09, 2008, 02:50:32 pm »
From McTaggert's Blog:

Appell, who attended Penn University, went undrafted, but his father Andy -- a longtime Mets season ticket holder who had attended the Mets' fantasy camp in Port St. Lucie -- had made acquaintances through the fantasy camp and helped arrange a tryout in Port St. Lucie.

I never heard of Penn University.  It's the University of Pennsylvania damnit.  Or just Penn.

McTaggert must have attended Texas University.

Talk Zone / going through the list of available free agents . . .
« on: December 18, 2007, 09:47:10 am »
Setting aside the ususal gang of idiots whose names we've been throwing out, hows bout:

Micah Bowie -- probably can give him a minor league contract.  left-handed pitcher and he actually pitched pretty well in relief before the Nats tried making him a starter.

Armando Benitez -- not as the closer, but as a set-up man.  his fastball isn't what it used to be but he still pitches in the low 90s and he would probably go for cheap.  not a bad reclamation project.

And as for starting pitchers:

The Astros clearly need an innings-eating pitcher (thus the Livian, Jennings talk).

In addition, would Wade Miller sign a minor league contract and take an invitation to spring training?  Might he have something left after a couple years of recovery from injury?  What about Tony Armas?

Talk Zone / Nice Analysis to Revisit
« on: December 18, 2007, 09:12:48 am »
MLB Trade Rumors posted the following analysis of the Astros' needs back in September.

It's worth looking at again, because in some ways it was prescient.  The Astros did work a trade with the Orioles with Tejada with Patton as the centerpiece.  And the Astros found a veteran bat to replace Biggio instead of going with Burke.  But what is most interesting to me is the analysis of the Astros starting pitching, which the writer called a "luxury."  Essentially, the writer thought that Wandy and Williams were adequate 3-4 starters, that Oswalt was a solid 1 and that either Backe or Sampson were fine as the #5.  I somewhat agree with this analysis.  I think that Backe and Wandy are fine as the 3-4 and that Woody or Sampson are adequate 5s.     

Needs and Luxuries: Houston Astros

Today, we'll take a look at the Astros.  They'll install a fresh regime this winter and may do some major retooling.  It's about time.

C - J.R. Towles
1B - Lance Berkman
2B - Chris Burke
SS - Adam Everett
3B - Ty Wigginton
LF - Carlos Lee
CF - Hunter Pence
RF - Luke Scott

SP - Roy Oswalt
SP - Wandy Rodriguez
SP - Woody Williams
SP - Chris Sampson
SP - Brandon Backe/Matt Albers/Troy Patton/Juan Gutierrez

Closer - Brad Lidge
Setup - Chad Qualls

(Please do not post entire copyright material - to read the rest of the analysis, click on the link provided - thanks! )

Talk Zone / Bagwell not named in report
« on: December 13, 2007, 12:59:02 pm »
although there is a discussion of an unnamed member of the Astros who discussed steroids with Caminiti.

Talk Zone / Clemens in the Mitchell Report
« on: December 13, 2007, 08:49:20 am »
So says Mike and Mike quoting ESPN the magazine.  Bwahahahahahahahhahahahahahahaa.  Can the Astros terminate the personal services contract? 

Talk Zone / Just a Thought
« on: December 12, 2007, 11:58:50 pm »
There was some talk in the monstrous thread below about possibly trading Pence for Lincecum.  Obviously, even if the Astros were willing to trade Pence, the Giants are out of the outfield market.  But I wonder if the Astros were willing to make Pence available, whether they could get Bay and Ian Snell from the Pirates.  The Pirates have been talking about trading both. 

Talk Zone / Noah Lowry?
« on: December 06, 2007, 03:47:36 pm »
Heyman reports that the Giants have approached the Yankees about Matsui because their offense is so bad and would likely be offering someone like Lowry -- i.e. a young pitcher not named Cain or Lincecum.  I'm wondering if the Giants might be interested in Luke as an alternative.  The offensive production between Matsui isn't so different at this point in Matsui's career and, believe it or not, Luke is a much better outfielder than Matsui.  The Giants might also be interested because Luke isn't going to cost anything like Matsui would.  And if Luke alone couldn't get the deal done, maybe a lower level pitching prospect could sweeten the deal.

Talk Zone / Haren?
« on: December 05, 2007, 12:27:28 pm »
I'm wondering if the Astros couldn't put together a competitive package for Haren who is signed relatively cheaply for the next 3 seasons (including the team option for the 3rd season)

Maybe Patton, Albers, Einertson, and Burke.

Is it a lot to give up.  Yes.  But Einertson is real surplus since the Astros outfield appears set for the next 5 years.  Burke is also surplussage and the A's have expressed interest in him in the past.  The biggest loss would be the two pitchers, but if the Astros can put together a rotation of Oswalt, Haren, Wandy, Backe, and Williams for next season, it would seem to me to be a very strong rotation.

"Meanwhile, the Twins also are discussing trades involving closer Joe Nathan, with the Astros being one possible suitor."

From the same article:

"The Rockies are among the clubs interested in Astros second baseman Chris Burke, but fear that the Astros won't deal with them after getting burned in the Jason Jennings trade last off-season."


Talk Zone / Dan Uggla?
« on: November 14, 2007, 11:26:17 am »
Could be available if the Marlins trade for Kendrick.

They are looking for catchers, centerfielders, and pitchers.

Sapp?  Anderson?  Einertson?  Some pitching prospects.  Not the prototypical # 2 hitter in the lineup and doesn't have a lot of speed.  But nice pop from second base. 

Talk Zone / Blum back in Mud and Blood?
« on: November 14, 2007, 11:10:39 am »
So says he.

That would be a nice signing.  He always seems to get big hits.

Talk Zone / Tom Glavine? Please say no.
« on: November 09, 2007, 09:39:00 am »
Setting aside the fact that he is a Brave and a Met -- pretty good reasons to never want him on the Astros -- he is not particularly good at this stage in his career and is very inconsistent. 

Talk Zone / Peavy?
« on: November 08, 2007, 01:59:11 pm »
From Buster Olney:

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Yankees and Padres briefly discussed a trade that would have sent Jake Peavy to New York for Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera.

It's not going to happen, though that would have been worth doing from the Yankees' perspective. Peavy, who is two years away from free agency, might become available next winter. The Padres will want to keep him for 2008.

Could the Astros package Luke and Troy Patton and I don't know what else for Peavy?  An Oswalt/Peavey 1-2 punch would look great at the top of the rotation.

Talk Zone / bwahahahaha -- fuck the yankmees
« on: October 08, 2007, 11:08:48 pm »
Now that New York doesn't have a team in the playoffs, I'm betting that the whole city stops watching baseball.  So much for New York fans being the best fans in baseball.  (Yes, they claim that here in NY).

Talk Zone / new job -- non-BB
« on: August 20, 2007, 03:24:19 pm »
After 7 years at Morgan Lewis and 13 years in private practice, I have decided to change career paths.  Starting in October, I will be working for the SEC where I have taken the position of Senior Trial Counsel.  Friday was my last day and I am looking forward to spending the next 6 weeks taking it easy, getting a tan, and watching lots of baseball.  In the meantime, you can still reach me at my home e-mail address which is listed in my profile or send me PM. 

Talk Zone / Munson
« on: July 30, 2007, 09:38:48 am »
Setting aside the fact that Munson doesn't have a very good arm, does anyone know the Astros impression of Munson's other defensive abilities?  Do they think he calls a good game?  Do they think that he blocks the plate well?

I'm just wondering how the Astros view Munson and whether there is a chance that he will be the starting catcher next season.

Talk Zone / Milton Bradley available -- anyone interested?
« on: June 21, 2007, 03:07:34 pm »
Oakland just designated him for assignment.

Too bad he can't pitch the 7th inning.

Talk Zone / A-Rod
« on: May 30, 2007, 10:09:28 am »
I'm wondering if the Astros couldn't trade for A-Rod now if they wanted.

His picture on the cover of the NY Post with another woman might be the final straw convincing A-Rod to leave NY.

The Yankees need bullpen help.  They are having problems bridging the cap between their starters and Mariano.

Ensberg and Lidge for A-Rod.  Ensberg might fit into that Scott Brosius "role player" type at third that the Yankees seem to have been missing for a couple seasons and may help in the Yankee clubhouse by getting rid of the distraction.  And maybe a change of scenery will help Ensberg.  Lidge has been looking much better and he also provides a alternative for next season if the Yankees decide not to sign Mariano.

If the Astros really wanted to liven up their offense, they could probably move A-Rod back to ss and play Lamb at third. 

This is clearly a move for this season for the Astros (as A-Rod is surely going to opt out of his contract), but the team wouldn't be giving up any "future" as I don't think that either Ensberg or Lidge are going to be with the Astros next season (although it would make sense for the Yankees to resign both).  A-Rod isn't the perfect solution, but I think that he desperately needs to get out of NY and that playing in a low pressure (one-newspaper) city like Houston could do him a world of good.

Talk Zone / got my tickets
« on: February 08, 2007, 03:53:57 pm »
No, not for opening day, but for the Sunday June 3rd game against the Jakes.  If anyone has plans to be at the game, let me know.  I would love to meet some of the regulars here.  And it's "Kids run the Bases" day.

Talk Zone / Paul Ricciarini is going to be on MLB radio between 11-12
« on: February 06, 2007, 11:36:57 am »
That's central time.  So says the schedule for today.

Talk Zone / thinking about the rotation -- warning, trade suggestion
« on: February 05, 2007, 01:19:00 pm »
In Rosenthal's article regarding Trachsel, he notes that the Astros are still exploring trades for pitchers but says that Trachsel would be cheaper than Penny or Lieber, two pitchers that might be available.

So I was thinking -- not about Trachsel (who I can't stand to watch) but about Brad Penny.  And I wonder what it might take to get Penny.  The Dodgers were clearly looking for a corner outfielder at one point in exchange for Penny -- at least until they signed Luis Gonzalez.  I don't know what they are currently feeling about corner outfielders.  But I was thinking that the Astros might package Luke Scott and Morgan Ensberg for Penny and Wilson Betemit.  I guess that prospects could also be involved.

Penny would certainly solidify the Astros staff and the team would not have to go into the season with two unknowns in the rotation.  Betemit seems to be a pretty good hitter, although he strikes out too much.  I don't really know anything about his fielding abilities but I think that he was originally a prospect at ss.  And the Dodgers were planning on using Betemit at third this season.

With the subtraction of Ensberg, the payroll increases by only $3 million, which would seem doable for the team.  And Penny is also signed for two more years ($8.5 and $8.75 which is very reasonable given the present market).  

I guess that either Lane, Hidalgo, or hopefully Pence replaces Scott in right field.

Talk Zone / god's messenger has been on New York radio all day
« on: January 11, 2007, 06:13:03 pm »
Basically, he is repeating his mantra that the Astros refused to go to two years even though he said that he would not exercise the option if he was hurt.  And he can't understand why the Astros wouldn't do that.

He is on ESPN radio right now.  So far he has used the word pray (as in "I prayed on the decision" or "I pray that I will win some games for the Yankees") at least 10 times.

Talk Zone / interesting article and its import to the Astros
« on: December 28, 2006, 04:14:05 pm »
Below is a link to an interesting article in "The Hardball Times" about average ERAs for the different pitchers in a five-man rotation.  

According to this study, the Astros #4 pitcher had an ERA of 5.26, which was towards the bottom of the league.  Only the Phillies (5.38), Rockies (5.45), Cardinals (5.68), the Nationals (5.58), and the Cubs (5.78) were worse.

The Astros #5 starter had an ERA of 5.92.  This was actually much better than most of the other teams in the National League.  (In alphabetical order the following teams had worse ERAs from this position:  ARI, ATL, CHN, CIN, COL, FLA, MIL, NYM, PHL, PIT, StL, and WASH).  The Cubs #5 pitcher had a whopping average ERA of 7.40.

The article suggests to me that pitching overall was terrible last season and gives some basis to understand why teams appear to be overpaying for what is perceived as mediocre pitching.  If a team in the NL can get a #4 or #5 pitcher than can maintain an ERA of under 5.00, that team would have a tremendous advantage.  And given the status of pitching in baseball, perhaps pitchers like Suppan and Weaver are not mediocre at all.  According to the study, a pitcher in the NL with an ERA between 4.31 and 4.84 would be your prototypical #3 starter.

The information in the article would also suggest that the the fact that the Astros #4-5 pitchers sucked balls was less of a factor for the Astros not making the playoffs in 2006 (because most other teams had terrible pitching as well in the bottom of the rotation) than the Astros' hitting, which stands to improve in 2007.


The Link

Talk Zone / Toby Hall
« on: December 13, 2006, 01:06:40 am »
Hall was non-tendered by the Dodgers.  I wonder if he might be the right fit for the Astros as a backup catcher.

Talk Zone / Rocco Baldelli
« on: November 16, 2006, 11:31:14 am »
Devil Rays are offering Rocco Baldelli for "premium young pitching"

The Link

Baldelli is very affordable.  Here is his contract information courtesy of "Cot's Baseball Contracts."

07:$0.75M, 08:$2.25M, 09:$6M club option ($4M buyout), 10:$8M club option, 11:$9M club option ($2M buyout - 2010 & 2011 options must be exercised together)
$4M escalator if Baldelli has 600 Plate Appearances in 2006
$1.75M in 2007, increasing 07 salary to $2.5M
$2.25M in 2008, increasing 08 salary to $4M
performance bonuses for 2007 & 2008 if Baldelli fails to reach 600 PAs in 2006.  

Let's assume that Hirsh is untouchable.  If you were the Astros, would you trade up tp two of Nieve, Buchholtz, Albers, Patton for Baldelli?

Talk Zone / Josh Johnson or Scott Olsen?
« on: November 15, 2006, 04:57:07 pm »
The Link,0,354093.column?coll=sfla-sports-front

Marlins are also interested in Willy T.

Archive / Jason Jennings anyone?
« on: November 14, 2006, 03:42:19 pm »
NYPost says that the Rockies are making Jennings available and the Astros might make a good trading partner since the Rockies are looking for a young centerfielder in return.

The Link

Jennings is signed for 2007 at a very reasonable 5.5 million but will be a free agent in 2008.  Anyone interested in Jennings in exchange for Wily T?

Oh, and Jennings is from Dallas so he may have a ranch outside of Houston.  So I guess a long-term deal is not entirely out of the question.

Talk Zone / Marlins interested in Wily T?
« on: October 23, 2006, 02:58:23 pm »
So says the Palm Beach Post.  The article says that the Marlins would be looking to package a couple of "surplus" pitchers.  Somehow, I can't imagine that the Astros would be interested in that deal.  But maybe he could be packaged to the Marlins for something more significant.

The Link

Talk Zone / free agent pitchers
« on: October 18, 2006, 06:45:40 pm »
Mike and Mad Dog on WFAN were talking about free agent pitchers and they think that the Mets will overspend to get Zito and that the Yankees will overspend to get Matsuzaka.

I would not be surprised if this happens.  So while I liked Alkie's plans to stock up on pitchers, I don't know if the stud pitchers are going to be available.

Talk Zone / mindboggling
« on: October 03, 2006, 01:44:24 am »
Despite how people in baseball suggest that they are distancing themselves from bonds, they can't help but have an official bonds memorabilia auction site on the mlb website.  What whores they are.

The Link

Talk Zone / was this the plan?
« on: September 25, 2006, 09:38:31 pm »
Start Sampson and then go to Wandy for the middle innings??????????  Who thought this was a good idea?

Talk Zone / arrgggh -- can the game fucking start already!!!
« on: September 25, 2006, 06:46:25 pm »
I haven't been so excited about an Astros game since . . . well, yesterday.  But I'm pretty damn anxious right now.

Talk Zone / anyone in Philly going to the game?
« on: September 25, 2006, 01:08:08 pm »
I'm trying to decide whether or not to go down for the game but I don't want to go by myself (last time I went to Philly for an Astros game I almost got my ass kicked).

Talk Zone / Happy new year to all those celebrating Rosh Hashana
« on: September 22, 2006, 02:06:55 pm »
I know it's terrible form, but I can't help but adding a thought or two for the Astros while I am in synagogue praying for a good year.  Enjoy the apples and honey and if sheep heads are your thing -- enjoy that too.

Talk Zone / hypothetical
« on: September 20, 2006, 04:50:36 pm »
Let's say that Luke Scott ends the season with more than 200 ABs, 10+ HRs, and a .400 batting average.

Is he in the discussion for rookie of the year in the NL?

Talk Zone / hometown heroes
« on: September 11, 2006, 03:01:56 pm »
Sorry if this has been discussed before.  

Does anyone else have problems with the list of 5 players that ESPN chose as the potential greatest player in the history of the team.  It's hard to disagree with Bagwell and Biggio on the list.  I never saw Jimmy Wynn play, but what about Jose Cruz?

And are Larry Dierker and Nolan Ryan the two greatest pitchers in the history of the team?  Doesn't Oswalt need to be on the list even though he has pitched less seasons.  And what about Niekro?

Talk Zone / A-Rod
« on: July 18, 2006, 09:01:10 am »
Not so much a post for this season but for next.

Speculation in New York is that the Yankees will be looking to trade A-Rod in the offseason.  They think that the booing has gotten into his head, resulting in stuff like the 3 error game last night.  I don't think that there is any doubt that A-Rod could use a change of scenery.  He doesn't get along well with Jeter and that too may be  causing problems in the Yankees clubhouse.

A-Rod's contract is about $26 million a year.  The Rangers are paying about $10 million of that.  Assuming the Astros could get the Yankees to pick up some more of A-Rod's salary (so that it gets down to the $10-13 million level) do you think the Astros should be interested?  What would you be prepared to give up in exchange?

Talk Zone / call me a pessimist
« on: June 15, 2006, 06:34:56 pm »
But watching the game (I am home sick), I didn't think that the Astros had much of a chance today -- not the way that Zambrano was pitching.  Nieve kept the Astros in the game until the team got into the Cubs' bullpen.  Great win.

Talk Zone / article on the Astros worst recent mistakes
« on: June 09, 2006, 12:02:40 pm »
I guess this could be a subject for a Friday discussion, although we have collectively mulled over this subject (and these individual discussions) many times before.

The Link

Talk Zone / scoring question
« on: May 31, 2006, 06:28:25 pm »
Buchholtz was charged with 3 ERs today.  Why was the last run -- scored on a strike out/wild pitch considered an earned run?  Why is this treated any differently than if the run had scored on an error by the pitcher?

Talk Zone / can the Astros please waive Mike Gallo right now
« on: May 31, 2006, 05:58:23 pm »

ALL for naught.

There must be someone better in the farm system.

Talk Zone / why was Russ Springer in the game in the 8th inning?
« on: May 23, 2006, 10:05:13 pm »
with a rested bullpen?

Talk Zone / JR House named AA offensive player of the month
« on: May 15, 2006, 05:46:40 pm »
How has he looked on defense?  How is his arm?  Is he throwing out batters?  I can't seem to find defensive statistics for him.  Also how does he appear at calling games, calming down pitchers -- you know the intangibles.

Talk Zone / strategic question
« on: May 15, 2006, 03:10:16 pm »
So I'm listening to the White Sox/Twins game and one of the announcers for the Sox says that teams should try the hidden ball trick more often.


Talk Zone / Brad states the obvious
« on: April 27, 2006, 10:56:18 am »
"I love Bush."

The Link

I'll leave it to you to decide what he was talking about.

Talk Zone / do you still root for Roberto Petagine?
« on: April 17, 2006, 03:04:49 pm »
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Petagine.  When he was in the Astros' organization, I always thought that he could be a great hitter, but he was blocked by the best first-baseman in team history.  So I was sad when the Astros traded him to the Padres but I understood that there probably wasn't room for him on the team.  

The fact that Baseball Prospectus and other commentators have written about him and how he would do well if given a chance at the majors has turned Petagine into a sort of tragic hero for me -- the he "could have been a contender" sad kind of player.  Now that he is with the Mariners I keep hoping that he will get a chance so I root for him.  If he was in the NL, I guess it would be harder to root for him.  

Why I am I thinking about this today?  Because he drove in go-ahead run for the Mariners today against the Red Sox in the top of the 9th.  It wasn't the winning run because Loretta hits a walk-off HR in the bottom of the inning and the Red Sox won.  So at the end of the day, no one but me is probably going to think about Petagine.  Sounds about par for the course.

Talk Zone / JR House Question
« on: April 17, 2006, 02:43:12 pm »
He appears to be tearing it up at Corpus.  Is this because he is much older and more advanced then the typical AA pitcher or are these numbers "real?"  And is Corpus a hitters' park?  I'm just wondering if House is viewed as the potential replacement for Ausmus?

Talk Zone / another reason to hate the extra innings baseball package
« on: April 04, 2006, 10:10:34 am »
The Astros game was joined in progress an hour after it started.  WTF.  Can the defending NL champ get any respect?

Talk Zone / first trade suggestion of the season
« on: March 31, 2006, 09:30:42 am »
There were reports yesterday of the Mets trading Aaron Heilman to the Rays for Lugo.

I wonder if the Mets would be interested in Chris Burke in exchange for Heilman.  Heilman is a good young pitcher.  It is mind-boggling to me that the Mets aren't using him in their rotation.  I would rather have Heilman over either Rodriguez or Astacio.

Talk Zone / went to see V for Vendetta last night
« on: March 17, 2006, 03:59:29 pm »
It was a very good (and well-cast) movie.  Won't say any more because I don't want to incur the wrath of the board.

Talk Zone / am I crazy?
« on: December 14, 2005, 03:05:12 pm »
But I don't understand why we are looking for a starting outfielder.  If Bagwell is lifting weights and thinks that he is going to be fine next season, isn't he going to be the first baseman?  So then Berkman is back in left, Willy T. is in center, and Lane is in right.  Rondell doesn't start over any of them.  So why are the Astros paying for a very expensive fourth outfielder.

The only way this makes any sense is if Bagwell really isn't coming back.  And if that is the case, just freaking say so.  

And while I'm ranting, why are the Astros paying Ausmus more for this contract than for the last one?  Is he going to get better over the next two years?  Where was Ausmus going?  San Diego is more than set at catcher.

Talk Zone / Tejada
« on: December 11, 2005, 01:11:50 am »
If Tejada is really available what would you be prepared to give up to get him:  Lidge and Everett? More?

Talk Zone / and football season officially starts in New York
« on: October 11, 2005, 10:56:18 am »
I don't think that WFAN will be talking about the championship series at all.

Fuck the Yankmees.  And tell Brian Cashman that there's no crying in baseball.  WFW.

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