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Topics - Snuffy

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Talk Zone / Shocker: RS @ 76-67 after loss to Yanks, Dombrowski is gone!
« on: September 09, 2019, 07:28:03 am »
What a difference a year makes! 

Dombrowski’s firing came minutes after the team finished up a 10-5 loss to the rival New York Yankees. With the loss, Boston now sits 17.5 games back from the Yankees in the AL East at 76-67.  That’s a far cry from the team’s 108-win pace last year, but still decent enough that Dombrowski’s firing is a stunner.

Talk Zone / ESPN article about Charlie Morton - 27 Aug 19
« on: August 29, 2019, 08:43:05 pm »
A good read!  The last two paragraphs give a glimpse of what's special about the Astros.

It's a wonderful sequel to this thread.

Interesting headline from last night's post game interview.

What's up with that?  It appears to have made the reporter the "victim".

Talk Zone / St. Louis Cardinals hospitality!
« on: July 27, 2019, 06:08:25 pm »
30 years ago, I was staying in a downtown St. Louis hotel that was within walking distance of the stadium.  The Cards were playing the Astros.  Since the game was not on local TV and I was too cheap to buy a ticket, I walked by the stadium during the game while listening to the game on the radio. 

Suddenly, the gates were opened and there were plenty of seats!!!  Turns out the gates were opened each night during the bottom of the 7th inning, apparently allowing walk-in traffic!  Returned the next night, enjoying the last 2.5 innings of two Astros wins!!!  It was great and the price was right!

Have you ever heard of another ball club that allows or did offer this freebie?  Surely, much depends on the neighborhood, but St. Louis was great!

Talk Zone / Would the Dodgers have had to trade Alvarez eventually?
« on: July 27, 2019, 08:13:02 am »
Hearing the Cardinal announcers getting excited over seeing Alvarez come to the plate - "We finally get to see him!  We've heard a lot about him...." - only to see him take a couple swings, smash a 2B, and then return to the bench after Straw comes in to run for him, it finally dawns on me that the Dodgers had no choice.

W/o a position, Alvarez was limited to a AB per game for the Dodgers.  They could have gotten much more for his bat had they waited, but Alvarez's value was limited in the NL team.

He is a force at the plate, but ultimately he is a one-dimensional player for now - the reason most of us hated the DH b/f the Astros moved to the AL.

After the 11-1 "statement" game  with the Astros, a local local paper declared
"Houston is now 8-1 against Oakland this season, with a run differential of 53-21. The A's have made plenty of strides the last two years, but clearly, they're not yet in the same class as the Astros...."
But the very next game, the "out classed" team stunned our Astros with a amazing come from behind 4-3 extra inning win.

That's what I love about baseball: no matter the payroll or the number of all stars on a team, it can fall to a mixed bag of lesser gifted or well known players in any game.

I did not realize the disparity between the Team Payrolls: the Astros, $161.6 mil (#8) & the A's $91.4 mil (#26)!  Tampa Bay is competing with $62.8 mil (#30)!!!  (Just saw "Money Ball" on TV) According to my calculations, this means each win costs the Astros $1.58 mil, while it costs the A's $1.0 mil and the Rays $0.7 mil. 

It's easy to forget our humble origins, being one of the "have not" teams snipping at the the great teams.  Remember when a close series w/ a "good" team felt like a playoff game to beleaguered Astros fans?  After enjoying seeing the dream come true - the Astros win the WS, becoming one of the best - a WS contender - I still find myself enjoying seeing teams win with "Money Ball".  Even when it stings the Astros.

That's one of many reasons to love baseball. 


Alvarez's signing by the Dodgers came up in another thread.  It may be part of a bigger story:

Álvarez was a Dodgers signee.

Yes, here's the announcement of his signing.

The Dodgers fired the majority of their international scouting department "not long after that signing period opened." 

During the 2015-16 signing period, the Dodgers invested around $97 million between signing bonuses and tax money on international prospects subject to the bonus pools. Much of that money went toward signing three Cuban players--righthander Yadier Alvarez, outfielder Yusniel Diaz and second baseman Omar Estevez--and doesn't include the six-year, $30 million deal they gave Cuban righthander Yaisel Sierra, who was exempt from the pools.

Not long after that signing period opened, the Dodgers also fired vice president of international scouting Bob Engle, Latin American scouting coordinator Patrick Guerrero and the majority of their international scouting staff.

Did a search some time ago.  Believe several of their million-dollar 2015-16 signees were traded, in addition to Alvarez!.  Others had poor starts.  Some quick searches would reveal where others ended up.

Interesting stuff.

Game Zone 2019 / Rangers @ Astros July 21, 2019
« on: July 21, 2019, 01:25:23 pm »
Since no one has started, I could not wait...

Top 1st - 8 pitches and an overturned call
Choo safe bunt overturned - 1 pitch
Straw ranges into LF to catch out 2
Line out to Brantley - out 3

0 - Astros coming up

Talk Zone / Bregman, a very rare talent!
« on: July 20, 2019, 12:25:20 pm »
It's easy to take for granted a player that has become so familiar.  That's when it can help to see him through the eyes of his opponents. 

Last night the Rangers announcers highlighted Bregman's increasingly rare talent with these stats: "Players with at least 25 HR's & more walks than strikeouts". 

It was a short list.

Only MLB Players with 25+ HR & more walks than strikeouts         
ML Players   HR   BB   SO
Mike Trout   30   77   70
A Bregman   26   76   56

In 2016, only five players had more walks than K's, including one Astro.  This article did not focus just on HR hitters.

Thankful to see Bregman's interview about the HBP and the game last night.

He is a rare talent!

This falls into the category of a Paul Harvey "Rest of the Story".

His last gift from his Dad pointed him to a life-saving career.

Talk Zone / Jake Marisnick - a good villain, a bad guy, or neither?
« on: July 19, 2019, 09:03:05 am »
Good article about Marisnick

....And so it has been quite the 10 days for a guy whose transgression was diving for the inside edge of home plate rather than the outside edge, a 17-inch miscalculation made in a split second that, first, injured Lucroy and, second, became Marisnick’s to explain.

He has been the adult in the room ever since, from the tenderness he showed Lucroy immediately after impact to the herding of angry teammates when the retaliation finally arrived....

According to the HC, during a team meeting after the loss (and his HBP) that seemed to help the team refocus.

(Marisnick) "Put this stuff behind us and get out and get some wins," Marisnick pleaded before Wednesday's game. "We got beat up the last couple days, we lost two here, so we're looking to get back out and get a win today."

Well done!

Talk Zone / Does census trend = RIP OWA?
« on: July 16, 2019, 08:07:11 am »
Am I reading the census wrong?
According to the forum history,...  (scroll down.)

1.  Only 21 new registrations since 2016!  None in 2018 or so far in 2019.
2.  Of the 21 in 2017, there were 11 since Aug 2017.  My 1 Sep 17 "registration" was not "new".  It was a due to ISP change from a move that blocked my access to FLSnuffy. 

Since 1 Sep 2017, the OWA population appears to have only grown by 10.
How many OWA members have croaked or retired from the site?
This is a great site for folks that love the Astros!
Hope I am wrong, but I would hate to see it die due to negative pop growth.

Beer and Queso / Not funny....
« on: July 04, 2019, 09:39:32 am »
MAD Magazine Fans Devastated By Cancellation

The 2017 reorganization and subsequent 2018 reboot both struggled with finding an identity for MAD in an increasingly satire-saturated world.

Reprints only, no more original content.

(I intended to post this on the 2017 International Signings thread, then the 2018 thread, but both threads have been timed out and closed.)

Thank you for posts about Astros International signings.  Who knew your 2017 footnote that would loom large in 2019! 
BA is in the process of recapping the international signings that took place in calendar year 2016. In that process, they just published a list of the Top 50 International Signings in terms of signing bonus. The Astros had 5 signings on that list-- LHP Cionel Perez (T13), ..... You can of course add to that OF/1B Yordan Alvarez (T13), signed by the Dodgers but then quickly flipped to that Astros for Josh Fields.
How long have International signings been so significant, in terms of $$ spent, and regulated (with penalties)?
Why were the Dodgers' largest international signings not shown in the BA list?
What determines which signings are subject to tax money on international prospects subject to the bonus pools?

Most grateful for your focus is on the Astros, but your insights would be appreciated on what happened with the 2016 Dodgers signings. (2nd post.)

Ran across this feel good article while searching for the name of the scout(s) that signed Alvarez for $2 mil w/ a $2 mil penalty. 

"Big leaguers bring rehab bonanza!"

Catcher Tim Federowicz was impressed with everything John Smoltz had to offer in his minor league rehab assignment.  The All-Star ace brought a lot to the plate: fastball and slider — steak, ribs and fixin's, too.....  "Most of the guys will buy you a spread," Federowicz said. "But it's not usually Longhorn's Steak House....."
(Yankees prospect Bradley ) Suttle, a 23-year-old third baseman, was shocked to learn he'd work out with A-Rod.
And in what may still be the biggest minor league rehab bonanza ever, Roger Clemens in 2006 refurbished the Lexington Legends player's area with new carpeting, leather couches and a 42-inch flat screen TV.

Good stuff!  There's more.

Wanna bet our stars will bless their teammates @ Round Rock while they are there.

Curious about the last time the Astros started a rookie battery:
Jerry Grote's tenure with the Astros (signed 1962), as well as
Craig Biggio's (#22, 1st round draft, 1987), were too many years ago.

This article provide a starting point - - but neither Ashby, Edwards, or Ausmus were not home grown.

So it was narrowed down to
Jason Castro (#10, 1st round, 2008)

Was Castro part of a starting rookie battery while he was an Astro?

Help would be appreciated.

Talk Zone / 3 former Red Sox draft picks torched Boston in Game 1
« on: October 14, 2018, 08:43:54 pm »

They missed one.
(Gonzalez, under view more bio.) ....taken by Boston with the 10th overall selection in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft...three picks later, the Astros selected RHP Marco Duarte with the first selection in the Triple A phase...the Astros and Red Sox traded these two picks for each other

Talk Zone / Notable Postseason stats for Springer & Bregman
« on: October 09, 2018, 03:19:06 pm »
This NYT article about the Cleveland sweep had some significant Springer & Bregman postseason highlights:
A Series Sweep by an Overlooked Bunch: The Defending Champions From Houston  (Original title, as noted at bottom of article.)
....Springer’s solo shot in the top of the fifth, which tied the score at 1-1, was his ninth career postseason homer, a franchise record. He hit his second in the eighth to extend Cleveland’s Houston's lead to 5-2, giving him seven home runs in his last seven postseason games dating to last year’s World Series.

The only other players to hit seven homers in a stretch of seven postseason games are Lou Gehrig, Reggie Jackson and Carlos Beltran.....

....He (Bregman) gave the rest of the postseason field plenty of reason to pay attention on Monday, reaching base all six times and going 2 for 3 with a double, a run-scoring single and two walks. He was also hit by a pitch and reached base on a critical error.

The only other players to reach base six times in a postseason game are Kenny Lofton for the Indians in the 1995 World Series, and Stan Hack, who did it in 1945 for the Chicago Cubs.

Talk Zone / Bregman is not happy with his sunburn from afternoon game!
« on: October 09, 2018, 11:48:37 am »

Thinks the "Show-stros" s/b on prime time, not just Boston-NY!
He's right!
Who won the last WS?

Talk Zone / Their hearts have melted already....
« on: October 06, 2018, 02:04:18 pm »
Read this article, especially the comments:

(from article) "The team in the other dugout was the defending World Series champion and they played like it."

(1st two comments:)"48-28 in weak AL central. Losing record vs rest of the league. Think that says it all."

"All of this Kluber talk is pointless. He isn't even going to pitch again the rest of the year so let's move on from Kluber.. "

There is more, just no time to share them..

According to this Boston Globe article J. D. Martinez has been giving younger Red Sox players something that he did not get w/ the struggling, leaderless 2013 Astros team - and he is still chafing about it. 

What J.D. Martinez remembers most about the 2013 season is not that he struggled mightily at the plate, or that his team, the Houston Astros, lost 111 games.

What aggravates him still, even five years later, is that not one teammate offered a hand to pull him out of the quicksand.....

"....I never forgot that, how I felt going through that,” Martinez said. “I always said to myself, ‘I’ll never be that person.’ I knew what it felt like. I would never wish that on anybody.....”

He has helped create a welcoming Red Sox clubhouse that is similar to the current  Astros clubhouse.

It might help to remind him about a few  2013 Astros facts, such as
1. " season’s end, their roster had an average age of 26.0 with 17 rookies.... 
2. Houston had 14 players make their Major League debuts in 2013." 

There were not many vets to welcome that team.

Kirk Gibson on Springer during today's game
(1:41) 2nd in AL with 6 leadoff homers.  Good job of keeping “his power under control – he’s got pop!  Against lefties .333 BA w/ OPS over 1.000…  He kinda trended late…., times when swinging & missing too much….

Probably JD Martinez had something to do with them being patient w/ Springer… 

Tigers will be in same situation, only have so many slots…

Trying to figure out the names of the Tiger announcers.  Kirk Gibson does not talk much, but love his content.  He is NEW - was drafted a few days ago to finish the season the the booth.
Trouble in the Tigers broadcast booth – both announcers banned and replaced, sent home in separate flights…

....Reportedly, a disagreement erupted over a chair in the broadcast booth. Allegedly, Impemba turned around to leave, and Allen violently choked him from behind.....

Talk Zone / Tensions on the Mariners clubhouse
« on: September 05, 2018, 10:20:24 am »

"Things happen in a clubhouse," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Our guys are working through it and talking through it. It's unfortunate, but it happens."

Glad the Astros continue to enjoy each other (HR antics, etc.) as they go down the stretch.

Talk Zone / Good sport: Baez acknowledges pitcher after an impressive K
« on: September 04, 2018, 09:25:42 am »
Don't know about you, but I enjoy seeing the interaction of Astros with players from the "other" teams,
like Altuve when he on on base
or covering 2B.

When have you see a player "salute" a pitcher after he stuck him out?  That's what Baez did here.

This adds a special element to the game, for players as well as fans.

Talk Zone / Cora for MOY
« on: August 20, 2018, 04:38:50 pm »
Nice article about Cora, showing some things he may have learned when with the Astros.  They believe the Red Sox are going to the WS.

....Verlander said. ...."I haven’t really paid attention to (Osuna's case), for obvious reasons –It wasn’t really in my life

This quote captured what I believe many feel about the Osuna trade: we wish he (& the topics & pics of his abuse) were NOT part of Astros baseball and, therefore, my life!  It makes baseball less fun, it does not distract us from the awfulness of life (aka reality).  We would prefer for the evil of the outside world to "stay out" of our enjoyment of baseball.

This article has helped me understand that the barrier b/t baseball and the outside world is breaking beyond repair.  It is a little long, but worth it IMHO :

For a lot of fans and writers, maintaining the illusion of baseball is more important than baseball itself.

(Like the NYPD officer after 9/11) … just wanted to sit back and watch a game of baseball for three hours to distract him from the horrors of the world....

Reality is breaking down the walls of the illusion more and more. The information genie is out there, and Aladdin has set him free.... Unless we fix reality, the barriers of escapism will keep cracking....

Part of the emotion around the Osuna trade may come from the realization that...
....Baseball won’t let a lot of fans simply ignore reality and stick to sports. The illusion is not there for them....

Baseball now reminds of us the world in which we live.

Talk Zone / An Ode to the Astros’ Veterans
« on: November 05, 2017, 08:29:59 am »
With all the focus on the youth of the team, this insightful article highlighted the vets.

When the accolades are being given out for this 2017 Astros championship, they’ll deservedly go to the club’s young core. They were spectacular.....

....When we last tried to measure game-calling, McCann was the sixth-best starting catcher in baseball by our estimate.

It’s easier to see how important the veterans were on that pitching side. The pitchers under 28 on this squad were a more muted 13th in the big leagues overall, while the pitchers over 30 came in sixth....

Part 2: Charlie Morton Was Baseball in 2017
Last night, with the franchise’s first championship hanging in the balance, Astros manager A.J. Hinch handed the ball to Charlie Morton. He never asked for it back, and four innings later, the Astros mobbed Morton on the mound. They are champions today in part because of Charlie Morton, and there was perhaps no more fitting player to get the last out of the 2017 season, because Charlie Morton embodies so much of what baseball is today....

....Morton didn’t just get better versus left-handers, he held them to the second-lowest wOBA of any right-handed starter in baseball this year. After spending nearly a decade as a contact pitcher who couldn’t get left-handers out, he posted the highest strikeout rate against lefties of any righty starter. After running one of the largest platoon splits in baseball for the first 900 innings of his career, Morton just turned into an entirely different pitcher.....

And it's easy to forget how Fiers came through while so many starters were on the DL.

Talk Zone / The Met's broadcasters loved the Astros' approach to baseball!
« on: September 05, 2017, 12:33:58 pm »
Growing up rooting for the Colt .45s, I have had to rely on the broadcasts of opponents for several decades to keep up with them.  It is much easier, now via the internet.  It became a habit.

You would expect the Astros announcers to love the team.  That's what they are paid to do. 

It is good to hear what others say about the Astros!  This year especially, thanks to,  it has been fun to watch non-Astros broadcasters admire our team and share nuances about the game we love:

  • The Tampa Bay announcers loved Altuve - who doesn't! - even catching him glance @ 3rd just before the pitch is delivered...
  • The Mets broadcasters raved about the Astros, :
    1. Naming Gary Pettis the MVP of game,2 of the double header for challenging the defense, sending runners home from 2nd base;
    2. Seeing Altuve respond to a HBP in the 7th by stealing 2nd, taking 3rd on a grounder to 3rd, and walking home on Reddick's sac fly -  "that's the way the game should be played! ...  Not waiting for a HR on station-to-station advances!"
    3. "The Astros have so many weapons - not just power - they use speed, (other reasons) to score more runs than anyone else."

I doubt that I am the only one that does this.  Would love to heat what others have learned from "the opposition".


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