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Messages - Mike S.

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Talk Zone / Re: Latest Controversy
« on: October 25, 2019, 05:57:31 pm »
I'll say it again.  I have no doubt that parts of the article are factually accurate. 

I also have no problem saying I struggle to take Evan Drellich seriously as a journalist.

ETA: Those two sentiments are not mutually exclusive.

Talk Zone / Re: Latest Controversy
« on: October 25, 2019, 04:31:38 pm »
More from the Athletic, with quotes from current and former (anonymous) Astros employees.

Taubman saga exposes longstanding questions about the Astros’ culture under Jim Crane and Jeff Luhnow

Makes you wonder if people like Sig Mejdal left for Baltimore for this reason.

I have no doubt there are parts of the article that are factually accurate.  It was also written by Evan Drellich.

Talk Zone / Re: Alvarez
« on: October 25, 2019, 12:20:35 pm »
I think Alvarez starts in left field and Brantley in right. It's not a great defensive lineup, although Alvarez was not bad in his few appearances in left and Brantley may have a better arm than I've been giving him credit for. Right now, Astros needs all the offense they can muster and with the exception of his NY HR, Reddick has struggled.

Hopefully, being named RoY will inspire Alvarez to hit the ball into the Potomac.

That would be one hell of a foul ball as the stadium doesn't face the river, but I take your point and hope Alvarez hits several fucking moon shots in the Metro station nearby.

Talk Zone / Re: Latest Controversy
« on: October 24, 2019, 04:14:50 pm »
That's a really interesting thought.  Wouldn't be surprised in the least as it makes a hell of a lot sense the more I think about all of this.

Talk Zone / Re: The Mets
« on: September 20, 2019, 03:13:20 pm »
I literally fucking despise the New York cunts - sorry, mets - with the intensity of a thousand white hot suns.  I was nine years old in 1986 and I celebrate the fact that my hatred hasn't dissipated in the intervening years.  My girlfriend doesn't understand it.  She also loves the Steelers.  I have to remind her that I hate them too, the cheating sons of bitches, because Mike Renfro is still in bounds (even if I was too young to remember).  To her immense credit, she has started cheering for the Astros.

ETA: fuck the braves.  That's another team for whom there's a special circle of Hell.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Fayetteville 2019
« on: August 28, 2019, 11:30:17 am »
As I recall, there was a lot of praise for his makeup when he was drafted.  No surprise, as he's the son of former MLB Shortstop Geronimo Pena.

Trump already floating conspiracy theories that Clinton had Epstein killed.  You know Hannity, who worships dines from the toilet in which Trump shits, is not going to let this go.  Ever.


The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Quad Cities 2019
« on: August 14, 2019, 12:40:53 pm »
Didn't see it posted, but James Nix (JUCO All-American and 35th Round draftee in June) was promoted to Quad Cities from GCL. 

Talk Zone / Re: Off day question
« on: August 09, 2019, 02:32:49 pm »
Crazy.  My father was class of 1956.

Good question.  I tend to think it's the latter.  The last I heard was the plan is stuck somewhere with the Oakland City Council.  The Port Authority also has some serious concerns with the proposed plan (they own the land and are worried about limiting possible future expansion of the port).

I love living in California, but I've also lived here long enough to see this process derailed a few times before.  I'm also Gen X and therefore cynical by nature.

The East Bay area is not a small market at all and has a very strong fan base. The payroll is small because the owners want it that way. No sympathy or admiration there.

This.  While the Giants dominate the Bay Area, there are numerous A's fans out here and many of them are extremely vocal about their support. 

Talk Zone / Re: Does census trend = RIP OWA?
« on: July 17, 2019, 04:27:46 pm »
Been here since Kevin and Scott ran things.

Me as well, and I'm so grateful I found this place.  I've come to view the folks here as my rather eccentric, yet (mostly) articulate extended family.

Beer and Queso / Re: Apollo 11
« on: July 16, 2019, 11:33:21 am »
That is a great fucking series.  Easy to go down the rabbit hole and find yourself bingeing watching every episode.  Again.

Talk Zone / Re: White Sox have claimed AJ Reed
« on: July 10, 2019, 11:01:39 am »
All it would take is Michael Kopech.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2019 Draft
« on: June 04, 2019, 05:27:48 pm »
It looks like they think they have a dearth of outfielders at the short season and rookie teams.

For whatever it's worth, Spencer Morris over on TCB sounds pretty bullish on the Day 2 picks, especially the first three.  Springer like comps on Jordan Brewer, while Colin Barber is a toolsy prep outfielder who hasn't put it all together.  I like the Hunter Brown pick a lot.  Young college Junior with a live arm. 

Texas Longhorn Blair Henley apparently has a pretty high spin rate on his CB.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2019 Draft
« on: June 04, 2019, 12:38:23 pm »
And now Allan is off the board, to the Mets, so that's a moot question.  Really interested to see who the Astros pick...

Believe Jimmy Lewis, the pitcher and not the ageless surfer, suffered a season ending injury.  Someone (probably Cooper) mentioned it as a reason why he was probably still available last night and could be an absolute steal of a pick.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2019 Draft
« on: June 04, 2019, 11:26:26 am »
JJ Cooper on Korey Lee:

"Yes, we ranked Korey Lee 173....we did hear some late helium....we may have underranked him. We talked about pushing him up in the rankings and decided to stick with the rankings....blame me on that one."

Call me horribly unimpressed with the Kessinger pick, especially when Jimmy Lewis was still on the board.  Hoping they're setting themselves up to draft some overslots in later rounds, although I highly doubt they have the money for Matthew Allan.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2019 Draft
« on: May 28, 2019, 12:17:55 pm »
With the 2019 Draft a week away, any thoughts on who the Astros might take?  Most of the mocks I've seen have them focused on prep pitchers.  For whatever that's worth.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Quad Cities 2019
« on: May 21, 2019, 10:48:17 am »
Thanks, I saw that news shortly after I posted.

Is this a recurrance of his hamstring injury?  Something else?  He's been horribly unlucky with how often he's been hit by the injury bug this year.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Quad Cities 2019
« on: May 20, 2019, 11:44:16 am »
And McKenna back too. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Quad Cities 2019
« on: April 30, 2019, 10:23:30 am »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Quad Cities 2019
« on: April 26, 2019, 12:32:32 pm »
Any news/update on McKenna's hamstring injury?

Beer and Queso / Re: Infinity War (Spoilers)
« on: April 26, 2019, 12:04:32 pm »
Went last night.  Great movie.  Pacing suffered at certain points and I thought Infinity War was the better movie of the two, but Endgame was still a hell of a lot fun and well worth the price of admission.  Don't think anyone will be disappointed.

Talk Zone / Re: Tucker
« on: April 15, 2019, 01:46:01 pm »
I hope maturity does not continue to elude him much longer.

Are there concerns or questions about his maturity?  I hadn't heard that.

Beer and Queso / Re: Game of Thrones Season 8
« on: March 18, 2019, 11:59:07 am »
Awesome thread.  I'll echo MusicMan's comments about season 7 and WVastro's take on how much else is going on in each episode.  The number of proverbial Easter Eggs is crazy.

For myself, I found season 2 to be a slog.  That may be due to how much I know is left of the series and how much further the story develops.  I will say that the intricacy to GoT (books and television series) is incredible.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: State of the System 2019
« on: March 18, 2019, 11:51:34 am »
[Houston] now sends individuals with Edgertronic cameras to amateur games in lieu of traditional area scouts. While this style of scouting has yielded stylistic uniformity across Houston’s prospect population — they almost invariably acquire high-spin, four-seam/curveball pitchers with a 12:30 spin axis, most of whom are adding cutters early in pro ball, while targeting college bats who have performed on paper and have big exit velos — it has also yielded a bunch of talented players, and further use of the tech on the player development side has made those players better.

...the types of pitchers Houston seems to like are becoming more sought after by other teams as a better understanding of how pitching works permeates baseball. Fewer pitchers of this type will be available to Houston as a result, but of course, Houston is likely also identifying players who can be altered to become this type of pitcher, even if they aren’t one yet.’s getting harder to learn about Houston from the outside, as paranoia and acrimony have begun to impact industry discourse about the Astros in a way that makes it difficult to know which rumors about them are true and which are BS. Some of the things that have been mentioned consistently, and which seem plausible and interesting, include experimentation with visual machine learning and work with topical substances to improve pitch spin/movement. Of course, all the Rapsodo and Motus sleeve stuff is already widely known or knowable with quick use of Google.

Really glad you posted that, Nate.  Was going to post something about that FG article over the weekend until I saw yours. 

I'll leave it to people far smarter than myself to answer, but FG's implication that Astros may be pigeonholing themselves with very specific types of prospects is an interesting question to ask.

Talk Zone / Re: Preseason Panic
« on: March 01, 2019, 04:03:08 pm »
The criminal that who hung hanged by the neck.

Beer and Queso / Re: Dating App
« on: February 15, 2019, 01:12:23 pm »
Texas A&M

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« on: February 15, 2019, 01:09:24 pm »
Further to Yordan Alvarez:

"Astros 1B Yordan Alvarez had an underwhleming BP and looked heavy and stiff. A scout with whom I was sitting during BP told me they thought Alvarez was a DH-only guy."

Perhaps this is what the fake in fake news is all about:

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2019 Draft
« on: January 17, 2019, 11:09:55 am »
Not a local JUCO name, but Carter Stewart is also someone interesting to watch.  Braves took him with the eighth overall pick last year.  However, he never signed and is pitching for Eastern Florida State College this season.

From another WaPo article:

The relevant part being in the opening paragraphs:

"Imagine that you had a document that included sensitive information. So, before handing the document to someone, you very carefully cut out pieces of black paper and Scotch-tape them on top of the parts of the document you want to keep private. Foolproof.

You probably see the problem here. And yet someone, perhaps attorneys working for Paul Manafort, appears not to have done so. A document filed with the court on Manafort’s behalf tried to obscure important information by overlaying black boxes on the text, giving the appearance of a redacted document but offering all of the security of those little bits of black paper."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« on: January 08, 2019, 10:48:31 am »

Beer and Queso / Re: Star Trek: Discovery (Spoilers)
« on: December 21, 2018, 11:47:46 am »
That's what I've been planning on, but since you're asking, I do believe the categorical imperative would dictate otherwise.

We also waited for the end of the season to binge watch everything.  The delayed gratification was well worth the sacrifice.

Has anyone heard any discussion about the plot of the second season?  I've been far too caught up in other things, or maybe just simply lazy, to do any research on my own.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« on: December 14, 2018, 03:35:07 pm »
MLB Pipeline removed Ferrell from their Top 30 list. They in turn (finally) added Bryan Abreu, all the way up at the #10 spot.

Easy to forget that there are a lot of really interesting names on the bottom half of that list (e.g. Tyler Ivey, Peter Solomon).  Perhaps I'm simply ever the optimist, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are some big jumps in the rankings next year similar to Bryan Abreu's.

Talk Zone / Re: ‘86 NLCS
« on: December 10, 2018, 06:21:14 pm »
I'll never forget Charlie Kerfeld's reaction to Hatcher's homerun.  It was beautiful.

Goddamn, I still hate the fucking mets.

Beer and Queso / Re: Since we're talking men's fashion...
« on: November 01, 2018, 11:25:04 am »
I've a good friend here in the States who has played Rugby all his life. He's 60 and plays what they call soft contact hands only rugby. I've always viewed him and his group of rugby friends as being a cult.

That wouldn't be the most inaccurate assessment of us rugby players.  We are a unique group of individuals.

Beer and Queso / Re: Since we're talking men's fashion...
« on: November 01, 2018, 11:23:59 am »
I never really like rugby too much, but if I had to play / watch it, I am pretty sure that union would be the code to pick.  How does the expression go - union is a thugs game played by gentlemen, and league is a gentlemens' game played by thugs.  Or something like that...  Useless trivia time, a member of the Canadian national rugby union team played AFL in the national comp for a few years and was pretty decent.  I wondered if he was a real rugby player though, he had a neck.

As my former coach used to say, "Son, there are two types of people in this world.  Those were born to play the piano, and those were born to carry the piano."

Beer and Queso / Re: Since we're talking men's fashion...
« on: November 01, 2018, 11:21:33 am »
I always heard/learned that soccer is a gentlemen's game played by hooligans.  Rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen.  Also, soccer may be the beautiful game, but rugby is the game they play in heaven.

Never heard that about American football.

Beer and Queso / Re: Since we're talking men's fashion...
« on: October 31, 2018, 05:30:00 pm »
If you played rugby in Sydney (League I am guessing?) you certainly rubbed shoulders with bogan royalty.

Folks my age tend to refer to an unpolished Australians as an 'ocker', bogan is only a fairly recent addition to our vernacular.

That's a reasonable assumption regarding rugby league, but I'm actually not a mungo.  I'm a rugby union man and proud alumnus of Eastern Suburbs RFC in Bondi.  I beleve that makes me part of the tweed blazer brigade.

First visited Australia in 1995 after graduating high school.  That may have been when I first heard the term bogan.  I've honestly never heard of ocker.

Beer and Queso / Re: Since we're talking men's fashion...
« on: October 30, 2018, 10:15:14 am »
POM and Limey have something in common: they refer to those who left British shores and who now live in the former colonies.  They really should be terms to apply to you (and now me), therefore, not the other way around.

Sydney Morning Herald had a fascinating article several years ago regarding the origins of the term "pom."  Most believe it is derived from an acronym for Prisoner Of Mother England.  Except, there is no evidence to support that claim.  The Herald pointed out that acronyms really weren't used in the English language when the term first appeared in the late 19th century.  Yet, there are multiple references to it in print as an abbreviation for pomegranate.  The English complexion, it seems, wasn't entirely suited to the Australian sun.

Beer and Queso / Re: Since we're talking men's fashion...
« on: October 30, 2018, 10:01:08 am »
It's "Seppo" and, yes, it's the contraction of the rhyming slang for "Yank", being "Septic Tank".  We figured you'd be happier (less unhappy?) being called "Seppos" than "Septics".  :)

The other rationale for seppo, as was happily explained to me by multiple Australian friends, is that like a septic tank we Yanks are often full of shit.

Beer and Queso / Re: Since we're talking men's fashion...
« on: October 28, 2018, 10:31:04 am »
The bogan reference was funny but a little surprising, I just hope you're not spending a lot of time watching Bogan Hunters and Fat Pizza.

Pom was an easy enough term to come up with (ETA: when I played rugby in Sydney back in 2003, any time I called one of the Brits on the team a limey, none of the Aussies or Kiwis knew what the hell I was talking about).  Trying to think of something for Australians left me with bogan.  Highly doubt you are one, given your literacy rate and support of the Houston Astros.

I haven't seen either Bogan Hunters or Fat Pizza.  However, having worked Harvest in the Hunter Valley, I'm fairly certain I can accurately guess what they're about.

Beer and Queso / Re: Since we're talking men's fashion...
« on: October 26, 2018, 11:05:58 am »
Bogan?  There is no need for name calling son.

It was tongue firmly planted in cheek.  So long as you don't calling  me a seppo...

Beer and Queso / Re: Since we're talking men's fashion...
« on: October 25, 2018, 02:03:07 pm »
I've been hoping for far better banter between the pom and the bogan.  So disappointing.

Talk Zone / Re: CFM
« on: October 03, 2018, 06:04:56 pm »
“You can’t fool me. You’re that clever shark.”
“I’m just a dolphin, ma’am.”

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This, so much this.

Beer and Queso / Re: United Airlines starting to understand why they suck
« on: September 23, 2018, 10:25:53 am »
And they wouldn't necessarily be wrong, although I'm fairly certain the mungoes gave up anything approximating a scrum years ago.

Beer and Queso / Re: United Airlines starting to understand why they suck
« on: September 20, 2018, 09:50:52 am »
Yeah, but they are lined up to the side, and so the scrum is over there, not right where inbound passengers are alighting.  I think that's the point behind United's change.

Ahem, that unwashed mass of humanity might be considered a maul or possibly even a ruck, but not a scrum.  A scrum is far more organized than that.  You should know better, Limey.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Top Prospect Lists 2018-2019
« on: September 15, 2018, 12:51:11 pm »

Note that I'm limiting the following discussion to players 24 or younger with the caveat that in some cases (primarily 2018 draftees) we're talking about extremely, extremely small sample sizes. Let's talk about some of the more interesting names in the system who have NOT shown up on a prospect list in the past year while  (as least in some cases) highlighting certain flaws that suggest perhaps why an extended MLB career might not be in their future:

RHP Akeem Bostick
Finally made AAA after 4 years in the system and 6 years in the minors overall after being a 2nd round pick (62nd overall) of the Rangers back in 2013. For a guy with a fastball topping out at 95, his K numbers have always been surprisingly low. Entering 2018, his K rate for his career was on the order of 17.3%. This year it jumped to 25.6%. Very nice to see, although it should be noted that his BB rate also jumped up to 9.0%. The higher punchouts make you wonder if there would be an even further tick up in K rate if he were to be put into a relief role (saying that after seeing him strike out the side the other day in the PCL playoffs in one of the first true relief appearances of his career). Still just 23, he's listed at a rangy 6'6" 215 lbs.

RHP Brock Dyxkhoorn
Like Bostick, somewhat of a breakthrough season for a guy who's been in the system for a number of years (5, in Dyxkhoorn's case). A substantial move upward in his strikeout rate this season (23.9%) versus his previous 4-year average (19.6%). And he did it without much increase in his BB rate (7.5% vs pre-2018 6.8%). Big boy at 6'8" 250 lbs who recently turned 24.

UTIL Alex De Goti
The 15th rounder from the 2016 draft posted career-best numbers in his 3rd season in the organization after moving up to AA/AAA this year (a combined .283/.335/.440). You'd like to see a higher walk rate from him but it did increase when he moved from the Hooks to the Grizzlies (9.3% vs 4.7%). He did a really nice job of making more contact in 2018, lowering his K rate to 16.2% from the 21.9% rate in 2016-2017 despite the jump(s) in level. The 24-year old has played a significant amount of SS (along with 2B and 3B) thus far in his three seasons and if he can credibly play the position at the next level then that certainly gives him a possible leg up as a future utility guy in the bigs. To further enhance that possibility, I'd like to see him getting some turns in the outfield next year at Fresno that place north of Austin.

LHP Ryan Hartman
If nothing else, the soft-tosser is listed here as Exhibit A on the perils of scouting the stat line (not that folks on this board are guilty of falling into that particular trap). 143 Ks vs 26 BBs in 121 IP with a .235 BAA and led the Texas League in just about every pitching category. The 24-year old kept getting better as the season went along--an 0.91 WHIP and 1.98 ERA in the second half versus 1.26 and 3.47 respectively in the first half. And even better down the stretch, with 47 Ks and a measly 2 walks in 38 IP and only 21 hits allowed over his final 7 outings (that includes the 1st game of the playoffs). Good size at a listed 6'3" 205 lbs.

RHP Justin Ferrell
The 24-year old's numbers bumped up this year as the Astros transitioned him from a tandem guy to full-time reliever. Started the year in A-ball and by year-end had made it to AAA. 82/25 K to W in 65 innings this year with a .193 BAA. A big guy at a listed 6'7" and (I'm guessing out-of-date) 205 lbs. Jim Stevenson signee.

RHP Erasmo Pinales
A reliever for the Hooks, the Astros thought enough of him to send him in October to the Arizona Fall League after posting 72 whiffs vs (yikes) 31 walks in 56 IP this year. If you like a nice downward plane on your fastballs, probably won't see it from Pinales as he's listed at just 5'11". Was reported to touch 98 with his fastball a couple of years ago but haven't seem anything more recent to confirm that. As you can see from that walk total, control remains a continuing problem for him.

1B Taylor Jones
The 24-year old's .314/.409/.528 slash line for CC was a breakthrough for him and represents an interesting combo of patience and power. Several caveats, though. First is that he struggled in his 39 games for Fresno. You might be tempted to shrug that off as SSS but then there's the second concern: his numbers with the Hooks might have been inflated as a result of a .377 BABIP. 2019 will tell us more about how much offense the 6'7" Mr. Jones actually brings to the party. TL managers did name him best defensive 1B.

OF Carmen Benedetti
Not quite sure what to make of the 23 year old rightfielder's year for the Hooks. He missed about a quarter of the season after being put on the DL on 2 separate occasions and after returning the second time (in mid-July) it's not entirely clear to me if he was fully healthy. His final numbers weren't horrible (.277/.365/.443) and showed a tad more power than his previous two seasons. As with any corner guy, that pop will be key to his future progression and his (relatively) lackluster numbers in that regard likely explain his absence from any recent prospect list. He also missed some time in 2017 so staying healthy may also also have some impact on his prospect status.

UTIL Josh Rojas
He and Corbin Martin were the first Astros' picks from the 2017 draft to reach AA (both joined Corpus on May 1). But the Aggie was a 2nd rounder while the ex-Rainbow Warrior was a 26th rounder so I'll go with the latter as the greater accomplishment. Has shown tremendous positional versatility over his first 2 pro seasons, playing 6 different positions (LF, RF, 1B, 2B, 3B and SS). The 24-year old has shown flashes of power (.217 ISO last year) and speed (38 SBs this year). Also showed nice ability this year to draw walks (12.2% BB rate) and keep the strikeouts relatively low (16% K rate). As with De Goti, players whose ceiling is utility guy aren't necessarily the most likely candidates for prospect lists.

OF Chas McCormick
So who was next fastest to AA from the 2017 draft behind Rojas and Martin? That would be this guy, a 21st-rounder who made it to Corpus a month after Rojas and Martin did. The 23-year old out of D2 Millersville U appears to have some defensive versatility by being able to play all 3 outfield positions. He also has some speed, stealing 19 of 23 bases this year. But he didn't put up eye-popping offensive numbers this season with a .273/.339/.373 slash line between BC and CC. However, there may be a hint that good things are coming next year. He decreased his K rate from 16.3% at BC (already one of the lower whiff rates in the system) to 11.3% when he made the jump to AA. Good things could happen in 2019 if he can keep that K rate low and drive the ball a bit more. Speaking of, he went off in the Texas League playoffs with a number of hard-hit balls: 3 homers and a double in just 5 games.

RHP Jose Hernandez
Good numbers this year (48 K/10 BB in 57 IP with 55 hits allowed) particularly considering he missed all of 2017 due to TJS. He was especially strong over his last 5 starts (includes one playoff game): 32.2 IP, 27 H, 0 BB, 32 K, 1.65 ERA. Size an issue at a listed 6'0". The previously linked report on him noted a low 90s fastball and above average curveball with the upshot: "Profiles as long reliever or low-leverage middleman able to pitch numerous innings. Older and more polished arm dominating younger hitters in A-Ball, looks ready for next level."

RHP Abdiel Saldana
The smallish (he's listed at 5'11") Panamanian has spent 5 years with the Astros but is still just 22. Excellent numbers this year for BC with 100 punchouts and just 26 free passes in 108 innings. And he allowed just 1 HR all season. Not surprising then that he led the minor leagues with a 2.38 FIP (minimum: 100 IP). Don't know what his entire repetoire is but apparently his changeup is quite the killer--teammate Carson LaRue called it "absolutely unbelievable" in a WTHB interview last year.

RHP Yohan Ramirez
23-year old Dominican pitcher who's listed at 6'4 190 lbs. Started the year at QC where as part of the tandem he K'd 62 in 58 IP but also walked 28. The latter has been an issue for him during his 3 years in the organization evidenced by the career BB rate of 12.7%. Midseason he was moved up to BC where he was moved to the bullpen--we'll have to wait until 2019 to find out if that was just a temporary move or a more permanent one due to his lack of control (besides all the walks, he also led the system this year in plunks with 12). But the velocity noted previously for him (sitting 95-96, topping 98-99) makes him interesting. At least for now. If you read the summary on him you saw this: "Middle relief ceiling--despite power fastball, lacks the control or secondary pitches for true leverage situations. Risk to profile, will fall short of ceiling if he can't improve delivery or throw more strikes."

OF Jake Meyers
Defensively, the Omaha native whose parents gave him the middle name "Berkshire" is solid in CF. On the bat side, he didn't show much pop in college (he hit just 3 longballs in 2+ seasons) and while he's shown a bit more power as a pro it's questionable whether that's ever going to be one of his strengths. But if you're an optimist and believe the former 13th round pick can develop into a 10+ homers a season player, then combined with his on-base skills (had a 10.4% walk rate this season which increased to 12.0% after being promoted to BC) and defensive value he could be a very interesting guy. Reports say the former Husker is a 70 runner so his 53% success rate in 30 steal attempts this season indicates work is needed on his baserunning skills (he confirmed that in an interview with the QC Times back in June).

OF Corey Julks
More "what if" time. As previously noted, the former Coog has retooled his swing to get a better launch angle. That's not exactly unique for players these days though I sense his might have been more radical than most (or at least a more difficult transition). It seems it might finally be producing results, going from .259/.341/.379 in the season's first half to .282/.362/.458 in the second half. That's particularly impressive given the second half was spent at BC after the promotion from QC. Things seemed to particularly click in August when he posted a .305/.373/.543 line over his last 27 regular season games with 10 doubles and 5 homers. He added another HR in the 1st round of the CL playoffs. His batted ball data also seems to support a better swing approach, with his GB% declining from 45.5% in 2017 at TRC to 42.1% at QC and 39.2% at BC. And there was a particularly dramatic decline in his popups (31.3% to 23.2% to 16.9%). If you believe the swing change improvements are permanent, then his blend of power + speed (see above: one of only 11 minor leaguers this year with 30 steals and 10+ HRs) coupled with his selective approach at the plate (10.8% BB rate at BC, 10.5% overall this season) make for a very attractive offensive performer. Defensively, the 22-year old Julks has only started 4 games in CF over his first 2 seasons in the organization. Somewhat puzzling as rotating minor league OFs through all 3 positions in the grass tends to be more the organizational norm so as to give players as much experience as possible and better evaluate them in game situations. Or maybe not so puzzling: after a game last year at TRC in which Julks dropped a FB while playing RF, Morgan Ensberg described him as "more of a left fielder". Ugh.

Perhaps the jumping the gun on list 2 of 2, but any consideration given to Stephen Wrenn?

Talk Zone / Re: Giants series
« on: August 08, 2018, 06:53:58 pm »
I was at Monday night's game.  Amazing how much energy drained out of the stadium after Marwin's blast. 

I was also very surprised by how many Astros fans were there.  To me, it looked like at least a third of the crowd. 

Talk Zone / Re: Astros acquire Martin Maldonado
« on: July 26, 2018, 12:08:28 pm »
The kid was coming into his own this year.

Agreed.  Was really excited about his development.

Talk Zone / Re: Prepare to have your flabber completely gasted
« on: July 20, 2018, 03:20:15 pm »
Fred Brocklander is still alive and umpiring in Mexico.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2018 Draft
« on: June 22, 2018, 05:22:34 pm »
Wonder if $300k is enough to pry Birdsell away from his commitment to a&m.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2018 Draft
« on: June 22, 2018, 11:24:06 am »
Looks like the Astros have $1,952,794 to spend without losing a draft pick.  Really interested to see what McKenna's deal is (assuming he does sign and it's overslot), and whether there's enough left to sign Schroeder.

Talk Zone / Re: Grandson Weston
« on: June 22, 2018, 11:08:00 am »
Damn good news on both counts.

Talk Zone / Re: What if?
« on: February 02, 2018, 12:26:08 pm »
To me, the impact of  losing J.R. Richard is undervalued.  With him in the rotation, I firmly believe the Astros win the World Series in 1980 and 1981, maybe even 1986 if he's anywhere close to close his level of dominance from a few years before.  That alone rewrites so much of the team's history and erases an ungodly amount of heartbreak.

Talk Zone / Re: my father
« on: January 23, 2018, 06:35:45 pm »
I played rugby until my early 30's.  Certainly accrued my fair share of injuries during my playing career (concussion, fractured wrist, torn ACL).  However, the game has had a profound impact on my life giving me many of my closest friends, taking me around the world, and even giving me my start in the wine industry.  For me, there's no question I would do it all over again. 

Talk Zone / Re: yelich
« on: January 23, 2018, 06:17:11 pm »
For whatever it's worth, Brewers supposedly made an offer for Yelich.  Domingo Santana apparently could be one of the pieces.

Talk Zone / Re: my father
« on: January 23, 2018, 12:53:09 pm »
Thank you, everyone!!  Sincerely appreciate the kind words.  This place truly does mean a hell of a lot to me.

And, Julio - congratulations on the new grandson!!  That is fantastic news.  Looking forward to you teaching both of your grandchildren how effing great the Astros are.

Talk Zone / my father
« on: January 22, 2018, 07:16:45 pm »
Today marked the tenth anniversary of his passing.  Dad was the reason why I'm an Astros fan.  Growing up in Tucson, probably nothing was more sacred in our house than the University of Texas, the Houston Oilers, and the Houston Astros.  The former was his alma mater (class of 1960), and he taught both my brother and me "Hook 'em, Horns" before either of us could walk.  The latter two are because my father went to UH in the late 60's for a degree in Journalism.  He once told me that some of the happiest times of his life were abusing his press credentials so he could get into the Astrodome to watch the Oilers and Astros play while drinking a cold beer with his colleagues.

Although I only post on social media infrequently, every year I write something in memory of my father on this anniversary.  If you'll forgive the intrusion, I wanted to post those thoughts here as well.  It's as much due to the content of what I wrote as it is to my feelings for the people here.  I've been coming to OWA since the days of Kevin and Scott and the (in)famous Astros Connection.  Despite not knowing any of you personally, I've also come to think of all of you as some sort of oddly extended family.  You're the folks who know what it is to love the Astros the way I do and I can honestly say that my life is far better because of the tenor of this place.

"The Astros won the World Series, Dad.  Wish to hell you were there to see it with me.  One of my earliest memories is you and I in the kitchen of the old house watching the Phillies win the 1980 World Series on that portable black & white television set with the crap 6” screen.  You were standing next to me, furiously chomping one of your cigars Mom would soon make you give up.  Only later did I understand your anger.  The Phillies miraculously came back to beat Nolan Ryan and the Astros in Game 5 of the NLCS, thereby preventing the team you loved from going to its first World Series.  Six years later, watching on an only slightly better color television set we had to endure the exquisite hell of the 1986 NLCS against the goddamn New York Mets.  There’s a special circle of hell for Fred Brocklander, a lifelong Mets’ fan whose ridiculously dodgy calls in Game 5 (Craig Reynolds is still safe at first base) and Game 6 (Ray Knight is still out on strikes) gave New York the pennant.  I’ll never forget, though, how calmly you assured me that the Astros would be back to finish what they started.  You believed it would happen.  Therefore, I believed it too.  Neither of us could know it would take thirty years and a seemingly never-ending litany of postseason losses.  We at least finally made it to a game in the Astrodome.  Sadly, the Astros no longer wore their rainbow uniforms.  However, Brian Williams took the mound that day, and the boys had the decency to beat the Reds 6-5.  A few years later, you would casually let slip that you readily abused your press pass to the Dome while you finished your Journalism degree in the late 60’s.  Maybe that’s when I finally understood what the Astros meant.  They were more than a team you taught me to love.  They were a connection to a part of your life when I wasn’t yet a possibility, a time made real for me by something we shared.  Maybe that’s when I finally began to appreciate you for the man you were.  The Astros won the World Series, Dad.  Wish to hell you were there to see it with me.

Richard Allen Schieffer: January 23, 1938 – January 22, 2007"

Talk Zone / Re: Free Agents
« on: January 08, 2018, 03:49:53 pm »
I would expect him to be a really expensive acquisition.

Agreed.  I'm sure the cost would be higher than acquiring than Gerrit Cole.

Talk Zone / Re: Free Agents
« on: January 08, 2018, 03:12:43 pm »
Michael Fulmer was also mentioned as a possible trade target. 

Beer and Queso / Re: Rick Smith Stepping Down as Texans GM
« on: January 02, 2018, 01:14:36 pm »
And if the new GM convinces McNair to bring back the Oilers, I might actually give a damn about the NFL again.

Talk Zone / Brent Strom
« on: December 31, 2017, 09:43:33 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: Trade Deadline 2017
« on: August 01, 2017, 10:58:23 am »
Lest we forget about deals at the deadline.  It might be good for every one to go back and read this classic:  Anatomy of a baseball trade.

Which included this memorable section:

If I remember correctly, the Giants supposedly offered Brandon Belt and Zach Wheeler at the last minute (according to the talking heads here in the Bay Area).

Beer and Queso / Re: The kind of shit that only happens in soccer
« on: July 21, 2017, 03:01:57 pm »
Why I love rugby and can't take soccer seriously.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2017 Draft
« on: June 16, 2017, 10:48:18 am »
More on Serrano's situation came out yesterday:

Josh Ward‏ @Josh_Ward  Jun 14
Right now, Kyle Serrano intends to play baseball at Tennessee next season. He said he told the Astros he won't sign for less than $300,000.

So, if I'm understanding correctly, it's now a question of whether the Astros can save at least $175k from signing their other picks?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2017 Draft
« on: June 12, 2017, 12:28:17 pm »
In other words, Jeren Kendall is Michael Rosamond redux?


I see what you did there.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2017 Draft
« on: May 04, 2017, 10:53:00 am »
"I smoked, but I didn't inhale."

This will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it.

Great reference. 

I'd move Cardinals fans into the 3 spot.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Where does PAGAN rank?

Talk Zone / Re: FBI Investigating Cards in Hack Job
« on: January 30, 2017, 05:52:14 pm »
One national writer feels the Cards got off easy (echoing a few of the comments others made upthread regarding a possible intuition by the Cardinals as to a pending punishment).  I tend to agree with his assessment:

Talk Zone / Re: Trade Rumors
« on: January 06, 2017, 06:28:48 pm »
Or the inclusion of Tucker in a deal for Archer was merely wild ass speculation.  I mean, it was whitey fucking gammons...

Beer and Queso / Re: Rogue One (Spoilers...probably)
« on: December 19, 2016, 10:57:53 am »
These were less Rebel spies, more Rebel commandos.  Think the movie would've been far better with  the inclusion of the former, maybe fleshing out Mads Mikkelson's character in greater detail.  Still, a great movie and a hell of a lot of fun.

(ETA: agreed about Vader - actually found the last scene/sequence a bit too clumsy of a set up.)

Beer and Queso / Re: Big 12 Expansion
« on: December 16, 2016, 11:20:32 am »
It's a great penis, a terrific penis.  Many, many people are saying this.


Talk Zone / Re: Revenue Sharing
« on: December 01, 2016, 01:41:09 pm »
Would hope they get a deal done, but don't know anything beyond what was mentioned this morning on KQED (what I posted above). 

The local ESPN station may have more details this evening on the drive home. 

Talk Zone / Re: Revenue Sharing
« on: December 01, 2016, 11:29:53 am »
Word on the radio here in the Bay Area this morning was that this possibly means a new stadium deal for the A's will be announced soon.

Talk Zone / Re: Free Agents 2016
« on: November 30, 2016, 04:38:18 pm »
It's on Fox Sports, but the story is from FanSided, so really just wild assed speculation without any merit or relevance.

That said, no way in hell I do that deal. 

Talk Zone / Re: Yoan Moncada and other Cuban prospects currently unsigned
« on: October 27, 2016, 11:47:41 am »
Who knows?  Does appear to be a medical issue, though:

McTaggert provides some further context:

Talk Zone / Re: Yoan Moncada and other Cuban prospects currently unsigned
« on: October 26, 2016, 06:33:59 pm »
Yikes.  Wonder what that is all about, if true?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Quad Cities River Bandits 2016
« on: July 29, 2016, 03:05:14 pm »
Clearly, Luhnow must've read my post in the Tri-Valley thread about a promotion for Wrenn. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Tri-City ValleyCats 2016
« on: July 25, 2016, 11:50:28 am »
Thanks, Jacksonian!!  Don't know nearly enough about these sorts of things, hence, why I asked the question.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Tri-City ValleyCats 2016
« on: July 25, 2016, 11:47:55 am »
Seriously.  Wrenn has had a very impressive start to his pro career.  Hope he keeps it up.

(ETA: Been meaning to ask whether he finish out the season at Tri-Valley? Perhaps get called up to Quad Cities?)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: July 06, 2016, 02:44:47 pm »
Astros County draft tracker had listed as still in negotiations citing a local newspaper article.  Didn't have much time to go further than that.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: July 06, 2016, 12:15:03 pm »
Thanks, Navin.  On a related note, I read that the Astros are still negotiating with Carson Larue.  Perhaps that's where their dedicating any available money?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: July 06, 2016, 11:01:51 am »
How firm of a commitment is Nick Slaughter?  If my math is correct, the Astros have just over $200k available without losing a pick.

(ETA: If there is one firm, immutable rule I've lived my life by it's never do math in public.)

Talk Zone / Re: Trade Deadline Rumors
« on: July 06, 2016, 10:51:17 am »
I still think Moran could move over to 1B with Reed becoming the full time DH.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: June 22, 2016, 01:37:38 pm »
I don't have the numbers, but that sounds like every dollar available short of a draft pick penalty

Looks like they still have (just) a bit of room to maneuver:

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: June 21, 2016, 11:24:11 am »
That guy was light's out against my  brother's alma mater (Arizona) last night. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: June 10, 2016, 10:31:38 am »
I wonder if he was picked as a money saver.

My thought as well.  Dawson struck me as a very underwhelming pick (fairly athletic with raw power, but has a middling arm and struggled with wooden bats in the Cape Cod League).  I'd like to that when both Muller and Reynolds were chosen just a few picks before, the Astros decided to save some money for over slot picks later on. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: June 09, 2016, 10:58:42 am »
You'll get no disagreement from me on either point, Reuben.  The writing for damn near most of the blogs I've read is pretty substandard.  To quote the maitre d' of Chez Quis, "I weep for the future."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: June 08, 2016, 03:31:37 pm »
An interesting read/evaluation/prognostication from the good folks writing Tri-City's blog, Cats' Corner:

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: June 07, 2016, 03:10:01 pm »
BA with their latest mock draft has the Astros taking Cody Sedlock:

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: June 03, 2016, 12:43:51 pm »
Personally, I would be very surprised if Whitley is still on the board when the Astros pick. 

That said, completely agree with the underlying point that I doubt anyone can say with certainty what the team will do in this year's draft.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: June 01, 2016, 05:29:07 pm »
For anyone interested, Crawfish Boxes is profiling a number of players in the upcoming draft:

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: May 26, 2016, 06:20:14 pm »
Thanks, Nate.  Sadly, I think you're correct regarding the commissioner and what he'll do.  The more time goes by, the more likely it is I think Manfred levies a fine and nothing further.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2016 Draft
« on: May 26, 2016, 03:11:21 pm »
With Chris Correa's sentencing being postponed yet again, reckon it's safe to assume the commissioner isn't going to forfeit any of the Cardinals' draft picks and award them to the Astros?

In a case of irony being so ironical, "The Three Amigos" was filmed in Tucson, AZ (my hometown), which was proudly the home of the Astros' Triple A club at the time, the Tucson Toros.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Top 10 Prospects
« on: February 18, 2016, 04:04:40 pm »
Really fantastic writeup - probably one of the best I've read in a long time.

This.  I've read several commentaries saying much the same thing.  That is, Houston's depth certainly took a hit from last year, but the top tier of its prospects would still rank pretty in most every other organization.

Talk Zone / Re: Ex-Astros News
« on: January 19, 2016, 12:07:47 pm »
Mark Appel still believes in his abilities, looking for the proverbial fresh start/change of scenery with the notoriously patient fans in Philadelphia:

Talk Zone / Re: Let the Stove be Heated
« on: January 06, 2016, 04:50:40 pm »
I know I'm getting WAY ahead of myself but I've wondered if Derek Fisher does not have similar skills to Gordon.

Me too.

Thanks for posting that, Duman.  You're right, excellent read.  I can only think/hope that her work makes the Astros organization as a whole better, but, more importantly, makes those young men she's coaching better.

Talk Zone / Re: Giles not named the closer
« on: December 17, 2015, 11:55:23 am »
Crawfish Boxes continues its take on the Giles trade, which sounds particularly relevant in this thread:

Talk Zone / Re: Let the Stove be Heated
« on: December 11, 2015, 02:10:54 pm »
Kazmir and Gallardo are both solid #3 starters, in my opinion. Certainly nowhere near #5 level. You could even argue Kazmir has pitched like a #2 the last couple years.

That said, I think McHugh and McCullers give the Astros two pitchers of that caliber to go behind Keuchel. And Fiers is probably on that #3/4 bubble. I don't see the point in adding another SP, assuming Feldman is healthy enough to be the 5th starter. Unless you're talking about a legit #2 type guy.

That's who I thought Shelby Miller could be for this team, but that trade was effing ridiculous and and I'm glad the Astros had no part in it.

Talk Zone / Re: Jed Lowrie traded to A's (again)
« on: November 25, 2015, 02:45:20 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: Jed Lowrie traded to A's (again)
« on: November 25, 2015, 11:54:37 am »
That would be a lot of prospects to give up for Frazier when improving the bullpen and rotation seem the priorities right now.

Talk Zone / Re: Jed Lowrie traded to A's (again)
« on: November 25, 2015, 10:30:51 am »
Also per Twittersphere, LJ Hoes back to Baltimore for cash considerations.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: AFL Rosters
« on: November 24, 2015, 10:56:39 am »
Sale comparison here:

Don't remember his fastball getting up to 98mph, though.

Talk Zone / Re: Ex-Astros News
« on: November 23, 2015, 03:43:08 pm »
Could've had Randal Grichuk in that draft as well.

Talk Zone / Re: Let the Stove be Heated
« on: November 12, 2015, 06:22:44 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: World Series Rosters
« on: November 03, 2015, 03:39:57 pm »
Correct. I didn't mean to imply that the Astros shouldn't aspire to have a better 3B than Lowrie or Valbuena. Just that both guys are fine options there - good gloves, decent bats but with flaws. Lowrie is absolutely injury-prone (and clearly never regained his hitting stroke post-injury this year); Valbuena can't hit lefties and Ks a ton. And with Lowrie due $7-8m each of the next two years, I'm not sure he's going anywhere (Valbeuna, on the other hand, could be a nice trade chip). 3B just isn't a pressing need like the bullpen is, and LF is. Some combo of Lowrie, Valbuena, and Marwin can keep it warm until Moran or Bregman are ready.

Two thoughts...  When Bregman was drafted, wasn't some of the commentary that he would (or could) eventually push Correa to 3B?  Don't remember any chatter about him (Bregman) making that switch instead.  Also, even as I think about what may happen with Reed, wonder if it makes sense for Moran to see any time at 1B next year?

Beer and Queso / Re: 2015 College Football
« on: October 27, 2015, 04:08:13 pm »
Yes, after the botched snap, the Michigan punter got his hand on the ball and tried to rugby punt it with MSU defenders bearing down on him.

As a former rugby player, that was anything but a rugby kick.

Talk Zone / Re: Cubs at Mets
« on: October 22, 2015, 02:15:30 pm »
Root for the Royals:
  • They're from our league;
  • They're not a divisional rival;
  • They're not annoying (except for Cueto);
  • They're not Canadian; and
  • They're not the Mets.

This last point is the most important (for me).  As you know, there are two more weeks of the Rugby World Cup and that is more than enough to occupy my attention.  In the spare moments when I am drawn into the World Series, however, it will be to watch those goddamn sons of whores, otherwise known as the mets, lose.

Talk Zone / Re: Cubs at Mets
« on: October 22, 2015, 11:03:47 am »
Because of 1986, I despise the mets with the energy of a 1000 white hot suns.  Reckon that puts me in the minority against the FTC sentiment.

Talk Zone / Re: Tomorrow's game
« on: October 06, 2015, 06:02:50 pm »
A nice zinfandel.  Maybe a Turley.

Appreciate you recommending Turley, NeilT.  You're a damn fine, highly intelligent man.  Any of our Zinfandels would be the saving grace to frito pie of this caliber.  To wit: I convinced my girlfriend last weekend to make her yankee chili (out of common decency, I'll decline to reveal the list of ingredients).  This seemed to have a positive effect on the outcome of the game that night.  Depending on what time I can get out of the winery this evening, that may be the order of the day again.

Talk Zone / Re: Hinch to team on video
« on: October 05, 2015, 10:27:45 am »
I'm sure most of the complaints came from the players.

I'm sure the fount of wisdom that is CJ Nitkowski will undoubtedly tell us in another of his breathlessly anticipated columns.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Hot sheet
« on: August 22, 2015, 11:34:44 am »
And also, because he can blast so far out of a circus canon, he may even be an outlier.

Just curious, approximately how many Altuves would that be?

Talk Zone / Re: Trade rumors
« on: July 23, 2015, 05:23:02 pm »
As good a summation/opinion on the trade as anything I've seen so far:

Talk Zone / Re: Trade rumors
« on: July 16, 2015, 04:24:19 pm »
Kyle Smith is another name I wouldn't mind seeing protected.

Talk Zone / Re: MLB Expansion
« on: July 15, 2015, 06:23:39 pm »
Actually trying to put pen to paper and work out what four divisions of four teams each would look like, the only way I see Houston moving back to the NL is if Portland is awarded a team over Charlotte (assuming Montreal gets the other) and the Astros are grouped together with the Braves, Marlins and Rays. 

Talk Zone / Re: MLB Expansion
« on: July 14, 2015, 06:30:00 pm »
Yeah, fuck the sea hags.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Top Prospect Lists 2015
« on: July 13, 2015, 10:27:24 am »
That said, his assessment of Appel (#56) seems pretty spot on:

"Still flashes brilliance, still erratic."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draftees and Status
« on: July 10, 2015, 05:25:44 pm »
Seriously.  Just waiting for his article about Crane being a racist because he insulted the Hispanic community.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draftees and Status
« on: July 10, 2015, 10:03:18 am »
Reading that article, I swear Drellich never misses a chance to stir some shit (i.e. a lot of needless re-dredging of the Aiken debacle).

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Top Prospect Lists 2015
« on: July 10, 2015, 09:56:28 am »
Still early to include someone like Daniel Mengden?

Talk Zone / Re: Say Hello to Fresno
« on: July 08, 2015, 10:02:11 am »
I think they will swing a deal or two as well. I expect it. I'm hoping they don't deal Phillips or Reed.

Me as well, which also raises the question of who do the Astros consider untouchable?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draftees and Status
« on: July 01, 2015, 03:46:57 pm »
That is pretty damn good news to hear.

Talk Zone / Re: AL West News
« on: June 29, 2015, 05:45:32 pm »
Jordan Zimmermann might also be available, but I would think his asking price would be extremely high and I'm not sure just how keen the Nationals are to move him, if at all.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draftees and Status
« on: June 26, 2015, 07:02:41 pm »
I wonder at this point if Sandoval is the only realistic late round over slot signing?  Just doesn't seem like the Astros will have enough money left over to sign either Sands or Baker.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draftees and Status
« on: June 15, 2015, 04:23:28 pm »
According to Jonathan Mustard, the Astros have signed Kyle Tucker, though only save about $200k off the slot value.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draftees and Status
« on: June 11, 2015, 02:18:54 pm »
If the Astros can sign any of Sandoval, Sands or Baker from the later rounds, I'll be grinning like a fool (to quote the immortal Michael Nash).

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draftees and Status
« on: June 10, 2015, 12:29:02 pm »
#319 (11th round): Mission Viejo HS LHP Patrick Sandoval

USC commit. 90-91 FB. 99 whiffs/30 walks in 87 IP. 6'3" 190 lbs.

Perfect Game writeup on Sandoval:

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draftees and Status
« on: June 09, 2015, 06:10:16 pm »
College Seniors in Rounds 7, 8, 9, 10. I guess they really did need to scrape together some extra change to afford Daz, unless I've missed some other potential over-slot guy?

I'm thinking the same thing, Reuben, although Freeman does look like a very intriguing arm.  Maybe this is also in the event there's an over slot guy who falls into the later rounds?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draftees and Status
« on: June 08, 2015, 06:34:04 pm »
So, who gets popped at 1/5?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draftees and Status
« on: June 08, 2015, 06:32:34 pm »
Not in love with it, either.  That said, I don't think there's anyone else significantly better than Bregman. 

Talk Zone / Re: Trade talk
« on: June 05, 2015, 01:06:39 pm »
Anthony Castrovince beating the drum (unconvincingly, in my mind) for the Astros to trade for Cole Hamels.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: June 03, 2015, 06:03:42 pm »
Kenny Lofton is the name I most remember because he was a star basketball player at the UofA when I was in grade school.  I also remember Eric Anthony and Gerald Young pretty well, but thanks to a quick Baseball Reference search I had forgotten just how many other prominent names were a part of that team:

Curt Schilling
Calvin Schiraldi
Andujar Cedeno
Tony Eusebio
Scott Servais
Jeff Juden
Mark McLemore

Wow.  The '91 Toros were even better than I remember.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: June 03, 2015, 05:05:44 pm »
Hi-Corbett Field, the University of Arizona's home field, is where college home runs go to die.

(ETA: Hi-Corbett was also the home field of Houston's former AAA affiliate, the Tucson Toros, when I was growing up; still remember when the Toros won their first PCL championship in 1991)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: June 02, 2015, 05:25:42 pm »
Man, this is weird. Law has his draft prospect rankings up at espn, with Rodgers #1 - and AZ SS Kevin Newman 2nd. Haven't seen him talked about as an elite talent, at all. Both BA and have him at #29, citing lack of power, speed, and fringy SS defense.

On the other hand, if you believe he's going to hit like Jose Altuve in the majors, maybe he is the 2nd-best player.

He is the only player to ever win the Cape Cod League batting title twice and earlier this year when he was hitting well over .400, Newman was talked about as going in the first ten picks (apologies, can't remember who specifically off the top of my head).  Defensively, I agree that he's probably adequate at SS.  But, from what I've read he has great baseball IQ (for lack of a better phrase) and should be more than capable playing 2B as a professional.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: May 27, 2015, 07:05:35 pm »
David Rawnsley (Houston's former Assistant Scouting Director) with his latest mock draft:

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Preliminary Rosters Announced
« on: April 02, 2015, 01:27:01 pm »
Agreed.  Really keen to see how this year shakes out for him.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: March 31, 2015, 06:48:11 pm »
At least some are starting to realize it's getting out of hand.  Brian Kenny wrote an apology to the Astros in a sportsonearth article, and Craig Calcaterra had a great tweet yesterday saying the Astros caused 9/11. 

I would put Dave Schoenfield from ESPN in that camp, in what's a fairly balanced piece to my eyes (apologies if posted somewhere else already - been a long day):

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: March 10, 2015, 05:28:31 pm »
From a look at some of the draft prospects in this past weekend's Dodgertown Classic:

From a writer I'm only slightly familiar with (and who makes a slight brain fart in the article on Walker Buehler) so take with the requisite modicum of salt.

Further reading on Swanson (WARNING: phillies related content to follow)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Top Prospect Lists 2015
« on: February 20, 2015, 11:28:27 am »
Agreed.  At first glance, Nate's summary is a bit disheartening.  But, then you think about the context between those players and their respective rankings and it becomes a much different conversation.

Also, massive thanks to Mr. Colbert for his incredible output of news during the offseason.  Certainly made the Void far more tolerable on my end.

Talk Zone / Re: What hat does Biggio wear into the Hall
« on: January 07, 2015, 06:41:05 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: HOF Voting 2015 Class
« on: January 07, 2015, 06:40:28 pm »
Curt Schilling has the answer:  Political Party Affiliation

Interesting, always thought Smoltz was a Republican. 

ETA: I know he at least campaigned for several Republican candidates in Georgia.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Top Prospect Lists 2015
« on: December 17, 2014, 10:39:36 am »
I've read it as part of the old adage you can never have enough pitching.  Perhaps that's being too simplistic?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Jacob Nix Settlement
« on: December 17, 2014, 10:35:27 am »
If only the Astros had also drafted Mike Trout instead of Jiovanni Mier in 2009!!

Seriously, I just don't see how anyone can rightly claim the Astros 2013 draft was a bust only a year and a half later.  Just my two cents.  I'm sure there are many people out there who know far more than me about these things.

Talk Zone / Re: HOF Voting 2015 Class
« on: December 12, 2014, 01:59:56 pm »
Sometimes it rains.

Talk Zone / Re: Welcome Luke Gregerson
« on: December 10, 2014, 12:34:46 pm »
The guys on MLBTV really like Gregerson. They like that he throws strikes and has guts. Heyman said his slider was excellent and reminded him of Larry Andersen.

Does this mean the Astros trade him to the Red Sox for the equivalent of Jeff Bagwell?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: December 05, 2014, 03:34:24 pm »
Had a very similar thought reading over that list.  Several very advanced arms at the top who could make things very interesting for the Astros with the second and fifth picks.

Talk Zone / Re: Free agent rumors
« on: December 05, 2014, 03:19:44 pm »
Same here.  Wonder what that makes the going price for Robertson?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Top Prospect Lists 2015
« on: November 24, 2014, 12:33:02 pm »
Curious where Fisher and Reed rank.  Would also think 11-15 range?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Rule 5
« on: November 21, 2014, 10:55:53 am »
With all due respect, you're trying to use logic.  This is the chronicle we're talking about.  Logic has no place there.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: AFL
« on: November 19, 2014, 10:15:16 am »
Agreed.  Really appreciate you taking the time to post so much information, Nate.

Talk Zone / Re: CSN Bankruptcy
« on: November 18, 2014, 11:34:24 am »
On average, the ball is in play for about 60 minutes of a 90-minute soccer match.  Taking into account half-time and time added on for rolling around like a 3-year old injuries, let's say the game takes a nice round 2 hours to be completed (in reality, slightly less) - that means the ball is in play for 50% of the overall game time.

On average, the ball is in play for about 12 minutes of a 60-minute NFL game.  Taking into account half-time, time outs and numerous other occasions when the clock is stopped, let's say the game takes a nice round 3 hours to play (in reality, usually quite a bit more) - that means the ball is in play for 6.67% of the overall game time.

I enjoy the NFL, but the reality is that, while soccer may be "boring" because there's not enough offense taking place when the ball is in play, at least it's in play.  For 93.33% of an NFL game, you are watching beer / truck commercials or grown men having a secret strategy meeting from which you're excluded.

That's why you watch rugby.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: October 02, 2014, 11:00:27 am »
Kind words, Neil, and I agree with you regarding the quality of the wine (admittedly, I'm biased because I help make the stuff). 

Roughly 75% of our wine is sold direct on the Mailing List, the rest going out into distribution.  So, you can find them in wine shops and on restaurant lists, but as Neil pointed out the markup can be pretty high. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: October 01, 2014, 05:20:45 pm »
Adam, the bartender, is the man!!! He's an Oklahoma fan, so I used to give him some "Big Game Bob" shit.

As you should, and I say liking Adam a great deal.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: October 01, 2014, 05:20:16 pm »
I have that problem all too often.  Usually, wine helps me make a more informed decision.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: October 01, 2014, 12:08:33 pm »
Same here. I love to take people out to eat. Our neighborhood place was Fume. We ate there 5-7 times a month.

Fume is a great place.  Haven't been there in awhile, but the bartender and I used to give each other a fair amount of shit - him being an ou fan and me being more enlightened because Dad was a Texas Ex and I learned "Hook 'em, Horns" before I could walk.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: October 01, 2014, 12:05:19 pm »
Cellars gremlins are jerks.  Can't tell you how many times they've raided my stash of wines.

Dragon is one of the vineyards I work with the most.  One of the highest plantings in Napa and some stunning views.  Also Larry Turley's favorite wine.  I've walked the vineyards for the Duarte blend many times.  Amazing places.  Literally like walking on the beach because of all the deposited material from the Sacramento Delta.  Heard stories of similar situations in Greece and the Canary Islands, but I've never anything like it myself. 

Overall, I love the 2011 wines we made.  You're in a great place to drink or hold what you've got for several more years easily.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: September 30, 2014, 06:25:17 pm »
Gents, a heartfelt thanks for your support.  It means a lot to me personally (validates what I do for a living) and I'm only half joking when I say you're paying my salary.

If anyone does make it out to Napa, please abuse my hospitality.  We don't have a tasting room at the winery in St. Helena where I work, but more than happy to crack open a few bottles for fellow Astros fans.  It's not like the team hasn't driven us to drink or anything.

NeilT: what do you have in your cellar?

juliogotay: I tell people all the time there's a reason why I pay to live in California.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: September 30, 2014, 03:08:26 pm »
Regret not meeting up with you while both of us were in Napa, Mr. Happy.  My girlfriend's old place in the alphabet streets was actually not all that far from where you used to be.

NeilT, I work for Turley Wine Cellars overseeing vineyards and production work.  You make it out this way at all?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: September 30, 2014, 01:21:00 pm »
To juliogotay and NeilT, yes on both accounts.  Moved out from Austin in 2009 and been out here ever since. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: September 30, 2014, 11:31:14 am »
Crawfish Boxes brings up a good point regarding FA signings affecting the Astros' Second Round pick:

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: September 30, 2014, 11:26:13 am »
Given that we're in the home stretch of Harvest out here in wine country, reckon my boss would be pretty happy if that is the worst thing I do all week.

Moving on, looks like the Astros will have four picks out of the first fifty in the 2015 Draft?


Unless I'm missing something (entirely possible), that looks like a pretty damn good position to be drafting from.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2015 Draft Thread
« on: September 29, 2014, 09:48:53 am »
Thanks, Reuben.  Noticed that shortly after I posted.  I really need to learn how to fucking read.

Talk Zone / Re: Drayton's OpEd in the Chron
« on: September 28, 2014, 11:13:58 am »
This, even more.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: OKC to the Dodgers?
« on: September 19, 2014, 01:07:37 pm »
There could be dozens waiting to jump on this bandwagon.

Talk Zone / Re: triple aaa down to two and a quagmire
« on: September 18, 2014, 01:33:25 pm »
Fresno? Fres-yes!! (as the locals will tell you)

Talk Zone / Re: Rosenthal says Luhnow and Porter not getting along
« on: August 29, 2014, 07:07:20 pm »
After reading Drellich's alleged piece of journalism on this topic in today's Chron, I have a sad feeling he's playing Anakin to JDJO's Emperor Palpatine.

Talk Zone / Re: Selig Can't Go Soon Enough
« on: August 14, 2014, 06:32:24 pm »
Wouldn't be surprised.  He was Selig's handpicked successor, and thus I doubt his first order of business will be restore the natural order of the universe by moving the Astros back to the NL.

Talk Zone / Re: Astros @ Angels Series Preview
« on: July 03, 2014, 01:20:46 pm »
You know, Rutger Hauer supposedly improvised much of his final scene in "Bladerunner," and the movie remains one of my all time favorites.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: New Astros top 10??
« on: June 27, 2014, 10:36:04 am »
Tucker is one of the more interesting prospects in my mind and I wouldn't be surprised to see him in Houston at some point later this season. 

Having said that, I've of course now consigned him to the rest of the year in the minors.

Talk Zone / Re: 2017 WORLD CHAMPS!!!1!!1!
« on: June 26, 2014, 07:36:57 pm »
Apparently, while working for NASA, Sig Mejdal's research disproved the benefits of napping.

What a prick.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2014 Draftees and Status
« on: June 24, 2014, 10:26:59 am »
Multiple sources, including the player himself, confirming that Aiken is in Houston to finalize his contract.

That is great news.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Oklahoma City - 2014
« on: June 13, 2014, 12:16:17 pm »
And Adron Chambers get traded to the Blue Jays in the process for two prospects, Alejandro Solarte and Will Dupont.  Couldn't find much info on Solarte, but he's listed as a 6"4" lefthander out of Venezuela. Dupont was a two sport prep star out of St. Louis who turned down a scholarship with Mississippi State to sign with Toronto.  Projects as a leadoff hitter and second baseman.  Looks like a pretty good haul for a guy (Chambers) who profiles more as AAAA outfielder.

fixed link

Thanks for fixing the link, Duman!!  You see, I'm just a caveman.  I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Oklahoma City - 2014
« on: June 12, 2014, 02:30:07 pm »
And Adron Chambers get traded to the Blue Jays in the process for two prospects, Alejandro Solarte and Will Dupont.  Couldn't find much info on Solarte, but he's listed as a 6"4" lefthander out of Venezuela. Dupont was a two sport prep star out of St. Louis who turned down a scholarship with Mississippi State to sign with Toronto.  Projects as a leadoff hitter and second baseman.  Looks like a pretty good haul for a guy (Chambers) who profiles more as AAAA outfielder.

fixed link

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2014 Draftees and Status
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:31:51 pm »
Astros County is doing a great job of keeping a running list of each player and news about their status. 

According to their list, Marshall won't be signing with the Astros as he's attended his first class at LSU.  So, there's that.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: DSL - 2014
« on: June 03, 2014, 05:01:40 pm »
Small correction: Connor MacDonald is a 1B (at a listed 6' 5", a second sacker he is not). He went 0-5 today batting cleanup as the Blue squad won their debut 7-2.

Great catch re: MacDonald.  Was actually going to ask whether he switched positions (which seemed very unlikely in my mind, for the reason you pointed out).  Good to hear some news on him as well.  Believe he was staying in Australia to finish school before starting his professional career?

Talk Zone / Re: Astros @ Angels Series Preview
« on: May 20, 2014, 06:12:06 pm »

"I heard the jury is still out on science."
-Gob Bluth

Talk Zone / Re: CubFan keeping it classy
« on: May 16, 2014, 07:18:14 pm »
And shoot their girlfriends.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Appel sent back to EST
« on: April 30, 2014, 12:24:53 pm »
Great point regarding command and its usage.  I would certainly include this conversation in that category.  As I said, just passing along something whose timing stuck out in my mind.

Reuben, the Astros' due diligence in scouting Appel was my first thought as well, but obviously didn't feel like getting into it with this guy.  Nice enough fellow, but didn't strike me as someone who'd let facts or logic get in the way of stating his unequivocal opinion.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Appel sent back to EST
« on: April 29, 2014, 11:27:07 am »
Categorize this as a for whatever it's worth moment...  Friends of Luhnow's brother or brother-in-law (sadly, don't remember which) told me in passing several weekends ago that Appel only has command of two pitches and the team is not happy about it.  Anyone else heard that rumor?  The husband struck me as someone a bit more impressed with people hearing the sound of his voice, so I honestly have no idea how credible his statement was.  But, coupling that with Appel's demotion does make me wonder.

Talk Zone / Re: Happy Fucking Anniversary, Wrgley Field, you dump!
« on: April 24, 2014, 03:55:59 pm »

Isn't a cake that's made from mostly non-edible parts, just a model?

As in Camelot?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2014 draft thread
« on: April 04, 2014, 06:58:17 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: Astros appeal Comcast SportsNet bankruptcy ruling
« on: April 04, 2014, 11:36:41 am »
So, you're not a nuclear rocket scientist?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: The tandem continues
« on: March 26, 2014, 09:45:13 am »
I see what you did there.

Talk Zone / Re: missed you
« on: March 11, 2014, 11:48:07 am »
I'm going to try to make it, mainly because I want to confirm that Mr. Happy is real and not some strange invention of one of you other lunatics.

I have yet to hear him deny this...

Beer and Queso / Re: Buh-Bye PAT
« on: January 23, 2014, 10:38:19 am »
Successfully converting a try with a kick close to the touchline is the thing of beauty.  If you're on the opposing team, I suppose an unsuccessful conversion attempt would also be a thing of beauty.

Beer and Queso / Re: Buh-Bye PAT
« on: January 23, 2014, 09:52:38 am »
It should also be noted that in rugby a try is awarded only when the ball is grounded with downward pressure in the try zone (hence, the term "touchdown" in American football), not for merely breaking the plane, which increases the relevancy of where the conversion is taken (see Limey's post).  Players are taught first and foremost, get the try.  Worry about the conversion after.  Watching a kicker slot a conversion from thirty meters out and near the touchline (i.e. out of bounds) is a thing of beauty, especially at the end of the match with the outcome on the line, and just as often conversion attempts fail.  American football could learn something from that.

Talk Zone / Re: HOF vote watch
« on: January 08, 2014, 01:07:00 pm »
What a crock of horsehit.  Fuck Murray Chass.

Beer and Queso / Re: Bud Adams dead at 90
« on: October 22, 2013, 04:58:10 pm »
Maybe now we can get the Oilers name back.


Talk Zone / Re: Fuck You Bud
« on: March 27, 2013, 08:11:07 pm »
I can't wait for the day that lying fuck dies in a back alley cheap hotel from syphillis.  With Bud Adams.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Early 2013 Draft Thread
« on: March 06, 2013, 08:19:55 pm »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: The All-1/1 Team
« on: February 20, 2013, 06:50:30 pm »
Thanks, Reuben.  It's an interesting exercise, and, if nothing else, a cautionary tale.  I'm glad the Astros are (finally) adding much needed talent and depth to the organization, even if I can barely bring myself to care about the upcoming season in the softball league.  But, I also cringe realizing they're drafting 1/1 precisely for the reasons you're outlining here.

Talk Zone / Re: FeMart?
« on: February 20, 2013, 12:45:39 am »
No, but Jobu can.

Talk Zone / Re: on Astros
« on: February 20, 2013, 12:40:42 am »
From the Grantland wing of ESPN is an article calling the Mets' current outfield possibly "the worst unit in professional sports and maybe all of life." 

Whoa ho, you say?  What about the Astros?  The author excuses the Astros' inadequacies because "[t]hey're less a pro sports franchise and more a socioeconomic thought experiment at this point."

I think I'm stealing that line for 2013's These Are Your Astros!

No, no.  This is accurate.  By "virtue" of being the goddamn, motherfucking steM, they automatically qualify as being the worst in all of life.  I think that actually would be redundant.

Talk Zone / Re: Morgan Ensberg and Adam Everett return!
« on: January 18, 2013, 01:24:21 am »
While Nationals fandom is a temptation for many, not just those of us who live nearby, it's moderated by the use of the term 'Natitude' which I think lacks dignity and the fact that the Lerners own some of the worst shopping malls I've ever seen.

I lived in DC for fourteen years (back when Marion Barry had his second go 'round as mayor and Logan Circle was still verboten); was actually surprised by how little my enthusiasm for the Natinals crested after the extortion of moving the Astros to the AL softball league.  Still remember watching Eric Bruntlett's game winning home run for the Stros in the 14th inning back in 2005.  My brother and I bought tickets for the cheap seats and worked our way down to club level, eerily like my last Astros home game in 2012.  Too much has changed since then...

I quit on the NBA and on the NFL many years ago for similar reasons. I don't miss the NBA, but I do have some misgivings about the NFL - at this point, I'm so lost on pro football that I have no idea who plays or for what teams, etc. I watch less than ten minutes of pro football a year, except for the Super Bowl. I don't really hang out with people so I don't miss discussions and so forth, but there is a kind of wistful feeling of loss. Not so much that I am tempted to crank my fandom back up - I pretty firmly just don't care any more - but man, I love baseball so much that I just can't do that to myself, regardless of how I might couch the spite into some kind of 'They did it to me, man, with all their bullshit...' I just can't cut baseball out of my life. I won't.

My interest in the NFL was shattered after the Oilers left.  The Astros being forced to move to the softball league is equally painful (if not moreso) because they were always THE team for me.  Like you said, though, it's baseball.  I just can't quite give that up.

Anyone else still fucking irate about the move like me?  I am half tempted to quit on MLB despite the passage of time.

Fucking irate doesn't begin to describe my feelings.  Friends don't talk baseball with me anymore because of my reaction to this goddamned extortion.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Early 2013 Draft Thread
« on: November 30, 2012, 07:13:36 pm »
Innuresting.  Former Houston Astro draftee Jacoby Jones is one spot after Cavan Biggio on that list.

Talk Zone / Re: New logo confirmed...
« on: October 28, 2012, 06:47:12 pm »
Hopefully the orange bill is the alternate cap, and the primary cap is solid navy.

Yes, goddamnit.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Shortstop
« on: September 09, 2012, 09:54:49 pm »
MIER (high A)
CORREA (rookie)

Wouldn't be surprised if Fontana overtakes Mier next year in the pecking order.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Astros MiLB postseason - 2012
« on: September 09, 2012, 09:49:01 pm »
RHP Paul Clemens for the Hooks and [screw you Drayton McLane for being a cheap-ass SOB and not being willing to consider spending $312K for] RHP Barrett Loux for Frisco;

Fuck, I'd managed to forget/repress that blatant act of stupidity.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Early 2013 Draft Thread
« on: September 06, 2012, 07:46:59 pm »
No, not at all.  2012 promises to be a very tough year in most of France because of poor weather (especially in Burgundy) leading to very small yields.  Here in Napa, we're looking much better than the last two years (touch wood), although there's still a lot of weather between now and when the Cabernet sauvignon starts coming in.

I'm just saying everyone wasn't a son of a whore. Just most of them.

And that's a very fair point, Mr. Brand.  In my defense, my statement could be read as referring not the decent fellows like Kevin Bass, but only to all those sons of whores who did play for the steM.  See, Nolan Lynn fucking Ryan.

And, C4 was beyond nucking futs.  Like an ex-girlfriend (or two) of mine, he was soup sandwich crazy.

Talk Zone / Re: New unis
« on: August 28, 2012, 09:00:22 pm »
As in Dallas Helpers.

When I first read this, I thought you said Dallas Herpes.  Suppose either is appropriate.

An outpouring of emotion -- or something -- for the last time we have to see the New York Mets. WARNING -- There may be F-Bombs ahead.

Mets Series Preview

Fuck the goddamn steM and every son of a whore who ever played for that abortion of a franchise. 

Talk Zone / Re: New unis
« on: August 28, 2012, 08:47:14 pm »
Calm down!  They're using the classic "H".  They're just putting a "D" in front of it.

As in Hetero Doxy?

Talk Zone / Re: New unis
« on: August 27, 2012, 09:20:50 pm » has a source that says the new unis will be orange and blue (as expected) and "borrowing elements from past designs but with a modern twist." Describes the hat as the H on a star, but with the H in a different font. Jersey is similar to late '60s, but without the shooting star (which seems like it sort of misses the point).

While this all sounds very promising, I really don't understand the motivation to redesign the logo.  Why not keep the classic "H" with the orange star?  I also thought moving the AL softball league was fucking stupid, so what the hell do I know?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Updated top 20 prospect list
« on: August 23, 2012, 11:17:25 am »
Perhaps most surprising is that 6 of the 10 were drafted/signed by the Astros, 5 of those pre-Luhnow. Slight bit of redemption for Bobby Heck, I guess.

My thought exactly.

Talk Zone / Re: What the Giants and Astros talked about last year
« on: August 21, 2012, 12:25:30 am »
Dude: I live in Napa. I respect Sabean but that dropped a bit when he went for Gunther, who's not been doing well so far. From what I can tell, the Phightin's fans are delighted to see him gone..

Just sent you a PM.  You're in Napa as well?  Small, small world.

Talk Zone / Re: What the Giants and Astros talked about last year
« on: August 17, 2012, 06:21:30 pm »
Talking about their shiny new cocker spaniel of an outfielder, the Giants GM said that No, he didn't go Pence because they knew Melky was about to get suspended for 'roids, in fact, they tried to trade for him last year. What did the Astros want for Pence, you ask? SF Chronicle Reporter Henry Schulman twitters "Wheeler plus another prospect. Same w/ Bourn".

Doesn't matter who the other prospect would've been, that would have easily been better than what they did get for Bourn.

I live in the Bay Area and I remember at the time of the deal a lot of the chatter in these parts with respect to Bourn was the Astros allegedly asking for Brandon Belt as part of any deal and Sabean refusing to include him.  Apparently, he (Belt) was considered untouchable, a cornerstone for the future of the giants' organization. 

When I read the anatomy of the deal outlined in Business Week and its mention of another GM reaching out at the last minute with an offer of better prospects than what the braves were offering, I assumed it was referencing Sabaen.  This would be the first I've heard of Wheeler in those discussions.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Oklahoma City - 2012
« on: August 03, 2012, 01:02:29 pm »
Judging from the box scores, it doesn't seem like OKC really has starters in the classic sense, they just use everyone to fill innings as they try to outscore the other team. 

And now Garrett Mock is joining the team.  Innuresting...

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Not happy
« on: July 31, 2012, 02:25:00 am »
There are two things that jump out at me.  First, several of these formerly highly rated prospects are still young.  I have to believe that Luhnow still feels there's enough time to turn around their careers, to turn them into MLB starters or something decent at the MLB level.  That aside, were these trades driven by a belief that Houston's minor league organization lacks depth, or that because he's in the process of overhauling the Astros this is the right time to completely rebuild the system?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Not happy
« on: July 30, 2012, 12:49:05 am »
I'm not happy with the job Wade and Heck have done.  3 years on and the levels of the minors where only the talent they hired resides is awful.  DSL, GCL, Greeneville, and Lexington all lack talent.  All of them have drafted, FA, and international talent most if not all signed by Wade/Heck.  Lancaster is near there too.

Wade is obviously no longer around.  With the recent flurry of trades and the subsequent acquisition of minor league talent, however, it feels like a good time to revisit this subject.  Rereading this thread, one of the prevalent themes is the lack of organizational depth, which is something Luhnow addressed several times, openly, with respect to the players he brought into the fold. 

I have no idea whether the Astros are done trading.  I'm really keen, though, to hear other's thoughts on where the system stands now as opposed to a year ago.  To my eye, it certainly seems to be far better.  Yet, I'm also wondering whether the system is in a position to produce MLB level talent or whether the players acquired represent the proverbial flinging everything onto the wall and seeing what sticks.

Talk Zone / Re: A request for frank assessments...
« on: July 26, 2012, 09:58:02 pm »
Early 80's Tucson Toros

Hey, I grew up in Tucson and have a lot of fond memories of the Toros.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Connor MacDonald
« on: July 26, 2012, 01:22:19 am »
Son of a bitch.  That'll teach me not to due my due diligence before posting. 

Was somewhat surprised as well about the Astros having scouts in Australia, Queenslanders are madder than cut snakes, although I suppose that's becoming the norm for MLB clubs these days (i.e. having people in far flung corners of the world). 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Connor MacDonald
« on: July 25, 2012, 07:27:57 pm »
Per Tags, Astros just signed him: (16 year old first baseman from Australia)

Talk Zone / Re: .500
« on: July 25, 2012, 07:23:12 pm »
There's a special circle of hell reserved for bud adams and bud selig and the abortion of a lemon party they'll have in each other's arms.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: BA The Youngest In Each League
« on: July 20, 2012, 11:46:01 am »
I've argued that same point about Dominguez.  22 years of age and having already played in MLB hardly seems like a lost cause.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Early 2013 Draft Thread
« on: July 20, 2012, 11:39:39 am »
Most interesting to me is that the Astros seem pretty well-positioned for three straight first-round picks. They seem headed that direction this year, anyway, and it's hard to see them improving in their first year in the AL without a major talent infusion.

Also, from what I can tell today's trade with Toronto essentially replaced one 2013 FA with another (Lyon for Cordero), so I'm assuming there will be compensation round pick there as well?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Who did not sign
« on: July 17, 2012, 01:22:11 am »
Ask Ryan Madson if Bora$$ occasionally steers his clients astray.

Very true.  But, how many of these guys think/expect they're situation will be the next Alex Rodriguez or Mark Teixeira, where Boras plays the ultimate conjurer contriving something out of seemingly nothing?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Who did not sign
« on: July 17, 2012, 01:19:14 am »
You may well be right, which would be a shame as I'm not as high on that kid as he is in himself (which generally is a good trait, but excessive ideas of personal value have brought down low many great people). I don't know enough about  how a draft looks, particularly a year from now, but I do know that the arm can a frighteningly fragile thing. One misstep, even a freak accident, and the cliff of no payday happens.

He's also got the risk of really putting himself under a lot of self-induced pressure next season to perform at a high level. He may not handle that additional pressure well and could crater under its weight. There's not a real significant difference between first round first pick slot money (assuming that he gets picked there) a year from now and slot money for his pick which was money in the bank right now. I hope that it works out for him, but I'm fearful that it won't.

I actually wasn't nearly as down on him as others around here, for whatever that's worth, and certainly wouldn't mind seeing him in the Astros organization if it comes to that next year.  That said, I have no idea what goes through the mind of an elite athlete, let alone one in his early twenties.  For the record, I had no idea what I was doing when I was his age (still don't) and despite any illusions of athletic talent I thought I possessed I was nowhere close to being blessed with Mr. Appel's gifts. 

It's an interesting thought about the self-induced pressure, though.  This really is the proverbial make or break without putting too much of a fine point on the situation.  Only name off the top of my head who dramatically improved his draft situation by going back for his senior year and still making it to the Majors with any degree of success is Khalil Greene.   

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: BA revised Top 10
« on: July 17, 2012, 01:07:52 am »
Is Cosart really thought of that poorly by scouts?  I mean, this is the first I've read that he's no longer seriously considered a top of the rotation starter. For someone who's 22 years old and on somewhat of the bounce between Double-A and Triple-A ball that strikes me as a bit premature.  

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Who did not sign
« on: July 15, 2012, 06:51:50 pm »
I think that Boras steered Appel wrong. Boras better have Appel's arm insured for this last collegiate season, or he's going to look pretty bad to prospective draftees for that manuever.

I actually wonder how much of that decision was driven by Appel.  For all his shortcomings as an ethical person, which are numerous to my thinking, Boras is pretty sharp - sharp enough to understand the dynamics of MLB's new draft system and that by going back to Stanford, even in another subpar draft class, Appel's leverage is severely diminished.  Only thing I really see him gaining is more time to sign as a senior.  I'll admit, though, having more time like that is an area where Boras thrives.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Early 2013 Draft Thread
« on: July 13, 2012, 06:19:43 pm »
Perhaps being originally from Houston he loves the Astros so much that he's bound and determined to be drafted by them?  Very crafty, which is exactly what I would expect from a (pending) Stanford grad.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Early 2013 Draft Thread
« on: July 10, 2012, 07:15:24 pm »
I think we can let this thread play on as the primary repository for draft stuff for next year.

At the ASB the Astros are #1 by 1/2 a game.

Next year's draft is one of the few things helping me keep any sense of enthusiasm or hope for the Astros.

Fuck Bud Selig.

Talk Zone / Re: Let this sink in
« on: July 02, 2012, 09:10:10 pm »
As I look at the positional players I can only see Altuve and Martinez as guys you want to build around. Disclaimer: Lawrie not in that group because I expect him to be dealt before his contract expires.

For pitchers, I have to think Norris and Lyles.  Beyond that, I'm not sure.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2012 Draftees and Status
« on: June 06, 2012, 01:58:45 pm »
Yup. I think Rawnsley is one of the best if not the best at running evaluations of high school and college players. He was adamant his group does "shoe leather" evaluations, meaning they go see the player and not just pour over numbers.

Those drafts were excruciating to behold.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2012 Draftees and Status
« on: June 06, 2012, 11:51:17 am »
I didn't know that, cool.

While he was working for BA, Rawnsley also had some rather unkind, although not unwarranted, things to say regarding the Astros skimping on the draft by continually taking college seniors far more often than (more expensive) college juniors and high school players. One of the only journalists to actually call out the organization on that point, if I recall correctly.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2012 draft
« on: June 04, 2012, 01:41:33 am »
Tom Verducci is weighing in with some interesting comments on the new spending rules for the draft:

The Major League First-Year Player Draft enters a new era on Monday with the cap system on bonuses. With severe penalties for going even five percent over budget (75 percent tax and the loss of a first-round pick), clubs will have an available pool of money (roughly $189 million for the 30 teams) that represents a 20 percent cut from what they spent in a free market system last year ($236 million). What other industry cuts its research and development investment by 20 percent in flush times?

No team has less money to spend than the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Because of the free agent signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, the Angels don't get a pick until the 114th selection. Their entire draft budget, based on values assigned to every pick through 10 rounds, is just $1,645,700, according to Baseball America. How small is that? The Angels spent $1,467,000 last year on one pick, first-rounder C.J. Cron.

And don't expect the Angels to overpay for a difficult-to-sign high schooler in the later rounds. If you spend more than $100,000 for a pick after the 10th round, the overage counts toward your budget.

Here's an example of how the money has dried up: In 2006 the Padres -- the Padres, mind you, not the Yankees or Red Sox - drafted high schooler Mat Latos in the 11th round. He slid in the draft because of rumors about his signability and his makeup. The Padres kept an eye on him as he went to junior college, and then signed him just prior to the 2007 draft for $1.25 million. Neither scenario is likely under current rules: not the draft-and-follow scenario and not the late-round big money to convince a hard to sign kid to sign.

So the Angels will have had scouts scouring the country for the past year and are left with only $1.6 million to sign amateur players. Just how small is that kind of investment in future players? The Angels' entire 2012 draft budget would cover only 10 days of pay for Pujols when he's 42 years old.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2012 draft
« on: June 04, 2012, 01:34:04 am »
As we reach the T-25.5 hour mark here before the draft, a few misc. comments:

* I am greatly intrigued by the way that Luhnow/Heck, et al will 'play' the new financial limitations imposed in this draft.  'Who' at 1.1 will be a 'huge' decision, but at the same time saving $2-3M at 1.1 for use in later rounds could also play exceptionally well...

Me as well, my good sir.  Me as well.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2012 draft
« on: June 02, 2012, 07:02:50 pm »
Since Mike S. brought up the question of who the Astros might take with their 2nd pick (supp. round, #41 overall), here's #'s 30-50 from BA's Top 500 list:

30    Shane Watson ...     RHP    HS    Lakewood (Calif.) HS    Calif.
31    Zach Eflin ...            RHP    HS    Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla.    Fla.
32    Pierce Johnson ...    RHP    4YR    Missouri State    Mo.
33    Joey Gallo ...         3B/RHP HS    Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas    Nev.
34    Tanner Rahier ...    SS    HS    Palm Desert (Calif.) HS    Calif.
35    Daniel Robertson ...    3B    HS    Upland (Calif.) HS    Calif.
36    Anthony Alford ...    OF    HS    Petal (Miss.) HS    Miss.
37    Walker Weickel ...    RHP    HS    Olympia HS, Orlando    Fla.
38    Ty Buttrey ...            RHP    HS    Providence HS, Charlotte    N.C.
39    Brian Johnson ...    LHP/1B 4YR Florida    Fla.
40    Nick Travieso ...     RHP    HS    Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Fla.    Fla.
41    Barrett Barnes ...    OF    4YR    Texas Tech    Texas
42    Mitch Haniger ...    OF    4YR    Cal Poly    Calif.
43    Carson Kelly ...      3B/RHP HS Westview HS, Portland, Ore.    Ore.
44    Mitch Brown ...      RHP    HS    Century HS, Rochester, Minn.    Minn.
45    Tyler Gonzales ...    RHP    HS    Madison HS, San Antonio    Texas
46    Nolan Fontana ...    SS    4YR    Florida    Fla.
47    Wyatt Mathisen ...    C    HS    Calallen HS, Corpus Christi, Texas    Texas
48    Clint Coulter ...      C    HS    Union HS, Camas, Wash.    Wash.
49    J.O. Berrios ...       RHP    HS    Papa Juan XXIII HS, Bayamon, P.R.    P.R.
50    Walker Buehler ...    RHP    HS    Clay HS, Lexington, Ky.    Ky.

Definitely some intriguing guys based on what I've read...

Several of those players are highly intriguing and I definitely wouldn't mind seeing them in the Astros minor league system.  As I recall, though, Heck's recent early round picks like Folty, Bushue, even Lyles, didn't exactly correspond with BA's rankings.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2012 draft
« on: June 02, 2012, 06:58:22 pm »
That will depend on what they feel it will take to sign their first pick. Granted, they could save money with their other picks, but it would take multiple under slot picks to do so. If they feel they can sign 1/1 under slot, that will free up some money, if not, they're not going to risk going over and risking penalties.

I agree that's the overriding consideration with this year's draft, which makes it so damn intriguing.  However, what if someone like Lance McCullers (an arbitrary example) falls all the way to #41.  Do they draft him and alter the rest of their board accordingly? Not at all? Stay away from him because of the MLB imposed penalties?  I'm sure there are multiple hypotheticals like this they've planned for already.  Just very curious to see what those outcomes may be.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2012 draft
« on: June 02, 2012, 11:52:33 am »
I, for one, am really interested to see who the Astros draft with their second pick.  If a player falls out of the first round because of signability concerns and is still available when the Astros come up again, do they draft him or do the new rules and salary cap preclude that?  It's crazy.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: More former Busriders
« on: May 30, 2012, 02:07:06 pm »
My brother is a UofA alum, so I was truly hoping either or both of these two would make it to the big leagues with the Astros.  Such is life in the minors, I suppose.  Thanks for posting.

Talk Zone / Re: Shooting Star Unis
« on: May 10, 2012, 01:18:45 pm »
That made no sense whatsoever. Gotta have the star. Otherwise, the shooting stuff is without context.

Was referring to the lettering/font used in the "Shooting Star" uniform.  The star itself on the jersey was never my favorite part of the look.  To each his own.

Talk Zone / Re: Shooting Star Unis
« on: May 09, 2012, 06:08:24 pm »
Would very much like to see a return of the "H" over the star on the hats.  And goddamn it, road greys all 82 times.

In a word, yes damnit.  Some form of the "shooting star" uniforms (could do without the star on the jersey and stripes on the legs) might help keep me interested in a softball AL team.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Jack Armstrong Jr.
« on: May 09, 2012, 06:04:11 pm »
As I recall, wasn't there an issue with his arm leading into the draft?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / long toss article
« on: May 08, 2012, 01:00:13 am »
As Noe might say, innuresting...

Have no idea where the Astros as an organization land on this issue (others would know far better than me).  I do remember, however, that a few years ago the Orioles implemented a plan limiting pitchers to a specific number of pitches/innings per outing regardless of the quality of said outing (i.e. potential no-no).  Wonder whether that's still in effect and, if so, how Bundy's regimen fits in. Would've also liked to see comments from proponents of the limited long toss, but I doubt the point of the article was to provide a truly balanced commentary.

ETA: Am the only one who finds it ironical that Brady Anderson is Baltimore's strength and conditioning coach?

Talk Zone / Re: Thanks, Waldo
« on: October 31, 2011, 11:53:37 pm »
I wasn't looking for anything other than what we were all thanking Waldo for.  I'd like to thank him for existing.

As far as I can remember, this site is administered by Hetero Doxy, Prince of Heck and Queen B, but I can never be sure.

I thought HD was huddled under a 610 overpass, drinking a pint of Popov vodka and cursing Enron. No?

Talk Zone / Re: Update on that online petition
« on: October 31, 2011, 11:49:06 pm »
Just got an email from the guy who created that online petition at

ETA: After news has come to light, I've edited the quote. The main concept is unchanged.

I signed as soon as I heard about the petition.  Even brought it up in person with a friend from Houston who's also an Astros fan.  His response, "Who the fuck cares? The Astros suck right now."  Sadly, I fear that's a feeling shared by many (bandwagon) fans.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: RIP Dustin Kellog
« on: October 04, 2011, 08:27:47 pm »
Has anyone heard details on the cause of accident?

Such a goddamn waste.

Talk Zone / Re: I miss the Clarks
« on: October 02, 2011, 01:37:01 am »
i think you were there first, but who cares? i had to endure my initiation too. Ray K. tried to abuse me daily. silly boy.

I'm still waiting for you and Ray K. to resolve the benefits (or lack thereof) of a slight uppercut in a hitter's swing.

Beer and Queso / car accident question
« on: June 22, 2011, 12:24:25 am »
Was recently in a car accident and it now looks like my car will be totaled out.  This being my first time with something like this, I thought I'd turn to the place where I've found all manner of advice and insight on things other than baseball. Any suggestions or guidance are obviously greatly appreciated.

Talk Zone / Angels release Scott Kazmir
« on: June 16, 2011, 01:10:40 am »
Let the wild ass speculation about the Astros signing a local kid commence.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2011 Draft
« on: May 18, 2011, 12:39:39 am »

Goldstein's 5/17 top 20 at BP:
Pros: Spangenberg is the best junior college player in the country and has been flirting with a .500 batting average for much of the spring. He has outstanding bat speed and an intrinsic feel for contact. His well above-average speed makes him dangerous on the basepaths.
Cons: He's not a good defender at any infield position, and scouts expect him to move to center field as a pro. He lacks the strength to project for more than gap power with 10-12 home runs per year.

Why am I thinking Jason Tyner revisited?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2011 Draft
« on: May 08, 2011, 11:48:10 pm »
Only the edit note in my graphic.  Maybe.  One thing you can be sure of, there's no humor in the lack of depth and talent outside of 2B and RHP.

I'd have to think, though, that the old adage one can never have enough pitching would still hold sway.

Talk Zone / Re: Time for a bullpen adjustment?
« on: May 05, 2011, 02:06:47 pm »
(plane flies off to Houston with Lyon aboard)

Millsie: "That boy was our last hope."

Wade (closing his eyes and looking upward): "No... there is another"


Does this mean Millsie is glowing and Ed Wade is actually a two foot puppet operated by Frank Oz? Or would a combination of Pam Gardner and Drayton McLane be more a pro pos?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: BA Draft 2011 Midseason top 50
« on: April 13, 2011, 07:52:10 pm »
Damn frustrating to see Bubba Starling up to sixth overall.  He's exactly the type of player I'm hoping the Astros draft more of and often.

Talk Zone / Re: PSA: 1986 Game 6 on MLB Network this Sunday
« on: April 13, 2011, 07:45:42 pm »
If they play baseball in hell, Brocklander is calling the balls and strikes.

Backman, that son of a whore, was out.

Talk Zone / Re: PSA: 1986 Game 6 on MLB Network this Sunday
« on: April 12, 2011, 09:47:59 pm »
There is one team, regardless of sport, which I despise above all others.  Fuck the steM.

Talk Zone / Re: Countdown to History
« on: April 10, 2011, 02:47:30 am »
Mate, we're not even ten games into the season.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Alaniz...
« on: August 17, 2009, 06:00:08 pm »
Thanks.  Completely forgot Meyer was a supplemental pick.  As I said, missed something blatantly obvious.  Hate it when that happens.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Alaniz...
« on: August 17, 2009, 10:35:12 am »
According to McTaggert's post, the Astros have signed 25 of their top 26 picks picks.  I'm assuming this means Matthew Watson is signed?  OSF, he's still listed as unsigned in your latest list, but since he was taken in the 26th round, and if McTaggert is correct, he must be with the Astros - or am I missing something blatantly obvious like basic math.

Really hoping that Peavey is one of those guys with whom Heck said the Astros are still negotiating.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draftees and Status
« on: July 23, 2009, 09:25:39 pm »
Thanks, bud!!  Really appreciate the update.  I actually read Levine's original post, but hadn't gone back since then to check the comments.  As Noe is wont to say, irony is so ironic.

Really curious who the late signings might be.  My gut instinct (or maybe it's simply naive hope) is that some of them may be high ceiling types who fell for one reason or another (i.e. bonus demands, college, etc.).  Guess we'll see in the next few weeks when the names are announced.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draftees and Status
« on: July 23, 2009, 04:58:03 pm »
Does anyone have an update on the unsigned draftees?  Since Aug. 17 is only a few weeks away, just wondering whether the Astros are still trying to sign them, or if these guys dropped because signability reasons and aren't likely to end up in Houston's minor leagues this year.  Believe that is the case with Peavey (the Oregon State pitcher)?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 10, 2009, 11:30:19 am »
What if I say "He's the next Charlton Jimerson!"... think the BBGs will forgive me?  I hope so!

Michael Rosamond works equally well.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 09, 2009, 10:34:24 pm »
He went to the Braves 7th overall.

Thanks for that.  Had FAR too many problems with's site trying to follow the draft.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 09, 2009, 08:09:35 pm »
Second round pick I'm guessing college pitcher.

Hmmm, maybe Mike Minor from Vandy?  At one point, he was considered the top college lefty in the draft. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 09, 2009, 07:19:20 pm »
Both Law and Callis had Mier as the pick as of this Morning. As for not taking Gibson, the factor there was the stress fracture in his right forearm.

If Heck had Mier ahead of Gibson on their draft board, then fair enough.  But, as I said, what I've read indicated that Gibson was considered the better prospect and the stress fracture is only supposed to keep on the shelf for six weeks (per Jacksonian's comment earlier today).  Again, though, I'll defer to Heck's judgment. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 09, 2009, 07:07:50 pm »

and "off the charts makeup" which plays very high with Heck and Co. I remember they said that about Castro and Seaton.

Heck knows far more about this sort of thing than I ever will, but I'm still surprised that the Astros chose Mier rather than Gibson.  Thought that the latter was widely considered the better of the two players.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 01, 2009, 08:50:57 pm »
Thanks, bud.  I understand Heck's approach in taking "best available".  But, is that determination based on a specific strategy, a la 2003 (according Hunsicker's comments), or identifying players with the best tools (for lack of a better term)?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 01, 2009, 07:51:58 pm »
On a related question, how much of the Astros' draft board and the valuation they put on on a player is determined by a specific philosophy versus taking players who are considered the best available?  I assume the former influences the latter? (i.e. "this is the type of player we want, therefore the players who have those tools are the best available") 

Specifically, I'm thinking of the 2003 draft where Hunsicker stated that the goal heading in was to get more lefthanded hitting and speed into the farm system.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 01, 2009, 03:38:43 pm »
The Astros would pay below slot, then, for a fifth rounder if they considered him to be the best player left on their board, but one who's not ordinarily considered a fifth round talent?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Bazardo
« on: June 01, 2009, 02:32:00 pm »
Is Oswalt still on your roster because of his no-trade clause? because you think the Astros honestly wouldn't move him?  Just curious.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 01, 2009, 02:27:30 pm »
Which is usually the case.

As I believe Jacksonian said, Baseball America and other reputable sources usually release fairly accurate mock drafts this close to the event itself.  That doesn't seem to be the case with respect to the Astros.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 01, 2009, 02:24:19 pm »
In year's past, signability was a problem with Houston.  Even if you discount what has been said recently about the Astros, the fact that some kids will ask for second round money is probably not lost to the team.  It will be interesting to see if Houston reacts with "well, they're right, these guys would normally go in a second round, so they should get that sort of slot money" or if they say "Drayton said no, we can't go against the Commissioner's wishes".

If the player is a second round talent who's picked later in the draft for one reason or another, I have a hard time believing the Astros won't offer higher than slot money.  If he's someone like Derek Dietrich who wasn't considered a first or second round talent but was asking for that kind of money regardless, I doubt the Astros go above slot, which means it'll be construed as the organization acquiescing to Selig once again.  But, I digress.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2009 Draft
« on: June 01, 2009, 02:07:57 pm »
He didn't tip his hand who he thought that would be.

From what I've been reading, no one outside the organization seems to know whom the Astros are going to select with the 21st pick.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Bazardo
« on: June 01, 2009, 01:57:11 pm »
But it seemed that way last year, and is anything really so different this year that they wouldn't approach things the exact same way? Maybe the recession will factor into things, but who knows. Despite the whispers of Tejada, Valverde, Oswalt, etc. I have a hard time believing the team will really sell off anybody.

I honestly have no idea whether the team will trade any of its veteran players.  If the team continues to struggle going into the All Star Break, I would hope the powers that be will bring up younger guys like Bazardo and James, while trading the older guys who are going to bring back something valuable in return.  If the Astros do turn this season around with the current roster, I hope that success won't delay the inevitable and the team would address the aging roster in the offseason.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Bazardo
« on: June 01, 2009, 12:00:11 pm »
The only positive I can take from this poor start is the belief, perhaps an erroneous one, that the team will be forced to blow this thing up and start over.  It's a move long overdue, in my opinion. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2006 Mid Term Draft Report Card
« on: May 29, 2009, 02:46:14 pm »
Had very high hopes for Moresi.  Tough to see how little he's progressed since being drafted.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: gammons has something to say
« on: May 29, 2009, 02:31:16 pm »
Whitey's cherry picking.

Very much agreed.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: gammons has something to say
« on: May 29, 2009, 02:30:12 pm »
I was really hopeful when I saw this thread title.  It used to be that Gammons had a lot to say, much of it quite worthwhile.  Alas, his analysis skills (sic) are currently on a par with Milo's broadcasting skills (sick).  In fact, he again demonstrates that he has nothing to say.

Unfortunately, I think those days are long gone.  Unless, of course, you're interested in the Red Sox.  Gammons is always willing to talk about them.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: gammons has something to say
« on: May 29, 2009, 02:27:27 pm »
Recent history seems to show a new way of doing things.  Ross Seaton was drafted in the 3rd round (supplemental).  He was signed for $700K + another 250K college scholarship plan.  This is well above slot.  Top of 2nd round kind of money.

If that trend continues, and I think it will with Heck's emphasis on best player available, I really believe the farm system is going to start producing some very special players soon.

Man, I'm getting excited about the upcoming draft.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: gammons has something to say
« on: May 29, 2009, 12:27:41 am »
If I recall correctly, wasn't the constant clashing of heads with McLane one of the reasons cited for the Hun's departure?

Regarding Whitey's column, I took the passage as a swipe at Houston's recent draft history based on a modicum of facts.  I don't know the specifics of what happened with Bowden and Lindblom.  For that, I'll defer to either Jacksonian or Duman (or anyone else with contacts in the organization).  Just damn frustrating to see this type of myth circulated once again in the national media (i.e. the Astros acquiesce to the commissioner's office when it comes to paying draft picks - Troy Patton be damned).  Thought for sure Whitey would mention Derek Dietrich as People's Exhibit B.  Maybe I'll just wait for Justice to regurgitate that bit.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / gammons has something to say
« on: May 28, 2009, 11:27:00 pm »
Apparently, Drayton is a cheap bastard.

In Houston, Astros fans must realize that owner Drayton McLane cares more about Selig's favor than his fans. He forces his scouting people to adhere to "slot." Hence, in 2005, they were not allowed to draft Michael Bowden or go $30,000 above slot for Josh Lindblom, and today Bowden and Lindblom would be Houston's Nos. 3-4 starters. No wonder the Astros are such a dysfunctional team.

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