A handful of thoughts as the months and then weeks have now turned to hours before Houston’s pitchers and catchers report to Kissimmee.
- Didn’t see Brett Wallace clearing waivers and remaining with the Astros’ organization. Just shows how far the former first rounder has fallen. At this point in the spring — and the Astros had to know this — many teams’ 40-man rosters are either full or nearly full. Still, if a team thought Wallace had another shot in him, they would have found a way. Now, watch him tear up spring training and the Astros have to cut someone else to make room at the end of next month for Wallace.
- The old school keeps going away. There once was a way of playing the game. Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell got dirty. Roy Oswalt was one of the old schoolers himself. Remember Bernie Williams? Or Bob Gibson or Ozzie Smith or George Brett? They played the game the right way, along with many others. With Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt walking into the sunset, just another reminder of the link to the good times. Now, Derek Jeter says he will retire after the 2014 season. The game isn’t the same, and I’m not sure it’s for the better.
- So, we asked the question recently when Berkman retired. But should the Astros now retire Roy Oswalt’s #44? It’s hard to say ‘no” to either one. There is no doubt that both Oswalt and Berkman are among the top 10 players in all of Astros’ history. Most would put Oswalt in the all-time Astros’ rotation and few would leave Berkman off the all-time lineup card. From my vantage point, you retire both numbers. By doing so, you also continue to hold a higher standard than in previous years for retiring numbers.
- Projections and predictions will start to roll in soon for the baseball season. Here’s an early look from Clay Davenport. Good news is this projection predicts a dramatic improvement for the Astros. Bad news is they finish last in the AL West. Surprise. Check it out. If these predictions hold up though, the Astros won’t have the #1 pick in 2015.