What they said, what they meant: Fun edition

This month’s version of What They Said, What They Meant is written under much more palatable fan conditions as the Astros have won two series in a row and six of their last nine games. And they even are looking more like a real team and not such an embarrassment. Of course by the time this is published we could be in gloom and doom times again – but for one shining moment….

So a little reminder – here are some recent Astro related quotes taken from the chron.com (spit!) and their real meaning.

Bo Porter talking about Jarred Cosart and his struggles to get through 5 innings and earn the win Saturday.

  • What he said – “I talked to him down below in between the inning.  I said, ‘You’ve struggled. It’s obvious. But we have the lead and I’m going to give you the opportunity to go out here and get three outs and secure this win and let the bullpen pick it up from there. Put the other four innings behind you. Put the command issues behind you and go out here and give me your best inning right now.’ He said, ‘you’ve got it skipper.’ He goes out there and it becomes stressful, so I walk out to the mound.  I said, ‘What are you going to tell me to convince me to leave you in this game?’ He said, ‘Well you told me to get three outs before they score. They haven’t scored yet, and I’m going to get three outs.’ That is a good one.”
  • What he meant – “Hey, when do my guys ever score 4 runs in the first to take the pressure off our own pitcher? And here the kid is throwing it away with lots of hits and lots of walks. But he is a great kid and he still has a 4-3 lead, so I want him to have a shot at winning it – so I send him out for the 5th and he gets in trouble again. I walk out to the mound thinking that I might have to pull him one out from being eligible for a win and he gives me that line – like he’s my 15 year old son who is telling me that he will finish that paper for English due tomorrow because it’s not midnight yet. Too damn funny – I had to leave him in and the kid gets the out and the win. Classic!”

Brad Peacock talking about that elusive 1st win that he picked up on Sunday.

  • What he said – “I was hunting that first win.  I knew right away they were going to score some runs for me today. They did, and it was awesome.”
  • What he meant – “OK – maybe I was not so sure after Altuve and Springer started the game with hits – Fowler struck out, Springer got picked off and Matty D popped out. But after that the guys were awesome.”

Astros Scouting Director Mike Elias speaking about the first overall pick.

  • What he said – “We have a group of candidates for the first pick we’re very excited about.  We’re comfortable with the pool (for the first pick). There are a lot of different directions we can go. I personally feel good about all the options. All that said we haven’t decided what our favorite option is and what direction we want to pursue. I think we’re going to have to get together as a group and meet and discuss all these players before we know which direction.”
  • What he meant – “Of course we know what we are going to do. But you could rub my grandma with raw meat and lower her into a crocodile pit and I’m not revealing anything but my name, rank and serial number.”

Porter on  Chad Qualls new role

  • What he said – “We have a lead in the ninth, Chad Qualls will get the ball. He’s really been good of late and actually looks like his velo is back. His heavy sinker has been working, ground ball after ground ball, so if we have a lead and he’s available, he’ll get the ball.”
  • What he meant – “So, my closer by committee idea worked as good as my leaving the names off of the players jerseys. But I’m proud and I don’t actually want to straight out say that Chad Qualls is the one and only closer. Let’s just say that closer by committee has entered a new phase and Qualls is a committe of one.”

George Springer after hitting a 7th inning game tying homer that left the bat at 112 mph….

  • What he said – “It’s obviously a big spot. I wasn’t really trying to hit a home run. It’s a huge win for the team.”
  • What he meant – “Hell yes, I was trying to hit a home run. Heck, I’m taking home run swings in the 1st inning and with a duck on the pond I wanted to get us both home with one swat. You don’t have the ball leave the bat at 112 mph and leave the park in a microsecond by just trying to make contact. Man, that felt good!”

Dallas Keuchel (Part 1) about his team….

  • What he said – “We’re pretty talented.  We’re major league baseball players. … Guys like the Yankees and Red Sox, those guys, they were in a position we are at one point, so it’s all about getting your feet on the ground and moving.”
  • What he meant – “Yes, I think we are talented. No I have not been partying with Jonathan Singleton lately. Yes, I might be using a bit of hyperbole after my first career complete game shutout. So, sue me.”

Dallas Keuchel (Part 2) about beating the Rangers….

  • What he said – “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good, especially against that type of lineup. We weren’t very good against the Rangers last year. I think we had two wins and one of them came on opening day. That’s how miserable we’ve been against them.”
  • What he meant – I think he meant every word of it.

Tony Sipp (who has retired all 20 batters he has faced including 11 Ks) on coming to the Astros

  • What he said – “Definitely wanted to make a good impression, but right now I think we’re just looking for wins.  Just being able to kind of reassure the staff that you want to be the guy and the whole ‘pen in general — we want to be that strong point.”
  • What he meant – “When the Astros picked me up and I looked up their bullpen stats – I suddenly felt giddy with no pressure. Even when I was pitching bad my ERA was way better than Williams, Cisnero, Fields, Chapman and Valdes. So – I decided to show up and let it rip and see what happens. I’m killing it. I want to stand on the bow of a boat and yell out, ‘I am the king of the world!’ All I need is Kate Winslet and things will be perfect.”

Bonus from the NY Times last January – a quote from Jeff Luhnow on the draft.

  • What he said – “You hopefully don’t pick 1-1 very often, and when you do, success is defined by drafting and developing a franchise-type player – not just a regular, but somebody you can really build around. “
  • What he meant – Dear readers – it is your turn to tell us what Jeff meant

44 comments on “What they said, what they meant: Fun edition

  1. What Elias really meant: We don’t have a clue who to draft. Rodon did a Moonwalk on us and the other guys are babies. Trea Turner is a SS and we need to tie up more millions in a middle infielder like we need a hole in the head. Rodon told us he wants $10mil to sign up into a stupid tandem system and the two high school pitchers said they would rather go to college than pitch in our screwed up minor league pitching system for four years.
    Alex Jackson told us he didn’t like the way we treated Springer, so he’s thinking about defecting to Cuba rather than go 1.1 to us.
    We’re thinking about drafting the best softball pitcher in the country because it’s different, it’s groundbreaking and our fans will hate it, so that’s probably what we’ll do.

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    • You hit on some things that could be going through folks minds – but in the end the 1-1 gets the most money and it is always about the money.

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    • Amen on the middle infielder thing, Oldpro … I mean Mr. Elias. As it is, I look at our minor leagues and think, “Can we move more of these guys to the outfield like we did with DeShields.”

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      • So do you draft for need or draft the best player regardless? The Texans just went through this and picked the best player who might not fit best to their system.

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      • Brian, If they move them to the outfield, they will either move them to the wrong outfield position OR move them to a position for their entire minor league career and then switch them in their first week in the Bigs to screw with their heads.

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  2. What Tony Sipp really meant: I am elated to move up to AAAA, but I realize I will probably lose some games without even giving up any runs here.
    What Jeff really meant: Whomever we draft at 1.1, I hope he wants to pitch every fourth day and be a starter AND a reliever because that’s how we roll!

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    • Sipp’s key stat seems to be his walk rate – last season it was over 5 and he was poor (but better than what we had in the bullpen). This season it is better and he has been too – both here and in the minors.
      Just not sure if they will run from the tandem or not. I think they will run to the $$$$.

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    • Good point. The MLB studio guys were fixated on his high K rate. I did wonder, when was the last time he dropped down a bunt? His speed is playing out in so many situations. I’m wishing there was a bit more garbage contact (like Pence) to take advantage.

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  3. What Luhnow meant: While it’s nice to be on the clock essentially since the end of September, I am so tired of these media interviews about how bad we suck. This plan better start working, or I’m going to call for my firing. Sheesh.

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  4. Gosh, I hope Becky didn’t stay up to watch that game last night. She’s liable to take shrimpboat cruise into the Gulf, never to blog with us again.

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    • Becky is tough – one game is not going to make her a Ranger’s fan. But she might have kicked her dog after that one.

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      • File this under “don’t look now” but doubt Becky would move to being a Rangers fan. They presently are only 4.5 games ahead of the Astros. I’m guessing Tigers with Ausmus.

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      • The way to a man’s heart is thru the stomach – the way to a woman’s heart is thru a cute ex-catcher who can think and coach?

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  5. Good stuff Dan. I actually think bo did a good job with the those quotes. Maybe he’s improving. As for leaving Cosart in the game, I think pulling him would have been a move that loses him favor in the clubhouse. He needs all the good will he can build up.

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    • I think Bo may have one of those personalities (which we see in business) where when things are good – he is good and when things are bad you don’t want to be around him. He rarely gets to show his good side?

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  6. Change of subject to Jon Singleton. It might appear he is in a slump, but I don’t think he is. In his last 10 games he is hitting only .219, but his OBP is .419, a whopping 200 points higher. He only has seven hits in his last 10 games but 2 of them were doubles and 1 was a HR. He has 11 walks and 11 Ks.
    Pitchers are daring him to swing at pitches outside the zone and he is walking at a staggering rate. A few more nights like last night(12-0 win over NO) with Stassi crucshing the ball behind Singleton and Santana crushing the ball in front of him, and pitchers may just start rolling the ball up to him or throwing at him.

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    • That is an amazing walk rate for Singleton.
      I’m betting if he gets called up he will get more pitches – at least for a while.

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    • oldpro, looks like they’re trying to remedy that situation. Singleton is batting (ahem) second today, ahead of Santana.

      Meanwhile, in other OKC news, Asher Wojciechowski has pitched 2 innings (34) pitches thus far with 1 hit, 1 BB, 3Ks in his line. Remember, he’s on a rehab assignment, which has a 20 day for pitchers, if I remember correctly.

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  7. Oldpro, and Dan……..No I didn’t kick my dog last night, watching the “keystone cops” but I did say some unlady like words along the way! Tough to listen to, since I can’t see them……..which was probably a GOOD thing!
    It’s nice to have too many pitchers in the minors!!! Welcome back Asher!!

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  8. Did you guys catch the article about Miguel Olivo biting off a part of Alex Guerrero’s ear?
    What the HECK is *that* all about??!! Olivo is suspended indefinitely……..idiot.

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  9. It looked like Springer was in a LOT of pain after getting picked off. GEEZE I hope
    he’s not going to be on DL. Uncle Albert is back ya’ll.

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  10. Humiliating night for Springer. Takes an intentional pitch in the butt for hitting a homer off of Weaver and then promptly gets picked off. Good learning experience for the rookie. Somehow I think he’ll hit more homers off Weaver.

    oldpro, not to steal your thunder, but Thomas Shirley threw goose eggs for six again last night, just one hit. They’ve got to make room for him in OKC at some point soon.

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