MMQB: True statements from around town

We’ll wade out into the Luhnow/Drellich Ocean tomorrow, but as we celebrate those who have sacrificed that we may be free, here are some thoughts about some of your thoughts.

I’m still closer to bopert than andynew with my predictions/projection/perception. –Devin.

Yes, Devin, three 100-loss season and little perceivable improvement to the major league club does little to stave off a cynical viewpoint. One by one, handful by handful, fans have drifted from the “andynew’ column to the “bopert” column. The drift continues. However, with the Astros still languishing at the bottom of the league and the open conversation that has begun in the last few days, the Astros have reached a pivotal summer. It’s time for Houston — and Luhnow — to make a move.

(Altuve) is becoming one of the top second basemen in the game. — daveb

Dave, you’re absolutely right. A couple of numbers that stand out the most: .813 OPS and .366 OBP. Not to mention that he been successful in 17 of 20 stolen base attempts. As discussed previously, how much credit should Pat Listach get that Altuve and DP partner Jonathan Villar have played so well?

It is weird that Sipp is the first left handed pitcher who falls off to the third base side in the history of the majors to get beat to 1st base. — Dan

Sarcasm noted Dan. Indeed, interesting how we dissect every misstep when a team is floundering. I coached many years and, yes, it’s supposedly second nature for a pitcher to break for first when the ball is hit on the ground to the right side. We ran drill after drill to drill it into pitchers and first basemen.  Sipp didn’t react properly, simple as that.

Bad teams have so little margin for error that every little mistake at a crucial time is magnified. — Dr. Bill.

Perhaps the truest of the true statements. I’ve alluded to this very thing before, but this is the plight of a poor team. Whether it’s a misstep, a flubbed fundamental, a no-brainer mental error, a lapse in judgement, or a missed pitch location, every little pimple becomes a huge mole. If the team starts to win, some of these blemishes won’t disappear completely, but they’ll become less obvious in light of a come-from-behind win, a walk-off home run, a game-saving double play or a four-hit shutout.

The All Star game is still a couple of months away, but this is the first season in a while that the Astros may have multiple players worthy of consideration. Here’s a quick bit of trivia for you:

  • When is the last time Houston had two players on the All Star team?
  • Who was the last pitcher to make the team?
  • Since 2000, two pitchers made the All Star team twice for Houston. Can you name them?
  • Since 2000, one player made the All Star team five times. Sorry, no bonus points for this one (you should know this)!
  • C Jason Castro and 2B Altuve were the most recent All Stars. Prior to them, who were the last catcher and second baseman named as Astros’ All Stars?


35 comments on “MMQB: True statements from around town

  1. A little off topic (What, no more Free Blog? Did the weekend end?), but did anyone see Lloyd McClendon’s comments about Keuchel?

    From the Associated Press: ”I saw average stuff,” McClendon said. ”We didn’t swing the bats very good. At some point, you’ve got to stop giving credit to average pitchers. That becomes a broken record. At some point, we’ve got to start swinging the bats.”

    Man, Lloyd, those grapes must taste awfully sour.


    • Brian, I think you understood what he “really said.”

      McClendon: “Crap they gave me a $93 Million payroll and we got beat by a $43 Million dollar club. I have to blame someone quickly, Oh, Yeah, he is just an average pitcher. But I am a super manager.”


      • I remember Billy Martin once calling Larry Gura a “batting practice pitcher,” right before Gura went out and dominated the Yankees in the 1978 ALCS. That season Gura had won 16 games for the Royals. So maybe, and here’s the lesson for McClendon, you should look at the scoreboard before flappin’ your yapper.

        But, yeah, I think you’ve got McClendon’s REAL quote pretty well explained there.


  2. I had an almost magical feeling watching the little video clips of George Springer running around the bases in that rainbow uniform.
    It’s also very strange looking at the results of Altuve’s and Kemp’s box scores every day. The hitting and the baserunning and the defense and the sparkplugs. It’s seems as though they are two little guys acting like mirror images of each other in parallel universes and you want them both to come together but how do you make it happen. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me a fan even when I don’t feel like being one.
    And Correa. Oh my gosh, Carlos Correa. His defense is amazing, his average keeps climbing and he keeps getting better as the competition gets better and he is only 19. Can you just imagine a Kemp and an Altuve hitting in front of Correa, and Springer and Singleton and Santana and Dominguez and Stassi and Tucker. Imagine having guys like Wates and Aplin and Villar and Heineman and Deshields with them. All that speed and all that power, all that OBP and all that Jazz.
    I just find it hard to hold back and wait.
    I’ll just get on topic tomorrow. I couldn’t keep that in.


  3. Kemp played some outfield in college and has played a little left field in Lancaster. He made a highlight reel diving catch going into foul territory once this year in left.
    But with his ability with the bat and on the basepaths, DH, 2B and COF are all there.


      • Kevin, I am so glad you posted that. This past spring training, Correa said he worked the entire off season on two things: His quickness on defense, so that people would stop talking about him as a third baseman, and his baserunning speed, so that people would stop referring to him as having average speed.
        So far, his defense has everyone, including his opponents, raving about him. He has 10 SB and only 3 CS in his first 1.5 months this season. Last year he was10SB in 20 attempts for the entire year.
        If I were Preston Tucker I would beg Correa to let me train with him in the offseason, because if he did he would be ready for the majors in 2015.


  4. When I was growing up the All Star game was the highlight of the baseball regular season. But it was about the players back then and it was great for me. Now baseball is all about the money and the All-star game has lost it’s luster for me. When fans can elect a player by voting 25 times I just don’t care. A couple of years ago I voted for Braun’s closest competitor 25 times, just so he would beat that weasel.


  5. oldpro, unfortunately, Tucker was not blessed with a body that will allow him to run fast. It simply is not going to happen. Based on watching him last year in Corpus, I really do believe he’s slower than Brett Wallace.


    • Dave, I agree with your current assessment. But, I think it is much harder for an elite speedster to cut 1 tenth of a second off his elite times than it is for a slow runner to knock 3 tenths off his times with certain workouts, muscle training and repetitive coaching, if he is motivated. Correa’s workouts were specifically designed to increase his initial acceleration and that is certainly something Tucker could work on and improve. He can’t ever outrun a ball but he can get a better jump and reach balls he is not getting to at the present time.


  6. I’m going to go a little off-topic to talking about Memorial Day. I am a bit of a memorial myself. My middle name is Lee and I am named after my Great Uncle Leroy Klug (my dad’s uncle) who was the second man in an Avenger that went down in the South Pacific during WWII. One of his friends saw them go down but they were never recovered.
    A few years ago we went to Washington DC on vacation and one of the things we did was look him up at a special kiosk at the WW II Memorial. That touched deeply.
    There are so many wonderful things to visit in DC honoring the many men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
    Arlington Cemetery is amazing and sobering at the same time. The thousands upon thousands of veterans buried there.
    The Vietnam Memorial is dark and touching – but you need to visit it in the daylight.
    The WW II is bright and uplifting.
    The Korean War Memorial (near the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials) was particularly effective in the twilight.
    Just saying – I love my Astros and today and every day I lift up those who loved our country so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d like to thank all of you who have served our country in the military. Our oldest son is a Navy commander, and my husband was in the Air Force. I have three living uncles who were in WW2, although they are in ill health, they can still remember those days like it was yesterday. I was a young girl of 20yrs. old when I stated flying for Delta, in the late 60’s early 70’s, and I saw way too many boys off to Viet Nam, only to come back in a coffin. Today when I see a man with a company and unit name on his cap……….I go over to him to tell him thank you. We owe these men for fighting to keep our families safe. So if you were in the service of our GREAT COUNTRY……thank you for your service.
    P.S. An update on Tony D. he will be back in action tomorrow in OKC, after months of chemo………he is healthy enough to manage again! GREAT NEWS!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tanner has suffered a set back……….it’s pneumonia. This is the WORST news we could have right now. I don’t know if you guys are the praying type………but if you are our Tanner sure could use some prayers today. Tanners dad is our Navy son.


  9. Great post Becky, my dad was a Marine in Korea and my son is in the Navy stationed in VA Beach God Bless all our Fallen Heroes!!! Prayers also big time for Tanner


  10. Kevin………Jeff will be heading to Norfolk in February as the CO in charge of the pilots. Small world.
    Thanks everyone, I know this is a baseball blog, but even though we have never met one another, I feel like I can count you as my friends. Your prayers are very much appreciated…….I feel so helpless 😦


    • Bryan is in his 3rd year he is a Computer Cryptograhpist — or um I call it eliminating the enemy from hacking our computer Infrastructure. He is actually being transfered to Hawaii in DEC. Your son is a big guy if he is CO of Pilots, nice.


  11. If you have never been to the Pearl Harbor Memorial, I suggest you do. It is the most sacred memorial I have ever seen. They ask you to talk in whispers, as it is built over the USS Arizona. Put this on your “bucket List”………you won’t be disappointed. I have been several times, and I am in awe every time I go.


  12. GEE……I hope one of our “just average” pitchers shows up tonight, along with our “just average” hitters!!!!!!


  13. Becky: I Thank God for Tanner’s doctors and caregivers and pray that He will use them as His instruments of healing and restoration and that where their efforts fall short that the Lord will be faithful to place His healing hands on Tanner. May Tanner’s recovery be swift and complete. >=))>

    Liked by 2 people

  14. drbill…….Thank you so much for your prayers of healing. This was such a complicated surgery, and the pain is so great for this little boy.:( 😦
    I trust that he is where he needs to be, and that the drugs will clear his
    infection, and he can be pain free. Please pray for his mother and dad, they are sooo worried, as am I.


  15. Today I saw our old buddy Brett Wallace go 4-4 with a HR and two runs scored for Norfolk. He looked really good out there. It’s a shame their pitching gave the game away. It’s also a shame he couldn’t put it together in Houston. I hope he gets another shot with an MLB club, whether it’s the Orioles or someone else, but don’t think the Astros made the wrong decision cutting him loose. It wasn’t going to happen for him here.


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