It’s Friday and there won’t be any baseball today. Nada. America’s past time returns Tuesday with the Royals and Giants in the World Series. If you believe some predictions, two years from now, it will be the Astros and another National League team starting the best of seven MLB championship.
By the way, tune in Monday. I’ll have something for your debate and discussion that I guarantee will bring out your opinions. I’m guessing even those who haven’t commented in some time — or never — will want to chime in. Monday.
As for today, here are a few thoughts to kick off our Free Blog Weekend.
You think the Astros’ drafts have been bad?
- When Andrew Friedman went from one of the poorest MLB teams (Rays) to one of the richest (Dodgers), I took a look at how he had built the Tampa Bay organization. If you’d admit it, you’d say they built through the draft and that the team was generally successful in the draft. Right? Years ago, yes. Lately, no. In fact, no one drafted by the Rays has reached the majors from the last four drafts. You have to go back to 2010 to find four players (no names at that) who have spent any time in the majors. 2009? Two more players, both with negative WAR. 2008? Tim Beckham and Kyle Lobstein. Go all the way back to 2007 and you find David Price and Matt Moore, but only three others who’ve had a cup of coffee or two. Who’d have guessed?
Rangers’ measuring stick for manager hiring.
- According to the Dallas News, GM Jon Daniels said the Rangers were looking for five things in a new manager: “Somebody who would immediately re-create a winning culture; somebody who could get the most of personnel; presence; preparation and somebody who was interested in an “organizational partnership.” How did the Astros do with those criteria in hiring A.J. Hinch?
Don’t just stand there!
- Have to agree with Bill Chuck. Like I used to tell my players: “If you have two strikes, you better be swinging if it’s close!” These stats are telling. Very telling. Apparently, Robbie Grossman was among the leaders in taking a called third strike. And, more importantly, apparently the Astros were last in the majors — not just the AL — in taking a called third strike. These stats speak for themselves, but you may have more to say about them.
That catcher thing is catching on.
- With the recent hirings of A.J. Hinch (Astros) and Jeff Banister (Rangers), 12 — count ’em 12! — former catchers are now serving as managers of major league baseball teams. Joe Girardi (Yankees), Mike Scioscia (Angels), Brad Ausmus (Tigers), Joe Maddon (Rays), Bruce Bochy (Giants), Bob Melvin (A’s), Ned Yost (Royals), Fredi Gonzalez (Braves), Mike Matheny (Cardinals), Mike Redmond (Marlins).
And your questions for the weekend conversation.
- I’m convinced one of these players will have a breakout 2015. Which one is most likely: Jon Singleton, Matt Dominguez, Jake Marisnick or Jason Castro?
- Who will serve as their team’s manager longest: Astros’ Hinch or Rangers’ Banister?
- Finish this sentence: This winter, I’ll be thrilled if the Astros…
- Gary Pettis was added to the Astros’ coaching staff Thursday. Which of these coaches would you most like to see the Astros retain for the 2015 major league staff: Adam Everett, Pat Listach or Tom Lawless.
- Which of these players is most likely to play in Houston in 2015: Mark Appel, Carlos Correa, Colin Moran, Domingo Santana or Kyle Smith?