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Finish the Phrase: Astros’ spring training edition


This entry is as easy as the title. Here are 10 phrases related to the Astros and your job is to complete them all or as many as you wish.

1) “The guy I really want to see at the major league level this season is….”

2) “The hot seat is warmed up and ready for…”

3) “A.J. Hinch will be….”

4) “When I close my eyes and think about the last week of the 2015 season, I see…”

5) “The off season addition that I think will bring a smile to most faces is…”

6) “The off season addition most likely to win the Jesus Guzman award is…”

7) “I think Jeff Luhnow’s plan is to …”

8) “Three years from now the Astros will be …”

9) “The guy the Astros traded away in the last year that I most regret is….”

10) “Jim Crane, Hillary Clinton and Bill Cosby go into a bar and ….”

Have fun….

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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

54 comments on “Finish the Phrase: Astros’ spring training edition

  1. 1oldpro
    March 7, 2015

    1.The guy I really want to see at the major league level this season is Preston Tucker.
    2. The hot seat is warmed up and ready for Matty D.
    3. AJ Hinch will be better off in Houston than he was in Arizona.
    4.When I close my eyes and think about the last week of the 2015 season I see Colby Rasmus playing for a contender.
    5. The off season addition I think will bring a smile to most faces is Luis Valbuena.
    6. The off season addition most likely to win the Jesus Guzman award is Hank Conger.
    7. I think Jeff Luhnow’s plan is to keep the Astros payroll as low as he can for as long as he can without getting fired.
    8. Three years from now the Astros will be the youngest team in the league with one of the three lowest payrolls.
    9. The guy that the Astros traded away in the last year that I most regret is Cosart, because he had the most talent, the most team control and was actually successful in his role.
    10. Jim Crane, Hillary Clinton and Bill Cosby go into a bar and sit down together. When they leave, the bar it is worse off, burned and violated.

    Like

    • Dan P
      March 7, 2015

      Nicely done old pro – so you think Rasmus will still be playing for the AL West leading Astros at the end of 2015.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        March 7, 2015

        If the Astros are a contender he will be playing for them. If they are not contenders I think he will be playing for a contender.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dan P
        March 7, 2015

        Fair enough

        Like

    • videoidget1
      March 9, 2015

      #7 and #8 — interesting replies…. and likely accurate.

      Like

      • Dan P
        March 9, 2015

        bopert – We’ve missed you – yes, this could be true – I don’t mind them having a younger team but I sure want them to mix in a few bigger players when they show improvement.

        Like

  2. Chip Bailey
    March 7, 2015

    1) “The guy I really want to see at the major league level this season is Mark Appel. Just think he’s got his stuff together now. Is he better than Keuchel or McHugh? Let’s see.”

    2) “The hot seat is warmed up and ready for Jon Singleton. Clearly, he’s the guy with the most to prove this spring. Unfortunately, he came into the spring sitting on that hot seat.”

    3) “A.J. Hinch will be in a much better position than 3-4 of his predecessors, including Porter, Brad Mills and Cecil Cooper.

    4) “When I close my eyes and think about the last week of the 2015 season, I see Becky’s hair turning purple, others trying to remember the opening day lineup and drool on most faces in and out of Houston looking forward to 2016.”

    5) “The off season addition that I think will bring a smile to most faces is Luke Gregerson.

    6) “The off season addition most likely to win the Jesus Guzman award is Colby Rasmus.”

    7) “I think Jeff Luhnow’s plan is to keep as much flexibility as possible for next winter when he will likely forge into the upper realm of free agency or trade acquisition.”

    8) “Three years from now the Astros will be have a television contract hopefully that will allow more than 40% of fans watch a majority of the games.”

    9) “The guy the Astros traded away in the last year that I most regret is Jarred Cosart. Runnerup is Michael Foltynewicz.”

    10) “Jim Crane, Hillary Clinton and Bill Cosby go into a bar and have a drink. When they leave Hillary owns the Astros, Crane is running for president and no one knows where Cosby is since he left the table with . . .”

    Like

    • Dan P
      March 7, 2015

      Nicely done boss – I think more than 40% will see the games but I don’t know the exact percentage

      Like

  3. Steven
    March 7, 2015

    1 – Toss a coin, Appel or Correa.

    2 – Luhnow.

    3 – Better for the experience in Arizona.

    4 – A 75 win team on the verge of getting MUCH better, and Carlos Correa at SS.

    5 – Lowrie. Maybe Gattis if he can stay in the lineup.

    6 – Rasmus. Perfect fit – once a good player on a serious downward trend.

    7 – Not have to run the AC at MMP this year, and break a record for “fans.”

    8 – A plus .500 team with a young (enough) core of Altuve, Correa and Springer – but facing the spectre of Springer’s pending FA.

    9 – Tropeano – I just saw something in Nitro. Cosart also – great pitcher in the making if he can figure out how to throw enough strikes to not be a 5 inning guy.

    10 – I would advise Hilary to keep a close eye on her drink.

    Like

    • Dan P
      March 7, 2015

      Are you thinking Cosby is putting something in her drink or Crane is stealing it?

      Like

      • Steven
        March 7, 2015

        Open ended question best left to the audience.

        Like

      • Dan P
        March 7, 2015

        Ok Steven

        Like

  4. 1oldpro
    March 7, 2015

    My daughter brought me 3 caps today from Houston. All brand new with the tags still on them
    1. 2005 National League Champions with the red star logo
    2. 1994 NBA World Champions Houston Rockets. The official one.
    3. 2004 Reebok Super Bowl XXXVIII cap with an official Super Bowl Volunteer pin attached to it.
    I’m wearing the Astros cap now and I’ll wear that one out. Guess I’ll save the other two, maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      March 7, 2015

      Wow old pro – nice Houston sports haul is this a birthday? Either way – great job by your daughter.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        March 7, 2015

        Believe it or not, this is benefits from my son in laws old man cave, which is now an office.

        Like

      • Dan P
        March 8, 2015

        Well glad it is with someone who treasures it.

        Like

  5. SargeH
    March 8, 2015

    1) “The guy I really want to see at the major league level this season is….”

    The ball-crushing Jon Singleton. He has had his chance to get his feet wet and now it is time for him to step up and perform up to the standards he set while in the minor leagues.

    2) “The hot seat is warmed up and ready for…”

    Matt Dominguez. Newly acquired Valbueno has, thus far, proven to be the real deal since he was brought over to the Astros’ club. Follow this up with the fact that Dominguez really has no other position under his dossier; he has to step up his performance at third base or move down to the minors. Yes, he is receiving some reps at first base during drills but first base is already fully covered by so many other big boppers that WILL remain with the club after it breaks spring training.

    3) “A.J. Hinch will be….”

    More laid back than what-is-his-name… oh yea… Porter. I actually had to go back and google because I had forgotten his name already. Not a bad thing to do. Being a former catcher, he should handle the bullpen much better than it was in the past. So I cautiously hold out hope that he will lead the club to a .500 or better finish this season.

    4) “When I close my eyes and think about the last week of the 2015 season, I see…”

    The Astros in a hard fight for the final wild-card spot in the league. More big bats and some real closer types in the bullpen equals a chance to be in the spotlight, something the club has avoided for a decade.

    5) “The off season addition that I think will bring a smile to most faces is…”

    Gattis, who will end the season with 35+ homers, 100+ RBIs and unfortunately, Carlos Lee type fielding in left field. I chose him for my fantasy league teams for the past two years and I was pleased with his performance when healthy. We will be happy with him.

    6) “The off season addition most likely to win the Jesus Guzman award is…”

    Ugghh!I do not even want to consider this. Sam Deduno is getting long in tooth and he has had only one good season in his five year career. A close runner-up would be Robbie Grossman. He has not had a full season yet, yet, he was given a full chance at the beginning of the past two seasons and failed miserably. Oh sure, he was hot after being called up well into the season but this has to be done over the course of the entire season.

    7) “I think Jeff Luhnow’s plan is to …”

    Continue to trade off older minor league prospects, and those who are not his picks and keep the minors loaded with younger players to develop a self-sustaining pipeline of players for the future major league clubs.

    8) “Three years from now the Astros will be …”

    Always returning to the playoff race year after year, just like they did in the late 90s to mid-00s. I am not saying that they will always be in the playoffs but they will be knocking on the door each year for the next decade.

    9) “The guy the Astros traded away in the last year that I most regret is….”

    Michael G. Foltynewicz. Just as you cannot teach height in basketball, you cannot teach high-speed cheese! A high-power arm in the starting rotation is a luxury that many teams do not have. Folty could have been taught the Zen of corralling his arm just as J.R. Richards was. J.R. was wild at first but once he understood how to hit his spots, he was unhittable… even causing opposing players to develop the Richards flu on the days that he pitched.

    10) “Jim Crane, Hillary Clinton and Bill Cosby go into a bar and ….”

    Jim says, “Hey Hillary! I am a huge donor to your cause! I have been under a lot of heat because my club has been moved to the American League against my wishes. Can you help me move it back to the National League?” “Certainly” Hillary responds. “Here is my email address to which you must pay… eerrr… donate any relief to.” Bill, on the other hand, begins his “I started out as a child” routine to lower the stress of any women at the bar…

    Like

    • Dan P
      March 8, 2015

      Good stuff Sarge, especially love #8
      For #6 I was looking for someone who was picked up in the off-season.

      Like

      • SargeH
        March 8, 2015

        Ok, #6… Roberto Hernandez.

        Like

      • Dan P
        March 8, 2015

        That would be an excellent choice to not be excellent, Sarge. Has he ever gotten his visa problems settled?

        Like

      • SargeH
        March 9, 2015

        Yes Dan, he is in camp now.

        Like

  6. Devin_
    March 8, 2015

    1. Sclafani
    2. Mike Redmond
    3. A lightning rod for unfair criticism.
    4. Futility
    5. George Springer’s health
    6. Ha! I’m not falling for that one this early in the spring!
    7. Convince us there is a plan when he is improvising
    8. TBD
    9. Cosart. I still think he has the ability to front the rotation.
    10. …this is worse than the Jesus Guzman q!

    Like

    • Dan P
      March 8, 2015

      Very succinct Devin…

      Like

  7. BrianT
    March 8, 2015

    1) “The guy I really want to see at the major league level this season is….”

    Preston Tucker. I just think he’s ready and would make an impact. Also, it would allow the Astros to move Rasmus, who I think is in decline as a player based on his contact rates.

    2) “The hot seat is warmed up and ready for…”

    Jeff Luhnow. If this team doesn’t win 80 games, he’ll be feeling the heat. If it’s close, he gets another year. If the Astros squeak out 70-73 wins, he’s gone.

    3) “A.J. Hinch will be….”

    Houston’s manager in 2016.

    4) “When I close my eyes and think about the last week of the 2015 season, I see…”

    Altuve winning the batting title.

    5) “The off season addition that I think will bring a smile to most faces is…”

    Evan Gattis. I think the Crawford Boxes are going to need some restoration in October after he’s done doing damage to that area. A close second will be Luis Valbuena, who will show us what we missed last year at third base.

    6) “The off season addition most likely to win the Jesus Guzman award is…”

    I really don’t see a candidate here. I don’t think anyone falls off the ledge like that. Rasmus might become expendable if JFSF or Tucker come in and start crushing it. Or in Marisnick’s case, if he can just get on base at a clip better than .325 and play stellar defense, then Tucker comes up and crushes it, then Rasmus is looking like trade bait.

    7) “I think Jeff Luhnow’s plan is to …”

    Clear 80 wins this year, trade either Carter or Gattis this off season (provided Singleton can hit), and bring Correa up to start 2016. Rasmus is strictly a one-year deal, so JFSF or someone else will need to develop in the outfield.

    8) “Three years from now the Astros will be …”

    Contenders, year in and year out for the foreseeable future.

    9) “The guy the Astros traded away in the last year that I most regret is….”

    Cosart or Folty. It’s a toss up. Probably Cosart if I had to pick just one.

    10) “Jim Crane, Hillary Clinton and Bill Cosby go into a bar and ….”

    Since the bar is in Houston, they all get tossed out since no one in a Houston bar likes Crane, liberals or child molesters.

    Like

    • Dan P
      March 8, 2015

      Wow – Brian T – Good answers across the board….

      Like

      • BrianT
        March 8, 2015

        I misread No. 4. I thought, for some reason, it said 2014. That said, I’ll stick with my answer.

        Like

      • Dan P
        March 8, 2015

        Yes – I can see that too Brian…

        Like

    • Tim
      March 8, 2015

      Brian,

      I will be honest and say if Marisnick has an OBP near .325 I will be very happy and say he will be our starting CFer for the majority of 2015. With his low OBP skills he will have to hit near .300 to have a .325 OBP and with his superior defense I think we will all take that.

      Like

      • Dan P
        March 8, 2015

        I don’t see Marisnick as a .300 hitter but I could see him hitting .285 and maybe raise his walk rate a little. I would sure to love to see that glove out there somewhere.

        Like

      • Tim
        March 9, 2015

        I would be happy with a .285 BA, if he increased his walk rate enough to have close to a .325 OBP. With his exceptional defense that offense is more than enough to get him in the lineup on a regular basis. What we can’t have is an OBP south of .300.

        Like

      • Dan P
        March 9, 2015

        Sure we could live with that and could easily live with it if some of his teammates pick up their pace too.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan P
    March 8, 2015

    Dan’s answer to Dan’s questions….
    1) “The guy I really want to see at the major league level this season is….Mark Appel” (though Correa would be great)

    2) “The hot seat is warmed up and ready for…Jeff Luhnow.” (He has had time to turn it around and needs to show he can judge talent at the top levels)

    3) “A.J. Hinch will be….a better manager than Bo Porter because he will have better players and because he realizes he is coaching modern baseball and not old style football.”

    4) “When I close my eyes and think about the last week of the 2015 season, I see…a team a little bit above .500, but on the rise.”

    5) “The off season addition that I think will bring a smile to most faces is…Gregerson.” My guess for closer.

    6) “The off season addition most likely to win the Jesus Guzman award is…Rasmus.” But I hope he is fine really

    7) “I think Jeff Luhnow’s plan is to …ask Crane to spend at mid-season if the team is in contention for the wild card.”

    8) “Three years from now the Astros will be …a consistent winner or they’ll be a different GM.”

    9) “The guy the Astros traded away in the last year that I most regret is….Folty – we have not had too many big arms in the system.”

    10) “Jim Crane, Hillary Clinton and Bill Cosby go into a bar and ….Bill keeps talking about how he used to have no problem picking up women in a place like this – Jim keeps trying to get the bar man to change the channel over to the Astros game but they don’t have Root TV and Hillary says she is used to being around a guy named Bill who harasses women.

    Like

  9. 1oldpro
    March 8, 2015

    Buster Olney has an ESPN Insider article naming the Astros early schedule as the hardest one in baseball.
    I bring this up because of our extensive discussions on the opening day roster and the decisions that have to be made.
    One of the factors involved might be the inability to field a 25-man roster that is “one that is seemingly good for the long run”. We may have to tailor that opening day roster to be one that fits the first sixty days of play against top flight teams and we might want to formulate that roster to be able to maximize matchups and make moves we might not ordinarily make because most of the teams we play have good starters, good bullpens and good hitters those teams are going to be harder to beat.
    In other words, we might want to keep this guy in the minors all year, but he could be a key for us in the first sixty days, when our analytics guys tell us we’re going to need him. OR we wanted this guy on the roster opening the season, but our analytics tell us he may struggle in the first sixty days and we can’t afford that with our schedule.

    Like

    • Dan P
      March 8, 2015

      Just my opinion but I bet they are going to stick to their plan no matter the schedule.

      Like

    • Devin_
      March 8, 2015

      I as thinking along similar lines, but more to the effect that 40 man roster spots may prohibit them from taking a chance on a guy who has a breakout spring. If anyone gets off to the Jason Smith / Domingo Santana / George Springer slow start to their career they would be hamstrung to make moves in accordance unless players had made it through waivers and accepted assignments to Fresno.

      Like

  10. BrianT
    March 8, 2015

    I’d just like to point out that the lineup vs. the Braves right now features Matty D. followed by L.J. Hoes.

    Please, Lord, don’t let me ever see this during the regular season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      March 8, 2015

      You might see it Brian – but hopefully only at Fresno…

      Like

    • Devin_
      March 8, 2015

      Just showcasing to the Braves what they could have had in the Gattis deal…

      Like

      • Dan P
        March 8, 2015

        Or showing them how lucky they were with what they got….

        Like

  11. 1oldpro
    March 8, 2015

    So, we had 14 runs on 20 hits against the Tigers and 2 runs on no hits against the Braves. Getting no-hit and still not losing the game, that’s a riot!

    Like

    • Dan P
      March 8, 2015

      First no hitter in Astros history was a 1-0 loss by Ken Johnson.
      But yes ST brings odd games.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        March 8, 2015

        I listened to that game on the radio. Gene Elston was on the mic

        Like

      • Dan P
        March 8, 2015

        Gene Elston, what a professional and a pleasure – nice you got to hear that one.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        March 8, 2015

        Dan, If I remember correctly, the run that Johnson allowed was a walk and then an error on Johnson himself on Pete Rose’s sac bunt followed by an error by HOF 2B Nellie Fox on a 2-out grounder hit by Vada Pinson.. After all the losses the 45s had, this one was particularly hard to take. This was the first nine inning no-hit loss by a pitcher in major league history.

        Like

      • Dan P
        March 8, 2015

        That sounds right old pro from what I read about it (we moved here about a year and a half later) after the fact.
        Oh well at least it was a first.

        Like

      • Chip Bailey
        March 9, 2015

        Hey guys, thought you might be interested, so here’s the boxscore from that 1-0 no hitter loss.

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU196404230.shtml

        Just a quick note. This was the second no hitter in Astros’ history. Here’s the first…Houston’s pitcher Don Nottebart allowed one unearned run in an inning started with an error at shortstop. But the Astros’ won 4-1 on the strength of a 4-for-4 day from a guy named Warwick and a three-run HR from another guy named Goss. Hmmm, a season or two before my time!

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU196305170.shtml

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        March 9, 2015

        Without even looking it up, I can tell you that was Carl Warwick, an outfielder who was a Canadian player, and Howie Goss. I listened to that game, too. I rarely missed a game. Would play baseball during the day, come in for dinner and to do my chores and then crank up the transistor. My mom was smart. With all the kids in my house, she knew that if she wanted to get rid of one of the most active, she just had to make sure he had batteries for his transistor.

        Like

    • Tim
      March 9, 2015

      The somewhat encouraging part was the 9 walks the Astros received and many in the lineup were Luhnow draftees where he emphasized high OBP and contact rates. I was just hoping some of those contacts would be basehits. 🙂

      Like

      • Dan P
        March 9, 2015

        Tim – I think that the only thing more meaningless than spring training games is early spring training games. I’m OK with more walks, but we don’t need too much Robbie Grossman-ites who take too many pitches. Need a happy medium.

        Like

      • Chip Bailey
        March 9, 2015

        Tim, see your point, but I’m with Dan here. Most pitchers are just throwing fastballs now, trying to hit spots and find their rhythm. If the team is still getting walks next week or the trend continues, it will indeed be a good sign.

        Like

    • Dan P
      March 9, 2015

      Thanks for the add-ons Chip – you are right – forgot about Nottebart’s no-no. Weird that they gave up runs in both of their first no-hitters.

      Like

    • Dan P
      March 9, 2015

      So old pro you are telling us that your mom always had fresh batteries in your transistor radio….

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        March 9, 2015

        All they had back then was D batteries. If you had a flashlight or a radio you kept D batteries. If you had a 13 yo boy you kept batteries, because that transistor radio kept him away from all his whiny sisters.

        Like

      • Dan P
        March 9, 2015

        So you might have deserved it – some times – lol

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 7, 2015 by in Astros.
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