CHIPALATTA

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Top of the week: Welcome to 2017, the Astros are in the post season


Welcome to 2017!  The future is now for your Houston Astros.

Yes, somewhere today, there are many people who will be enjoying some crow for lunch.

It’s October. The regular season is over. Twenty teams won’t play another game this year. Hundreds of players will be cleaning out their lockers today.

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But the Astros will play in the post season. In 2015.

Today, simply bask in the wonderment. There’s no need to bash Jim Crane or Jeff Luhnow. Drayton who? Who were all those managers before A.J. Hinch?

Enjoy today, but there is one assignment for you. It’ll take a big man or a big woman to admit it, but …

Everyone made some big comments about this season. Everyone had expectations. Everyone just knew this wouldn’t work or that would fail.

What is the “crow” that you are eating today? In other words, what did you just know would not be successful and you let us all know about it?

Since it’s an off day and the Monday following a weekend, we’ll just continue the weekend feel and call it a Free Blog Monday as well.

Heck, the Astros are in the playoffs!

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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in Colorado Springs, CO, and is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 40 years. A native of Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. He came up with Chipalatta, and it’s stuck.

42 comments on “Top of the week: Welcome to 2017, the Astros are in the post season

  1. Mr. Bill
    October 5, 2015

    Start spreadin’ the news. We’re leavin’ today.
    We’re ’bout to make our mark on it – New York, New York.
    Despite LOB blues. Despite hundreds of Ks.
    we’re ’bout to take our spark to it – New York, New York.

    We want to wake up in the city where stars go to play.
    And prove we’re back at the top, where we’re gonna stay!

    These gummy bear dudes in their bearded array
    They’re gonna stick a fork in it – New York, New York!

    If we can make it there we’ll make it anywhere –
    prepare to lose New York, New York!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Steve Fredrich
    October 5, 2015

    I would never have started Carter after the Sept.1. But by golly he helped win some games, and we needed every one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mr. Bill
    October 5, 2015

    I’ll eat crow on my thoughts and projections about Colby Rasmus. I thought he was on the downside of his career after a horrible year – and an injury – in Toronto. But he has been a clutch contributor, both with the bat and the glove. Thanks for the memories, Colby-Jack!

    Now my question is: Will Gomez be well enough to play in the play-offs? He didn’t contribute much in the regular season, but if he can be a playoff star like Beltran was years ago for us I’ll be more than happy to eat crow on him too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steven
      October 5, 2015

      I’ll agree. I called Rasmus the worst move of the offseason. I still don’t think I would bring him back, but he gave us a much better year than everyone thought he would.

      Like

  4. sandy
    October 5, 2015

    My crow lunch will be the Hinch hiring. I was so disappointed that Luhnow would not go after a veteran manager. To hire a guy that apparently had lost the club house in Arizona? I expected more of the same here.

    Although some of his lineups are suspect, he has done a great job with these young players. I can see they love playing for him.

    Like

    • Devin_
      October 5, 2015

      Hey, did you read my mind?

      Liked by 1 person

      • sandy
        October 5, 2015

        So Devin, does that mean our crow will be seasoned the same way?

        Like

  5. astrocolt45
    October 5, 2015

    I need to eat a flock (or GAG-gle?) of crows. In fact, I need to eat so many that the Crow will be on the endangered species list. But one prediction that I made was rock solid. That prediction before the season started, they would finish the year in Arizona. Better eat another crow on that one too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Steeeve
    October 5, 2015

    I was all about the Astros signing a definitive star to legitimize the organization with Victor Martinez at the top of the list. Also wanted to see them sign a big name closer like David Robertson. Thought Keuchel and McHugh would regress. Gave them no chance of getting near .500. May I stop now? OK, in my own defense I applauded the Kazmir and Gomez pickups. It’s all water under the bridge now. Go Astros!!

    Like

  7. Zanuda
    October 5, 2015

    I think like a lot of us we were predicting an almost .500 year but a little less. No playoffs for this team so I guess I’ll fire up the grill and get the sauce for bar-b-que crow. And what woke me up this morning? Ironically the “Caw, Caw” of several in the neighborhood.
    Looking forward to Tuesday. Go ‘Stros!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kevin
    October 5, 2015

    Kazmir for me. I begged for him for 2 months and wow what a let down that was. GULP. Crater no one saw this coming in September. For is untimely injury that double play throw at first the other night and coming home on the past ball Gomez in a we need a win situation, helped us get here and Fiers., even tough I think we might have given up to much, Also early in the season I wondered If Springer might just be a great athlete, average player. NOT

    Like

  9. Dan P
    October 5, 2015

    Great post Chip.
    I think I have been overall optimistic most of the season. I think I picked them for like 83 wins – so not too far off.

    I will eat crow for the following which I kept to myself. About two weeks ago I thought they were dead men walking. I thought personally that they were burned out and that they were too inexperienced to hold on.
    The strong end to the season was heartening. And I’ll gladly chew on a little black crow over this one.
    Like you pointed out – they are one of the happy top 1/3 of the teams. They are in the playoffs for the first time in a decade and hoping to dance to the next round.

    Like

  10. 1oldpro
    October 5, 2015

    I think I shall eat some crow about the low batting average and high strikeouts. I did not think the team could overcome them enough to make the playoffs.
    However, after the playoffs, I will be suggesting they do something about the low batting average/high strikeouts.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Diane
    October 5, 2015

    Crow all week, I guess. Co-workers were telling me early in the season the Stros were looking good and was I watching. I kept telling them I could not. They kept saying, “They’re fun to watch — you should look.” I said I didn’t need the stress — plus I was secretly following at a distance after the games were over. Toward mid-season, I would watch a small part of a game with one eye covered, then turn the thing off and go to bed. Next morning was soon enough to suffer. I kept waiting for the collapse which never came, until lately. By then, I was in there. I go way back, and by way back I mean my dad carried me out to the Houston Buffs, so while I may not be a “true” fan of baseball the way you guys are, I am a long-time outpatient. I’m like Nancy: I feel that if I watch, they’ll lose. No, I’m not superstitious. Just want to contribute in whatever way I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • astrocolt45
      October 5, 2015

      Diane, keep doing what you are doing. It is working. I love your note about the Buffs. My grandfather took me to see Texas League games in Beaumont. So I hated the Buffaloes (except Kenny Boyer and Don Blasingame), Dallas Eagles, or Fort Worth Cats.

      I would like to share a brief story. One game I saw my first baseball argument. Russ Rose of Fort Worth was right in the umpires face arguing both were beet red. So I wanted to be a major league player when I grew up. I would practice standing 1 inch from a tree, or door facing, or something, and yell and scream. I never knew you had to learn how to argue if you wanted to be a ballplayer.

      Like

      • Diane
        October 5, 2015

        Too funny, astrocolt. That’s a sharp memory you’ve got. For the Buffs, my only clear memory is the darkness under the stands. Next thing I knew he was taking me to Colt Stadium where, as we all know, the heavy hitters were the mosquitoes. Then to the breathtaking Astrodome. Anyway, love the image of you standing and screaming at a tree. I think that I shall never see, an umpire lovely as a ……….

        Like

    • sandy
      October 5, 2015

      Diane, I feel the same way about watching. Problem is, its my addiction so I tell myself I’m not gonna watch but then when the game starts I have to have my fix.

      Like

  12. Tim
    October 5, 2015

    My crow is similar to Dan’s. I thought, after that 4-game sweep in Arlington, that they were not going to make the playoffs and this last road trip would be their undoing. They surprised me going 4-2, and needing all 4 wins, to clinch a playoff berth. I will gladly eat crow at Zanuda’s BBQ for this thinking. Also, I thought the Conger trade would work out for the Astros and I was dead wrong on that one so I’ll be taking a 2nd helping of BBQ crow, if Zanuda can cook up another batch. If you go back to my comments before the season started I was also in Dan’s prediction area, even thinking they could get to 85 if everything went well. They exceeeded that total by 1 and it was an important 1.

    Let me add that althought Kazmir has been, for the most part, abysmal in his short Astros career he STILL has a chance at redemption tomorrow night and, possibly going forward. The Yankees struggle against LH pitching and Kazmir could be a big piece out of the pen to, possibly, bridge the gap from Keuchel to Gregerson, if needed. It seems in most of his starts recently that he starts out well and then has a bad inning around the 4th or 5th inning. With Keuchel going on short rest the Astros may only be able to get 6 innings out of him and, maybe, Kazmir can pitch 2 solid innings, if they have the lead or are tied. I will say this that I would trust him more than Qualls or Neshek right now, especially against the Yankees.

    Like

  13. rj
    October 5, 2015

    i eat crow on conger. i thought he would be a good addition – wow.

    on another note i was gonna get on all you folks that quit. that said stick a fork in them, they are done, game over, into the abyss etc etc with several games to play. but since we are all owning up to stuff on our own, i’m not gonna do it. however each of you that did that should go outside and give yourself a swift kick to the behind and never ever give up again when there is still hope.

    Like

    • astrocolt45
      October 5, 2015

      RJ, there was a holy roller church that was having a revival. The Pastor said for the healing to begin, each person needed to be honest before the Lord. Stand up and admit their sins. One man stood up and told some of the most horrific things he had done. Upon completion, the pastor walked to him and whispered in his ear “I don’t think I would have told that.”

      So I don’t think you should acknowledge your “sins” on the Conger trade.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rj
        October 5, 2015

        yeah astrocolt45 i wish i didn’t have to, but if you go back and look i went on quite abit about how his framing and handling of the staff would make a big difference. WRONG
        don’t know if he was hurt. or if he helped with castros much improved defense this year. but as far as this season and his own performance big big disappointment and big big plate of crow for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Devin_
        October 5, 2015

        RJ – I think he has to be hurt. For his career he has thrown runners out trying to steal more than 20% of the time with enough of a sample size to believe that to be accurate. This year, he couldn’t throw and teams took advantage. I think that explains some passed balls as well – he was so concerned about the throw he gambled by not blocking pitches in the dirt with his body but rather trying to take it on a short hop with his glove.

        Offensively, he looks to be the same guy as in the past, but with more HR power.

        Like

      • rj
        October 5, 2015

        devin that has been my suspicion for quite awhile, but i haven’t seen anything anywhere to corroborate it. maybe after the year is over we will find he had a shoulder problem or some such. like you say the major dip down in that part of his game may indicate something. and who knows, season isn’t over, maybe he finds a way to contribute in the playoffs and take the edge off of the reg season performance

        Like

    • SargeH
      October 5, 2015

      Ouch, my behind hurts now!!!

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      October 5, 2015

      I’ve eaten all the crow I’m going to eat. At my age, kicking oneself in the behind is not an option. The target is still ample, but the legs are not what they used to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Devin_
    October 5, 2015

    – I thought the Gattis trade would work out worse than it did
    – I thought Valbuena would be a better hitter and worse slugger
    – I thought LMJ would be a flame out at CC after his year in Lancaster
    – I thought Singleton should/would make the team and be good for .250 / .350 / .475 with 20+ HR and 80ish RBI
    – I thought Fiers would post an ERA above 5.00
    – I thought the Angels would finish below the Mariners
    – I thought the Red Sox would win their division and the Yankees would be below .500.

    Like

  15. daveb
    October 5, 2015

    Heck, I don’t mind admitting that I thought 78 wins was the best this club would do. And I thought it could go further south too. But then JFSF took the team on his back for the month of April. Who would have thunk it?

    What else? I thought Valbuena would hit.240 and fewer homers. I thought Conger was going to be a framer, whatever that means. I thought Carter would be less worse, but alas, he did give us some real help in September. I thought Hinch could be a bust.

    I got some stuff right though, but that’s for another day. Hard not to be excited right now about this kookie club being in the playoffs!

    Like

  16. 1oldpro
    October 5, 2015

    CC Sabathia checked himself into alcohol rehab this morning. Fight the Demon!
    Matt Williams and his entire staff were fired this morning by the Nationals.

    Like

  17. Roger
    October 5, 2015

    I’ll eat crow first about being a bit too positive—stating repeatedly over the past month that we would win the Division. Hey–it could be worse. I was also way too positive about Tucker leading the way, Kazmir’s turn around (recently), & the expectation, voiced long ago, that Valbuenna would start to hit for a much higher average.
    In terms of eating crow over negative comments I was very ready to trade Rasmus before the deadline & bring up Alex Presley.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Billy Castillo
    October 5, 2015

    I admit to being disappointed that Hinch was hired, in that I wanted Tim Bogar, I thought Hinch would be a bust. Glad to be proven wrong there.

    I was also happy with the Conger trade because I wanted somebody *anybody* instead of Castro. Oops.

    I was right about Castro’s offensive slide continuing, but I was dead wrong about his defense.

    Was off by one on the win total (I had predicted 85) so I’m good there!

    Like

  19. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    October 5, 2015

    Hey, I didn’t eat crow when they did worse than I predicted in previous years and decades, really. So I’m not going to eat it now. I’m just going to enjoy being wrong. That extra wild card just proves there’s no fortune to be made by me in trying to predict baseball.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Billy Castillo
    October 5, 2015

    I need to complain to the waiter…I ordered my crow grilled, and it came back fried. Not leaving a tip.

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Becky⚾
    October 5, 2015

    I don’t think I ever posted about wins/ losses……but I’m STILL fuming about the Gomez and Conger trades. So, I don’t have any crow on my plate, just a ton of what *ifs* if they flame out in New York. At this point I wouldn’t let Kazmir, Qualls or Neshek NEAR a baseball while they are in New York, and if they continue on after tomorrow night. Kazmir appears either hurt, or frozen in fear on the mound. I’ve decided after seeing the kind of fans that the Rangers have (my brother in law) the only thing I am rooting for is they get their butts kicked BIG TIME.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      October 5, 2015

      Becky, I hate their fans, they flood the Chron with their lastros and disastros crap.
      Makes my blood boil.
      Hope you’re home safe.

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        October 5, 2015

        Hey Sandy…..yes I’m home, and not a minute too soon!! The thing that caused me to get so angry was when they made fun of the banner the Astros had that said
        “Come take it” and the front page of the Dallas paper the Rangers had one that said
        “We came and took it”……with prince (spit) fielder in the picture. GAWD how I despise that team. We will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have a rivalry with those idiots.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Roger
    October 5, 2015

    They won’t flame out, Becky. The Yankees are old, circling the drain, beaten up from the weekend in Baltimore, over-rated, over-hyped, and I think we win tomorrow. We are motivated, having fun, & have no pressure from unrealistically high expectations. But Kazmir is a question mark—what is the story? I don’t think he is hurt.

    Like

  23. sandy
    October 5, 2015

    I feel good about tomorrow ( I wouldn’t admit that to anyone but y’all though) keeping my mouth shut to rest of the world.

    Any guess on who would start the ALDS? McHugh?

    Like

  24. Becky⚾
    October 5, 2015

    I’m not making any predictions, other than I believe with all my heart our guys want this game more than the Yankees…spit…spit…spit. Blah, got that bad taste outta my mouth!!! I’m gonna wear my Springer shirt….I hope it brings him some luck and he hits a grand slam tomorrow night!! But all fun aside…..I want these guys to take a good look around tomorrow night, and let it sink in where they are! The GREATEST stage of all time! They are blessed to be able to be where they are, and I hope they can appreciate it. Becky⚾

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Bopert
    October 6, 2015

    I am spitting out some grackle-feathers, admittedly.

    First, I never thought this team would even sniff the playoffs for a solid decade (or more) after Crane accepted the bribe. I was definitely wrong there. And to Crane/Losenow’s credit, I certainly didn’t think that they’d start Correa’s and LMJ’s ML service time so soon, as their big paychecks will come sooner than later.

    I have always contended that this franchise is doomed to mediocrity after the bribe. I was wrong on that account too.

    However, this is NOT a great ballclub. Let’s be perfectly clear. They are above average, at best. I predict that they win tonight, then will get smashed my the superior Jays/Royals next round.

    But it will be fun to watch.

    I still contend that their lack of competitive payroll, dwindling fanbase, and watered-down allegiance in the AL West will be an on-going problem. As a result, they will not be able to sign the superstars to legit contracts, and will always suffer will lackluster support.

    But enjoy it while you can, fans. It WILL be fun watching Correa, Altuve and GSpring, a good starting rotation, and particularly LMJ, in action for the few short years they have together.

    Prediction Astros win 3-2 tonight to advance… I predict that Gregerson gives us all a heart attack before it all said-and-one.

    Like

  26. Bopert
    October 6, 2015

    PS — watch out for the Bucs in the Superior League. I have them going deep into playoffs with a legit shot at making the World Series.

    Like

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