Changes to my favorite game may be on the way

Let me set the record straight and be very clear from the start.

I am a purist. Pure and simple. The older I get, the more certainI become of that fact. I like the game of baseball as it was intended.

I’ve lived with the designated hitter, I’ve watched the mound go up and down, I’ve even been okay with the new-fangled ball parks. But I prefer the Astrodome, old Comiskey and, yes, there’s something special about Wrigley Field and the original Green Monster. When a city (Arlington) gets three new baseball stadiums in one generation, something’s not quite right. If you’re a Texas Rangers’ fan, you’ll have seen the team in three different stadiums in a few years. Stadiums are becoming like candy wrappers or Eveready batteries. Disposable.

But I digress.

Recently, new commissioner Rob Manfred proposed some rules changes.  Seems baseball fans are getting older and the sport needs to keep up with the NFL and NBA lest it join other second-tier sports. And, with the contract with players nearing an end and the new CBA on the horizon, now is apparently the time for a — ummm — upgrade.

Although Manfred’s team and owners will be reviewing “anything and everything”, the current regeneration focus is on a few specific, speed-up areas such as:

  • Adding a 20-second pitch clock.
  • Limiting pitching changes.
  • Cutting back on defensive shifts.
  • Altering the strike zone.

Why limit shifts? It takes time to check your hitters, communicate to the players on the field and then get them in position. Moreover, it limits — or it is designed to limit — offense. You can even argue that with a regular defensive positioning that many hitters (including Jose Altuve, George Springer and others) would have a higher average without the shift. Fewer holes means fewer hits which means fewer runs and less excitement for fans.

Just five years ago, there were approximately 2,400 shifts by MLB teams. This year, teams are on pace for about 28,000 (Houston is probably responsible for half of those, no?).

Overall, the new rules would target the speed of the game. Apparently games now run about three hours, or 12 minutes longer than just ten years ago. Pitching changes, with specialists being utilized more now than before, and defensive shifts are specifically blamed.

I’m cool with playing the odds and I love the general strategy of baseball’s old-school managers, but I’m not a fan of the specialty stats that lead to crazy shifts, the so-called LOOGY for one batter, speed-up rules that force a pitcher to throw in 20 seconds, etc. Should pitchers — and hitters for that matter — be allowed to stall? No, but if a pitcher doesn’t start his motion in 20 seconds, should an umpire call a ball?

You have to wonder what players like Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb and Ted Williams would think if they saw the game today. Is it really necessary to make changes to America’s Pasttime or is it more important to teach players to play the game better. What about teaching players at a young age how to hit to all fields, how to bunt, how to hit a curve ball, how to pitch inside (without inciting riots).

In other words, why not teach young kids and other how to play the game the right way. Make Casey Stengel proud.

Teach them to hit to all fields, teach them to bunt for heaven’s sake and teach pitchers to pitch like Bob Gibson or Ferguson Jenkins. That is part of the game. That is the way the game was played 40 years ago. Those are the changes that Manfred should be pushing for. Not the rules that will change the game us 50-somethings (and older) have come to love.

Then again, I’m a purist. Part of a dying breed from the old fashioned, old school.

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187 comments on “Changes to my favorite game may be on the way

  1. I am not as much a purist as an engineer, Chip.
    I am wondering how you even invoke some of these rules.
    – When does the 20 seconds begin? When the ball hits the pitcher’s glove? When the hitter has finished adjusting his wrist bands that have not moved since the last pitch? Does the ump call a ball or strike depending on who he thinks is stalking?
    – How do you limit pitching changes? Every pitcher has to pitch to at least two hitters? No more than 3 pitchers in an inning? What if the other teams scores 12 runs and counting?
    – How do you “cut back” on the shifts? If they get in a shift do they have to be there for the whole at bat? Do you have to have 2 infielders on each side of 2nd base. Shifts are not new – just ask Ted Williams’ head.
    – Strike zone – To speed things up would this mean a bigger strike zone? Does that increase or reduce runs scored?
    I don’t know what I want – but I’m afraid no matter what you do you won’t be getting millenials to put down their phones and watch in droves.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I fully agree. I long for the return to straight-up fielder positioning, dusting of batters at the plate, hitting behind the runner to advance him a base.

    A question for the moment on another subject… did anyone notice that Gurriel is now day-to-day because of a sore hamstring? I was wondering why he was pinch-hit for last night.

    Another one, I hope Steve Sparks is removed from the broadcasts following the end of this season. He is good at color but his play by play… ouch! He said Reed had a pinch-hit homerun when it was actually Marisnick that hit it. Just the latest in a career filled with mistakes. How many times have I heard him refer to a struck ball as “a popup to short (pick your choice) field, at the wall, that one is outta here!” Absolutely drives us crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re preaching to the choir. ….I’ve sent sooo many emails to Jame Hildreth it’s not funny. The response is always the same…”Steve is trying to learn the radio side of broadcasting, he’ll get better”. After 4 years you would THINK that he would be better, but NOPE. I have no choice but to listen to the radio, my cable provider won’t pick up Root sports, and because the rangers play in texas…MLB TV is blacked out for me. So I’m stuck……I hope you are able to watch them, if so count your blessings.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yes choir, er… I mean Becky. I have had Comcast/Root for over a decade and have had access to Rockets and Astros games for all of these years. I do count my blessings. On the Root side, Alan Ashby has been somewhat of a clone of Sparks for the past two years. He rails against the club at times, of which I am grateful for and agree with, but he tends to forget things. He has missed a fair amount of games for various reasons. Bill Brown mostly does the home games now and has since last year. He made a road trip this year, mostly because Ashby was out. Geoff Blum is the other road game announcer and fill in at home games. When I am not watching the game on television, I will follow it via the Gameday view on MLB on the computer. Michael Coffin, who does the Hooks’ games is pleasant to listen to, he did some of the Astros’ spring games this year and has been on the television at times this season to fill in.

        One more thing that bugs me about the radio broadcast, the Astros’ produced commercials sound as if they are done in a tin can and broadcasted over an old transistor radio. I have observed this for a few years and it is the same on all of my home radios and my car’s radio. So sad…

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      • I’m pretty much in the same boat since our only cable provider TWC does not carry the Astros and MLB blocks them. So, unless ESPN carries the Astros or they play the Rangers, radio is the only route…a route that is barely listenable. I do not think Steve-O will ever find his game.

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    • Well Sarge, that would make sense of why they put Kemp in to pinch hit for him. But damn, losing this guy to a hamstring injury is a real pain. We’ve been hamstrung with too many hamstring injuries as of late.

      Liked by 1 person

      • A lot of high-strung hamstrings in these players. It is disappointing that a high value player FINALLY gets on the big league field and craters in the first game.

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  3. I wish they would leave the game as is. We have basketball and football that are governed by the clock. The timeless element of baseball is something that I cherish and if lost, would change the game forever.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Agreed. We are “on the clock” everywhere. On the job, on the phone, on the computer, in entertainment and news, in rush hour traffic, in the fast food lane, in the grocery line, doctor appointments, at the microwave, waking up, going to bed, and some things better not named. Let baseball be.

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  4. Until Manfred suggests removing TV breaks (for advertising) between innings and every time there is a pitching change, I’m not listening to him. There should be enough time for warm-up pitches and nothing more.

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    • Sorry, but the TV breaks are not going anywhere. The players would fight for the advertising dollar as much as the owners and league officials.

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  5. It’s all about the $. These guys sit around and think, “what can we do to make more money?” I will admit it does get a little ridiculous when the batter steps out of the box after every pitch and readjusts his batting glove but other than that I don’t have a time issue. As for the shifts, I personally am not a fan but it’s now part of the game. What are they going to do, paint a box for the infielders and tell them that they can’t get out of that box until the ball is hit?

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    • The umpires are supposed to keep the batter in the box at all times, except for timeouts and foul balls. Earlier in the season, the batters were keeping at least one foot in the box as they adjusted their gear. The umps are not enforcing it now.

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  6. There are some changes proposed that change the game itself. Altering the strike zone, limiting shifts and limiting pitching changes change the game and I am dead set against them.
    Setting a time limit between pitches only changes how the game is viewed and I am not opposed to that. That only asks the modern players to play the game the way it was played originally. I think it can be done by means other than a time clock

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  7. Marisnick’s home run last night was great and it was timely.
    Putting it in the proper context, though, it was Jake’s 42nd base hit of the year and Jose Altuve had 42 hits in June.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now old pro it is not Jake’s fault he is not given the opportunities that Jose gets. Put him in that third spot in the order and 488 ABs instead of 192 ABs and he would have a whopping 107 hits, 8 HRs and 25 RBIs as compared to Altuve’s meager 178 hits, 20 HRs and 82 RBI’s …..oh well I tried…..

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  8. Speaking of delays and baseball – enjoyed reading about how ticked Keuchel was yesterday. He felt like the Orioles told their pitcher to hold off original warm-ups but did not share that with the Astros (Keuchel warmed up around 1:00) and then he really did not like them starting the game and stopping after one inning.
    I like it when the beard is hacked off. He pitches http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/196932422/dallas-keuchel-beats-orioles-after-rain-delay/better.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I absolutely abhor the proposed changes!! I don’t think you should structurally change the sacred game to buy 5 – 10 minutes of time. What’s next? Rehashing the idea of 7 inning games, cutting out extra innings and using a “shoot- out” ala hockey, or will it be some other lame brained scheme?

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    • I don’t see why a 175 pound guy should have more stamina issues than a big guy. If in shape and taking care of himself, he’s not lugging around a bunch of extra weight. Easier on the knees too. Yogi Berra used to catch 140 games a year at 5’7″ and 185 pounds. And in those days there were a whole lot more collisions back there.

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  10. Good thing these changes weren’t around when LaRussa was still managing, he used to use a new pitcher for nearly every batter from the 8th on!!! LOL!!
    Hi Chip good to “see” you!

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  11. About the only change I would like to see is an automated strike zone. I think it would help hitters to not have to adjust to each individual umpire’s personal strike zone. I’m very OK with shifts. If a guy can’t hit to all fields he shouldn’t be rewarded for a lack of skill.

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  12. Looking at the entire picture of today’s game of Baseball, whydo you worry about Stubbs holding up behind the plate?
    1. The days of one catcher playing every day are gone.
    2. If he has a true major league worthy bat, you have the DH to use him and rest him at the same time.
    3. If he turns out to be a wonderful catcher, you have to pay him $150 million or he’s going to leave in free agency or force you to move him before that happens.
    4. If he becomes a great little catcher, you get the best six or seven years of his career before that happens.
    What I’m saying is that we didn’t create this money monster. Baseball did it to itself and we just pay for it. So we wait, enjoy the players while we have them and them watch them move on like they want to do, for the most part. Don’t worry about whether Stubbs can catch forever. Worry about if he can hold up for six or seven prime years. Baseball now protects him from being run over behind the plate and that alone helps him last longer.
    The important thing is whether Stubbs can help us in the near future to fulfill the hopes and dreams of Houston winning a World Series. That is the only thing that matters to me, in a time when the average ballplayer makes more money in a year than I made in my entire lifetime working like a sled dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. In the interest of speeding up the game, and making it more millennial-friendly Mr. Bill will throughout the day be posting his own proposed MLB rule changes:

    Proposed Rule Change #1. Protection of Essential Dugout Equipment.

    No further closed-fist punching of dugout water coolers or telephones will be allowed by MLB players, managers, or coaches. Backhand slaps only shall be permitted, and then only with the player’s non-dominant hand. Should the home plate umpire observe any unauthorized contact occurring between any player, coach, or manager and a water cooler or telephone in a dugout, before play resumes on the field the offending player must appear on field and on-camera accompanied by his agent or union representative, who must, for the occasion, wear a tee-shirt on the front of which is printed, clearly, legibly, and in bright red letters: “I Am With Stupid!”

    Proposed Rule Change #2. New, Non-Challengable Home Run Rule.

    There will be no more painted yellow lines allowed on outfield fences in MLB parks. For Heaven’s sake – man up! Use a real fence to determine if a dude has hit a home run already! Either the ball is ‘out-a-here’ or or it is not, right?

    Proposed Rule Change #3. Fan Interference.

    If a fan interferes with a ball in the field of play, he or she will be required to pitch the next inning for the home team, PROVIDED THAT if the fan who interferes with the ball has been seen at any time before or during the game wearing a hat or jersey that bears the name or logo of the visiting team, instead of pitching the next inning for the home team, the offending fan has to lead off the next three innings for the visiting team.

    Proposed Rule Change #4. Increased Family Friendliness.

    If any player feels the need to scratch himself below the belt, expectorate, or use the F-word while on the field, he shall be required to first [a] call and be given time-out, and [b] jump up and down three times screaming: “Don’t look, Ethel!”. Only then may he scratch what itches, spit what tickles, or prove his lack of vocabulary by utttering the F-word.

    More to come. It is time for a major overhaul.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It is all a matter of risk-benefit analysis, Dave. We at ‘MLB-Revive’ headquarters have developed a foolproof algorithm through which we can accurately calculate the level of a risk of injury or embarrassment to a fan vis-a-vis the increased revenue we will receive from publicly humiliating the idiots who are loosely associated with the game. This same algorithm was utilized to predict that the Astros would win 90 games and go to the World Series this year – so you can see how good we are.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Further proposed rule changes from Mr. Bill:

    Proposed Rule Change #5. Perpetuating the Curse.

    The NL team from the Windy City must change its name from the ‘Cubs’ to the ‘Goats’ for at least four games each season. Cubs – er, Goats – fans must all wear Steve Bartman masks and dance the ‘Freddy’ during the seventh inning stretch of all four of those games.

    Proposed Rule Change #6. Which Way You Goin’, Billy?

    The New York Yankees pinstripe pattern must be changed from a vertical to a horizontal orientation. After all, the Bronx Bombers have been flat-liners for so long now that they have forfeited the privilege of wearing vertical pinstripes.

    Proposed Rule Change #7. The ‘Batman Rules’ Rule

    If a pitcher should hit a batter, he has to personally wheel the one he hit to first base in a wheelchair, help him out of the wheelchair gently once they arrive at first base, and then softly and gently kiss his little boo-boo. If the home plate umpire determines that the pitcher hit the batter on purpose, the catcher who called the bean ball must then catch the next three batters with no mask, chest protector, or cup.

    Proposed Rule Change #8. The ‘Holy Bat-Flip, Robin!’ Rule

    Any player who does a bat-flip for anything less than a 500-foot grand slam, walk-off home run, gets pelted with batting practices balls by the pitchers and coaches in the opposing team’s bullpen as he rounds the bases in his home-run trot [this will speed up the pace of the game, as you can bet the dude will fly around the bases!]. And then the bat-flipper must personally run around the field with a ball-bucket, picking up all the balls that were thrown at him along the way, return the balls to the opposing team’s bullpen, and do his best version of the Hammer Dance while the stadium sound system plays ‘U Can’t Touch This!’

    Yes, we can change the world . . . if only we unite. Stay tuned for more details!

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  15. Feel the Bill – I mean the Bern! We will take back the game we love. Here are the next four of Mr. Bill’s proposed rule changes:

    Proposed Rule Change #9. The ‘Illegal Use of Stats’ Rule

    No baseball owner, GM, Manager, Coach, Player, or Blogger may publicly or privately refer to any stat the acronym for which: [a] exceeds four letters, [b] combines capital letters with lower case letters; or [c] uses the offensive term ‘WAR’ [after all, what is it good for?]

    Proposed Rule Change #10. The ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Rule

    There will be no more ‘run downs’ on the bases. Once a player is deemed by the closest umpire to be caught between two bases in a ‘run down’ situation, the runner and the defensive player who has the ball will be required to dance a competitive QuickStep with Karina Smirnoff and Peta Murgatroyd, respectively. By conference call, Len Goodman, Bruno Tanioli, Carrie Ann Inaba will judge between them. If the runner wins, he is awarded the next base; if the defensive player wins, the runner is eliminated [er, I mean ‘out].

    Proposed Rule Change #11. The “Where the Bowie’s Are’ Rule

    Never again, under any circumstances, can an MLB commissioner hail from or have ever lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    Proposed Rule Change #12. The ‘Truth in Advertising’ Rule

    Each player and manager for the Pirates is required to wear an eye patch to and throughout every game. In the event of a television interview, the first word each Pirate player or manager must utter is ‘ARGHHHHH!’

    Can you feel the progress we are making? But we’ve only just begun!

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  16. If you want to make the kids love baseball, increase the before and after game interactions between players and kids. These MLB ball players get plenty of money in salary and have a nice pension plan so they don’t really need to worry about restricting the number of autographs they give to make them more valuable for “retirement” income. And if players aren’t good enough to play long enough to earn a d cent salary and pension, well, their autographs aren’t going to generate much income anyway. Charging for autograph sessions is disrespecting the game in my opinion.

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    • Instead of autograph sessions, have money sessions. Have each player sign and give blank checks for ten dollars to each kid. This way the kid gets the autograph, but has the choice to cash the check in and get ten bucks if the player leaves town or does something stupid.

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  17. OMG!!! Mr. Bill…..you have been missed!!! Thanks for the afternoon laugh! I love the “I’m with stupid” rule! Welcome back from your vacation!!

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  18. We are on a roll now. The best is yet to come with Mr. Bill:

    Proposed Rule Change #13. The Long-Overdue Non-Discrimination Rule.

    Subpart A: No team shall from henceforth be known by the color of its socks or leggings. This, after all, constitutes blatant discrimination against color blind persons.

    Subpart B: Every position player who enters a game with a BA of under .200 must wear a jersey bearing the name ‘M. Mendoza’ on the back above the player number. Furthermore, the player number worn throughout the game by such a player must be either: ‘<.200' or '<.100', as such player's batting average dictates.

    Proposed Rule Change #14. The 'No-Trade' Clause Rule

    No 'no-trade' clause may be included in any player's contract unless that clause specifically and irrevocably designates s teams to which no trade will be allowed under any circumstances all the following: a the Texas Rangers, b. the Los Angeles Dodgers, c. the wherever-they-happen-to-be-at-the-moment Angels, d. the New York Yankees, e. theNew York Mets, f. the Chicago Cubs [er . . . Goats?], and Boston Red Sox [er . . . Green Monsters? no – that includes the word 'green' – how about Beaners?], as teams to which no trade will be allowed under any circumstances.

    Proposed Rule Change #15. The 'Feel-the-Bern' 'Price Cap on Concessions' Rule

    The price of concessions at any MLB park may never exceed: $3.00 per beer; $2.50 for soft drink; $2.00 for hot dog; $1.50 for nachos; and $1.00 for peanuts. If any fan decides to buy anything else to eat or drink at a ballpark, the rule of caveat emptor applies. True fans know that THERE IS NO FRYING IN BASEBALL!

    Proposed Rule Change #16. The 'Whoop-Whoop' Rule

    For each MLB game, one fan will be selected by the home team to sing a Karaoke song for the crowd on a microphone during the seventh inning stretch. The fan selected to sing will be able to choose one of the following classics: "Centerfield", "Boys of Summer", "Heartbreak Hotel", and 'Hit Me with Your Best Shot'. If the latter song is chosen, everybody in the stadium is allowed to shower the fan doing the singing with empty peanut shells the moment the song concludes.

    Take me out to the ballgame indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Mr Bill you are a national treasure!
    I love the Mendoza rule – could we force the culprit to wear a different color jersey. Since it would not be PC to wear pink due to honoring breast cancer victims. But how about canary yellow?

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      • I’m pretty sure Bill had to have been born in Cleveland, Ohio. If not, he should have been because he is a classic rocker, and will probably be soon sitting in a classic rocker on the porch.

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      • Cleveland only wishes, OP! Mr. Bill is a product of a friendly little place called Houston, Texas – the city that gave the world Archie Bell and the Drelves, and, of course, the infamous ‘tighten up’. And then there was also Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Clint Black, Kenny Rogers [the singer], B.J. Thomas, Billy Gibbons [ZZ Top], Patrick Swayze, Beyonce’, and Jaci Velasquez, to name a few.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. On a more serious note on the ‘rules’ subject, here are some rule-related issues that I would really like to hear discussed by the Chipalatta gang, if anybody is interested:

    1. Should the MLB All-Star Selection Process be Redesigned – and if so, how?

    2. Should inter-league – and/or should inter-division – games count in determining division championships for purposes of the playoffs, or should the only games that count in determining division championships for purposes of the playoffs be intra-league – or perhaps even intra-division – games?

    3. Should ‘cheap seat’ ticket prices at MLB stadiums be standardized at a low price like $10.00?

    4. Should every child under 12 who arrives at a game at least 1 hour before the game, upon presentation of a paid ticket, get a personally autographed baseball card of one of the home team’s players? OR at least a coupon for a free hot dog or nachos and soft drink combo?

    5. Should home field advantage for the World Series be based on something besides which league wins the All-Star Game? [for instance: a. which league has the best inter-league play record? b. which league has the highest attendance on the year [reward the fans]; or perhaps c. which of the WS teams has the lowest payroll?

    6. Should anyone with a really bad odor – or the name Odor – be allowed to play in the MLB?

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  21. Don’t see a place to reply to Mr. Bill, so just to add: Lightnin’ Hopkins (who directly influenced the Beatles as they listened to Houston music before they ever set foot on American soil), Townes Van Zandt, Clarence Brown, Johnny Copeland, Pete Hayes, Lyle Lovett, Win Butler, Paul Wall, Yolanda Adams, Lecrae Moore, Debbie Allen, multiple singers/songwriters passing through Anderson Fair and Liberty Hall. Most native Houstonians, including me, did not know what was in our back yard. And of course there’s Donald Barthelme, JoBeth Williams, Molly Ivins, Dennis and Randy Quaid, Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater, both filmmakers who grew up here and are busting up L.A. with Academy Award nominations. And this doesn’t scratch the surface. We have too many music festivals here to name, including Day for Night, the European model brought to America first here by Houston and now annual event.

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  22. Claim to fame #1: I coached Jameson for a few years on a USSSA and Nations Baseball Premiere Select baseball travel team. He was a good kid with great parents. He could bring the heat at 12 yrs old. Its good to see him succeeding in the big leagues. Just not tonight.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. So darn nice to have a guy come up from the minors and actually hit. And Teoscar looks like a ballplayer out there. He understands the game. I hope the bat stays alive.

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    • Exactly daveb!! He did get talked to about throwing to the wrong base yesterday though. I absolutely LOVE what I’m seeing with these young kids!

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  24. Mr. Bill…..your reference to Archie Bell and the Drells, brought me back to my senior year in high school! Did I ever run into you at “The Big Oaks” club in Vinton La.??!!!
    Man…..you’re bringing me back 5yrs ago!!! AND…..you KNOW none of us were legal to drink a beverage of our choice!!
    And…..NO, no one with the last name of Odor should ever be playing MLB!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 4-0 since the ‘magic’ penny was found before Friday’s game. Have you become believers yet? I have and so has my son. He’ll have it in his sock tomorrow for the first day of school. You can’t mess with a streak!

    Liked by 3 people

  26. I’ll say this for the second night in a row. It was a tough pick up, but I do not think Marwin is better defensively at first than Reed. I’d rather not see Marwin run (he’s not much faster) for the first baseman in the 7th, then take over the bag.

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  27. Let’s see, a rookie works a walk. Then a second rookie brings him around with a home run. Then, a third rookie gets a jack for the third run and we win 3 to 1.
    I like that a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was easily impressed by both Teoscar’s and Alex’s HR’s, but Reed’s AB ahead of Teoscar’s HR made me very happy. He really laid off some great pitches out of the zone and it showed me he is starting to recognize the pitches and I feel comfortable that Reed will stick this time. Once Gurriel gets his sea legs under him, and he will, this offense will be much improved. I still have my doubts that LMJ will return this year and, regardless of this and any playoff run, I am very excited about 2017 and beyond, especially if they add another OFer via free agency.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The future has to involve more than Springer, Altuve, Correa, three windmills, and three pop-our artists. It is good to see some consistent, OBP plus power guys like Bregman, Hernandez, and Reed – start replacing the windmills and pop-out artists. If Gurriel, White, and Kemp also produce, this offense can be formidable without adding any salary or giving away any prospects, and all attention can be turned to shoring up the rotation, where we continue to be extremely inconsistent this year.

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      • To quote from Pulp Fiction “Exactamundo, Mr. Bill.” It has been nice to see other players hit in a solid, more consistent basis. I am loving Bregman’s short, solid stroke. Reed is showing good patience and better contact than earlier and Teoscar has been better than expected (certainly better than Bregman and Reed were when they were brought up). It is fun to watch this team and see the unexpected.

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      • Statistically, it is easy to see how dependent our offense has been on three players – i.e. Altuve, Correa, and Springer. That means the heart of our order has been killing us]. Here are the stats:

        Runs scored by Altuve, Correa and Springer – 244 [Total for team – 582 – 42%!]
        RBIs by Altuve, Correa and Springer – 240 [Total for team – 546 – 44%! ]
        Hits by Altuve, Correa, and Springer – 435 [Total for team 1065 – 41% ]
        Total Bases by Altuve, Correa, and Springer – 734 [Total for team 1809 – 40% ]
        HRs by Altuve, Correa and Springer – 63 [Total for team 156 – 40%!]
        EBHs by Altuve, Correa, and Springer – 164 [Total for team 411 – 39%]

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      • Here is a breakdown of our weaker positions:

        From the 1B position [Gonzalez, Reed, and White] we have gotten the following:

        75 runs scored [of 572 = 13%]
        64 rbis
        153 hits
        21 HRs
        50 BBs
        181 strikeouts

        From the 3B position [primarily Valbuena, and Gonzalez] we have gotten the following:

        53 runs scored [of 572 = 9 %]
        56 RBIs
        104 hits
        17 HRs
        55 BBs
        118 strikeouts

        From LF [primarily Rasmus & Tucker] we have gotten:

        44 runs scored [of 572 = 7.6 %]
        54 RBIs
        91 Hits
        16 HRs
        44 BBs
        148 strikeouts

        From CF [primarily Gomez & Marisnick] we have gotten:

        66 runs scored [of 572 = 11%]
        45 rbis
        114 hits
        11 HRs
        35 BBs
        156 Strikeouts

        From the DH position? Can’t pull up the stats right now, but I do not expect it to be pretty.

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      • DH – Astros
        45 runs scored
        85 Hits
        11 HRs
        44 RBIs
        44 BBs
        128 Ks
        And a slash line of .209/.294/.350/.644
        Last in BA, SLG, OPS, hits, HRs and RBIs in the AL

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      • We really don’t expect catchers to provide more than their proportionate 1/9th [11% +] of the offenses run production anymore – but we do expect that from DH, 1B, 3B, CF and LF. The only one of those positions that has consistently pulled that off for us this year is 1B. Bregman’s replacement of Valbuena at 3B, Teoscar’s replacement of Gomez, and Kemp’s replacement of Rasmus, as well as the addition of Gurriel at DH [primarily], could really improve all levels of our offensive production. Or they could all crash and burn. It remains to be seen.

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  28. I was in fangraphs this morning looking to see if Altuve had finally overtaken Trout for the MLB lead in WAR(thanks to losing a homer and a single in the last two games, he hasn’t), and I saw this article that was posted this morning. While our announcers babble on about everything else, this is the first time I have heard of this Joe Musgrove pitch.
    You’d think we would know about stuff like this, following our guys as closely as we do, but instead we get to find out about it from outside the organization.
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/joe-musgroves-weird-one-seam-sinker/

    Like

    • I was flummoxed about the calls the last two nights against Altuve. The HR looked like a HR and I did not see anything absolute that would allow one to over-turn the infield single last night.

      Like

    • Awesome article! I hope he settles in to this clubhouse and starts to relax. I think the guys will make him feel like he belongs! It’s always difficult to join a new team, when you don’t know anyone, and the close nit group these guys are…..it’s tough. I’m pretty sure that Springer brought club Astros along with them on this road trip, and it was blaring last night! If he can feel comfortable in the clubhouse, he will start to feel comfortable at the plate, and in the field. He’s a wonderful story, and we are lucky he gets to play here!

      Like

  29. A few tidbits I noticed about Brady Rodgers this season.
    – He has faced 497 batters and has 0 wild pitches.
    -He has allowed only 4 stolen bases and has 7 caught stealing while he is on the mound
    -Last year he allowed 13 HRs in 115 innings. This year he has allowed only 5 HRs in 124 innings
    -In 124+ innings he has only 1 error.
    -In 124+ innings he has allowed 20 Walks and has 108 Strikeouts.
    -In 124+ innings he has hit 1 batter and has no intentional walks.

    Like

  30. Watching Everett in the booth the other night he says Ramon Laureano is the Bregman in the OF, He is now hitting .306 in CC with a OPS of 1.033

    Like

    • Sorry to have that confirmed although we have suspected if for awhile. Luis had finally begun to put together some nice at bats. With Bregman, Gurriel, Reed and White – not to mention Gonzales, Moran, Davis, and Tanielu – available to fill our corner infielder positions next year, however, I strongly suspect this means we’ve seen the last of Mr. V. in an Astros’ uniform.

      Like

  31. Who do you think will be coming to the Astros’ coffee table in September?

    PTuck [if healthy again], White, and Hoyt are probably guaranteed. Moran is probable. Gustave is likely.

    Aplin has 19 steals – do you bring him up as a ‘pure speed’ pinch-runner guy? D. Fisher has 23 – and some pop – does he have a shot?

    Young stud Laureano won’t move anybody [read that Fontana or Singleton] off the 40-man, will he?

    What are the odds for Rodgers [displacing Chapman]? For Paulino? for McCurry? for Kemmer?

    Like

    • Aplin would be good strictly as a pinch runner.

      If Singleton doesn’t come up (and he shouldn’t….) we need to cut bait with im in the offseason.

      Like

    • I think if they are still in the hunt they will just bring up five or six. If they are out of it they might bring up more. They might even bring up Paulino if they are not in the hunt and let him have a start to cut down on the innings of somebody like Keuchel and/or McHugh. Paulino is on the 40-man.
      Stassi for sure.
      White for sure.
      Hoyt and Gustave for sure.
      They need to protect Rodgers, so they might bring him up and put somebody on the 60-day.
      Tucker for sure.
      I am not certain about Singleton. There is a lot to consider there.

      Like

  32. OP……Virginia Rogers husband is an AWESOME pitcher!!! And I can’t wait to see him up with the big club in September!!
    Sorry to hear about Valbuena…..cool guy who absolutely LOVED playing here!
    Musgrove goes to the hill tonight…..keep your fingers crossed that his start in Baltimore was just a hiccup!

    Like

    • I’ve been meaning to ask…who is Virginia Rodgers? Asking because I’ve noticed that you always refer to Brady as her husband and almost never by name. Was just curious. I see there’s a doctor of some prominence by that name…is that her?

      Like

    • I like the soft tosser from Richmond. His command is incredible!!

      If you haven’t seen 1OP’s earlier post about his control and stats scroll up and review it.

      Like

      • Rodgers’ fastball is supposedly in the 90-92 mph range, so, compared to most of our starters, he’s not a soft tosser.
        I was not aware that Will Harris was from Houston. That surprised me when I noticed that today. I did know that Rodgers was a local guy.

        Like

      • I was not aware Harris was from Houston. I thought he was a certified coon a$$. I scouted Rodgers when he was at Lamar Consolidated. He threw harder when he was younger but had some control issues. He now sits around 88-89 but can dial it up to 93 when needed. I swear though his 88 MPH fastball just looks fast. He is very deceptive and can locate the FB anywhere at any time. His slider is plus plus and off the charts good. Virtually un- hittable when he is on and thrown near FB velocity. Changeup is plus and curveball is serviceable.
        I can’t wait to see him at the ML level.

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      • Billy, my folks were from NOLA and they always referred to themselves and their friends and family that way. It is definitely an affectionate name and isn’t meant to offend in any way, shape or form. It is a word we use to refer to our families as having been from Louisiana.
        I apologize if you are offended.
        By the way, members of my family lost their home this week in the floods, but they will still call themselves coon a$$es, because they just lost their homes and their cars, not their senses of humor.

        Like

      • Gotcha. I actually didn’t know that, although I do know the first part of the word (the one that starts with the letter ‘c’) is a term that has been used as a slur against people of color.

        Like

  33. A quiet positive has been how well Peacock has pitched out of the bullpen. I really like what I have seen from him. His slider is absolutely wicked and not having to go through the order a 3rd or 4rth time plays up his stuff.

    Like

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