Random thoughts of a grumpy fan

Today I have been accused twice (and deservedly so) of being grumpy in some of my blog comments. Normally I am a very Zen and loveable person, maybe even more so on the blog than in person. But, heck,  yes I’m grumpy, and I think it is the proper response to all that has happened here the last few days in the city of Houston. Here are some thoughts on the matter:

  • In Houston, we are facing the fact that in one sport – football – we can’t get rid of the GM/head coach Bill O’Brien, even though most of us know in our hearts he will never even do like Moses and take us to within sight of the Promised Land. Meanwhile, we have jettisoned the two guys in baseball, who not only took us to the Promised Land, but came oh so close a couple of other times and appeared to be ready to establish this team as a dynasty. I know that they both needed to be punished (which I thought a suspension would suffice) but from my standpoint these are the best two in their respective positions to front any of the Houston teams, ever. This irony is eating me up.
  • I waited 52 seasons for the Astros to win a championship. I don’t have 52 more years to wait for the next.
  • What type of GM should the Astros pick? Do they pull somebody up from the organization (Pete Putila), who the powers that be may want to take down because they are tainted by the Taubman and cheating scandals? Do they pick a number knocking dweeb from somewhere else? Do they pick a number knocking dweeb who has some human qualities from another organization? Guys like Matt Arnold (Brewers), Josh Byrnes (Dodgers), Peter Bendix (Rays) and Jared Porter and Amiel Sawdaye (D’Backs) have been mentioned. Why am I grumpy about this? Because I am an engineer with Asperger tendencies and I DON’T LIKE CHANGE!!
  • What about manager? Do they pick a solid baseball man, who may not be that tech savvy (Buck Showalter, John Gibbons, Bruce Bochy), ? Do they go for a newbie who does not have a track record, but also knows how to sift through the stats pouring in from the front office (Will Venable)? Do they pull up from within (Joe Espada?) Do they hire the Anti-Christ (Jeff Banister)? I have this feeling I will be more disappointed in the M choice than the GM choice.
  • I have not been one that said we cheated, but…..everyone was doing that. Our team did some bad stuff, got caught and has been punished. What sufficed as justice for my kids will suffice as justice for my team. But with that I want MLB to clean house on this issue and leave no stone unturned in rooting out the bad stuff that happened with all teams. Instead I think they are taking those stones and piling them up as a dam area with the Astros isolated off by themselves as “THE CHEATERS”. That part is unfair and hacks me off royally.
  • I have to ask – what prevents players in the future from cheating. They did not get any punishment at all. Again I go back to how we discipline kids. You lead by example; you do what you say you are going to do, etc. So our example here is you can get rings, big contracts and accolades and as long as you confess when asked we will punish someone else and you have to live with a stain on your name and your accomplishments the rest of your life. OK – maybe I have no reason to be grumpy here.
  • I am not going to enjoy watching the team play and be boo’ed everywhere, signs in the stands, feature after feature by the national press on this issue. I am not going to enjoy all the idiots go on and on about this was not enough punishment and we need to kill all of their first born children, burn down MMP with all of us inside and mail in all the trophies and rings to the league office. This will be a continuous rash on my behind in the future.

Anyways, I feel better now. No longer grumpy, just mildly irritated.

83 comments on “Random thoughts of a grumpy fan

  1. Dan, I agree absolutely with Bullet One, as I said in previous, one year suspension was sufficient. We are in Project Overkill now. AJ Hinch belongs here and deserves to be here and should be called back. Not just Bullet One either. You have a coruscating right to be grumpy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Said it before and I’ll say it again…they do NOT need to hire an old school type, as that will set the club back years. The game has changed…no dinosaurs please.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Other teams have analytical managers/GMs. It can be done. We do *not* need Showalter or (especially) Baker here. I say especially Baker for the way he handled his pitchers

        Liked by 1 person

      • In case there’s anyone asking who my picks are, I’d go for Raúl Ibanez. The fact that he was drawing manager interest while he was still playing speaks volumes. He was known through baseball for his mind, and also to being a class act. If he wants it, he’s our guy.

        Like

  3. Jeez, Dan, now I’m grumpy!
    Why can’t I have nice things!!!!!?
    Oh, wait. My son finally bought me a giant Astros commemorative 2017 WS Altuve ring for Christmas.
    Now I’m really grumpy.
    Why do I get nice things too late!!!!!?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hey they settled with him on one year arbitration – I’m betting there is no big deal coming behind that. It would make me happy if it did though

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  4. Researchers have developed a functioning liver with a 3D printer.

    I often wonder if my time spent reading about these professional athletes has been a complete waste, when I could have done so much more with that time.

    No, these guys don’t owe me anything, and I always have a choice to walk away when things get me so grumpy. I have to face the facts.
    1. It’s their fraternity, they make up their own rules.
    2. They’re not larger than life, they’re only human.
    3. It’s just a game, I can’t get all bent out of shape.
    4. It’s big business, not my childhood perceptions.
    5. Do the best ya can, where you are, with what you have.

    My dad used to always raise a glass and say, “here’s to better days.” Well, dad I love and miss you. Wish you could have seen our Astros win it all.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Op, was it well-publicized when Bobby Thompson hit the shot heard round the world that the Tigers were stealing signs with a telescope, and signalling their hitters?

        Like

      • Same here (17 years for my dad). He’d followed them since the Colt 45 days. We used to go every year when they had Astros conventions. A lot of great childhood memories for me. Wanted to have the same with my daughter (going in 13 years old )but she’s disgusted almost as much as I am. She’s gravitating more towards football anyway (both her and my wife are diehard Texans fan…..I’m a Broncos fan for 30 years now). If I got a discount on the MLB package through my job I probably completely switch allegiances (or rather, the team I watch all the time…I’ll NEVER boo the Astros) but I don’t and I want to watch baseball, so…yeah.

        Fiers should be banned for life. He watched everything go down and said nothing. That makes him just as culpable.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You wanna see *grump*….come to MY HOUSE. I don’t think baseball has ever had a week like this.
    WHO?? Will finish filling out the trades, or free agent signing?
    No….I don’t want Buck Showalter.
    No…..I don’t want Banister.
    No….I don’t want Dusty Baker.
    CARLOS BELTRAN WAS FIRED TODAY.
    Are you proud of yourself Mike Fires???? You SLIMEY little *JERK*

    Liked by 3 people

  6. On Thomson, rather from wiki:
    Longstanding rumors that the Giants engaged in systematic sign stealing during the second half of the 1951 season were confirmed in 2001. Several players told the Wall Street Journal that beginning on July 20, the team used a telescope, manned by coach Herman Franks in the Giants clubhouse behind center field, to steal the finger signals of opposing catchers. Stolen signs were relayed to the Giants dugout via a buzzer wire.[7] Joshua Prager, the author of the Journal article, outlined the evidence in greater detail in a 2008 book.[8]

    Like

  7. I’d like to know if Mike Fiers ever reported the cheating to anyone in authority. If so, was there ever anything done? It’s too similar to the steroid era where Bud Selig and the owners denied any knowledge of the use of PEDs for years. Based on Luhnow’s response to this, perhaps I have been wrong. Maybe they took the stance that what they didn’t know couldn’t hurt them and anytime someone started to say a word about it they’d cover their ears and loudly say, “I can’t hear you” and walk away.

    Like

  8. Maybe you’re just grumpy. I am disgruntled, disapproving, discouraged, disheartened, disillusioned, displeased, discontented, discomfited, disappointed, dishonored, dispirited, disquieted, distracted, disturbed, disaffected. And because of all this, I am now dysfunctional.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dean Deetz who was removed from the 40 man roster and exposed to be picked up by all other teams has passed through waivers and been assigned to Astros AAA

    Like

    • Here’s a just guess list of guys who will (or might) fall off the 40-man.
      Guduan, Rodgers, Biagini, Cole, McHugh, Deetz, Devo Marisnick (arb eligible), Rondon, Smith, Maldy/Robbie, Mayfield, Reddick, Harris, Sneed, Martes.

      Potentially ~16 spots.

      GoStros1 commented on MiLB Trends to Watch from TCB, Aug 12, 2019, 11:46am EDT

      Jan. 2020 Update – I’m okay with where we are. Did not get a reading on Martes in Dominican, but he will contend for SP5. Sneed will be interesting follow in Rodgers footsteps (great clubhouse guy, can’t quite get enough innings to breakthrough in HOU). Trade while we can similar to Thornton. Mayfield will not last thru next season. [Always fun to go back and see how predictions went.]

      Like

  10. I posted this link on the bottom of last post. But seriously, how does a “hero” and “honorable” player – cash a check for 1/2 million dollars. Then two years later get a guilt complex.

    “Yes, I worked with a group on a bank robbery in Houston. My cut was $439 thousand. I don’t need to return the money because I moved to another city and have not broken a single law or rule in 2 years.”

    https://www.tmz.com/2017/11/27/houston-astros-dodgers-world-series-bonus-checks/

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I just read a very refreshing Facebook post from the Facebook page “Tim Flannery and the Lunatic Fringe”. It was dated September 17, 2017. I sure wish I knew how to post that post here, because it really puts things in perspective. And it really shows how far minds like Manfred’s are from the reality of what America’s pastime has always been about. And for whining MLB players, think about the game you’ve played all your lives, from Little League on. And for sportswriters that never played the game or at least took the time to understand the game, stop writing about something you don’t know enough to write about. Please, one you smart guys, find that post by Flannery and put it up here!

    Like

    • Here you go….
      —————————————-

      They are fining teams who try to steal signs …hahahaha..got out just in time .

      Ok…I feel a need to speak out, normal is changing, and today’s norm is not the norm.
      For 26 years I was in the big leagues , 10 as a player, 16 as a 3rd base coach , 20 if you count the other years learning the craft in the minor leagues , from Boise , to Wichita. The seriousness of the writer, the expertise from the front office man, the commissioner, to those who have never lived it. Here it is…I have 25 World Series games under my belt, 7 elimination games, and a 7th game of a World Series. 5 World Series ,3 World Championships I know it don’t mean much to those in front of a computer, with the answers and all the rules. So I’m gonna make a long story short. I had a video camera on every 3rd base coach every single night, I spent hours logging tapes trying to steal your signs and finding a way to beat you. You as well did it, in New York I knew the Valentine Mets did it, I knew the Cubs did it, I knew the Dbacks, St. Louis did it, I caught them, that’s when the fun begins , you fuck em up by changing signs, you tell the boys ” if I put a hit and run on first pitch don’t do anything, they will pitch out and now they don’t have the signs, and you’re in a hitters count” the list goes on and on…..if you aren’t smart enough ( and believe me this isn’t rocket science, it’s being somewhat aware) it’s your fault, now the game is turned into no breaking up double plays , don’t slide hard at home, don’t block the plate.if you are not creative enough to derail them, you’ve stopped thinking. As far as some of the greatest baseball writers who I love, read and listen to, and hang with. You are so off on the sign stuff. It’s a high stakes poker game, big money especially as coaches . If you get caught , if your signs are stolen and you don’t know in the moment they are close, they are on you…your not thinking, and now because of that the commissioner comes in not understanding, the writers write stealing signs is wrong. We had an advance scout that could watch your 3rd base coach for 3 days and be real close to getting his signs. He would send his report and I would watch you, or have a camera on you, if you haven’t played , you don’t understand how important this part of the game should be. You don’t understand I would not only try and steal your hit and run sign, I would put our hit and run on that my guys knew, then in the same sequence put the other teams hit and run on so when they look at their cameras that we all used to steal the signs they would see and in their minds ” shit they have the same sign for hit and run we have”. It’s propaganda war fare, its trying to beat you……so why you claim people aren’t watching baseball because it takes to long, I say your taking the smarts out of it. …I tried every night for 16 years to steal your signs either writing every thing you did down, or by looking at tapes because I had a camera on you, just like you had on me. Please leave the game alone, and every writer who wrote articles on this..be in church Sunday,because I know for a fact everyone of you looked at body language , vibe, and found a way to snake another writer to get the feature, get the win., leaving it with no creativity, no thinking, and the dumbing down of the greatest game ever……not that I know anything about it….Peace Tim Flannery.

      Liked by 2 people

      • This is way too complicated for the casual fan. They want things in neat packages, Good vs Evil. Where twitter is the new “scholarship.” Meanwhile, those who played the game can appreciate these kinds of nuances.

        Of course I’ve been writing about advanced scouting, analytics and those who are actually inside our organization, not simply writing “we should get someone who knows analytics.”

        Those people are Pete Putila Asst GM; Sarah Gelles, Program Manager; Tom Koch-Weser, Advanced Info; Will Sharp; Kris Gross, etc. etc. We won so many games in part because of the work these folks performed.

        “Every battle is won before its fought.”

        Have heart my Astro friends, we will rise above it all again!

        Like

  12. At this point I think Jim Crane should pay everybody what they are owed, and close the doors. This season is lost..it will bankrupt Jim Crane, but this can’t go on.
    Because:
    IT.
    WILL.
    NEVER.
    END.

    Like

  13. Reddick said it was pieces of confetti from the celebration (local TV tonight) and seeing other pictures of him from the same scene confirm that
    Now on Altuve’s homer… do you remember the half grin on Chapman’s face. Maybe he believed he was had.
    Of course he also hung a slider….

    Like

    • Didn’t he throw the same pitch about 3 or 4 times? I think Altuve was just sitting on it. So now every time any batter hits a home run we should be automatically suspicious that there was cheating going on.

      Like

      • In Altuve’s AB Chapman threw him 2 high-outside fastballs to fall behind. The third pitch was a high slider middle of the plate for a called strike. The final pitch, the fourth pitch was a high slider on the outside half of the plate. Chapman threw four pitches, all high. Altuve never had to change his line of sight or look at a pitch inside. And after looking at two 98 mph fastballs, Altuve had all the time he needed to barrel up an 83.6 mph high slider.

        Like

  14. Altuve just released a message through his agent, that he has NEVER worn a electronic device on him playing baseball in his life. This is just going to get worse and worse as the media tracks down our guys. This is just the beginning.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’m beginning to get down right angry about all this stuff. MLB set the stage in motion when they allowed the camera feeds. And if all these people who say they thought something was going on, why in the hell didn’t they say something about it then instead of piling on now. I love watching baseball and our Astros but all of this garbage will do nothing but destroy the game. I hope all these people associated with this including those that didn’t speak out are happy with themselves. If I was a pitcher or position player and I thought something was amiss I’d either say something or as a pitcher I’d give the batter a bow tie to use Nolan Ryan’s analogy. I’m tempted to start using colorful metaphors if this stuff continues.

    Like

  16. The *only* thing I’m grumpy about (in Astros world …. there’s plenty to be grumpy about elsewhere in life) is that we couldn’t win either Game 6 or Game 7.

    Oh and the over-reaction I think in firing out GM and our M.

    Everything else is a bit meh.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Did anyone really think the punishment would come down and that would be the end?
    So here we go fighting for respect again just like back in 2011.

    Like

  18. With all this “crap” about Altuve’s homer in the ALCS, it sent me back to the post I made at that time.
    https://chipalatta.com/2019/10/21/altuve-leads-the-astros-to-world-series-matchup-with-the-nats/
    If the Astros were cheating in that series they were pretty awful about it. Like I pointed out it was the equivalent of having 13 Jon Singletons hitting at one time.
    Also as I pointed out – why did the Yanks even pitch to Altuve with Marisnick on deck. And then as pointed out above, Chapman threw those 4 pitches – all up in the zone and basically hung two sliders in a row with the second one right in his wheel house.

    But we’ve switched into idiot mode in this country where things are based on anonymous and non-existent sources. A post by a niece of Carlos Beltran who did not post it at all and even if she did – she is related to someone who was not with the club in 2018 or the 2019 season when the home run occurred. But this is how things happen these days in the media and in the social media.
    I’m really getting grumpy now.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Other than to laugh at the idiots, I see no reason to try to read or refute Twitter posts from Non=Family Beltran niece and multiple others. If they are not going to believe the MLB report, they certainly will not believe any Astro Fan. As to how long this will go on, JFK was assassinated in 1963 (Yes a much bigger event than baseball games) and people are still talking about it.

    Like

    • Tal’s Hill – the Grassy Knoll – I’m wondering……

      I guess the last time the JFK assassination crossed with baseball was in the series Seinfeld, where they went through a parody of the film to try and prove whether Keith Hernandez spit on them. If you ever watch this episode (The Boyfriend Part 1) when they try to reconstruct the Magic Loogie (instead of the magic bullet) actor Wayne Knight who plays Newman sits in the exact same spot in Seinfeld as he did in the movie JFK. It was a very funny episode.
      Yes, folks love to believe conspiracy theories far more than logic. Nothing we can do about it.

      Like

  20. At some point Manfred’s bosses are going to get tired of this mess and tell him to wrap it up. He got hired in January of 2015. As commissioner he should have dealt with this situation well before he allowed it to turn into the biggest single event in baseball history. Now it’s a runaway train. Who’s next?

    Like

  21. There “was” a petition being circulated among the owners about Manfred.
    I haven’t seen much about it in the last few months, but he is NOT well liked through out baseball owners and GM’s. Like I said yesterday…..the media is stalking our guys, and no its not going to stop anytime in the future. I still take the paper, and today’s sports page was a HUGE picture of Reddick when they caught him at the clubhouse yesterday. They tried to get something out of him, but the only thing he said was the whole mess “stinks”. Tonight is the Gala at Minute Maid for the homeless people charity. The local T.V. stations tried to get Jim Crane to speak about it but he told them to leave. All he said was they were talking to available managers in person, as well as on the phone.
    These guys are kinda like my kids….and everytime I see or read the cr@P that’s being said about them I get very teary. I have such a heavy heart about this, because this team has NEVER been accused of anything like this. They are going to need our prayers for strength to keep their heads up, and the strength to own what they did. I’m going to have to get thick skin to weather the storm of the 2020 season.
    ONE MAN RUINED BASEBALL IN HOUSTON AND HIS NAME IS ALEX CORA…..
    AND I WILL *NEVER* FORGIVE HIM.

    Like

      • Astrocolt45…..I wouldn’t want to be him either these days, he’s getting multiple death threats and a WHOLE lot of former players and some former coaches think he is a *slime ball* for what he did. It’s a horrible mess, and only ONE man who brought this disease to this team and to the Red Sox could care less about the permanent damage he has done. I will NEVER forgive Alex Cora….*NEVER*.

        Like

  22. I don’t think the manager will be one of the dinosaurs. They need someone with the tech savvy, or at least the interest to embrace it. There are starting to be more of those around. As to GM, I have no idea, but most all the organizations live in the data world now, so there’s someone out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. MLB TV had a list of candidates for the Astros, a separate list for the Red Sox, and a separate list for the Mets. Two names caught my eye. Brad Ausmus is under consideration (per them) for the Red Sox. Also Tony D. is under consideration by the Mets (per them). Neither of those names were listed under the Astros.

    Like

  24. I am just stunned. Shohei Ohtani will be allowed to go on a rehab assignment to the minors one day and then come back and be a position player for the Angels the next day.
    The commissioner has approved a special rule for one player.
    Major league baseball is messed up.

    Like

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