This offseason, that can’t end too soon and may not end well for the Astros feels like that first big breakup you had in school. You try to get over it and yet everything reminds you of the breakup. You see the other person. You see their friends. You go to places you used to go with them. You wake up and have no place to go on Saturday because that is when you spent the day with them. Ad infinitum…Everything ties back to IT.
And so the Astros and especially their fans are getting constant reminders of a different IT this off-season.
- The Astros are on a manager search. But of course, they would not be on a manager search except for IT…
- The Astros are on a general manager search. But of course, they would not be on a general manager search except for IT…
- The Astro players are supporting the team’s off-season caravan around the state and of course since it is different players at different stops, we get a daily dance of the seven veils with whichever player the media attempts to get the big scoop about IT from…..
- You turn on sports talk radio and you get everyone speculating about IT. You get Clint Stoerner (who I actually like) telling you that this cheating put the Astros at a much bigger advantage than anything that happened during the steroid era because everyone was doing steroids back then. Of course, he does not “know” that everyone was doing it back then, just like he does not “know” that everyone was not doing this now. But IT hovers…
- The web is full of speculation. You have crazy folks taking IT and running with it. You have anonymous sources sending tweets or Instagrams or some other crap from people claiming to be people that they are not and saying this or that is proven by a picture of graffiti or a guy protecting his jersey when he crosses home plate. Someone was on the radio saying they went to one of these sites and the site was pointing to a laptop in the dugout being proof of a conspiracy. Except there was a picture of a pizza box, not a laptop. IT is lowering IQs (and this country sure can’t afford that).
- There are stories every day about players from other teams or other eras talking about how this team, that manager used buzzers and light bulbs and every other thing and were doing IT to get the edge. This would make one feel better, except it is like someone telling you that your ex made a big mistake dumping you. Yes, they are trying to be consoling, but they are reminding you of IT.
- We have polls telling us what the man on the street thinks about all this. They tell us that 56% of them think the Astros should give back their title and 53% of them think the Red Sox should give back their title. My son, Thomas, said that means 3% are avid Red Sox fans and/or hypocrites. I said 80% think we should both give our titles back and give it to the Yanks even though the Dodgers were in both World Series. Of course, it might be a good guess that the poll was taken about 10 feet from the news outlets offices in NYC. When I see what polls show people think these days about any number of topics, I am not too interested in what they think about IT.
We thought the off-season was going to be highlighted with discussions about whether the Astros can get by without adding another starting pitcher, whether the bullpen will hold up and how they will tip-toe around the luxury tax levels. But instead, the off-season (and likely most everything this season) has been hijacked by IT.
In this information? age? it reminds me of the old saying about college doctorates.
“You learn more and more about less and less until you know nothing about anything.” My hope is some of the idiotic posts on twitter, etc are just jokes and they do it for attention or to get reactions.
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They can’t trick me. I still think our bullpen is suspect.
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JV, Greinke, LMJ, Urquidy, Pruitt/Armenteros/Valdez
Osuna (Led MLB in Games Finished; 38 saves),
Pressly (0.90 WHIP),
Smith (0.96 WHIP),
Peacock (91 IP, 1.1 WHIP),
Abreu (0.80 WHIP)
Biagini, Devo, Javier, Emanuel, Bielak, Ivey, Sneed, Perez, Martes, Torres, Whitley, Paredes, Nivaldo, Blake Taylor (28)
You know Go, you remain the best salesman in the blogosphere as it applies to selling the arms in our system. And I’ll be the first to admit that you are far more familiar with the talent in our system then I am. But it’s good to be talking about baseball for a change. As the resident cynic, my thoughts:
I expect some regression from Verlander
Greinke, Osuna, Pressly, and Smith I expect more of the same from.
I’m cautiously optimistic that James will take a next step in the right direction.
I’m pretty confident that both Urquidy and Abreu will help.
I anticipate 125 mostly good innings from LMJ.
I have zero expectation of Biagini or Devenski.
Pruitt, Amenteros, Valdez, Martes, all a crap shoot, but I like the Pruitt deal.
All the other guys are talented, but most of them will not ever have a significant impact playing MLB based on historical perspective.
And there will be injuries.
There’s always Steamer, Depth Charts and Fangraphs for predictive models on each of the players. I follow Matt Collier also, who’s tracked. every. pitch. thrown. in D1, MiLB and MLB. That gives me a good idea how Astro pitching stacks up vs other clubs’ staffs, even though I see most MiLB games too.
Our farm will probably be rated in the 24-27 range, but our pitching I’d say is a Top 10 club. Rays, Padres, White Sox, A’s, Reds, Royals, Tigers; Braves, TOR and Philly are comparable — all have pretty strong pitching.
End of 2018 we ranked #7 overall.
Highlights in 2019: led the minors in K’s 3 yrs running, three clubs made the playoffs, graduated the unanymous ROY Alvarez (he rose so quickly our system ranking never benefitted much), traded 4 studs, and Whitley had a down year.
Going into 2020 with Tucker falling off the list having qualified by number of at-bats, we will drop to #26 range, but that is under-rated considering our depth. Most services don’t give us enough credit for the type of players who cannot make our squad, but fit elsewhere; Laureano, Bailey, Davis, Thornton, Gustave, Moran, Straily and so on.
Jose Luis-Hernandez is a prime example of a guy who wasn’t on many people’s radar last yr at this time. But after a nice Spring training and a name change, wiping out RR, Urquidy started Game 4 of the World Series and acquitted himslef nicely.
I submit those names to you as ones to watch this year.
Not like we have many other choices, since we have no flexibility without trading Reddick. Unless you have a trade in mind for SP4, I’d say we are going to be just fine in pitching depth.
The Astros seem to agree because we could have gotten Dylan Bundy (four prospects), or Pineda for $10M. If we had money to spend without destroying our future, we could have bought up Wheeler, Porcello, or spent on projects Rich Hill, or Alex Wood.
Maybe the Astros like what’s in-house, and they’re hopefully sticking with folks who are intimately knowledgeable about the farm (Putila).
Incidentally, last night on Astroline, Biagini told Bill Brown the Astros had a ton of data he was trying to work through, and they are pleased with his progress. That is why they re-signed him/ So, he will be a good example of someone like Devenski who will try to hold off not only Emanuel and Javier, but newcomers Blake Taylor in the Marisnick deal, and Austin Pruitt. The great thing about Biagini is he has an option.
It’s helpful to be aware of each player’s Rule 5 status. For example, since Bielak has another year, he may not be brought up before someone who *had to be* roster’d, like Paredes. Therefore, it doesn’t mean Ivey or Bielak aren’t ready; it means we have a dozen guys who become eligible sooner. Two pitchers we’ll need to rush through, like we did with Abreu last year are Peter Solomon (hopefully ready by mid-’20) and Forrest Whitley is R5 in Dec. ’20.
Yes! I would really get back to baseball, but “IT” won’t let us. Here’s the latest on “it”.
Some Congressman wants to start an investigation on “it”. JEEZE.😳
Jim Gray was just on television, and said the players who did “it” need to be outed, punished and the Astros should give back the rings they got and the club stripped of the championship win.
He said there is a movement to do that very thing.
He said this is just the tip of the iceberg and there will be more teams under investigation.
Bregman at fanfest today: “The commissioner did his report MLB did their report and the Astros did what they did”,other than that he has nothing else to say. This is just *horrible*….I wonder Mike Fires is happy that he lit a match and set MLB and the Astros on fire.
I wonder if Alex Cora is sorry that he has cost not only the Astros their reputation, but he has costs the Red Sox their name too. I doubt it.
* What other moves does this team need to make to start the 2020 season?? Who is in charge of those moves, Crane?
I heard Jim Crane say last night, that he intends to extend Springer after this season. THAT was good news. *IT* is not going to go away…..but Alex Cora will.
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When I saw that suggestion by the Congressman, my first thought was that he should work on fixing politics first.
As a little teaser – expect something special tomorrow
Like Posnanski, the article you always wanted to write?
Or, announcing the new Manager?
No hints, Dan?!?
Dan, tomorrow is the best day of the NFL football season. I used to have an annual party on championship Sunday. It was a long one. They’re not going to cancel it and have a special MLB program it its place are they?
There will be lingering effects of IT all season, but I expect the volume will be dialed WAY back once the season starts. Patience, dear friends…
I thought you were talking Dan about Information Technology. Cos where I work, we try and get stuff dine but Information Technology keeps getting in the way.
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Also, stuff done. See what I mean.
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