Astros’ 2020: Thursday thoughts

We are in the depths of baseball boredom right now. So, the only thing to do is for Dan P to stand up and tip his head over and see what thoughts pour out.

  • Sure need to have some real baseball soon. Watched a few innings of a Korean Baseball game and it just did not do anything for me. AT&T Sports Net has been throwing some random ballgames on the air. Tomorrow they will have a July 3rd, 2019 game between the Astros and the Rockies. I’m not sure I would have watched that live and sure can’t get revved up to watch it as a repeat. Of course, they are also inexplicably airing a 2019 football game between the universities of Nevada and Wyoming this afternoon. Boy, I bet that one really moves the viewing needle.
  • Relative to the Oakland A’s stopping the $400 per month payments to their minor leaguers…..How many minor leaguers are we talking about? Let’s say they have 250 to 300 players involved. That is between $100,000 and $120,000 a month. Really? Really A’s? If you can’t afford that you should just sell the team to someone who can.
  • I don’t know how the owners can expect veteran players to play 1/2 the games in the season for 22% of their pay. I can’t see how the players can expect to make 1/2 their pay for 1/2 the games if there are no fans in the stands. There needs to be some kind of compromise there – how about 40% of pay and play 60% of games? If the owners opened their books (Which will never, never, never happen) this might force a resolution. Just hope they figure out how to start the season in some way, shape or form.
  • I was looking forward to seeing how young ‘uns like Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker would do in a full season. Oh well, we will have to be entertained by what they do in a reduced schedule (we hope).
  • Here is a quiz….. which of the following is the most exciting play:

– Alvarez cranking one into the upper deck

Myles Straw streaking from 1st to home on someone else’s double

Josh Reddick stealing a homer from above the right field fence

Jose Altuve squaring up on a high fastball and killing it to center

Carlos Correa grabbing an outfield throw and relaying it like a laser to home plate

George Springer leading off another game with a solo shot

For some reason, I vote for Correa’s – but that is just me. Of course, if it is Altuve squaring up on one to win the ALCS……

  • If you are running a team that is in decent financial condition, you must be licking your lips thinking that some of these teams (like the A’s) might do almost anything to dump salary…..if there is a 2020 season and if there is a trade deadline. You might pick up some real deals.
  • A possible solution to the re-start might be to defer portions of salaries to a time when there are actually people in the stands. But it will continue to be about the Benjamins. (I would say it is about some bigger bill, but the only one I remember is Art Linkletter on the $100,00 bill in the game of Life).

So that is what fell out of my brain today. What is in yours?


19 comments on “Astros’ 2020: Thursday thoughts

  1. Dan, we live in a greedy, lack-of-respect era, and that’s where we find ourselves with MLB at this point. I mentioned this in a conversation with Greg Lucas yesterday, so I’ll give it a shot. It needs some work, but the concept is solid, I believe.

    If owners and the MLBPA want to be the model for stars and other leagues, they could take this approach. Players will play for nothing this year, or some very, very scaled-down minimum, say $1 million per player, period. They would still have benefits (e.g. insurance, credit for the full year, other benefits).

    Owners would be able to meet the budget for players and non-players alike. At the end of the season, MLB and MLBPA would then jointly give all profits of the 2020 season to first responders and mom and pop businesses that have suffered acutely over the past 90 days or so (and will continue to suffer!).

    First responders, nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers and COVID-19 survivors would throw out every first pitch and get honorary seats at each game.

    It’s not well thought out, and I’m sure someone can shoot all kinds of holes in it. Come on, Scott Boras. Still, the essence of the idea is there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Probably the best you could hope for Chip is the players throwing in some money and the teams throwing in some money – but probably nothing in the range of what you are setting out.
      Yours is a great idea, but greed will out here for both the players and the teams.


    • After reading about Esteban Loaiza blowing thru $44MM and getting busted for cocaine maybe Chip has the best idea for the money


  2. The best proposal I have read about so far comes from Barry Axelrod, former agent for Biggio & Bagwell:

    To summarize, he says: “Let’s have each side appoint an arbitrator and have the two arbitrators appoint a third to form a three-arbitrator panel. Let the two sides present their positions to the arbitrators confidentially – which may give the owners enough comfort to open their books a little bit to prove their financial woes.

    “The decision of the arbitrators will be binding and that the additional payments to the players can be deferred past the end of the season.’’

    I like Chip’s idea to have first responders, etc. throw out the first pitch and get seats at games.

    Oakland should sell the A’s, but they would probably not get someone to agree to their selling price right now.

    Myles Straw would be the most exciting play to me, because compared to the other plays there would be more variables and uncertainty in the outcome. When Yordan hits them high and hard, they are usually no-doubters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a tie between Reddick and Altuve.
    I just watched the last inning of the ALCS so Altuve with the walk off tips the scale.
    Can’t watch foreign baseball really not into the Rockies or any other NL team. Really bummed without my daily dose of Astros.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Altuve’s walk off against Chapman in last year’s ALCS was definitely at the top of the excitement list because of the particular situation and players involved.

        However, the quiz scenario posted above seems to indicate Altuve squaring up against any pitcher in a generic situation; which seems pretty routine for him.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The other night they re-ran Oswalt’s 2004 NLCS loss to the Cardinals on MLB Network, I believe. It was sped up and the removed some of the action, but the answer to your question is certainly not Myles Straw scoring on a double. In that game, with the Astros down by three in the third inning with one out we saw Beltran singled up the middle followed by Bagwell singling on a liner to centerfield. Berkman then came up and hit the first pitch off the base of the wall in right-center. Bagwell read it off the bat, put his head down, and never stopped running. He crossed the plate about fifteen feet behind Beltran. That’s a huge, exciting play in a huge situation and gets my vote.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry, I need to read my posts before I hit submit. This should refer to it as a start by Oswalt rather than a loss. Beltran put them ahead with a homerun in the 7th and Brad Lidge held it down for the save.


  5. Yeah my question in the post was a bit vague. I was kind of talking about these plays in general, not in a specific instance. The play you pointed out with Bags, like the Altuve ALCS clincher or Chris Burke’s Crawford Box special in or Bregman’s single to win Game 5 in 2017 are all elevated by the situation.
    But that is what makes sports so much fun. Our emotional reaction to the plays and the situation. Heck, a little grounder to Altuve that he threw over to Gurriel to clinch the WS might be the most exciting of all time for Astro fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So if I edit your question as follows, I would still vote for Myles Straw. Which of the following is the most exciting way for the Astros to win the World Series?

    – Alvarez cranking one into the upper deck

    – Myles Straw streaking from 1st to home on someone else’s double

    – Josh Reddick stealing a homer from above the right field fence

    – Jose Altuve squaring up on a high fastball and killing it to center

    – Carlos Correa grabbing an outfield throw and relaying it like a laser to home plate

    – George Springer leading off another game with a solo shot

    Of course, any of these would be exciting. Unlike my situation today, I am supposed to be working from home but my workplace is having server problems and I currently can’t connect my home computer to my work computer. Good thing my wife actually goes to her office or she would make me do some cleaning or other chores.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. From JJ Cooper at Baseball America
    The Astros have released 17 players in the past week. They also released 1 in March. Their total of 18 players released March-May compares to 10 in 2019 and 24 in 2018.
    LHP Brett Adcock
    LHP Daniel Bello
    RH Jacob Billingsley
    OF Abraham Castillo
    C Ruben Castro
    2b Trey Dawson
    RHP Luis DePaula
    2B Austin Dennis
    RHP Justin Ferrell
    RHP Michael Figueroa
    2B Sebastian Gullon
    3B Junior Marte
    LHP Bryan Martinez
    CF Preston Pavlica
    LF Juan Ramirez
    CF E.P. Reese
    RHP Edgardo Sandoval

    Adcock is the name I recognize here – a 4th rounder from 2016. He was terrible last season, but had been good before then, so it is a surprise especially with him being a left hander.
    Any comments on this list from our minor league savvy posters?


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