If George has played his last game for the Astros…

Here is a post that hopefully becomes moot. Hopefully, the market is not red hot for an over 30 y.o. George Springer. Hopefully, George holds no ill will towards the Astros for artificially holding him in the minors when their team was hopelessly bad and cost him millions in pay and an earlier shot at free agency. Hopefully, we wake up one morning and he’s back for 4 or 5 more years.

But if he isn’t…….we’ll always have Paris or the baseball equivalent.

Some random memories of Springer’s time in the organization.

Anticipation.

Like a Carly Simon hit sung over slow dripping ketchup, the 2013 season was the ultimate tease for Astro fandom. Springer was tearing things up at AA/AAA that season finishing with a .303 BA/.411 OBP/1.010 OPS slash, 106 RBIs/37HRs/ 108 RBIs/45 SBs in only 135 games. Astro fan-dom was stuck with watching the 51-111 Astros stumble through a season where Springer’s numbers would have dominated every statistical category. How could we possibly replace L.J. Hoes or Brandon Barnes with King George?

And to just be sure on pushing his “dates” out, the Astros then did not start the 2014 season with Springer, bringing him up two weeks into the season where they could be sure to shove his arbitration and free agent dates out farther.

Streaky from the Start.

After a couple weeks, the fans were wondering what the big deal was. George finished April 2014 with a miserable .182 BA/ .262 OBP/ .480 OPS slash and 5 errors in 14 games. He then had an excellent 10 HR/ 25 RBI May where he seemed to be a part of everything positive that happened with the team that month. He cooled off in June, but in a precursor of the future, he went down with an injury in July and never returned.

Representing.

For anyone with a personal challenge, it is tough to deal with those in your personal lives much less in front of the world. George had a problem. George was a life long stutterer and now he was thrust into a place where he would have to speak very publicly almost every day of the season. Springer handled this with the utmost class, being very forward about it in interviews and by supporting fellow stutterers through his Camp SAY. His bravery touched a lot of positive tones with his fans and with people, who share his challenge.

First Up.

By his second season, the Astros started experimenting with putting Springer in the leadoff role and by the time 2016 rolled around that became his normal spot in the lineup. A lot of us (and this writer was one of us) were wondering why the Astros would move a guy who was a terrible base stealer, a moderate, but improving on base guy and someone with the most power in the lineup to the leadoff spot. But it became apparent that this was a chemistry thing. When George rocked out of the first spot the lineup rolled. When he led the game off with a home run, the team fell in behind him in the hit parade. It turned out to be a great choice.

Party On.

Early on the word was that George Springer not only stirred the drink on the field, but in the clubhouse too. He brought in strobe lights, a fog machine and loud techno music and created what he called “Club Astros”. It was pretty apparent in watching the team that these guys were having fun and that became infectious with the fans.  His personality and inclusiveness may be missed as much as his talent with this team.

Going Nuts.

One of the things that was easily forgotten about George Springer’s crazy 2017 post season is that he actually hit very well in the first round win over the Red Sox, putting up a .412 BA/ .474 OBP/ 1.180 OPS. What we do remember is what happened next. He fell off the earth with a 3 for 26 effort against the Yankees in the ALCS. Then he struck out 4 straight times in the World Series opener. Fandom went bat guano crazy with wanting him sat or dropped in the lineup. Instead A.J. Hinch put his confidence in Springer, who then went bat guano crazy hitting 5 HRs, scoring 8 runs and driving in 7 runs and reeling in the World Series MVP award.

In the end, if we never see George Springer play in an Astros uniform again, he can leave knowing he earned every dime he made here plus a lot more. He played the game intensely and with joy and with a large amount of talent.

George good luck wherever you may go, but we sure wish it was back to Houston.

26 comments on “If George has played his last game for the Astros…

  1. I remember the day we drafted George in 2011. I immediately started doing research on him, and WOW! That was the first moment I thought that my beloved ‘Stros might actually be in the process of building a championship-quality team.

    Take your shoes off and stay awhile, George! We love you down here in Texas!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is interesting that both Jeff Bagwell (University of Hartford) and Springer (UConn) came out of that college baseball hotbed of Connecticut – 26 miles apart. And of course Craig Biggio came out of that other hot bed 130 miles away – Seton Hall University.

      Like

    • It was Springer on the cover of the 2014 SI issue predicting they would win the 2017 WS. After they won and he was named MVP, he was on the cover of the 2017 SI issue as well. That’s pretty awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. After the Astros win the 2021 WS, with no other teams willing to trade with us, Click offers Dusty another 2 year contract. Dusty is also extended a QO, so if he signs elsewhere, we will get a draft pick.

    If Dusty decides to retire, then maybe Machete might want the job.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t believe Springer is coming back. Free Agency is his avenue to a lot of money and chances are he’s going down that road. Let us find a guy to become our new center fielder and move on. If we fall in love and get our hearts broken every time someone goes down that money road, our love will soon be depleted. I’m sure we can find someone else to to help our team win.
    The young man we saw come out of the minors is not the same guy now. He’s 31 and has a chance to get a big contract. It is not a crime for the Astros to let him go do that.
    The Astros already have a contending team for 2021. The real accomplishment will be in finding a path to do that for the following five years. I am convinced that is important and very possible to accomplish on the path Click will follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great news on Jairo Solis, and Pete Solomon. Better news on Hunter Brown, all comfortably inside the Top 30!

      Sadly, no news on Ivey and Whitley, on Rivera or Torres and Conine (They’re hiding them). Also, I’m not buying it on Nova — they’re only fluffing up his perceived value. pena is the better prospect and Nova will have to be on 40-man for 2 yrs if we roster him. That’s TOO long.

      Great news on 4th round Univ. of Tn.,
      Outfielder Zach Daniels with “freakish talent”

      Here’s a guy who assumes Springer and Morton can be had by money, and I just don’t buy it. I totally agree Springer should see his legacy through here, but he hasn’t made an extension easy and the writing to me is on the wall. I don’t think Charlie wants to be away from home that much.. but it sure seems like he could be had for 1-yr/9m! I always thought before, $15m his age 38 was too much.

      He does owe us a favor by not giving him a QO, after all!

      Anyway, some interesting talking points. On his question of insurance, of course Crane insured JV’s salary. Only the frugal Grocer would not insure Bagwell.

      https://houston.sportsmap.com/unpacking-the-mystery-that-surrounds-the-astros-and-justin-verlander

      Like

  4. Charlie will sign with the Rays or retire he’s not coming back here.
    At this point I’m almost over talking about what Springer will or will not do.
    If he stays he makes us very good…if he leaves he will make that club better.
    Teoscar Hernandez got a Silver Slugger award another one who went on to make a name for himself…and so it goes.
    Read where Hinch had Covid in September, he said it was the most unusual thing he’s ever been through, I’m sure it was.
    OP I’m praying your grandchildren and you and your wife stay healthy, you and I are in a terrible demographic when it comes to that horrible virus.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A bit off topic but here’s a great story about an inning, 3 triples, a double, 2 singles, no runs scored. It’s on mlb.com. It’s like 1897 or something.

    Lead off triple.
    Wild pitch, tagged out at home.
    Triple.
    Out trying to stretch it into an inside the park homer.
    Triple.
    Bunt, down the third base line. Third baseman watched for it to go foul. It never did. Runner in third never advanced. Hunter got to second base. A bunt double.
    Another bunt. Beat out to first. Runner on third didn’t advance.
    Bases loaded.
    A scorching liner, hits one of the base runners as he advances. He’s out. Third out. Batter still gets a single. Rule 15.5 or something.

    Made my day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. George Springer has given me a whole lot of pleasure during the years he’s worn an Astro uniform. A guy with a wonderful demeanor, one I wish I had. Exuberant. A joy to watch play the game. Rarely angry, even in the midst of an extended slump. He’s the guy that reinvented the leadoff spot, even developing a pretty good eye at the plate. He’s never given up on a ball in the outfield. Does not fear a wall. He plays his best baseball in the biggest of games. And he’s such a well spoken guy, having beaten a disability that challenges many. Yes, he is a role model. He’s the quiet Astro leader on the field and I’d guess he’s the guy in the clubhouse that gets the most respect. I’m sure he’s had frustrations with his employer. But he’s never shown it. He’s totally legitimate. He’s a man of integrity. I’ll root for him wherever he plays baseball next year.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Great deal for the Dodgers through 2024. After that it’s probably a huge anchor, but they are used to absorbing contracts like these. I would disagree with the assessment that he’s on a HOF trajectory. He got a lot of credit for bringing the championship to LA this year, but that team was already the most talented in the NL before adding him and his numbers weren’t out of this world – certainly not in the Mike Trout stratosphere. Then again, I’m pretty suspicious of his 2018. Quite frankly, it makes the Verlander deal look like a bargain. The downside is we miss two years of performance from him, but I’ll take it in exchange for that 2017 World Series victory.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Verlander deal came long after we won the WS. The 2 year extension of $33 million per year was the absolute worst deal ever. $66 million for 1 start, 6 innings. $11 million per inning.
        Every other deal the Astros ever made is golden compared to Verlander’s 2- year extension.
        The Verlander trade was Luhnow’s best deal and Verlander’s extension was his worst! Crane should be allowed to fire Luhnow twice.

        Like

      • Sure – Betts got extended during the season they won the WS and we extended Verlander afterwards. You’re not wrong, but there is always the risk of a player getting injured. We get hurt for two seasons and then can move on. Also, it’s not my money and Crane wasn’t going to pay it to Gerritt Cole anyhow.

        Like

    • This is why I am so upset with Crane. Cora returns to a rousing applaud, Hinch returns to Detroit with only a hum of detractors, but Crane would not stand up and tell the world that this was HIS team and he would not allow them to dictate what he does.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s