The return of WTSWTM

It has been a long time since the blog has revisited the classic WTSWTM, more easily understood as What They Said – What They Meant. Simply stated, several Astros related quotes are pulled from and reprinted here. Then we untangle the coach or player speak and tell you what the person really meant…

Pitcher Lance McCullers after a couple of jam shots cost him the only 2 runs he gave up Sunday…

  • What he said. “Every time I say something about something, people like to run with it. You guys saw the play. You guys saw how those two balls were hit. The runs that came across probably should never have. It kind of sucks because you look at the game, and it kind of boils down to that one play. It is what it is, I guess.”
  • What he meant. “That #$%^ing ball. $#@% the ball. And *&$# me. I want to ^%%$& the %^^% out of the first-base bag and every $&#@ around. And @#!% to you too for taking my &*^$ story and running with it. You can take it and shove it up to your ^%$@. What do you mean I’m not mature?”

Manager Dusty Baker on Kent Emanuel’s 8-2/3 inning debut in relief of injured Jake Odorizzi on Saturday…

  • What he said. “I’m always apprehensive of a guy saying he’s ready and everybody’s getting impatient and wanting the game to start. He took his time, and [catcher] Jason Castro directed him through the game. At first, he was a little bit overamped. He was throwing a lot of fastballs, and then Jason and he settled in, and he started using all his pitches.”
  • What he meant “He was overamped as in Lance McCullers overamped, but unlike Lance, he let his catcher settle him down.”

Pitcher Zack Greinke after somehow escaping with 2 runs allowed after giving up 10 hits in Friday’s game…..

  • What he said. “It was intense. Sometimes it didn’t look very good.”
  • What he meant. “Let’s face it. When you throw pitches that would bounce off the glass, you don’t always look good like the guys who throw 95 mph like I used to do. But on the other hand, having these hitters twisting themselves into pretzels with guys on base means they don’t look very good either.”

Reliever Joe Smith after getting beat around the ears again…

  • What he said. “It’s frustrating as hell when you walk out there and get slapped around like you don’t even belong in the big leagues. You can sit there and keep getting your butt kicked, or you can work and continue to get better and try to find something. That’s what we’re doing, and I feel good with where we’re headed.”
  • What he meant. “What am I supposed to say. I know I’ve stunk. The fans know I’ve stunk. The guy who sells beer in the upper deck knows I’ve stunk. The only thing I can say is I was a good reliever in 2019, and I can be that guy again. Please, be patient.”

Pitcher Jake Odorizzi relaying how he feels after hearing he would only miss a couple starts with a right pronator muscle strain…

  • What he said.  “Pretty positive, to be honest. Hopefully, this takes 10 days, and I will be ready to go. I’m feeling better every day. It’s a pretty positive thing. I think it’s pretty optimistic to think it’s very short term as opposed to what some of the stuff when you hear forearm, elbow area.”
  • What he meant. “Well, it’s better than straining your antinator muscle, lol. I hope I don’t get Wally Pipped by Kent Emanuel.”

Catcher Martin Maldonado talking about the effect of signing an extension after the season started…..

  • What he said. “I was going through a lot of stuff in my mind. I was talking about the deal, thinking about the deal, striking out way too much. It’s something I don’t recommend to nobody when you start talking about an extension in the middle of the season. We finally did it, and now I can sleep better. I wasn’t sleeping well before that.”
  • What he meant. “Hey, what a perfect excuse for why I have been the hitting version of Joe Smith’s pitching.”

Dusty Baker on Luis Garcia pitching well in the freezing Colorado weather…..

  • What he said. “[Pitchers] actually perform pretty good during these conditions because the hitters are the ones that don’t like their hands stinging. The hitters are the ones that are standing around at their positions.”
  • What he meant. “I was a hitter for umpteen years. If I had been a pitcher, I would have talked about how pitchers hands are numb, the ball feels like a slick ball bearing and how the pitchers sit in the dugout stiffening up. But I wasn’t, so I didn’t.”

Bonus Quote…

  • GM James Click on why the Astros had no postponements after having five players put on the COVID IL vs the Twins having a series of postponements…
  • What he said. “There are nuances between the various situations in terms of threats and concerns about the further spread in the clubhouse, and that necessitated shutting things down. I can’t get into the specifics of our results, their results. Still, a big determining factor in this is the concern about it turning into a Marlins or Cardinals situation from last year where every day there’s another positive, another two positives, and try to get ahead of it.”

What you think he meant.


43 comments on “The return of WTSWTM

  1. Rob Manfred said he really didn’t care how many were infected or could be infected we were going to have to play anyway because we haven’t been punished enough for the 2017 season so don’t assume anything until we tell you that you can resume normal operations. And it won’t come anytime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What Click said: I can’t get into the specifics of our results, their results.

    What Click meant: Obviously the rest of the owners are jealous of our recent success and are directing Manfred to screw us over as often as possible. If I complain how unfair MLB is treating the Astros, they will “find” our entire roster was exposed to COVID but still won’t postpone any games. I’ll take my chances trying to win with 5 minor league replacements instead of 26.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What you and Zanuda said is what I thought when I read the Click quote. It reads like MLB is worried that the Twins might turn into a Cardinal situation from 2020, but no problem if that happens to the Astros.


  3. Good condensed game last night! Altuve looks 25 again. Alvarez has happy knees. Guys are hitting the ball like crazy. It give Tucker more time to figure things out. Big play out in right. And some solid pitching.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Altuve, Yuli and Alvarez were right on the pitches last night, just nice hitting by the three of them and of course Brantley (the Machine) had a couple too. Good outing by Urquidy after a bit of struggles in recent games, gave up the two long balls and little else. Abreu looked tough, Stanek and Pressly worked in and out of trouble.
      Tucker struggling as is the 2020 ROY for the M’s, Kyle Lewis who has missed time early in the season. Tucker still leads the team in HRs and is only behind Yuli in RBIs, somehow. Really want to see him get hot soon.


  4. 6 innings two runs. Astros pitchers are starting to heat up. The only guy who wasn’t good enough was LMJ, who went 6 innings and gave up 2 runs.
    So, why all the criticism of him? He is the only guy who didn’t get any run support during the 6 inning , 2 runs Astros pitching story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guilty as charged. I initiated the criticism. Lance is the most talented pitcher on the Astros roster. He can be a great pitcher. To do that though, he needs to get control of his emotions, every inning, every game. We’ve seem him have one bad inning too often. He needs to beat that rap.


    • It’s all relative. I think people (not just here) are being critical of LMJ’s last outing partially because of the stinker against Detroit a week and a half ago. We’re looking for him to make the jump and become one of those guys who runs off a streak where he’s unhittable for weeks. I see the potential to hand him the ball on the biggest stage and have him pitch shutout baseball. I also see the potential for him to throw 100 pitches over three innings and give it to the bullpen early. If our bullpen weren’t scaring us so much that probably wouldn’t be a problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wrote it in last posts comments that I would take 6 innings / 2 runs from every starter in every game going forward and not look back.
        It is kind of a weird situation. We were mad at the team when we thought they didn’t care or were going through the motions, but here we are upset because a guy cares too much (yes it seems to be to his detriment, but if he didn’t have that fire would he pitch as well as he does when he isn’t melting down?).


      • Dan yes, I like the fire, but sometimes it’s misappropriated. I look at Urquidy, a guy with 17 lifetime starts. I know he cares. If he’s getting flustered, he sure does not show it. I like the rocking chair demeanor. I like that Garcia has it. Grienke? The master of zen. I’m not looking for robots. I like it when a guy hops off the mound after a big third out. But when a veteran pitcher shows frustration early on the way to a 29 pitch inning, bad things are bound to happen. And then there’s an extra inning the pen has to throw too.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am not knocking LMJ nor defending him. But in his last game, he threw less than 60% strikes. As mentioned on the telecast, on a 3 ball count, he has little to no control of his fastball right now. As to the two runs, he hit Pujols and walked Rojas. Had the ball not hit the bag, those two runs would not have scored. Had he not hit a batter and walked a batter, the ball hitting the bag would not have scored two runs. He has amazing stuff. But right now his control and composure suffer.


  6. McCullers: WHM “My daddy told me there would be days like this.”
    Dusty: WHM “Yes, Emanuel was overamped, but I have a couple of Biagini Clones in the bullpen. So he might get to stay here.”
    Greinke: WHM. “Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon rind. Look at the scoreboard and see who is behind.”
    Smith: WHM “Biagini left me his glove and his out pitch.”
    Smith #2: “For some reason the words to John Denver’s Leaving on a Jet Plane keeps rolling through my mind.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Odorizzi: WHM. “Yes, I will miss 10% of the season but luckily I will not miss 10% of my paycheck.”
      Maldonado: WHM. “Please follow this link
      Dusty #2: WHM. “Manfred sent 20% of my team home with a Covid excuse. He and the umpires now would like to send another 20% with the flu.”
      Click: WHM. “I have no idea what is going through the Commissioner’s mind. In fact, I don’t know if he has a mind left.”

      Liked by 2 people

  7. What he said . . . what he meant:

    When asked if there are any issues of him facing the Astros this season, Mike Fiers said: “No — it’s another big league team. Another team in our division that we need to beat.”

    He meant: “I am waiting for Astro Zeneca to make a vaccine that works against the Astros before I agree to be on the same field as them again. And I’ll probably want two shots and a couple of years of boosters, too, before I really feel comfortable. I have to follow the science.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dusty Baker on becoming the 15th winningest manager in history: “I guess my ‘analytics’ are pretty good, then.”

    WHM: “Have you narrow-shouldered punks ever even put on a jock strap?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, these are all the big movers for me too, after the Spring, Dan. Op said he saw Brown lay an egg, and he definitely had the worst control that day and ran into a rough patch. But goodness it was his 1st time in camp and lots of very high expectations. Sitting 97 with ease in that frame with a Glasnow curve? I cannot imagine a higher endorsement, and one they feel ok with placing on him.

      The team is tracking the movements (footwork, strength) and figuring out how to implement it in games. I find a lot of good info here in the confidence they have in those players. To add to Pedro Leon, Pete said he saw him change his swing angle in the middle of the pitch flight, showing quite an advanced approach already. If they can simply get him to feeling comfortable about the speed of the game, and he’s already lightening quick, we could be talking elite elite by late ’22. A veritable can’t miss.

      Pete Solomon moved up 8 spots or so on my poll, and looks to be every bit as formidable as Ivey. If you go back to 2017 and read “FaBIO” tracking system on Solomon Ivey, you will find this scout thought they were top 5 way back then too. It’s taken 4 yrs to prove he was right, in essence. Here is his assessment of this season.

      Matt Collier, developer of FaBIO
      Astros & Dusty Baker will play “Hide the Short RP” for most all of 2021. If they get to October they’ll only need Pressly among present short RP as they’ve got lots of swingmen & surplus young SP to use instead of short RP. But it’ll be challenging to reach Oct w/ those short RP.

      I asked him, what about Solomon, Ivey, Solis, Martes, Hansen, James, Pruitt, Garza, Dubin? I forgot Nivaldo Rodriguez with the best curve in the system! Abreu Bielak Garcia Paredes… I can assure you the list hasn’t even begun here when considering Spring ’22 with Torres, Conine, Bellozo, J Lopez, Ty Brown, and the local undrafted Gruller, Sprinkle. How about those just coming stateside H Tokar, Manny Ramirez, *Ernesto Jaquez*, Yeremi Caballos, Angel Macuare, JP Lopez.

      We still have Scrubb, Baez, Blake Taylor trying to get back in there. Odorizzi is going to be fine, just a “half scare.”

      Oh, and some guy named Framber Valdez. He’s pitching off a mound today, and I hear it’s back to 90 already.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I had forgotten Javier only threw 3 official innings this spring. Just 54 innings last year and then 5 post season appearances. He’s done a lot of proving in a short period of time.


  10. Good close team win. Lots of great pitching and lots of hard hit balls with little to show for them. We need to win these close ones. It is much easier to do when the bullpen hangs goose eggs for those late innings.


  11. When a guy has shoulder soreness and goes on a the 10 day IL and then gets moved to the 60 day IL and information is as scarce as usual, one might start speculating that a rotator cuff issue is the problem.


  12. I enjoyed watching Marco Gonzales last night. He was throwing 75-88 mph pitches that the Astros had a dickens of a time squaring up. And when they did, it was normally jerked foul by 30 feet.


  13. Dan, not to hijack things here, but what does everyone think about Myles Straw and how long a leash he should get before losing the everyday job in center?

    Going back to the beginning of last years exhibition season, he’s had 159 AB’s. Should we consider those stats? If so, his 2020 numbers are pretty consistent with what he’s doing now.

    Since July 29, 2020: .208 BA, .257 OBP, .258 SLG, .515 OPS.
    His BABIP is a reasonable .270 for the same time period. His DWAR for 2020 and 2021 is -0.1.

    Any thoughts?


    • Basically, the stats daveb are matching the eye test. He is not a good hitter and despite his speed his fielding is below average for CF.
      Even though I am not expecting some kind of sudden jump in production, I’m thinking they will likely give him at least 6 to 8 weeks into the season before they take action.
      The take action part of this is the hazy part of this. Not that many options. I don’t expect them to bring someone from the outside through trade or FA signing or waiver pickup. In house they could let Chas take a shot at the position for a while. I am pretty sure they are not likely to call up someone like Leon, who they feel needs seasoning.
      Maybe we are just going to be stuck with what we have this year. Perhaps they will trade for a rental at the trade deadline. Kind of doubt it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. *Fangraphs said Straw wasn’t a good defensive CFer last season and they say he is bad so far this year.
    * The same metrics also say that Kyle Tucker has been the best fielding RFer in all of baseball so far this season.
    * I think the reason the Astros say that Pedro Leon will play mostly at SS for this season at CC is because of Pena’s injury, which will shelve him for 2021. Leon will get his ABs no matter what, so playing him at SS is just to see if he truly can play that position. They already know he can play CF.
    * 2021 projections had Yuli Gurriel producing 1.0 WAR for the entire season. So far, Yuli sits at 1.3 WAR after 23 games, trailing only VG, Jr in WAR for 1B in 2021.
    * Jason Castro’s 0.3 WAR almost cancels out Maldonado’s -0.4 WAR at catcher.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know “eye tests” are not valid but I think Brantley and Tucker are making catches that normally goes to the centerfielder. And I had rather have Maldonado behind the plate and Castro batting. Not sure how we can accomplish that. The Centerfielder Pony Express is out in Western Canada right how. So I expect to see Straw most of the season. McCormick has been driving the ball better than Straw but he is no MLB centerfielder as of today.


      • 45, The class E Industrial league, affiliated with Manfred’s mother in law, is trying out the duel catcher concept this season, where one guy gets to catch and one guy gets to hit. This is your concept! I suspect this is why Click signed our potential designated catcher catcher to an extension for 2022.

        Defensive metrics are my least respected stats. But in general, with our present outfield, I do have more confidence that a ball hit to left or right will be caught. And I do worry about Myles bonking into guys.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. WHS: “Framber is way ahead of schedule.. So much to the point he’s trying to press this faster than our medical field really wants him to.”

    What Baker meant: “He seems possessed about steering the boat, and I’m not about to get in his way.”

    By the way, I haven’t mentioned in a few months. I hated the way Hinch threw Framber under the bus, and I love the way Baker has motivated him. I hope he’s an Ace on a staff of 4 of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. WHS: Mike Fiers has returned from the IL, is pitching out of the bullpen, and is “totally cool” with facing the Astros whenever.

    WHM: Make sure there’s plenty of security, and only in OAK.

    When asked, ‘what about the playoffs in HOU?’, he said nothing. Which means he’s as scared as any rat sniffing around the basement for cheese who hears loud thumping reverberating from the ceiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What they have said is: Yordan Alvarez is out for “health and safety reasons,” manager Dusty Baker said.

    What they meant: I can’t say on this blog.

    Such a crock. Now, what? Oh, that’s right, they can’t say exactly.

    Liked by 2 people

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