What they said, what they meant: Dog Days Edition

It has been a while since the last What They Said – What They Meant. As a reminder, this will be a series of real-world quotes from mlb.com or mlbtraderumors.com related to your Houston Astros, followed by what the speaker really meant.

Owner Jim Crane on his optimistic feel for his team….

  • What he said. “Hopefully, it shapes up that we get everybody back and healthy for a nice run at the end and win the division — maybe have the best record in the American League to get home-field [advantage]. That’s the goal. Everybody is on track with that. It’s the dog days of August. We’re here.”
  • What he meant. “The operative word here may be dog, as my team is playing like a pack of dogs right now. When they are not dogging it, they are doggone stinky lately. But they are here – which is the same as saying they are breathing.”

Crane continuing on about his team….

  • What he said. “We got great fans, and they come out and support the team, and it’s a lot better. It was terrible last year for everybody, and they got it done, and we did all right. This team is a little more focused, has a little more depth, and we have a good chance. This team has as good a chance as everybody to go all the way.”
  • What he meant. “Lately, they look like they have a good chance to go all the way home for the playoffs.”

Crane on his manager Dusty Baker

  • What he said. “He’s had to patch it up. He’s done a nice job of moving guys in and out and giving guys some rest. I think we’re in good shape to make a run. He’s well-liked by the players, and he handles himself well. Dusty’s done a great job for us since he’s come in.
  • What he meant. “What do you want me to tell you? We brought him in because we needed to cleanse the palette, so to speak, after the scandal. I can’t fire this guy right now. I would have BLM on my back. I would have AARP on my back. I would have the players who love him on my back. I love the guy too. It would be like firing your dad or Santa Claus. Let’s let him pick his time to step back (unless the fans stop coming).”

Manager Dusty Baker on why he pitched to the Royals’ Salvador Perez late, who drove in 2 key runs instead of Carlos Santana….

  • What he said. “If you’ve seen Santana over the years, this guy’s been a clutch man for a long time. It’s easy to look back now and say, [‘Walk him’]. We got some charts and stuff that shows what the chances are of somebody hitting somebody, and Perez, I don’t think, had ever faced Garcia.”
  • What he meant. “I mean Perez is only batting .225 and has 59 RBIs, and Santana is batting .275 and has 77 RBIs and is a cool guitar player to boot. What? I got those numbers reversed? Damn these bifocals!”

Pitcher Jake Odorizzi on giving up a big homer to Hunter Dozier of the Royals….

  • What he said. “It was a backup slider. It was a [bad] time for it. I worked him away that entire game and executed away and got weak contact. After the strikeout of the guy before, I felt good going into the sixth inning. It wasn’t a lack of stuff. It was poor execution of a pitch at literally the wrong time. It was middle-down and a spinner.”
  • What he meant. “You know I am so good that sometimes I get away from what works, just to give the hitters a chance.”

Dusty Baker on why he used Blake Taylor instead of Kendall Graveman to face Andrew Benintendi (double) before giving up another key homer by Dozier

  • What he said.  “Benintendi doesn’t hit left-handers nearly as well as right-handers. Not even close.”
  • What he meant (after being told that Benintendi came into the game hitting .257/.294/.396 vs. left-handers and .250/.309/.395 vs. right-handers this year).  “Well, close is a relative term. If we measure this in milimeters…..”

Pitcher Zack Greinke after 3 of the 5 hits against him, were squibs to the side of the infield opened up by the shift….

  • What he said. “If you don’t strike out anyone at all, you’re going to give up some hits. Sometimes the shift helps, sometimes it doesn’t.”
  • What he meant. “Shift happens.”

3B Alex Bregman speaking about his injury on Aug 11

  • What he said. “I wish I could have two months ago been like, ‘This is the day I’m going to be back playing’. But it’s just not the case with these types of injuries. Getting really close. I feel like everything is going in the right direction and continuing to improve.”
  • What he meant. “I guess I don’t know the meaning of close any more than Dusty does.”

GM James Click about Bregman on Aug 15

  • What he said. “We determined that the best course of action was to do a lot of work that didn’t involve playing in games.  Right now, we’re making sure he’s good to go at full speed with his legs fully underneath him. Once we feel like that’s been accomplished, we’ll move onto hitting.”
  • What he meant. It is your turn – what did James Click mean…..

45 comments on “What they said, what they meant: Dog Days Edition

    Brantley has had more days off than any guy NOT on the IL! Another Baker playing “favorites”. If Click gives Baker another contract I just may stop following this team. Sorry I know I vent about this guy, but he is just NOT the manager these guys need.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What Click meant about Bregman… “He is really hurt more than we thought and he is too busy doing his own thing rather than working to get better.”


    • There was an interview of Baker today, concerning Bregman… This is an actual quote…

      Astros manager Dusty Baker’s latest update on his All-Star third baseman is more of the same. “No update on Bregman,” Baker puts it simply.

      What he actually meant… “I just nap in the dugout. Bregman? We have Bregman in our organization? I never see him nor hear of him playing so I thought he played for someone else.”


  3. The Mrs. has figured out why the team is playing without fire… she states that Baker’s comments, about the legs being tired and older guys needing rest, has creeped into the players’ psyche and they are believing that they ARE tired and older.

    By jove! I think she’s got it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What Click meant. “Bregman will play when we and him get damn good and ready to play and stop asking me about it cause I’m tired of talking about it. How about we talk about my favorite color.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. WHM Click 1: “And speaking of the dog days of August, I have hired Snoop Dogg to be a bench coach for Dusty to encourage him to let the performers perform and not continue using the “warm up acts.”


    • WHM Dusty on Perez: “Look, I am getting sick and tired of answering questions about my decisions. I have no idea why I did it nor why I sit guys or why I choose out of the bullpen. I don’t know, I don’t know, and I don’t know.”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is funny that Dusty looked a lot smarter on his moves on Thursday. If Maton blows up in his second inning we would have blown up too. If Javier crashed and burned in the 10th we would have been shoving Dusty into the wreckage. Baseball is always a funny business.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well yesterday I watched the 1st 3 innings until we were down 3-0. Instead of a nap I opted for walking nine holes in the 92 degree heat. Much more rewarding as there were few on the course (smarter than me). I got to sweat away a few pounds too. I checked the score in the 9th and saw we had tied it up. Didn’t want to jinx us so I waited till I finished the round and saw we had won. If I thought that would work I’d do that every game but you can’t play golf in the dark, even with those fluorescent balls.


  7. Mom and I went to dinner at one of our kid’s house last evening. I didn’t watch the game because I can’t take the constant failures I see inning after inning. It would be different if I hadn’t watched these same guys succeed for the last several seasons.
    I am encouraged by the work of McCormick and Meyers and the bullpen.
    I am hopeful for the future of the club.
    Last night we had hours and hours of discussions about everything going on in our world and the world’s world, which are two different things entirely.
    There is one advantage to making it to the Winter of our lives: We are the ones who have lived through Spring, Summer and Autumn and recognize what happened in each. This accumulated knowledge gives us an informed view of what the seasons will be like for the next generation.
    Some of our kids care about what we think and see. Some don’t care.
    Our desire to pack as much living into our winters is not limited by our minds, but is limited by our bodies, which gave up a lot in the first three seasons of our lives. The thing that hasn’t burned out is love. It still flames brightly.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Mrs. Bill and I are walking in a Winter Wonderland right along with you, OP1 – though in a parallel universe spreading out at a slightly more southerly latitude.

        Raise your glasses [not the reading kind] – Here is to ‘facing unafraid, the plans that we made!’

        Liked by 1 person

    • I look at the WS prediction is just statistical nonsense – as I do most of BR’s odds-making. There are just too many games left to play and too many variables to consider. As for our postseason chances, the last nine games of the season – 6 of which are against the A’s and the remaining 3 of which are against Tampa Bay [who presently has the best record in the AL] can be expected to loom huge! The September series against the Padres is also one to watch.

      All that being said, if we continue our year-long pattern of struggling mightily against teams our record and statistical superiority both suggest we should beat handily – i.e. the Angels [who we play 7 more times], the Rangers [who we play 7 more times], the Mariners [who we play 9 more times], the Royals [who we play 3 more times], and the D-backs [who we play 3 times] – what we do in those last 9 games -or against San Diego – may not matter.


      • Yikes! I thought the playoff prediction number was pretty solid until I read your comment, Mr. Bill. Finishing with those 9 games really could sink our chances. There’s no reason for us to not be up by 5 or 6 games at this point despite the injuries/health protocols, and I say that knowing full well that the A’s have played well this year.


  8. The long marathon of a baseball season is always interesting and often indecipherable. In 2017 the Astros were a juggernaut for most of the season, but injuries caught up with them and they were 11-17 in August. After picking up Verlander they were great again in September and the playoffs.

    The 2021 Astros are great against above .500 teams and about .500 against below .500 teams. Is that because they are flawed? Is it because they can’t get revved up against lower teams? Is it because they continue what seems like a life long tendency to struggle against pitchers they’ve never seen? Is it just that they are facing these teams when they are slumping a bit?

    A few weeks from now we may be laughing after the Astros take off on the A’s. Or we may be sweating bullets as their division lead erodes away or flips.

    It will be an interesting last 6 weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What Dusty said [after yesterday’s come from behind will over KC]:
    ‘It feels great to hear the guys in the clubhouse partying and booming the music . . . .”

    What he meant:
    “Did you see me bust a move?”


  10. The Mariners have been killing it vs the Blue Jays and Rangers while the Astros have been floundering vs. the Angels and the Royals. It would be nice to see Altuve [.218 last 7 games], Brantley [.200 last 7 games], Gurriel [.043 last 7 games], and Alvarez [1 RBI last 5 games] start to drive in runs at elite levels again. After all, how long can we expect McCormick, Diaz, and Meyers – with occasional help from Carlos Correa – to carry the offense?


  11. What Alex Bregman said – until today:

    They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said ‘No, No, No!’
    Yes, I’ve been down but when I come ’round you’ll know, know, know!
    I’m confident in me, though Jim Crane wants to see,
    don’t say go to rehab – I won’t go, go, go!

    I’d rather sell Salsa in a jar;
    and drive around in a fancy car,
    ’cause there’s nothin’, there’s nothin a Skeeter can teach me,
    that I can’t learn from a good ole’ boy like Dusty.

    Well, I didn’t learn a lot at LSU;
    but I know how to make the fan-base miss you!

    So if they try to make me go to rehab, I’ll say No, No, No!
    Well I may be a punk but I don’t take no junk,
    so don’t wait for me at rehab -I won’t go, go, go!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bregman was 2 for 4 with a homer and 4 RBIs tonight for the Skeeters who scored 12 runs themselves. He did play 3B for most of the game. They pulled him late as a precaution after 4 ABs.


  13. And, in case you missed it, Brian McTaggart revealed in a recent article that the Astros were telling other organizations at the trade deadline that Korey Lee, Pedro Leon and Hunter Brown were “untouchables”.


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