If I could…

No, this is not the lovely (sappy) hit song by Bread. This is your chance as a baseball and/or Astro fan to fill in a few “If” scenarios.

  1. If, I was the lead negotiator for the owners, I would…..
  2. If, I was the lead negotiator for the players union, I would….
  3. If, I was headed to Vegas to bet on the exact date the two sides would come to an agreement, I would bet on…..
  4. If, I could go back in time in my Delorean and transport any former Astro from another season and add him to this year’s squad, I would pick…..
  5. If, I could take any player back with me from this team to the 1980 Astros team that lost to the Phillies and barely missed the World Series, I would pick…..
  6. If, I was in charge of deciding what to finally do with the Astrodome, I would decide to…..
  7. If, I could have lunch with the late owner and entrepreneur Roy Hofheinz, the late announcer Gene Elston or the very much alive Nolan Ryan, I would pick….
  8. If, I could go back to any game I witnessed in person in the past and re-live that game, I would pick…..
  9. If, I could pick between the Astros cheating and winning the 2017 World Series or the Astros not cheating and losing the 2017 World Series, I would pick….
  10. If, I could be a major league ballplayer, the President of the United States or the richest person in the world, I would choose…..

You know the drill – the rest is up to you.

34 comments on “If I could…

  1. 1.If I was the lead negotiator for the owners I would give the players their requested minimum salary for young players and nothing else. After all, the players said they wanted younger players to get more pay.
    2. Stall
    3. I don’t bet and I don’t care either. When it happens, it happens.
    4. 1994 Jeff Bagwell, especially since I know he will need a pad on that hand ahead of time.
    5. Jose Altuve. He would have hit Carlton and he would have hit .400 in the Astrodome in that series.
    6. I would tear it down and leave a small monument there and make it a parking lot.
    7. I would pick Elston because I could eat while he answered questions.
    8. The 22 inning game between Astros and Dodgers, and I would pay a lot more attention to what was happening. I missed so much of the great stuff in that game because of being in the blue suites.
    9. I would take the cheating and the championship.
    10. I would choose to be the world’s richest man and then buy MLB and shut it down and then start a high class AAA league with decent wages, decent ticket prices, decent umpires, no television, no unions and covered stadiums that open so that nobody would be uncomfortable. And 1.00 hot dogs. I wouldn’t have to worry about making money because I’m already, yep, the richest guy in the world. I wouldn’t have to attend the games because the newspaper I own would have all the stories and box scores in the sports section tomorrow morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t disagree with any of this. However, for what game I would like to revisit would be any that I saw with the San Francisco Giants and Willie McCovey. I went to many of these games and McCovey ALWAYS seemed to hit a homerun in them. My runner-up would be any Cincinnati Reds games with Johnny Bench. He also seemed to hit a homerun in the dome each time. I didn’t like the outcomes back then but I enjoyed watching these two Hall of Famers play.

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  2. 1 and 2. I’d replace myself.
    3. No clue. And I don’t care all that much.
    4. I’ll keep it simple. Carlos Correa.
    5. Kyle Tucker’s bat.
    6. It’s a tear down.
    7. Nolan.
    8. Tough question, I saw quite a few, but the ones that stick out most are painful losses. The 16 inning loss to the Mets in 86 would be the most memorable.
    9. That championship brought on much more trouble than it was worth.
    10. I’d certainly choose being the baseball player. What normal soul wants to be the President? And I’d be perfectly comfortable on an MLB salary playing a game for a living.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 1. Give the players most of the things they are requesting, because fans spend money on MLB to watch players play.
    2. Give the owners most of the things they are requesting, because if the owners make money they will (hopefully) spend it on players’ salaries.
    3. April 1st :-p
    4. J.R. Richard
    5. Carlos Correa, because Craig Reynolds had a .566 OPS that year. By comparison, Martin Maldonado had a .573 OPS last year.
    6. Have the military use it for a Space Force location.
    7. Nolan Ryan
    8. I have not seen any games in person, but if I could, I would pick the 2017 World Series game 5.
    9. Not cheating and losing, because that would have been motivation to improve and win in 2018 & 2019
    10. To be the richest major league ballplayer in the world and President of the Chipalatta fan club.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 9. The cheating happened and the players will have to live with the consequences, but those were the best WS games of my lifetime. People will cite others, like the 1988 series where Kirk Gibson won Game 1 despite not being able to walk, but they’re wrong. That series was over after one game despite going five and the superior team (on paper) lost.
    10. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my life and envision myself as a major league ballplayer.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 1. I would announce that ST is now open. And the lockout will begin on Mar 31st unless a CBA is agreed upon.
    2. I would announce that we are having ST at our chosen locations. And if the CBA is not agreed upon by Mar 31st, we will strike for the season.
    3. Midnight March 31st.
    4. The Big Unit or Roger.
    5. Pressly for the 8th.
    6. Auction it off with stipulation you have 90 days to move it to your own location and fill up the hole left.
    7. Probably Gene. Maybe Nolan. Not the Judge, he would stick you for the tab and then pick up my tip off the table as he left.
    8. Maybe Jeff Kent HR in 2004 playoff, or any of the games I saw Fergie Jenkins in Arlington.
    9. Always take the “W”.
    10. MLB player. Every kids dream. Then every Adult’s wish list.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. IF you were wondering…

    Said the owner’s rep to the player’s rep (and vice versa): “IF I listened long enough to you, I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true – knowing that you lied straight-faced while I cried. But still I look to find a reason to believe…..’

    Said the fans to the reps for both sides: “IF you could read My mind, love – what a tale my thoughts would tell!”

    Said one player agent to another: “IF a pitcher makes a million bucks then why can’t I make two?”

    Said the Commissioner, the players reps, and the owners’ reps, to the fans: “IF you want to be happy for the rest of your life, forget the MLB – go have a date with your wife.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 1,2,3 – not much interest. Haven’t done the homework. Lets say March 15th when pressure is up.
    4 – Mike Scott in his prime. We have the offense but we didn’t have the pitching to keep up with the Braves.
    5 – Altuve – he can hit practically anyone, little man with a big stick would provide a spark to a lineup that wasn’t exactly full Ruthian.
    6 – I don’t even know whose problem it is now. The City of Houston’s?
    7 – Nolan Ryan – I’ve barely heard of Elston and I have no idea who the other guy is other than he has something to do with the Dome and baseball in Houston. Neither of those other two interest me, but as a guy that has pitched I would love to pick the brain of a real, legitimate big league hall of fame pitcher for just 30 minutes.
    8 – Honestly most games I have been too in person have been snoozefests. If I could relive a moment, it would be the Burke homerun in the NLCS. That was exciting. Everytime I was in the Dome and Cruz came to bat that was memorable, especially for a 12 year old.
    9 – Winning. Every team cheats.
    10 – Not President. Your life becomes a tabloid. Its a guarantee half the country is going to hate you even though they don’t know you. Thick skin is a must. No thanks. I’ll take baseball player as long as its a long career. Wouldn’t have to be awesome, just let me be Blum, long career, play in a bunch of different cities, immerse in the communities, and play the game I love. Besides, Mo Money, Mo Problems, right?

    On our tanking conversation the other day – it would be interesting to look at how tanking affected the draft. Obviously tanking did a lot more than just a few draft picks (the majority of which we bombed anyway), its about the resources it freed up, the do-over for management, the money spent on the international front that set us up, and spending on a few timely free agents. Would be a fun look.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Loving y’alls way of addressing the “ifs” ….now I’ll take a shot. (The first two I am cheating on as I am taking the role of an owner and player – not the lead negotiators)

    1. If I were one of the owners, I would thank God for being one of the richest men in the world and vote to take a giant step towards the middle on the negotiating points .
    2. If I were one of the players, I would thank God for making me one of the most physically gifted, and rich young men in the U.S and vote to meet the owners in the middle and call it a die.
    3. The end date for the impasse will be March 11th – my youngest brothers birthday.
    4. I love a number of answers out there. I am torn between JR Richard and Lance Berkman. I am picking Berkman, because he may have been our best clutch playoff hitter of all time, and we could have used his bat in the outfield in last year’s playoffs. But …..if you want to pick a transcendent arm like JR or Mike Scott I can’t argue with you.
    5. Yeah sending Correa would have helped, but I really like the Pressly thought – since we could have used that help back in the day getting out of those 7th and 8th inning give aways.
    6. The Astrodome was a wonder of the world – now it is “wonder” why it is still there. Take lots of pictures and get the big bad wolf to blow ‘er down
    7. I would love to talk to each of these guys, but I am going to pick to talk to the Judge – Roy Hofheinz. Who wouldn’t want to talk to the guy who leveraged baseball into giving Houston a team, by threatening to start a rival baseball league, who got them to award a team to play in a minor league stadium on the hot swampy, mosquito flats of Houston, who built the first domed stadium, who helped apply the Monsanto artificial turf on the fly when the grass died, who lived in an apartment in the Dome, who created Astroworld, had bullfighting, Evel Knievel, UCLA-Houston and Riggs- King happenings in the Dome, and who went bankrupt, all in one portion of his lifetime?
    8. I’d love to go back to re-live two walk offs. One was June 27th, 2002 as Gregg Zaun hit a two out grand slam against the D’Backs one row into the right field stands to flip a one run deficit in the ninth inning.
    The other was August 26, 2016. Ken Giles gave up a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth to the Rays. Carlos Correa led off the bottom of the ninth with a long homer to right field to tie it. Then Evan Gattis after a marathon at bat hit the ninth pitch above the train in left field and his trot ended with a jersey tear off and wild walk off with his team mates
    9. I would take the W, but I sure wish all the other cheaters had a Mike Fiers on their team to turn them in.
    10. I would like to be the richest man in the world, then I would do like Warren Beatty in Heaven Can Wait and buy a team and put myself on the team. Then I would do a Soros and buy the Presidency… just kidding folks.

    Liked by 4 people

    • 7. In the interest of brevity I did not write the history of “The Judge.” But he was a larger than life Texan. And he convinced or connived the County in building the Dome ($31 Million), and rent it to him for $700,000 a year. He then managed to go bankrupt using other peoples’ money. Finally, at that time I was in Arlington. He started Astroworld. He hired all of the Six Flags top personnel he could at much hirer wages. He got all there contacts the first year and then fired them all.

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    • My guess is Crane doesn’t have a lot to do with the negotiations. People involved in the business side of baseball probably are, and they have a vested interest in going back and telling their boss this is what we got and what we gave.

      There was an incredible interview with Elon Musk the other day that talked about his “salary.” Guy is the “richest” man in the world, yet before that big stock sell off he did a few months back he literally lived off of personal loans because he doesn’t take a salary. Sure he owns a private jet, but really his company owns a private jet that is at his command. He was talking about in the interview how he has less money in his bank account than anyone would suspect. Yes, he is not crimping to buy a dog and beer at the game, but these owners being worth billions doesn’t mean they have billions, and for the value of their franchise to stay where it is they cannot just be frivolous with their spending. No business succeeds when it does that even if ran by billionaires.

      I expect the ownership representation to take hard lines, because their hard lines are what makes the business side of the game healthy. The unions job is to take care of their clients. I don’t keep up with the day to day, and I am not very knowledgeable about the issues separating them, I only care about baseball not the business, but I am not surprised this is war, even if they are being more amicable towards each other than in 1994.

      Now my tune will change if I don’t have baseball in April. If it doesn’t start on time I may not even renew my MLB subscription, which living in Alabama is a death sentence on me watching baseball. That would be fine too because honestly the NBA and College Football have both passed my “favorite” past time.

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      • Our own top 10 you could approach several ways. One method might be those who have proven themselves and ahead of say, Whitley, like Dubin and Solomon, but neither have the ceiling of Forrest (-or the mental floor some would say). Other lists might accentuate youngsters like Santos & Melendez, over the aged’ 24 yo. Still others might be even more cautious and take guys off lists ’til they get back from rehab, like Jairo Solis, or Torres Ivey and Hansen.

        What holds true of our farm depth, even though we rank so low, is that they are trained to fit into OUR system. That’s something I never see in system ranks, how fungible are the players-in-wait.

        Anthony Volpe is the 2nd coming and ranked higher that Pena.. He’ll be 21 and has never seen a AA pitch. The jury is still out, and a major reason Yanks are thinking stop gap instead of signing Correa. Guys like Yordan, Rays Arozarena, and Rangers Garcia come so quickly onto the scene, they’re hardly in the minors long enough to effect ranks, since they only get updated a few times a year. Astros promote so quickly, it’s often the case they’re not accounted for, in cases like; Urquidy, Rojas or Meyers. Not there long enough to move us up from #29.

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    • Dave’s hunch was right, it just hadn’t been reported yet, as was it always plausible but for these reasons..

      I wouldn’t be pushing it for any reason whatsoever if I were the team re LMJ. It only opens door for Odorizzi and Javier to absorb those starts and frankly, it’s exactly what Jake Odorizzi bargained for if you look at his contract. 2022 is when his successive starts incentives kick in. Lance’s contract thru 5 yrs and all the Astros want is for him to be healthy last 3 months. Nobody can throw 7 full innings anymore and make every single post. Strasberg DeGrom Cole, they all get injured too. Their bodies are not physically in the same shape as in yesteryear with Nolan throwing 245 pitches in a game. The Astros were constantly monitoring every starter around the 80-90 range and McCullers was consistently hitting the highest pitch counts with Valdez. Garcia would have the same output if he had better control, a real workhorse himself.

      Think back to ‘20 season when LMJ was chomping at the bit to start the season, and there again was scary to think of him trying to throw 100% fresh off rehab, he was saying he felt 90% and throwing 94, nobody wanted him to push it. I feel the same way about JV. Why push it? If Lance thought the season depended on him being ready for OD, we would have seen it, but instead they’re planning for miles down the road.

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      • I’d prefer LMJ not be delayed. But’s good to have rotation depth that few clubs have. And at this point, it’s good to have Odorizzi. Going forward, I’d certainly take 150 inning, 3.5 WAR years from McCullers. He’d be a bargain for that. In 2022, he won’t need to give us 150. But I do also want to see the day that Javier gets a real shot at a full time role in the rotation too. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening without injury to someone else.

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  9. Here are THE BAT projections for the Astros for 2022 hitters.

    https://www.fangraphs.com/projections.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&type=thebat&team=21&lg=all&players=

    THE BAT is considered to have the best track record statistically in projections to performance. I don’t see any surprises here other than they have Yuli probably doing a little worse than Chipalatta world does.

    I also suspect they don’t think Pena is ready for major league pitching.

    Projections are fun, but reality is mired in surprises, disappointments, and injuries. Still it has the overall outlook for the Astros offensively looking good.

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    • There’s no reason for Alvarez or Tucker to be hitting below .300 at this point of their careers. The projection seems pretty optimistic for Bregman, but if he manages those numbers it will benefit a lot of guys in the lineup. I wouldn’t be unhappy with numbers like those from Pena because his glove should earn him a spot in the lineup. I can’t imagine a scenario where our catchers come close to putting up those numbers…unfortunately. I know Gurriel is older, but if his 2022 is closer to the projection than what he posted in 2021 it’s because of injuries.

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      • Devin, in 2001, 20 years ago, the players in MLB had a collective batting average of .264 and a K-rate of 17.3%.
        In 2021 MLB players collectively had a BA of .244 and a K-rate of 23.7%.
        My point is that a BA of .280 IS the new .300!
        That is why I would be satisfied with Alvarez and Tucker being at that .280 mark.
        The reason why the Astros aren’t projected to have even one guy with 100 rbi’s is because almost every hitter in our lineup has a guy batting in front of him who is knocking in runs. That is why the Astros are always at the top of the league in RBIs without having a guy near the top in RBIs.

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      • Based on their backgrounds – Alvarez has had more batting average success than Tucker in the minors and in his Rookie of the Year season of 2019. However, based on how they were hitting last year, Tucker certainly looked like more of a threat to get to .300.
        Like OP said, BAs are not what they used to be. Bregman has never got to .300 as I discussed a few seasons ago…

        Will Alex Bregman ever hit .300 and does it matter?


        Tucker had a pretty terrific year in 2021 and still did not reach either 100 runs or 100 RBIs. To me that was because he was in the 7th spot in the order normally, where he had no one knocking him in and he did not have near as many RBI opportunities as the guys ahead of him in the lineup.

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      • The downward trend in batting average is due to a few factors: increased shifts, increased stickiness of pitcher fingers, and increased launch angle on batted balls. Neither Tucker nor Alvarez are swinging it Gallo-style. Both have approaches that should yield a lot of solid contact that turns into a high BABIP rather than lazy fly outs. If they are swinging at strikes and not hitting close to .300 it’s because something in their approach has changed. Having said that, Tucker is also a hitter who was willing to give himself up to knock in runs last year. That does hurt the batting average, but clearly it shouldn’t happen an extreme number of times.

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  10. If I could be … so bold as to suggest it’s clear neither side actually wants to get an agreement in place. As fans we shouldn’t put up with this. Hit them where it hurts and vote with your wallet.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I saw a lady running her garage sale. A guy picks up a T Shirt marked $2 and offers her $1. She picks up a pair of shoes and says, give me $2 and I will throw in these shoes. That took the negotiation off track. That is what I read in the MLB negotiations. So many nothings are being thrown in that have nothing to do with anything.

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