With Autumn Closing In…..

Back in the far-off year of 1976, blue-collar rock warrior Bob Seger became an overnight sensation at the age of 31 after spending about half his life chasing the golden musical ring. His huge hit “Night Moves” jump-started his career and pushed him to superstardom.

I was a much thinner and much less wise moppet of 20 years old then – about halfway through my five years to an engineering degree, having just started dating my future wife and spending weekends leading youth retreats trying to figure out who I was and who I would be.

That song was a journey back to the early times of falling in lust with lots of lyrics that were aimed at the young men in the audience. But I was always taken, almost shaken, by the following stanza.

“I woke last night to the sound of thunder

How far-off, I sat and wondered

Started humming a song from nineteen-sixty-two

Ain’t it funny how the night moves?

When you just don’t seem to have as much to lose

Strange how the night moves

With autumn closing in”

Now maybe at 31 years old, he felt like autumn was closing in on him, though since he has made it to 77 years old, and his 30’s and 40’s were a huge part of his career, it is likely autumn didn’t come along until his 50’s.

Of course, in the rock and roll world, a chunk of folks don’t make it to the 30s or 40s – Jimi, Janis, and Jim – we miss you.

But when you are 20 years old, and you think that in a few years you will be looking back at where you are now, and these will be the great, memorable times, it can be a bit daunting. Autumn seems like a time of leaves dying and hopes dying too.

These days when I am likely closer to winter than autumn, it is not so daunting. Autumn has always been my favorite time of year, and in some ways, it has been my favorite time of life. I’ve known more, and life (other than some health issues) has been easier. Money has been more plentiful, and with the kids off, it lasts a bit longer.

And what does this have to do with baseball and the Astros? Well, year after year, autumn is the special time, if your team is still playing. For us Astros’ fans, it was not always that way. For huge chunks of our lives, it was the time of year that reminded us that our team was not ready to go forward. But during this grand Astros Renaissance, autumn has been a glorious time with our team year after year, charging deep into the playoffs and to the World Series three times.

So, what will be singing or humming a few years from now when this great time is merely a wonderful panoramic view in the rearview mirror of our ’57 Chevy? Hopefully, we will see these autumns as a window into a wonderful world, not something that is closing in on us.


64 comments on “With Autumn Closing In…..

  1. I sat ‘Like a Rock’ the whole time I was reading this post. I just couldn’t ‘Turn the Page’. It could be true that ‘Rock and Roll Never Forgets’.

    ‘C’est la Vie, say the old folks -it goes to show you never can tell.’

    Anyway, there are still games to play down on [or actually a few blocks away from] Main Street. And though we probably don’t have enough studs on the offense to win the World Series this year, ‘We’ve Got Tonight!’

    Liked by 3 people

      • Assuming the Dodgers don’t play the ‘Beautiful Loser’ card, and further assuming our hometown heroes don’t lose the ‘Fire Down Below’ and all wander off to ‘Fire Lake’ or ‘Katmandu’, it would be so cool for all Dan and the Chipsters to ‘Accompany Me’ into those ‘Hollywood Nights’.

        But if it is not to be in 2022, well – ‘Shame on the Moon’, and ‘Roll Me Away’. But whatever happens, you can bet I’ll still be loving that ‘Old Time Rock n’Roll’.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’d be more inclined to believe that 35 million a year that Correa wants is going to end up in JV’s bank account next year. The Astros could never afford both given the other checks that are being written. No, alas, we shall open next season hoping that Pena improves.


      • At this point, one could argue that our rookie Pena, with his 4 plus WAR has done a more than adequate job at shortstop, allowing the club to focus its efforts on getting Kyle Tucker locked up. Tucker might already be a more reliable offensive presence than Correa and he’s an excellent right fielder and baserunner. He’s really the only five tool guy on the Astros.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know how much I give to WAR. Most players accumulate a positive WAR when they get enough playing time. I’ve had a hard time figuring out what it means by replacement when even below average major leaguers accumulate a positive number with enough playing time.

        I get it, I know it corresponds to win, it’s no coincidence the AL West standings are in direct correlation with the order of their team accumulated WARs. But lets say the Red Sox, who have a team WAR of 28.6, why would they be 6 games below .500?

        Regardless, I think Pena is going to have to be better than .285 OBP long term. Not many of our current crop of stars were THAT bad when they were rookies, and most of them were much younger. I was much more impressed with Pena when I watched him the first half then when I started box score watching in the second half – there were sequences of 0fers with multiple strikeout games happening too often. He is talented, a walking possibility of 3-4 with a HR and 3 rbi game, but he has to find some consistency in that talent.


      • True confessions – they have these type of articles all the time and I go straight to the Astros listing. With 30 teams, I don’t have enough time to check them all out. I’m a homer.


    • Poor Chas, continually shadowed by Jake. I think it’s great that Jake went back to AAA and hit the ball, much like Jose Siri did. But I saw nothing from Jake this season that warranted playing time, including defensively. Of course I’m sure to be wrong.


  2. Correa quote about the Twins after pretty much confirming he is opting out – “If they want my product, they just gotta come get it.”

    Same guy, different club drama. I’ll say one thing for him, he may not be Mike Trout, but he sure thinks he is Mike Trout. Got to appreciate confidence at least. Like the Twins are underpaying the guy at 35 million lol.

    Also saw a quote from Brantley last night where he told a reporter not only will he play in 2023 but he hopes it will be with the Astros. That would be welcome news. If we make a move to fix CF we can stop having discussions about Grossman and Marisnick, er, I mean McCormick and Meyers.

    I know some fans want to see a younger team, but young’uns got to hit. Don’t matter if you can go get it in CF or steal bases or make a dynamic throw if you are going to hit .230 while doing it. Our SS is young and dynamic, and he had an OBP of .285. Ouch.


    • Given the Twins are 9-18 in September and Correa will be watching the playoffs from his couch, opting out makes a lot of sense…but we all knew when he signed the contract the length and dollar values were for his vanity with the Twins praying he would opt out unless they somehow struck gold and won the WS this year.

      It’s bizarre that we have so many players on the team that refuse to hit or get on base. Changing topics to another team, Leo Mazzone last week as incredulous to learn that the 2022 Atlanta Braves have zero sacrifice bunts for the season. Houston has 8. I’m apparently one of those uneducated fans who get dismissed on the internet, but I feel strongly that teams should bunt much more than they do. Maybe next year will be different with the various rule changes.


    • Yeah, this particular fan, hopefully still in the late autumn of his career, does want to see our club get younger. But I’d be happy to have Brantley back in left for one year if a viable CF solution comes about. I don’t like Yordan running around out there too much. And I’d be happy to have Chas as our 4th outfielder. I think we might well get some further outfield help from within the organization in 2023 too.

      And yes, while I hate the darn strike out rate, sign me up for Pena’s sophomore season. I’m in.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, Dave, in ST 2023 we should get a good look at left-hand hitting outfielder Justin Dirden [.302/.384/.942 slash line with 24 HR, 40 DBL, 5 TPL and 101 RBI this year in CC and Sugarland, while being 12 of 15 in SB attempts]. Not bad for an undrafted free agent.

        Of course, theoretically there are some interesting free agents out there without grey in their whiskers as well:
        1. Some guy named Judge [age 30];
        2. Andrew Benintendi [age 28]
        3. Brandon Nimmo [age 29]


  3. What’s with Framber? Last few games he’s not been his previous all star self. And what was with that line up the last two games? Not a pretty picture at all.


  4. I opted to watch Yankees get beat by Orioles 2-1. It does my heart good to see Yankee Fans angry. I am so glad that I didn’t watch #61. Not because of Judge. He is a class act. But those fans would make one root for the devil himself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • astrocolt45, you might be pleased to note the Yankees are in rain delay right now. Autumn is closing in! It’s 55 degrees. And the weather is supposed to be crappy all the way through Tuesday which includes a scheduled doubleheader against the Rangers. Imagine all those already grouchy fans if 99 does not hit 62 over the next six days!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This lack of hitting against good pitching could become problematic.
    Not sure if leaving Javier in the pen can be justified at this point.
    Is Jake our new starting centerfielder? If that’s the plan, then use him every day.


  6. Beautiful leadoff bunt by Altuve for a single and Pena drills a homer to the bullpen in right center. Rays cut the lead to one in the second.


  7. One of these days Pena will learn to recognize those breaking balls off the plate and become a pretty good hitter. He’s already having his moments.

    Sweet bunt by Jose. I hope we see a few of the more capable guys dropping a bunt down in the big games when it makes sense.


    • Ex-perts means they used to be perts?
      It is hard to see how you could consider someone who has weathered the storm of the scandal and whose three teams have gone to the ALCS, gone to the World Series and been the best team in the AL to be on the hot seat.
      It sounds like folks yapping because he didn’t get extended yet?


      • And if you leave your door ajar is it really a jar. I’m perplexed how a door can become a jar. It must be magic. But as to Click being on the “hot seat” I’ve read and heard some of the same rumblings. I guess it depends upon us winning the WS. As we have discussed in previous posts I think it’s time for Dusty to step aside (win, lose, or draw) and let Espada have a crack at it.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. And Tony LaRussa reportedly will announce his retirement today. He turns 78 tomorrow and has been away from the team since August due to health issues.


  9. Arizona Calls …

    The roster for the Arizona Fall League’s Surprise Sajuaros includes the following Astro prospects/farmhands:

    Colton Gordon
    Jonathan Sprinkle
    Matt Rupenthall
    Rhett Khouba

    JC Correa
    Scott Schreiber
    Will Wagner

    Zach Daniels

    Today is opening day; the Sajuaros are set to play the Salt River Rafters – in Salt Lake – today at 2:35 pm CT. Go Sajuaros!


    • And….Sugar Land Space Cowboys manager Mickey Storey is their manager and Jake Elmore who couldn’t hit for the Astros is their hitting coach.


  10. Regarding Jake Elmore … unfortunately he is by no means the only fellow named ‘Jake’ to have trouble hitting for the Houston Astros.


  11. Deaux Maton liason, me-oh-my-oh!
    les freres doivent revaliser, leur mere cry-o.
    peel first prawn, soon it’s gone, me-oh-my-oh;
    son-of-a-gun, don’t tell Dubon, on the Bayou.


  12. If you ever wanted to place a bet on a no hitter, tonight would be as good a night as any. Nola has thrown four perfect innings averaging ten pitches per inning. Our guys are in La la land, thinking ahead to the playoffs. They don’t even look like they care; much less that they have the wherewithal to put up a fight.


      • I see last night’s ‘who cares’ approach as just part of the standard Dusty Baker approach to baseball. He is not ‘fan-conscious’ in the least; nor is he an ‘integrity of the game’ kind-of-guy. He has zero fire left in his belly. To him, I suspect, these three games are a real nuisance – sort of ‘spring training lite’. The only job of the players is to not to do anything that might get them hurt before the postseason. When in the field, if the ball’s not hit right to you, let it fall/go through the infield. When at bat, swing as early in the count as possible, make your obligatory out as quickly as possible, and go back to chill in the dugout with your buddies. The fans? Who cares. They might as well pull out their cell phones and scroll through their social media feeds – or cheer for the opposing pitcher who we, in our indifference, just made look like Cy Young.

        Perhaps Dusty is right. Perhaps this team is so good that it doesn’t need momentum. Perhaps we don’t need the eye of the tiger, the thrill of the fight, or rising up to the challenge of a rival. Perhaps we, are too evolved, too sophisticated for all that. Perhaps, with this group of guys, lethargy once achieved can be shaken off at will. Or, perhaps Dusty is wrong, and lethargy, once embraced, tends to set in like rigor mortis and smother the life out of competitive young men.

        We’ll know in a few days, Adrian.


      • I’m not sure how I feel about this. I think I’m more concerned about the team having 5 days off between the end of the season and the beginning of the playoffs.
        I wish human nature is not what it is, but one team was playing for their first playoff appearance in forever and the other one had nothing to play for in reality.
        Can our team just turn it on when the playoffs come around? I worry about this offense that has had trouble turning it on all season long.


      • I’m just a bit concerned about the lack of hitting. But I’ve been concerned about that all year. And chances are that we won’t see Nola again in 2022. McCullers got in 6 good innings of work. Can’t say the same for Urquidy. I feel a bit bad for him. He could be on the outside looking in, after working so hard all year. I think the Astros will be ready to play next week, but I think the ALDS will be a tougher series than the ALCS. Hope I find out.


      • My brains had the Urquidy/Garcia fight in it for weeks now. On one hand, Garcia has had a SLIGHTLY better season. He also has better stuff, and seems like the more capable to go 6-7 incredible innings. He also seems the more likely of the two to go off the rails the fastest and just get gut punched.

        Still there are playoff teams out there like Seattle or Philadelphia that would love to be having a time picking between a 15 game winner and 13 game winner for the 4th spot in a playoff rotation.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. In the Arizona Fall League – Astros prospects / infielders Will Wagner and Scott Schreiber had good debuts on Monday.
    Wagner has a triple, two runs scored and two RBIs.
    Schreiber had two hits including a double, three runs scored and 2 RBIs.


  14. Still refusing to comment the night after a bitter loss, last night was a whitewash of a playoff team by the Astros.
    Did Will Smith not even warm up before he entered the game in the ninth inning?


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