In the early days of Astros’ baseball (the writer came here shortly after the move from Colt .45s to Astros), any TV appearance was must-see TV. Back in the ’60s, the Astros’ appearances on the TV were few and very far between. For a few years, their only appearance on local TV was Sunday road games or very occasional appearances on the Game of the Week, not due to their performance, but because the Astrodome was a perfect back up site for the main game in case rain came through.
“IT” will be brought up this season. But it feels like when it does, it will be with a more forced tone.
Every season, every team has an ever-morphing set of decisions to make season to season. And so it is with the Astros as they come off the oddest year in baseball history. Some thoughts on some prime decisions that have to be addressed…
It is a little bit of a trick in the title as the person we are talking about has never played for the Astros. He did play the game, pitching in 100 major league games in the 1970s, starting 75 of them, going 22-39 with a 3.91 ERA. Tommy John surgery was almost named after him as he was second in line for the groundbreaking arm surgery. But he may be the most critical person wearing the Astro uniform in 2021 and his name is Brent Strom.
Even with George Springer gone to the Blue Jays and Justin Verlander gone to Tommy John Rehab Land, the 2021 Astros have a lot of talent on that roster. Whether that talent shows itself like it did between 2017 and 2019 or struggles like in 2020 will be the key to how this team performs this season. But here is a shot at who the top 10 Astros are heading into 2021.
Good friend and loyal commenter of the blog, Old Pro had an interesting comment that I had been thinking about ever since I saw the same information earlier in the week…
It is tough to picture the word spring merging with the fact that here in the Houston area it will hit 12 degrees this Monday. (And for my metric friends that is in Fahrenheit, not Celsius). We are facing the coldest long stretch here that I can remember since we moved here in 1966.
In the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons there was quite a bit of talk about the Astros’ untouchables as the team put together big-time trades for Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke respectively. At that time the untouchable discussions were all about prospects and frankly centered on two unproven (at that time) prospects, Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley. The word was that those two were untouchables and were not included in any of the discussions for the pitching triumvirate that the team reeled in back then.