Archive for April, 2009

Why the 2009 Houston Astros Will Shock the World

Posted in Houston Astros on April 22, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

I haven’t had time to write anything lately, so I’ll just let others do it for me.  This Bleacher Report piece is kind of funny.  I might be able to laugh if it wasn’t so accurate.

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Drew Sutton is the Reds’ PTBNL

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , on April 16, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

You’ve got to be kidding me. Drew Sutton is the player-to-be-named-later. Man, all this time I was hoping it wasn’t Sutton who was feeling like this guy.

As it turns out, the Keppinger deal was yet another one of those win-now, suck-later moves by the Astros. Actually, I guess that kind of strategy might sometimes be justifiable, but in the Astros’ case it’s more of a suck-a-little-less-now, suck-even-more later.

As Ed Wade and Tim Purpura become less and less distinguishable, it becomes even more apparent that Drayton’s pulling the strings. I realize that. The problem is that Ed Wade contributed plenty in getting the Astros into the mess of needing someone, anyone as a viable infield alternative to … Aaron Boone?

I know I’m echoing some of the recent comments here, but it’s truly depressing that McLane doesn’t give Astros fans enough credit. He doesn’t think we’ll watch a team of young upstarts.

In 2007, I called in to an Astros postgame show and said I’d much rather have the Marlins’ roster on the field and watch us lose a bunch of games, than watch our team go just over .500, or whatever. I don’t think the host agreed or cared. Well, here we are 2 years later. The Marlins have the best record in the majors, and the Astros have the oldest roster in the majors.

Cooper could be first manager fired

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , on April 15, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

See Ken Rosenthal’s column.  He says that the veteran players don’t like Cooper.  Amen.  Cooper is absolutely horrible.

Dust Bowl Refugees: Round Rock Express Roster Announced

Posted in Houston Astros on April 9, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

The Round Rock Express released its official opening day roster today. No real surprises here. The roster includes 13 returning players and 11 players who are on the Houston Astros 40-man roster. Felipe Paulino is the opening day starter.

PITCHERS:

RHP Alberto Arias, RHP Jose Capellan, RHP Jeff Fulchino, RHP Sammy Gervacio, RHP Clay Hensley, RHP Jeremy Johnson, LHP Tyler Lumsden, RHP Ryan McKeller, LHP Josh Muecke, LHP Neal Musser, RHP Bud Norris, RHP Chad Paronto, RHP Felipe Paulino

CATCHERS:

Lou Santangelo, J.R. Towles

INFIELDERS:

Chris Johnson, Matt Kata, Tommy Manzella, Edwin Maysonet, Mark Saccomanno, Drew Sutton

OUTFIELDERS:

Reggie Abercrombie, Brian Bogusevic, John Gall, Yordany Ramirez

I went to the exhibition game between the Express and the Hooks on Sunday, and I can’t say I saw a whole lot of talent there. Manzella made a couple of decent plays at short. Matt Kata is extremely old. John Gall is possibly the slowest runner I’ve ever seen in an outfield, and the players swung at every pitch like they were in a hurry to get home. The Hooks’ 24 year-old shortstop, Wladimir Sutil, was the only one who looked, to my untrained eye, like he had big league potential.

Welcome, Jeff Keppinger!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , on April 8, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

Last year, it was the new guy, Miguel Tejada, providing the walk-off heroics. This year another new guy came through for the victory. This time, it was the new guy’s first at-bat as an Astro. I heard that Keppinger is a blue-collar player who tries hard, hustles, and plays the game the way Astros fans have come to expect. Well, the swing sure wasn’t pretty, the broken bat was interesting, and the follow through looked like there were banana peels all over the batter’s box, but Keppinger got bat on ball. That’s the determination we need with a runner on third with one out.

Stumbling around has never been so pretty.

Stumbling around has never been so pretty.

The Astros missed a golden opportunity in the 9th inning, with runners on first and second, no outs. Bourn decided to pull a bunt back and swing away. Apparently Cooper tells his players to use this trick if the infield is playing where it would be almost impossible to make the bunt work. That advice is obviously, however, for pitchers who don’t have Bourn’s speed and athletic ability. Shouldn’t Bourn be the best on the team at laying down a bunt? The worst part about that decision is that it shows that Michael Bourn still doesn’t have a solid understanding of the game. He has admitted he didn’t like baseball or watch it at all growing up, and I can’t help but feel that he’s still playing catch up.

Oh well, luckily, that didn’t make a difference in the win column. Hats off to Wandy for looking like a solid number 2 starter. So far, two games, two quality starts. Let’s cross our fingers and hope we see plenty more, because this offense could be pretty fun to watch. Miggy is looking like our spark plug again. In game one, he had three lead-off singles. Last night he had only one hit, but again it seemed like he was involved in some way with everything the team got going. Carlos Lee will start hitting at some point, and I’m hoping that Cooper starts to fill out a line-up card that makes sense.

The Astros are .500. With this team, it’s anyone’s guess whether they’ll see this winning percentage much farther out into the season. Oh well, for now, it’s good enough to focus on how good it feels to beat the Cubs. Go Stros!

Calling True Astros Fans! Come One, Come All to the Great Wade-Chacon Debates!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , on April 1, 2009 by Astropolithecus

Hello fair readers. Reader. Please jump in and comment on my argument with beckeesh and Cabeza about the merits of Ed Wade, and the demerits of Shawn Chacon. Agree with me, disagree, but bring your Sharpies, some facts or JUICY speculation, and a taste for friendly combat.

 To Beckeesh and Cabeza:

                            Are you both out of your gourds? Your odd, Ed Wade shaped gourds?
Wade is one of the main reasons this team is running at all. HE didn’t fire Jim Hendry, so stop taking it out on him.  He’s certainly not my hero, but I don’t see why he’s so horrible either.  I’m not sure how much you both actually know about the “unwritten baseball clubhouse honor code”, Serpicos, but I readily admit I know very little about it. I rate the players by their performance, what they say in the media, and what they do off the field. Almost none of them are Paul Newmans (Biggio), some are admirable yet conservative Gregory Pecks (Berkman), some are even forgivable scoundrel Robert Downey Jrs. (Caminiti), but Chacon isn’t even a movie star. Tell me one thing he did for the Astros, except pitch well for one month, and then bitch, moan, and strangle HIS EMPLOYER AND CAUSE ALL THIS WHISPERING DOUBT cause he has major issues (maybe he’s a poor man’s Sean Penn). 

 No doubt Wade may have crossed some lines, but until you bring me some bona fide proof as to why I should not only hate Ed Wade but FREAKIN’ ADMIRE Shawn Chacon, I place Wade into the category of solid GMs that helped to build world champions, and Chacon goes into the worm pile, just under Derek Bell and just above Julio Lugo, not only for being a blowhard wannabe machismo idiot, but for being that guy in an Astros uniform and helping to disrupt,distract, and degrade a season with promise, and in a clubhouse I have always admired. Though from the outside.