Archive for Alyson Footer

Phillies – dang.

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2011 by beckeesh

Some small thoughts from this losing series…

1- Well, we were swept in the opening series last year.  As everyone knows, this is a (only) second half team.

2 – Wandy:  He should have been the opening day starter.  Yes, I know his Spring Training performance was horrible and that most people feel he underperformed last year, but with Roy gone, Wandy should be the number one.   Then, Mills has him pitch to Towles?!  Why does Wandy have to pitch to Towles?

3 – Angel Sanchez.  I’ve always liked him, even though the conventional wisdom (according to Alyson Footer and then Brian McTaggart and anyone else who answers Astros Mailbag) has been that he’s not a good enough major league hitter.  Phooey!  I’m glad he’s in uniform and I’m not missing Clint Barmes.

4 – Jason Michaels:  I’m glad to see Jason Michaels!  Even when he’s letting balls hit off his glove in left field I’m glad to see good old Mr. Clutch,  Jason Michaels.

5 –  Roy Oswalt:  Still weird that he’s a Phillie.  Not weird that he went inside on Carlos on Sunday, following Hunter’s home run.

Is anyone going to Fanfest?

Press Coverage is Pathetic!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , on August 4, 2009 by beckeesh

Inside the Astros press box, this week…

Brian McTaggert: Hey, Alyson.  Congrats on your move up the chain.  Hey, thanks for leaving an opening for me.  I’m lovin’ the mlb.com beat!  Say, you said I could always ask you for advice about your old job.

Alyson Footer:  Yeah, yeah.  I’m editing a Puma mvid, so make it quick, Brian.

McTaggert:  Well, I want to do a story about veteran wisdom.  Who should I ask to give me a couple quotes on this topic?

Footer: You probably already have them.

McTaggert: Say what?  I’ve been watching the Buick Open all afternoon.  I don’t think I have anything!

Footer:  Yes you do.  Look through your notebook… er, memory.  Can’t you think of  a couple sentences said in the clubhouse or bullpen one time that involved veteran leadership?

McTaggert: Um… no.

Footer: Geez!  So, you want me to ask Brocail for you?

For your consideration:

Brocail enjoying role as Astros’ sage

Later in the week…

McTaggert: Alyson, you never mentioned how tough it is to follow the ‘Stros on the road.  Losing three out of four at Wrigley… It’s the pits!  I think RJ is right.

Footer:  Oh?

McTaggert: Yeah, it’s our “mediocre” defense up the middle.  I mean, if we could only get a middle infielder with heart.  Someone who makes incredible, off balance, barehanded throws from the hole seem routine.  Someone who could, say, chip in RBI after RBI while Hunter Pence strands the bases loaded for the twelfth out of twelve times this season.

Footer:  When you finish remind me to tell you what Berkman said to me earlier.

McTaggert:  Someone who players on and off the field constantly refer to as a veteran leader, a sparkplug.  Someone who Jeff Bagwell says he wishes he could’ve had the opportunity to play with.

Footer: You’re boring me.

McTaggert:  Yeah, you’re right.  You’re so right.  That’s why you get the big bucks.  That’s why Justice gets the big bucks.  That’s why I always come to you with questions about my job!  Could you help me, please?  Just one more time?

Footer:  He told a joke.

McTaggert:  What?

Footer:  Puma.  He told a joke… You know what?  Read about it on my blog.

McTaggert:  What about my column?

Footer:  Well, weren’t you all about veteran leadership last time we talked?

McTaggert:  Right!  Man!  Thanks, Alyson!  I shouldn’t be looking for Astros players that don’t exist!  I should be writing another article about a career .240 hitter who plays mediocre defense but happens to be 36 years old and a native English speaker!

For your consideration:

Experienced Blum valuable to Astros

There is stupid and there is blind.  I can’t decide if the Astros beat reporter, the Houston Chronicle columnists, and the Twitter person, are stupid or blind… But does it really matter?  Either way, reading the dribble that passes for Astros sports columns makes me want to bite through cement.

Suggestions for improvement:

1.  Hire only bilingual reporters.  By this I mean Spanish and English speaking reporters.  Having a Japanese speaker would be a great idea as well.  (Do I really have to point this out to you people?!)

2.  Ask these reporters to not ignore the best players on our team.

3.  Fire any reporters who are too willing to use nicknames that players have given themselves, who ignore on-field performance in favor of off-field cliches, who insult players who are doing a good job and kiss the ass of the owner and GM who aren’t doing a good job, or (my fave) anybody and everybody who has ever or will ever use a Bible verse in his columns.

4.  And my final suggestion for whomever is listening: Take some time, think of any other reasonable change that could be made to Astros press reporting (like having editors who correct spelling errors or writers who know baseball!!!) and then make that change.  And if you can’t think of anything, then call me or virtually any other Astros fan, at any time, for many, many valid ideas.  Hey, here’s something for you right now: Write. An. Article. About. Miguel. Tejada. Who. Has. 8. RBIs. In. The. Last. 7. Games.


Wandy Rodriguez is Amazing!!!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , on May 14, 2009 by beckeesh

So why do we have to rely on faulty sources for information about his awesomeness?

Case One: Alyson Footer

In a game wherein Wandy struck out 11 and allowed only 2 earned, Footer’s headline is Astros Capitalize on Errors to Take Finale.  Yeah, and Blue Skies Sit Atop Denver as Score Goes 5-3, and Lance Plays First as Astros Win, and Relievers Pitch a Couple Innings While We Outscore the Opposition. 

WANDY STRUCK OUT ELEVEN HITTERS!!!

I’m just a little frustrated.

Footer’s title best fit her article, however.  She didn’t mention the eleven strikeouts thrown by our starter until the sixth paragraph of her piece.  I’m serious.  She went with the errors angle.

Case Two:  JJO

JJO actually went with the appropriate, and accurate, angle for any article about this game.  However, he’s still JJO.  He compared Wandy’s 11 strikeout game to Randy Johnson striking out 12 in 1998 (the last lefthander to strike out that many).  He should have made the comparison.  It’s apt, and not my problem with his piece.  Here’s my problem.  He quotes Wandy saying the following:

“It means a lot to me to have accomplished that mark of 11 strikeouts for the first time by a lefthander for this team since he struck out 11.”

Wow!  Wandy talks like that?  Really?  I just don’t believe it.  I don’t believe the quotes that JJO gives, and I further cannot believe that he is the only Spanish language speaking reporter on the sports staff of the Houston Chronicle.  

I MUST RELY ON JJO FOR WANDY QUOTES?!  IS THIS AMERICA?  IS THIS TEXAS?!!!

Astros fans, I am so happy that we won.  And I am so so happy that Wandy won.  On the road.  In Denver.   Where he struck out eleven.  And where he probably said something like, “I am boss tonight.  My hook was off the hook.  My fast ball was jumpin’!  I rocked this town like nobody’s business, praise God… And respect the game.”

I just wish there were more appropriate, and more capable, and more enthusastically accurate, Wandy coverage.

He’s earned it!

Off-day Notes

Posted in Houston Astros, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2009 by beckeesh

Have y’all seen Alyson Footer’s blog?

I’m throwing it a shout out because I am so enjoying the Mother’s Day luncheon pics!

First of all, that luncheon looks nicer than my wedding.

Second, I’m enjoying looking in the background of the shots.  I’ve spied Brownie.  He looks hungry.  And there’s a bunch of Japanese men seated at the table behind Russ Ortiz.  Where’s Wandy?  Can anyone find him? 

All I’m saying is, if I had Alyson Footer’s job, there’d be way more shots of JD, Brownie, and players on the bubble.  And Wandy.  This is what the people want to see!  Geez, we see Berkman all the time.

In other news, as much as I don’t look forward to hearing about Micah Owing’s offensive prowess all season (here and here), I am pumped about the Reds! 

Second in the NL Central, the Reds are the only team in our division with starting pitching good enough to challenge the Cubs long term.  It’s true that Bronson Arroyo isn’t worth his salary right now.  (Unless he’s on the road – What’s with that?)  And yes, Volquez needs to settle down.  (He will!  I believe it.) 

Even still, Cincy is on the up.  (See Cueto, Votto, and don’t look now but Taveras’s OBP is over .380!)

Yes, I’m getting on the bandwagon, and I’m getting on now.

Finally, this Onion Sports article made me chuckle.  And it caused me to look into how greedy Drayton is.  I mean, how much MLB tickets cost across the country.  I ended up happening upon this article about how greedy Drayton is.   Go figure!  Check it out and you’ll see that we consistently rank higher in revenue than we do in payroll. 

Wait – I wanted to end on a positive note.

Hey, we play the Rockies tomorrow!  At 12-18, they’re worse than we are!  And I like Paulino.  If he does well enough, I’ll write a post justifying my ridiculous confidence in this unproven arm.

Roy Oswalt’s Tractor Saves Infant Quadruplets from Certain Death

Posted in Houston Astros, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 4, 2009 by beckeesh

“Jaws of Life” Pave Way for Tearful Reunion

In a turn of events that can only be termed “ironical,” Houston Astros pitching ace Roy Oswalt saved quadruplet infants from certain death Sunday near his Weir, MS home.

“I saw ’em up in the tree,” Oswalt explained later during a press conference. “And then I saw ’em fall. And I thought, Well, Drayton give me this tractor. Best use it!”

Of the nearly 900 hours Oswalt has logged on the impressive machine, this was the first spent clearing lives, not land.

“I drove up under where they was,” Oswalt described, “and I had to think fast, so I stuck my arm out like this – and they just plopped right in there easy as pie.”

Asked if he foresaw such dramatic events when he paid the jillions of dollars it costs to purchase such an important vehicle in order to selflessly gift it to Oswalt three years ago, Astros owner Drayton McLane was thoughtful. “You know, it’s not what I had in mind. It’s better! If this tractor that I generously gave to Roy three years ago out of friendship could help out those little babies, well dang it that’s better than what I had in mind!”

The family of the quadruplets could not be reached for comment.

*********************************************************************************************************

OK, seriously…

Like you I’m sure, I clicked on astros.com a couple weeks ago and saw a picture of Roy Oswalt with his tractor beneath a headline that read, “Roy Oswalt gives back to hometown.” (It’s true; they changed the heading by now, but you can find the original here.)

I know, I thought he must’ve heroically saved quadruplets, too!

Turns out he’s opening some steak restaurant… Old story. (Hel-lo, Astros Insider March!) But I guess old is new when one finds a way to link the tractor to it. Genius! Who thought of that? Alyson, was it you? That’s why they pay you the big bucks!

Hey, maybe they’ll add this story as an addendum to the tractor blurb that already lives on the back of Oswalt Topps cards. Ooh, quick, email Jon Miller so he can mention this every time the Astros get Game of the Week coverage on ESPN. No, not necessary. I’m sure the powers that be have already added it to Drayton’s biography.

Astros Opening Day Line-up?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

Was Friday’s victory over the Phillies a glimpse into what we’ll see come opening day? Cooper fielded this starting line-up:

1. Kaz Matsui (S)
2. Ivan Rodriguez (R)
3. Lance Berkman (S)
4. Carlos Lee (R)
5. Miguel Tejada (R)
6. Hunter Pence (R)
7. Geoff Blum (S)
8. Michael Bourn (L)

Starting Pitcher: Roy Oswalt

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this batting order, so I hope it’s not set in stone. In particular, I’d really like to see Hunter Pence batting 2nd. He’s had trouble with breaking pitches, and hitting in front of Berkman should increase the amount of fastballs he gets, particularly if a speedy Matsui or Bourn is aboard. Plus, Pence is faster on the basepaths than Pudge.

The top of the order isn’t all about speed, though, it’s about on-base percentage.  I know, Pence doesn’t often see ball four, but Pudge is known for never taking walks. In his career, Pudge has struck out three times as often as he has walked. In 2007, Pudge had only a .294 OBP, walking only nine times the whole season. Last year he picked up the pace, with twenty-three bases on balls. Pudge has a .339 career OBP, mostly from his career .301 batting avg. Pence’s career on-base? .336! 

A young guy and an old guy with virtually identical on-base percentages. One on the rise, the other declining. Both righties. One with above average speed, the other with above average speed… for a catcher.

Coop, you’ve gotta bat Pence 2nd and Pudge 6th.

Also, I know this is super-trendy and all, but I’d like to see Bourn batting 9th, with the pitcher in the 8 hole. What’s the point of having Bourn’s speed in front of the pitcher’s spot? A pitcher should be capable of laying a decent enough bunt down for Blum to advance.  I’d much rather take advantage of Michael Bourn’s occasional hit or walk after the pitcher made the final out in the previous inning. It’s like keeping him as the lead-off man, but without having to see him bat so many times. Also, Matsui’s career numbers are much better in the 2nd spot in the order. So, maybe that could be a collateral benefit.

All I ask is for Cooper to put together a batting order that makes sense from day one and stick to it.  No tinkering day to day, with Tejada batting second sometimes, and Bourn leading off every once in a while.  Ol’ Scrap Iron Phil drove us nuts with that; we don’t need more of it.  This line up has people that can hit, and I just hope we fans get to see it have a chance to come together the way it should, even if it struggles at first.

Brad James goes all Chuck Knoblauch on us.

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , on February 27, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

Alyson Footer had a piece the other day about Brad James catching a case of the “yips,” also known as “Steve Blass Disease.”  Turns out he was scared he would hit one of his own teammates, then he started thinking too much, and then he hit Humberto Quintero.  He started throwing away from the hitter instead of pitching to the catcher.  

This might just be a little thing he goes through, but I see this having huge potential for disaster.  If the Astros’ top pitching prospect is battling his own thoughts, doubts, insecurities like this, look out.  He is the next Jason Lane.  Lane’s potential was never realized because he was so scared of failure.  He kept trying not to mess up, and when you do that, you start to mess up, and on comes the vicious circle.  

Footer quoted Cecil Cooper as saying: “We know he’s got a lot of ability. Sometimes he’s doubting himself a little bit, not feeling good about himself. We’re talking to him, trying to work through it.”  

They had better keep it light and be careful not to give this kid too much to think about, or it will make matters worse.  I suggest they watch the movie “Swingers” for inspiration.

Coop: “You’re so money and you don’t even know it!”

Brad: “That was humiliating.”

Coop: “You don’t look at the things that you have, you only look at the stuff that you don’t have.  Those guys are right about you – you’re money.”

Brad: “I hit Q, is he okay?”

Coop: “That was so fucking money. That was like the Jedi mind-shit.”