Archive for Roy Oswalt

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?

It’s Official Astros Fans: Never Gonna Happen 2010

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2010 by Astropolithecus

Folks,

Though our fair broadcasters on both radio and television might gloss over  a very ugly season by not saying anything very negative or critical, I want to make an announcement. Houston is done as of today, June 19th. This is from an eternal Astros optimist.

We are a crap team this year, and for the first time since I can remember I’m questioning the effort team wide, which bothers me deeply. Oswalt wants to leave, and rightly so.

I say blow it up and start all over.  Youth movement in Houston helmed by new hitting coach Bagwell is about the best we can hope for in the next two years.   Buckle down, ladies and gentlemen, judging by the listless nature of this mediocre squad, your fandom will be tested Pittsburgh Pirates style until the blessed day in early October when this train wreck(Wooo!Wooo! my ass) is over.

I knew the playoffs would be a miracle, but I never imagined what I’ve been watching these last 3 months. Only up from here, I hope.

Onward and Upward,

Berkmaniac

You Mean We Can Score Twelve Runs in One Game?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 10, 2009 by beckeesh

Astros 12, Padres 5

Phew! and Yahoo! today’s game was fun.

Winning is fun. I’d forgotten.

Lee, Tejada, and Pudge were all hitting. That was super fun.

And it’s true that Roy didn’t look as sharp as Wandy does – ahem, I mean, as sharp as he can look – giving up four earned in six innings, including two home runs.  And it’s true that our bullpen tried to blow it in the seventh and again in the eighth.  And, of course, the Padres are as bad as we are (Worse, actually!) and committed two errors (Ouch, Chris “Smacky” Burke!), and threw in a wild pitch and a passed ball…

But still winning is fun!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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.

New-han’s On Deck, or, Predictions Schmictions

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by Astropolithecus

Quick check in on our beloved and terrifyingly inconsistent disAstros.

I have not blogged in a bit, mostly because I was intently watching my NCAA Tigers go all the way to the Sweet 16, only to be dismantled by Missouri. And Now I’m watching Kentucky try to woo Memphis’ future away.

ANYhoo, this is not a Memphis blog, though Calipari could learn from the loyalty of Bagwell, Biggio, and Berkman.

This is an Astro blog, and though hope springs eternal yada yada, No one in baseball has the slightest respect for the Astros’ chances to even compete in the NL Central. Despite our scrappy pedigree, even the Reds are consistently picked ahead of us, though they have proven nothing more than the Stros as far as I’m concerned.  

I state this now. Listen oh predicting and Astro loving world.  A very slow start, or more than 3 early injuries, and we can kiss the Astros’ season goodbye, but even a medium start, and I will guarantee you the Astros hang around for postseason contention.  Our pitching staff, though the weak point of the team, isn’t as horrifying as everyone predicts.  I respect Moehler, Hampton is solid if healthy, and Wandy could easily have his best year this year, put it all together, so to speak. 

How many times has a team’s pitching staff proven saltier and more durable than anyone expected.  There are at least two story lines like that EVERY YEAR in Major League Baseball. 

And don’t get me started on how disrespected our hitters are, at least as a group.  Now that we’ve got Pudge too, Our lineup is very solid. I’d take our club’s hitters over the Red’s any day of the week.  Berkman and Lee are blue chippers, and the only knock against Pence is that his sophomore season wasn’t spectacular. The only knock on Matsui is his health, which is a legitimate worry, but when he’s playing, baby, money all the way.  Remember the Rockies folks? Not that long ago.   And Tejada? Still one of the best hitting shortstops in the game. And he’ll have something to prove coming in.

I’d put our bullpen up against any in the majors.

So, there you go. All the predictors can BITE ME!

The 2009 Astros probably won’t win the division, but they will compete for the Wild Card.    

My only major concern now(besides injuries)?

                                                            Management.

After Cabeza’s research, and after reading about Newhan’s anger concerning Cooper’s handling of his release, I am worried about his leadership. I was a big supporter last year, and I think he is a gritty, cool guy, but he may not be a good leader with the Astros. Now, he may be, Newhan could just be blowing justifiable steam, but if the players don’t respect Cooper, we’ve got a problem.  Wade may not be liked all around, but I bet he’s got some respect from the boys.

If the players leave it out on the field, then the weird Wade and Cooper vibes will dissipate, but if not…

Of course Drayton McClane is a weirdo, and they’ve been fine under him for a number of years. 

A player, and soon, should make a statement of solidarity concerning Cooper. Please.

P.S. Concerning Wade, I’ll hear other arguments, but don’t bring up Chacon and how Wade handled that badly.  Shawn Chacon is an idiot.  Don’t attack your boss after you instigated an argument.  Don’t PHYSICALLY attack him anyway.

I repeat, I don’t care what Oswalt said, Chacon is a hot headed moron, who blew a chance at late career glory because he wanted to flex up against a sixty year old man who gave him a second chance to start. At least Caminiti waited till he was retired.

Lucky Seven!

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

The Astros held on to beat the defending champs today, making it seven wins in a row. This team has been all about streaks in recent years, with extreme highs, extreme lows, and little in-between. The emotional rollercoaster looks set for another wild ride this year.

The big news going into this game was Roy Oswalt’s return to the team, after America collectively shrugged at the WBC. Another day, another quality start from Roy: six innings, three earned runs. Most impressive were his six strikeouts and no walks. Roy is so aggressive attacking the strikezone that I expect the low walk rate, but the strikeout per inning is unusual. I wonder if the home plate umpire called a big strike zone, or if Roy shied away from pitching to contact. The latter is a possibility because the box score suggests he was having trouble keeping the ball down. He induced 8 flyouts and only 3 groundouts. I’m sure he’ll try to flip those numbers around because we all know how his home park treats fly ball pitchers. In contrast, LaTroy Hawkins induced groundouts to all three batters he faced, and Chris Sampson also got three ground ball outs in two innings. So, it’s unlikely the Phillies were all swinging like Mark McGwire.

Chris Sampson got a two-inning save today, though he allowed his first two earned runs of the Spring. He has only pitched seven innings, so it’s too early to get excited about a 2.57 ERA. Still, I’m hopeful. My feelings about Sampson are similar to how I feel about Wandy: I’m crossing my fingers that he can stay healthy and find some consistency, because I see a really good pitcher there. Sampson will likely have the difficult job of being the team’s most versatile pitcher. He can fit in so many places in the bullpen, that depending on injuries, we could see him fill almost any role. Hopefully his ability to pitch multiple innings doesn’t relegate him to mop-up duty. I see that as more of a Geoff Geary role. If our offense is good enough to keep the team in games when the starters struggle, we could see Sampson step into a lot of close games in the 4th or 5th inning.

Other not-so-noteworthy stuff: My favorite still-active ex-Astro, Eric Bruntlett, went 2-for-5, with an RBI double, and a caught-stealing (go Pudge!). Bruntlett is batting .350 this spring. Oh, how nice it would be to have the often overlooked, valuable piece of the Brad Lidge-for-Michael Bourn trade as our super-utility man. Brunty, I forgive you for being pissed off when I got your autograph and told you “best double-play in Astros history, NLCS.” After all, you had just spent the afternoon wasting away at first base in a pathetic Round Rock express game. Hunter Pence committed two errors, not counting the video portrait of him pretending to use a bat as a sword and pool cue. I couldn’t believe everyone else wanted that loser’s autograph.

Pudge an Astro! …I’m confused.

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

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been into this idea from the start. I just have a few questions about how this happened and what this means.

Are the Astros acting rationally when it comes to Scott Boras?

The Astros have signed a Scott Boras client, going back on their pledge never to do so again. The Boras-shunning came as a result of the Carlos Beltran debacle, as the Astros were uncomfortable with someone who is all business and no folksiness. Perhaps this signals a new found self-confidence in the front office; maybe they can deal with all agents and not fear being made fools of.

Has Ed Wade learned how to bargain?

It doesn’t help your side in negotiations when you indicate from the get-go how interested you are in signing someone (Randy Wolf), or if you say many times that acquiring someone has long been an interest of your owner (Miguel Tejada). Wade actually sounded convincing as he tried to pull off the whole “you need us more than we need you” attitude. Ed Wade played this one almost right. The only mistake he made was waiting for Pudge to light it up during the WBC. Pudge would have come cheaper two weeks ago.

Is Ed Wade a liar?

Apparently, we can’t believe a word Ed Wade says when it comes to whether he’s interested in a free agent. Good for him (see above). As recently as Friday, Alyson Footer sounded scared to ever say Pudge’s name around Ed Wade again:

I was happy to see that Pudge Rodriguez is no longer mentioning the Astros as the teams who are supposedly interested in him. The latest news I read listed only the Mets and Marlins. That is good, because after checking with Ed Wade yet again today, I can assure you the Astros are not pursuing him. And judging from the irritated look on his face, I can also assure you I won’t be asking him about Pudge again anytime soon. At least not for two weeks. Or maybe 10 days. At the very least, I’ll wait a week.

Oh, and he’s not bidding on Pedro Martinez, either.

Alyson, thanks for the scoop. I guess that means we’re signing Pedro next. You know what, let’s all promise each other to never believe Ed again. That was so mean of him.

Are the Astros in preseason panic mode?

Either Wade is a filthy liar/good negotiator, or the Astros are in panic mode. Perhaps the team is finally ready to recognize that even though Spring Training win/loss records don’t matter, it does matter if it looks like your team sucks and your current catchers make Brad Ausmus look like Ted Williams.

What next?

Assuming Ed Wade is a liar AND the Astros are in panic mode, perhaps the team isn’t done wheeling and dealing. The “Good Guys” slogans are gone this year. Could that leave an opening for Jim Edmonds? He’s still out there folks, he did well last year (especially at Minute Maid), and Michael Bourn still looks bad. I know, I know, I hate him too. I’m just saying, he knows how to run up Tal’s Hill.

Will the Astros cut Brandon Backe?

Reports are that Ivan Rodriguez’s base salary will be $1.5 Million. Coincidentally, Brandon Backe will make $1.55 Million, unless the club cuts him loose prior to the start of the season. Ed Wade is saying that their budget for Pudge has changed in the past month or so. There has already been a lot of speculation that Backe could get cut, but with Nieve being claimed off waivers by the Mets, could the ‘Stros afford to be without yet another replacement level pitcher?

Where do we send Lou Palmisano?

Looks like there’s no room for the catcher the Astros picked up in the Rule 5 draft. Technically, the pick was the Orioles’. The two teams had previously arranged a trade if the O’s picked Palmisano from the Brewers. So… who gets him? Baltimore has the top rated prospect in the country, Matt Wieters, ready to play catcher this year. So, Milwakee, I guess you can have him back. That is, unless, Wade slips Quintero through waivers so he can have his cake and eat it too. I sure wouldn’t think he could do that to Q, but it might be that they think Pudge is an injury risk at his age.

How long until Berkman complains about not knowing this guy?

The Puma has been awfully content with his clubhouse mates this spring. But then again, he knows them. As you’ve probably heard, Pudge is currently kicking ass for his native Puerto Rico. So when does he meet the rest of the team? Quick Pudge, learn something about Texas high school football. Also, in case team USA and team PR meet again, he might also want to tell Roy O that he hates Jeff Gordon/loves Dale Jr.