Archive for the ‘Houston Astros’ category

The All-Realistic NL Team of 2008

July 15, 2008

So we decided to make the best starters, and put the best backup players behind them. So basically, the best realistic team of 2008. For the backup and utility players, they have to be actual backups or platooners, like Augie Ojeda, or Ruben Gotay for example. No video game rosters here.

My lineup will consist of:

2 Catchers
1 First Baseman
1 First Baseman/Third Baseman
1 Second Baseman
1 Second Baseman/Shortstop
1 Third Baseman
1 Shortstops
4 Outfielders
1 Utility Player
12 pitchers, 7 RP, 5 SP

Catcher: Brian McCann – Atlanta Braves

I made a mistake when I chose Russell Martin based on him dating Alyssa Milano on one of my older articles. Brian McCann is having the better season indeed.

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Inge-ured, ump suspended, and Chacon blows up

June 26, 2008

Detroit Tigers utility man Brandon Inge has been placed on the 15-day DL after straining his oblique adjusting his pillow. Not as bad as Joel Zumaya jamming on Guitar Hero, but pretty close.  Here’s a few other dumb sports injuries for you.

  • Tony Allen of the Boston Celtics proving he can dunk after the whistle and trashes his knee.
  • Rockies IF Clint Barmes broke his collarbone lugging meat up the stairs. Todd Helton’s fault since it was a gift from him.
  • Arena Football League’s Elton Patterson tears his quadriceps jumping up and down in celebration.

In more baseball news, umpire Brian Runge got a one-game suspension for being an asshole the other night. Runge went out of his way to egg Mets Carlos Beltran on after a disputed strike call and ejected him. Manager Jerry Manuel then came out to defend his player and was chest bumped by Runge and then ejected. This was some of the most overzealous umpiring I have ever seen. Another case of an ump thinking people paid to see him in action. A longer suspension would serve Runge right and he should pay Beltran and Manuel’s fines of $400 and $500, respectively. Well, maybe just Manuel’s. Beltran will make $18 million this season.

Pitcher Shawn Chacon probably ended his major league career when he threw Astros GM Ed Wade to the ground by his neck. The Astros cut him today after suspending him indefinitely. There are two sides to every story and Wade may have been at fault too, but you’re an adult and a major leaguer; handle things differently. Chacon should have done this in 2005 when he had a 3.44 ERA over 151.2 IP with the Rockies and Yankees. His 2008 ERA of 5.04 and his violent tendencies however, should earn him a spot on every teams’ blacklist. I wouldn’t recommend showng your boss your best Latrell Sprewell impression under any circumstances.

Does speed nullify weak statistics?

April 24, 2008

Speed on the bases is an asset that any manager would love to have. A burner at first keeps the pitcher nervous, can get into scoring position, and ease the manufacture of runs. But looking at a few of the MLB leaders in steals, you wonder if having this luxury of speed on the bases is worth the atrocious numbers at the plate.

OF Michael Bourn-Houston Astros

Bourn is the current MLB leader in steals at a perfect 13 for 13. He is undoubtedly one of the fastest players around, his 2004 season at A Lakewood when he stole 57 of 63 is evidence. His 2007 in Philadelphia showed some promise at the plate with a .277 over 105 games and a sturdy .348 OBP. Again, he was almost perfect with 18 steals and one caught stealing. But this year, he is off to a weak start at the plate batting .216. On the positive side, he has 10 BB so far, contributing to a .310 OBP. It would be nice to see him get that average up because he has the speed of the prototypical lead off man, he has shown he can take a walk, and past performance suggests that he can bump up the batting average and be one of the league’s most dangerous men on the bases.

OF Carlos Gomez-Minnesota Twins

Carlos Gomez is an absolute speed demon, but wow, for a guy touted as a “five-tool” player (minus the power so I guess four), this guy is off to a horrendous start. He has been a total liability at the plate. His OBP of .247 is unacceptable at the top of the Twins lineup. Perhaps the ugliest stat of the first month of the season is Gomez’s K/BB ratio. 24 K and 2 BB (second only to SS Bill Hall with 26 K and 2 BB, but apples and oranges since Hall hits the ball sometimes). I am definitely not sold in the least bit on Gomez. I don’t care if he’s 9 for 10 on steals this year because that speed is not doing much walking back to the dugout. Get really good at bunting and just do that every time. Is the cure for the Wobegon batting .230? Get it together because we don’t want to see you turn into Alex Escobar.

OF Joey Gathright-Kansas City Royals

Gathright is another speedster who needs to get it together at the plate. Gathright is about as entertaining as a baseball player can be on the bases. He has wide receiver speed and he can jump over fielders and cars. That’s pretty damn cool. The main beef I have with Gathright, and many other speedy guys, is in the walks department. Take some pitches please.

These three guys are still young and have time to fix some things in their game and become hot commodities. If they can combine the offensive portion of their game with the speed and base running ability they already possess, then we are looking at a nice crop of classic lead off men. Speed is a great tool, but you can’t steal a base when you get out every time. In the meantime, these managers should let these guys find their ways offensively by leaving them in the lineup, despite substandard numbers.

Division Preview: NL Central

March 13, 2008

The NL Central, for the past few years, has been the worst division in baseball. This year is no different but the new players entering give the division hope for the future. The NL Central is what I follow, so it will give me something to watch, rather than consistent losing to the other divisions. They have three craptastic teams in the Astros, the Cardinals, and the Pirates, but they also have three decent teams on the brink with the Brewers, Cubs, and Reds. Read more for predictions.

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Kaz Matsui Might Need a Deux-Deux-Deux

March 11, 2008

Reading Chicago Cubs center fielder Felix Pie’s injury on his twisted testicle made my balls hurt a little, to be honest with you, and there have been a lot of other weird injuries in this spring training as well, like the Astros’ Hunter Pence running through glass windows, not knowing that glass exists, and the Tigers’ Jordan Tata punching a door. But this one takes the urinal cake. Kaz Matsui is out due to anal fissures, also known as hemorrhoids. According to the article:

“Astros second baseman Kaz Matsui will fly to Houston tonight to meet with a specialist concerning an ongoing problem with hemorrhoids.

Matsui, who went 3-for-3 in Saturday’s loss to the Washington Nationals, was removed from the lineup in a Feb. 29 game because of hemorrhoids.”

Maybe a Kaz should be the new slang term for taking a you know what with extra force that it tears..

“I need to take a Kaz, I’ll be right back..”

ASTROS NOTES: Matsui seeks treatment for hemorrhoids (Houston Chronicle)