Posted tagged ‘Houston’

Short, scribbled final thoughts about the 2017 World Series

November 2, 2017

Mazel Tov to the Houston Astros! Finally – after 56 seaons – a World Series parade will be held in their city.

Granted, it doesn’t even compare to when the Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year-old drought. However, that doesn’t mean it’s any less significant. This championship not only belongs to the 2017 team, but also to the countless players who wore an Astros uniform in the past. Today, I’m thinking about Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman (my childhood/era) and many others . My hope is that they are enjoying this moment as much as Verlander, Altuve, Springer, Keuchel and the rest of the current roster.

Not too long ago, things were bleak for the Astros. They were one of the worst teams and very beatable; unless – it seemed – they hosted the Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park. But all that misery and pain allowed them to draft and cultivate young talent with tons of potential. As luck would have it, all that young talent achieved its potential and developed into the best team in baseball. The Astros redefined the meaning of a blue print and have reset the example of building a winning ball team.

At the end of every World Series, I always like to search the winning team’s roster for former Blue Jay players and coaches. This year, an extra congrats goes to Francisco Liriano; traded to Houston back in July for Teoscar Hernandez and Nori Aoki. Liriano started the season getting blown out by Tampa Bay, but ended things on a much more positive note.

Despite playing for the losing side, a tip of cap also goes to Brandon Morrow. It was wonderful seeing him healthy again and making a significant impact for the Dodgers. Here’s hoping he continues to build from a mostly successful 2017 performance.

ER

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World Series Prediction/Guess

October 24, 2017

My desire for a Cubs-Astros World Series unravelled last week. Wasn’t surprised Los Angeles won the National League Pennant. What was shocking was how the Dodgers captured the title: Victory by technical knockout. 

Houston showed us the true meaning of home field advantage. The Yankees didn’t stand a chance playing three games with the magical pinstripes and four with their dull, grey road uniforms. 

So we have an old-school NL West matchup for the World Series. Good fortune will fall upon the Houston Astros and it will occur in six games. 

I’m sure you have seen the 2014 Sports Illustrated cover that declared Houston would be victorious in 2017. Back in 2012, I wrote a piece about the Astros for TheGoodPoint.com. At the time, fans of the team were furious. On top of poor performances on the field, there was a significant contingent of fans unhappy that Houston was moving to the American League. It was also the Astros’ 50th anniversary. 

Amazing how things can change 😉

Enjoy the World Series!

ER


ALCS/NLCS Guesses

October 13, 2017

All my American League guesses were wrong. However, all my National League guesses were correct. 

As someone who was born and raised under AL rules, I’m perplexed by this outcome. 

Anyway…

Houston over New York in six games.
Chicago over Los Angeles in seven games
.

ER

ALDS/NLDS Guesses

October 5, 2017

So I was right about Arizona, but wrong about Minnesota. The two matches definitely put the WILD in WILD Card. Thrilling for hitters; cruel to starting pitchers.

Anyway…

Boston over Houston in 5
Cleveland over New York in 5
Chicago over Washington in 4
Los Angeles over Arizona in 5

ER


Hate to admit it, but I’ve made peace with the 2017 Blue Jays

July 13, 2017

The consensus was unanimous: The four remaining series before the all-star break would give a strong indication of whether the Blue Jays would be buyers or sellers at the non-waiver trade deadline.

Baltimore came in and the Jays made Kevin Gausman and Ubaldo Jimenez look like Cy Young and Walter Johnson.

The Red Sox were next and they steamrolled their way to a three-game sweep.

So the Jays flew to New York and took two out of three from the Yankees. A pleasant surprise to say the least.

Finally, it was time to face Houston. While splitting a four-game series against the best team in MLB is certainly a positive, it was the weirdest split I have ever seen. Two wins that featured strong pitching and clutch swings. Two losses where they were completely out-classed and out-matched by the Astros.

So what does it all mean?

The pessimists feel the window of opportunity has closed and it’s time to “blow it up.” The optimists feel they still have a fighting chance. They will also point to the trade deadline of 2015, when the team was hovering around the .500 mark before AA acquired Tulo and David Price.

I find myself in the middle of these conflicting opinions; and while I choose not to fully commit to one side, I have reached a more comforting consensus:

I have made peace with the 2017 Blue Jays.

Making peace means that I accept the high probability that they won’t make the playoffs. It also means that I accept that there will likely be some form of re-tooling or rebuilding and key pieces from the 2015 and 2016 playoff runs could be traded.

Making peace is my way of softening the blow. It allows me to be disappointed, but not overly upset. If the Jays flounder their way to the end of the regular season, I will still be able to enjoy the matches.

I guess one could call it self-preservation. It is definitely not the right way of handling things; nor is it the wrong way. It’s just my way.

Of course, I hope I’m wrong and the Jays go an incredible run in the second half. But if that doesn’t happen – and a strong argument could be made that things will not get better – then I’m ready for it without any anger or frustration.

Just remember: Nothing is truly guaranteed.

ER

Short, scribbled thoughts on the non-waiver trade deadline deals 

August 2, 2016

Honestly, I have no time to post an in-depth analysis of the three trades. If you want something thoroughly researched and presented, go somewhere else. Seriously, I won’t hold it against you. 

Anyway…

Hutch: Sorry to see Drew go. The potential is still there, but he has struggled with his consistently. We have seen him at his best and also witnessed him at his worst. Hopefully, a change of scenery and the chance to work with Pittsburgh pitching coach Ray Searage  will set him on the right path. 

Jesse Chavez: Started well, but has struggled of late. It’s funny. There were some who suggested back in April/May that Chavez get a chance to start. Seems those same people were now begging the Blue Jays to get rid of him. 

Scott Feldman: Good numbers this season. According to Baseball-Reference, he has a 2.90 ERA in 26 games thus far. As long as he holds the fort, I’m happy. 

Mike Bolsinger: Good 2015 numbers. From all the hot takes out there, looks like he’s the “sixth starter” if needed. 

Francisco Liriano: I certainly like this acquisition, but also concerned. He has not pitched well this season. Baseball-Reference shows a current ERA of 5.46, as well as a 4.40 ERA in seven American League seasons. But as BP Toronto’s Matt Gwin pointed out, Liriano has put up some productive results when pitching to Russell Martin. Here’s hoping that will continue. Of course, this also means Aaron Sanchez is about to move to the bullpen. Personally, I prefer/want Sanchez in the rotation. However, it feels like the Jays had never intended to change their original plan for Sanchez. 

ER


Episode 65: The life and times of John Bateman

May 12, 2016

In addition to playing for the Astros and Phillies, the late John Bateman was an original Montreal Expo. Overall, he was behind the plate in over 1000 big league games during the 1960s and early 70s.

Since 2011, Bateman’s life has been celebrated through a fictitious Twitter account. It was created by a Texas-area artist, who as a child, chose the catcher as his favourite player. The account features diary style tweets, as if the social medium existed during Bateman’s playing day.

Episode 65 Direct MP3 Download

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image

One of the many tweets from @JohnnyBateman7


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