Citizen Spruce is a loyal commenter. Today he gains his citizenship. Welcome, Citizen Spruce, from Dallas.
What is your earliest Astros memory?
June 12, 1988. This was either my first or second game that I attended after we moved to the Houston area. Mike Scott took a no-hitter into the ninth against the Braves but had it all destroyed on a two-out single by Ken Oberkfell. Needless to say, the excitement of that game was like a drug. I fell in love with baseball and the Astros right there. I've been shooting up ever since.
Interesting side note: Two years later Ken Oberkfell played for the Astros. His plate appearances mark the only times I have ever booed my favorite team.
If (this Astro) was cut or maimed by lions on the field of play, I would not care.
Sadly, I thought long and hard about this question. My first instinct was to say Miguel, but I don't hate him as much as I want to. So, I will go with Brandon Backe. I've never bought the hype on him and I haven't seen anything lately to change my mind. Here's my question: For a funnier visual could we dress the lions up in Galveston police uniforms?
(Ed. note: I say, during the 6th inning, instead of the Monte Cristo - or whatever the hat thing is - we have a different Astro running around the diamond with a GPD detective running after them. First one to Spring Training wins.)
What area of the 2009 Astros would you address first if you were the General Manager?
Starting pitching. I'm not sure how I would do it, but it would be my first place to start. I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area now so I keep up with the Rangers a little and watch them suffer through years of good to better-than-good offense while struggling to find pitchers that can do anything of substance. The Astros are three years removed from having one of the best staffs in team history and now we wallow in whatever level exists right under mediocrity. I do not want the Astros to become the Rangers.
Having said that, I would probably look farther in the future than 09. I don't understand all the rhetoric about building a farm system while we make no other significant moves to gain draft picks or trade for prospects. If the Astros aren't in contention this year, I think the trade deadline could be pretty interesting.
Who is the heart of the Astros?
You mean, other than bullpen assistant Stretch Suba? I may be way off here but The Big Puma seems to be one guy that the rest of the team keys off of. For fans, he's a blast to watch and he seems to keep his teammates loose and motivated. Right now, Lance is one of the big reasons that I tune in to watch games and he seems to be a major key to any succes they have.
What was worse? Trading five players for Tejada or trading Lidge for Bourn?
The Tejada trade, plain and simple. Lidge was never going to get it back here and while they could have probably gotten more for him, I'm still not ready to say that Bourn is a total wash-out. On the other hand, Tejada is skiing down the downhill side of his career like an Olympic athlete. At the time of both trades I applauded Easy Eddie for taking risks but you do have to answer for failed risk-taking at some point and the jury is just about in on that Tejada trade. There just isn't any real up-side to hope for in that one.