So it's nice and advanced when enemies become friends. Or at least when two people work toward a common goal of separately becoming the best Astros blog on the Interweb. Not that The Unofficial Official and I were ever enemies. Quite the contrary. But we are friends, and will remain so until we are #1 and #2 (in any order) in providing time-killing day traders (an oxymoron, I realize) or bored 8-5ers an outlet. When that happens, that's when we'll have our steel cage match.
The Unofficial Official asked me some questions last week, and I reciprocated. Enjoy!
Who is CF1 in 2010?
As of right now it's still Bourn's to lose even though he will have to be re-signed. There is not a lot of cheaper, decent free agent CF's available in 2010. Going into last year it was atrocious to watch Bourn play. I would have loved to see anyone, even Griffey (Sr or Jr) playing in CF, hell, even Tal Smith, who Tal's Hill is named after, playing out there. I have since changed my mind a little bit. I've noticed that Bourn has drastically improved his patience at the plate and although he hasn't put up great numbers in spring training, (.167 Avg in 58 +/- AB's) the patience thing will pay off sometime soon. Although I may get some hate mail, I still think Bourn gets re-signed for more than a one year deal cause' he will be arbitration eligible and will be the cheapest player available at the time (keep in mind the 'Stros have a lot of salary to cover the next two or three years). Of course, this all hinges off him producing this year. If he continues in leaps and bounds, he is our man in 2010.
Pudge: good or bad signing?
I think it is good in regards that P-Rod is playing most of his time in The Juice Box. That should up his numbers slightly. It still doesn't impress me that much seeing as he will more than likely hit 270-275 with about 10-15 dingers and only 3-5 walks this year. The bad side of the signing is that the Astros didn't make a huge splash this year and this was the only thing that will be under Wade's belt for the season unless he does something huge in the middle of the year, so most people will jump on the microscope to scrutinize every little thing P-Roddy does and hate on him for being the player that we already knew he was going to be before he signed. Don't get me wrong I think Pudge is still an above average player for the most part but it will be magnified even more now that he is an Astro. I really do think Quintero or Towles could have done just as good as P-Rod will do this year, but that was a big question that obviously the Astros brass didn't want to have to answer. All in all, decent signing and I hope he proves everyone wrong on his projections for the year.
What is a pudge?
A sandwhich, a short, fat person, a middle aged catcher, something unattractive in a future wife, the front overhang of someones stomach AKA a mooseknuckle.
Who wins a fight between Coop and Tony LaRussa?
Well Coop usually tends to not get mad easily. (as noted in the last like seven interviews with him, he steps it up a level every time the 'Stros don't hit well. At some point he is going to turn into the Hulk) so, he would be one to look out for if you razz him up to much. On the other hand, LaRussa is probably an angry drunk. The Hulk vs Drunken' monkey is a tough one to call. I go with Coop in 4 rounds only cause Lou Ferrigno would kill me if he ever found out I went against him and LaRussa drinks scotch, the bad kind.
Which minor leaguer are you most excited about?
Even though the Astros have the worst farm system, I am excited about a few. Obviously, there are the names which are getting picked up on radar these days. The Castro's, Bugosevic's, Drew Sutton's and Bud Norris' are the more popular names now, so I have been looking at the lesser known guys who should have an impact beyond the 2010- 2011 season, maybe. Some of those guys are Jordan Lyles, Sam Gervacio, Chia-Jen Lo (First Taiwanese pitcher to be signed by the Astros) and Leandro Cespedes. All these guys have huge potential but haven't really started making an impact yet. I usually like to wander off the beaten path and find the guys that nobody is talking about.
What is your favorite feature of Minute Maid Park?
I was once offered an invitation by a former girlfriend's boss to attend a game in the 9 Amigo's Cafe. Hell of an experience. She sucked cause she talked too much but the view of the diamond form Amigo's patio is amazing. Absolutely the best way to watch a game, minus the nagging girlfriend and the uptight legal guys acting like they have been fans forever but don't own a single piece of Astros gear and wear a sweater vest to the game.
If you weren't an Astros fan, who would you root for?
Most of my family is from northern Minnesota. So, I would probably be a Twin fan. I kind of am really, I guess I just don't tell anyone about it in Houston. The only reason I don't really root for em' much anymore is cause' Santana and Hunter are gone. The do have Denard Span, Kevin Slowey, Jason Kubel and Cuddyer, so still fun to watch. Matter of fact those guys are some of the lesser known players that really could have an impact in fantasy baseball this year. Slowey has a wicked curve. Sorry, I digress.....
What's your favorite Astros moment?
My favorite moment personally was the last regular season game at the Astrodome. My dad and I went. After the game, Biggio, Bagwell and Bell came out on Harley's and rode around signing autographs. I got all their "Herbie Hancock's" and a commemorative Astrodome tin with some of the mound dirt in it. All of that sits next to my shrine of Tony Eusabio in the back of my closet. You have to move clothes aside and open the safe but it's worth it.
Are you working on anything else Astros-related for the season?
I will be doing some fantasy analysis for fanblogger Kyle C with The Line Drive on Chron.com if anyone wants to check it out. It will probably be out next week sometime and I'm sure I will have a link to it on my blog.
+1 to The Unofficial Official for the responses. If you want to be interviewed by Astros County, shoot an e-mail.