The Shreveport Times' Larry Wade has five reasons not so say, "Screw it. Now I'm a Marlins fan."
And those reasons are:
-Tim Bogar. Boston's first base coach will be the Astros' next manager. He will energize the clubhouse and have instant credibility with his players. Bogar has learned from Red Sox skipper Terry Francona, the guy Astros general manager Ed Wade regrets firing when he was with the Philadelphia Phillies.
-Michael Bourn. In a season of disappointment, Bourn has given the Astros reason to look confidently ahead. He has been the team's most valuable player this season, and he will be an All-Star in 2010.
-Wandy Rodriguez. He's replaced Roy Oswalt as the team's ace. Rodriguez will be a strong Cy Young contender next season because he has finally learned how to pitch. And few pitchers are tougher at home than Rodriguez, who will give the team an advantage each time he takes the mound in Minute Maid Park. He's almost an automatic quality-start.
-Bud Norris. As a rookie this season, Norris had several impressive outings. Remember his two-hit, seven inning shutout of the St. Louis Cardinals in his debut as a starter? Norris is the real deal.
-Jason Castro. The Astros first-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft will be the team's starting catcher when the 2010 season begins. He's excelled at every level in the minors, hitting an impressive .293 for Double-A Corpus Christi this season. Castro will give the Astros an additional bat and solid presence behind the plate next season. And he will only get better.