Friday, February 5, 2010

Nocturnal Emissions, Vol. 2

This time, it's Brian McTaggart with a sunshine and rainbows profile on Bud Norris:

Born and raised in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, the 24-year-old has taken his panache and his powerful right arm across the country in search of his dream of playing in the Major Leagues -- a goal he fulfilled last year, when he appeared in 11 late-season games with the Astros.

Norris doesn't figure to be wearing a cowboy hat anytime soon, but he's purchased a townhouse in Houston and hopes to make Texas his home for a long time. He'll report to Spring Training in two weeks as one of the favorites to win a job in the Astros' starting rotation.

Not too bad for a fast-talking Cali kid who grew up snowboarding and playing golf...

...Norris finished last year 6-3 with a 4.53 ERA, and he hopes that his days of sleeping on the floor of the bus during long rides in the Minor Leagues are over. Just to make sure, he's been working out in the offseason at Minute Maid Park with several teammates, including Minor League prospect Evan Englebrook, a 6-foot-8 pitcher who's bunking at Norris' townhouse.

And, of course, being 24 years old, there's plenty time for video games. Norris and Englebrook, not wanting to immerse themselves in baseball, bought a soccer game for Xbox 360 and have been spending hours trying to win the World Cup. Competition knows no offseason...

...All in all, life is good for Bud Norris in his new hometown. He's gotten acquainted with the Galleria, has attended a Houston Rockets game and enjoys hanging out with friends. And earlier this week he was even recognized in a restaurant by some Astros fans, who yelled his name and gave him a wave.

Perhaps the California kid has found a home, after all.

So not too emitting, but this is one tag that will be sure to see a number of entries as we go through Spring Training.