Thursday, February 3, 2011

Look at Justice using WAR!

Richard Justice has a really good post about Hunter Pence's development, and whether he will ever be an elite player:

He'll turn 28 shortly after Opening Day, and there's not a single number that indicates he's even close to being a special player. Solid player? Yes. Contributor to a winning team? Absolutely. Star? No.

Well done, Justice, well done.

New video board indicates competing with home

There are going to be people who go to every single Astros game, no matter what. There are others who will buy the mini-packages, and the packages that include games against the Rangers, inter-league series, and other higher-profile games.

Lower-level dugout box seats at Minute Maid Park are $53. The most expensive ticket is in the 2nd-level Club I section, at $55. The average ticket price (not including Dynamic Pricing) is $27.42.

We know all about the cost of going to a Major League game, Drayton's $8 beer, parking, etc, but one reason for implementing the Astros' new video board, according to Astros Senior VP, Communications, is preposterous:

"It's almost like we have to compete with home. People can stay at home now and watch HD, and now at the ballpark there are going to be two full HD boards — true HD — and the overall entertainment is going to be much improved here."

I'm one of those people who will go to any game I can. But no video board is ever going to make me come to a game. I'm willing to grant that I'm curious as to what it'll look like. I'll even grant that one may even go to one game with the primary reason being to see what the between-play entertainment will be. But if you're a "Whatever" Fan, and you routinely spend your money to come to Minute Maid Park solely to look at TWO HD BOARDS then, I'm sorry, you are not smart.

Of course the Astros have to compete with people saying, "Screw it, I'll stay home and watch." Every team has to do that. Especially every team that isn't winning games at a .600 clip. I just wish the Astros would have come out and said, "Look, Drayton's trying to sell the team, and having these HD video boards is just like making brownies right before someone comes to look at a house that's for sale." It's the same thing.

Astros agree to deals with four

The Astros agreed to one-year deals with four players yesterday:

Jimmy Paredes: $414,000
Brian Bogusevic: $416,500
Enerio Del Rosario: $417,000
Wilton Lopez: $442,000

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Joel Roza on Lyles

The Caller-Times' Joel Roza (a buddy of Astros County) has a new article up on Jordan Lyles, and it's well-worth your time, given Roza's proximity to Lyles through much of 2010.

Your money quote:
Lyles typically reached the 80 pitch mark by late in the 4th or early in the 5th inning, depending on how many hits he’d given up. While these concerns are all fixable (much like Castro’s throwing to second base, which in person, concerned me, but was quickly quailed upon his arrival in Houston), they remain concerns for the time being.

Can Lyles hang back in certain situations, sacrificing the strikeout for a quick groundball, thus saving his pitch count? Can his changeup become more deceptive and eventually serve as an effective out pitch? Can he add a little more loop to his breaking ball? Lyles’ underlying advantage is his expert-to-basic grasp of five pitches. If he can turn four of them into effective major league-caliber pitches, the sky is the limit.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Some Fans, Especially Those Interviewed By A Metroplex Newspaper, Are Rangers Fans

The Fort Worth Star Telegram has an article about how, surprise! people who came to the Rangers Caravan dates are...wait for it, Rangers fans!

One Palmeiro jersey-sporting fan in Selma:
"I've been a huge Rangers fan, but the Rangers never came down here. I told those guys they've got to start coming down here more often. The Houston Astros have always controlled this area, but there are lots of Rangers fans down here."

An Austin resident:
"I'm tickled the Rangers have taken over the Round Rock Express. It's going to be a better situation because it's going to be a better brand of baseball for Round Rock fans to enjoy. I'm interested in tickets because Nolan Ryan is involved and he believes in the quality of the organization."

One C.J. Wilson jersey-sporting fan in San Antonio:
"I go to a game every year. We try and make it a tradition. I'm a Rangers fan and a Rangers fan only. You can't be an Aggies fan and a Longhorns fan. You have to stick with one team. The Rangers are my team, and I'll do what I can to see them. Look what they've accomplished."

Holy Hannah! Fans interviewed by a Metroplex newspaper at the Rangers Caravan stops are Rangers fans? CRAZY! LOOK AT HOW FAR YOU'VE COME, RANGERS! GOOD GOD! YOUR SUCCESS CAN'T BE MATCHED, AND CERTAINLY NOT EXCEEDED BY THE ASTROS! WHAT AN UNPREDICTABLE TURN OF EVENTS! A CORNUCOPIA OF SUCCESS THAT COULD NOT BE PREDICTED, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU FORGET HOW THEY JUST WENT TO THE WORLD SERIES! No, that would be preposterous. Dyed in the wool, those Hill Country Rangers fans. They've suffered enough, bless their hearts.