If you would like to join the Astros County Fitness Challenge, you can find information here.
Brian McTaggart has a couple of pieces on Astros.com that are perfect little fillers (and I don't mean that negatively).
*Carlos Beltran's 2004 trade to Houston set him up for millions of dollars in his career. He has made $185 million in his years in baseball following that 2004 postseason.
There's some guys who wear a Superman shirt, but he was Superman. Anybody that was part of it, that saw it, watched it -- every ball he hit was hard. Every out he made was hard. It was one of the most incredible hitting experiences I've seen in my life for that time of year and the numbers he threw up.
*Reid Ryan and nine of the Ryan family went to Zambia to open an orphanage in honor of the late wife of Round Rock's president.
*Jeff Bagwell is running at 93%, having appeared on 107 of 115 known HOF ballots (26.4% of estimated ballots). He has picked up eight of the needed 12 votes for election. Other candidates currently running over 75% include Tim Raines (91%) and Vlad Guerrero (75.7%).
*Collin McHugh discussed what the holidays mean to him in a Q&A.
*Former Astros prospect Rio Ruiz (part of the Evan Gattis trade with Atlanta) gave his dad a pretty cool Christmas gift.
*Former Astros on the move: Fernando Rodriguez has signed with the Cubs, Travis Blackley has signed with Detroit, former draft picks Brooks Conrad and Ruben Sosa have signed with Kansas City, former 2nd Round pick Andrew Thurman - who was released by the Braves last August - signed with the Dodgers, J.B. Shuck signed with Minnesota, Justin Ruggiano signed with San Francisco,
*Former Astros Great Doug Fister is still looking for a job.
*Buster Olney wrote (subscription required) that the haul Boston gave Chicago for Chris Sale pretty much shut the market on starting pitching, with everyone trying to replicate the trade.
*Over at BP, Russell Carleton has a great piece on getting a job in baseball.
*Deadspin: The worst sportswriting of 2016.
*A sportswriter's secret mission to save a Jewish family at the 1936 Olympics is a must-read/listen.