It's that time of year again, when I can't think of anything to write, so I turn to you - the reader - for ideas.
From (Not Hank) Aaron: Why don't some of your writers ever write anything on the blog anymore?
AC: Hey, Cockroach has a good piece on Bob Aspromonte up today! But you bring up a good point. There are close to 11 people who are able to write on Astros County. It's been a slow off-season. I'd appreciate it if they could pick up my slack.
From The_Batguy: Whatever happened to Joel?
AC: Joel is living the high live in Illinois. Still an Astros fan.
From DeathBySexy: SP you are most concerned about? Excited for?
AC: They're actually the same pitcher: Lance McCullers. We've seen flashes of brilliance for parts of two seasons now, but the injuries are a concern. He says he's fine, so we'll see, but it sure would be nice to have him in the rotation for 30-35 starts.
Second place on this list is Tony Sipp. If the Astros don't have a viable lefty out of the bullpen, this season could go sideways quick.
Another from The_Batguy: What do you have planned for when you hit 5,000,000 total page views sometime this season?
AC: A pithy tweet, followed by bursting balloons and releasing of 5,000,000 doves into the air.
From DieselDuGong: Who wins in a fight between 100 possum-sized Colby Rasmuses or one Colby Rasmus-sized possum?
AC: I congratulate you on the proper spelling of possums, first and foremost. Second, 100 possum-sized Colby Rasmuses win, hands down. They can swarm, and those teeth will make you bleed out in under 15 minutes. GUARANTEED.
From ErnieBreakfast: Of the new acquisitions, who do you see having the most impact? Also, which (one) will inevitably not work out (injury, decline)
AC: Have we learned nothing from Carlos Gomez? None of them will work out. Carlos Beltran will inexplicably forget how to hit the ball. Worst-case scenario is that he's a Trojan Horse, sent by the Rangers to mess up the middle of the lineup. Brian McCann will have the most impact in sucking the fun out of the clubhouse, closing down Club Astros because of slime in the ice machine. All of this is true until the Astros prove that they are not cursed.
From MDavidColeman (a real life writer): Hi AC. First time, long time. If you had to fight any current or former Astro, who would it be and why? Would you win?
AC: This is a good question. I'm going to fight someone I think I can beat, because I'm not going to willingly get whooped when I'm the one who gets to pick. So Evan Gattis is off the list. Colby Rasmus is off the list. As much as I'd like to fight Brett Myers, I would get waxed. Same with Jarred Cosart - he's 6'3" 205lbs and Clear Creek Crazy. We need to evaluate former professional athletes I think I can take in a fight. We could spend a decent amount of time debating whether the worst baseball player in the league is still exponentially better of an athlete than I could ever hope to be. Because that is true. But we're not talking about a skills competition, we're talking about who I could drop in a fight like 3rd Period French. Here's a list of former Astros I would under no circumstance fight:
Chris Carter, J.R. Richard, Carl Everett, Morgan Ensberg, Pete Munro.
Here's my preliminary list of five Astros against whom I stand a chance, in no particular order:
I just want to fight Lugo, Schafer, and Harrell. Harrell is a little too White Boy Crazy for me, so I'll pass on him. Schafer is probably yoked now that he's a pitcher, and he looks like he's just begging someone to try to steal off on him. Lugo has a documented violent past, so maybe he's out. I'm going to go with Clint Barmes. Why? Because I'm left-handed, and Barmes couldn't hit lefties.
From 12Cahill: Who finished the year with the most time at 1B?
AC: I'm going to assume you're asking "who finishes" the year, because that question could be answered by Baseball-Reference. I think Gurriel finishes the year with the most time at 1B. I'm okay with A.J. Reed getting more time at Fresno and, as I have said previously, we need to stop thinking of Triple-A as a death sentence. With Bregman at 3B, I see Gurriel sliding over to 1B for most of the season.
From FireDrayton: If a conjoined twin committed a murder (without help from the other twin), would you jail both, or let both go free?
AC: They're both getting locked up because the unwilling twin is still an accessory to murder. He can't text the cops? Knock out his murderous companion? Not saying/doing anything to stop a crime still makes you implicitly guilty in the carrying out of the crime.
From Montessi: Assuming everyone is healthy, what's the worst-case scenario for this team?
AC: World Series Game 7: Top of the 9th, two outs. Astros leading the Cubs 4-3 with two strikes. Ken Giles is about to throw the pitch when - BLAM - nuclear war with China. You know it's a possibility because Houston.
From TexasBBTown: HOF season: will there be a push for Berkman to get elected?
AC: Six-time All-Star, four Top-5 MVP seasons, .943 career OPS. I think there will be a push, and he'll stick on the ballot for a few years, but ultimately will top out in the 30s as far as voting percentage.