Happy Thanksgiving! The Houston Food Bank is in its World Series today, operating at triple its normal function. To date, the Houston Food Bank has delivered 28 million pounds of supplies to the people of Houston.
Of course it's a day to be thankful, a chance to come together with friends and family just hours before you try to rip their heads off for a new flat-screen. I'm thankful for the Astros, for Jose Altuve, for pre-arbitration years, for George Springer, for Brady Aiken's tiny UCL, for Yuli's hair, for Mr. Kate Upton, McCullers' curveball, and for all of you. The Astros are World Series champions. If you talk politics with your family, please remember to film it and send it to astroscounty at gmail dot com.
*2017 Random Astros fact:
When Max Stassi threw out A.J. Pollock on August 17, it broke a streak of 29 straight successful stolen bases by Astros opponents, dating back to June 18.
*The out-of-options catcher Juan Centeno was placed on waivers by the Astros yesterday, clearing a spot on the 40-Man roster. The Astros would like for him to clear waivers so he can return to Triple-A and be next man up in the event of an injury to McCann or Max Stassi, whose backup job it is to lose. The 40-Man Roster now stands at 39.
Centeno played in 22 games for the Astros in 2017, hitting .231/.286/.346. In his first two games as an Astro, both against Detroit at home (May 23 and May 25) Centeno went 3x7 with two home runs, including a go-ahead solo home run off Justin Verlander. When he came back in August, he went 4x9 with another RBI. He hit .311/.354/.383 for Fresno this season and threw out 14 of 38 base runners.
*Today through Monday, BreakingT is offering a Black Friday sale in which you get 25% off the entire store and free shipping at $50. So click this link and check out the Houston collection. Get your friends and family some *actually affordable* shirts you can't get at Academy.
*Alex Bregman returned home to Albuquerque for the first time since winning the World Series, threw out the first pitch at a brand new sports complex, and signed a bunch of autographs. Bregman's dad, Sam:
I know how hard Alex worked to get to this level, and of course I'm proud of what he's done. But he's still the same kid who has to take the trash out after Thanksgiving dinner. He takes time for everyone, and he's a great person off the field. That's what really makes me proud.
*The Los Angeles Fire Department made good on a bet with HFD Station 60.
*Lance McCullers loves dogs more than he loves you.
*Richard Justice: A reason for each team to be thankful.
*Carlos Correa is in Puerto Rico throwing a party for everyone.
*Jonathan Mayo has your FAQ on Shohei Ohtani and the new posting system. Note that Ohtani is subject to international spending limits. The Rangers have the most money available to spend on him, while the Astros cannot sign anyone for more than $300,000 thanks to the international free agent spending spree they went on in 2016 that included shortstop Freudis Nova. So the only hope the Astros have in signing Ohtani is if he just wants to play in Houston. By jumping to MLB now instead of in two years, when he would be a free agent a la Yuli Gurriel, he's already shown he's willing to give up literal boatloads of money. Maybe there's some hope? An international scouting director told Mayo:
Him coming out proves it's not about money. He could wait and get a lot - way more than $10 million. It sounds like he wants to win, and will want to be in a good situation for his culture. He makes a lot of money off the field already, and he'll make more off the field here.
The New York Daily News is obviously predicting the Yankees will sign him.
*The Astros and Nationals have been sending their own workers to the Ballpark of the Seven Isles, or whatever the Spring Training facility is called, to get the stadium finished, almost a year after it "opened." Issues between the main contractor - Hunt Construction Group - and the subcontractors have led to a wide array of legal problems.
*The second part of my job ramps into high gear on Monday, so I'm reading as much as I can this weekend. As a purveyor of bizarre non-fiction, I'm currently reading (and enjoying) Marie Antoinette's Watch: Adultery, Larceny, and Perpetual Mostion by John Biggs. It's free if you have Kindle Unlimited.