Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Morning Hot Links

Sometimes "Merry Christmas' is not the right thing to say - not because the person to whom you're speaking is a weak-minded political idiot, but rather because Christmas is extremely hard for a lot of people. There are those among us for whom Christmas is a time of loss, a reminder of friends and family who have passed away, or of relationships severed. Perhaps the commercials depicting the perfect Christmas morning are a reminder of a childhood they never had. Or returning to school was a reminder of a definitive class structure of which even the youngest children were painfully aware. I do hope everyone has a Merry Christmas no matter your circumstance. To those of you who woke up this morning with a sense of loss and dread, you're in my thoughts and prayers.

Astros players born on Christmas Day:

Willy Taveras (2004-2006)
In 311 games for the Astros Taveras hit .284/.329/.340 and finished 2nd in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2005, finishing behind Ryan Howard and ahead of Jeff Francoeur. Taveras put together a 30-game hit streak in 2006 and was traded to Colorado in a package for Jason Jennings that off-season.

Ty Gainey (1985-1987)
Gainey, the Astros' 2nd Round draft pick in 1979, played a sporadic outfield for 57 games over three seasons for the Astros, hitting .216/.293/.288 with 37 strikeouts in 124 plate appearances. The Greatest 21 Days has a really good profile of his career.

Julio Gonzalez (1977-1980)
Acquired in a trade with the Cardinals for outfielder Greg Gross (who had finished 2nd in NL ROY voting in 1974, and hit .293/.376/.351 for Houston), Julio Gonzalez hit .235/.270/.288 for the Astros from 1977-1980 playing 2B, SS, and 3B in his 296 games in Houston. Gonzalez was released prior to the start of the 1981 season.

Nellie Fox (1964-1965)
Fox played the last two seasons of his 19-year Hall of Fame career with the Colt .45s/Astros after a trade with the White Sox for Jim Golden, Danny Murphy, and cash. Fox was released after a 1964 season in which he hit .265/.320/.319 and led the NL with 20 sacrifice hits, striking out just 13 times in 502 plate appearances (Fox struck out 216 times in 10351 career plate appearances, just 2.1% of his PAs, 3rd all-time, and 1st among players with more than 650 games played). The newly-rebranded Astros re-signed Fox in May 1965 before getting released again on July 31, 1965, ending his playing career, but he remained as a coach with the team through the 1967 season. Joe Morgan credited Fox with maximizing his playing potential.

*The Astros' acquisition of Justin Verlander on August 31 is akin to getting to open one Christmas present on the day after Thanksgiving.

*Tradition plays a big role in Big Joe, Big Joe Musgrove's family.

*Why it feels good to hate the Yankees again.


Jayne Hansen said...

My sister and I started watching Die Hard on Christmas Eve the year that my Mom died two months earlier (in October 2002). I knew that our normal tradition of watching "It's a Wonderful Life" would have me sobbing and even sadder than I already was. It turned out to be a great new tradition and, as silly as it sounds, made the transition to our first Christmas in our entire lives spent without my Mom and Dad easier. Thank you for acknowledging that Christmas isn't always an easy time (I feel the same way about Mother's Day and Father's Day). Reach out to someone who is lonely or lost for whatever reason and let them know you are thinking of them. You'll never know the difference it may make.

calhoun said...

you're aces, man.

Craig Harmann said...

This was my family’s first Christmas without my dad. It was so blasted tough, as almost all of 2017 has been, but we were together, we had fun and made lots of new memories.