*It is now 40 days until pitchers & catchers report, 46 days until the Astros' first full-squad workout.
*The Astros have accepted an offer to visit the White House in honor of winning the World Series. Reid Ryan:
When the White House calls and invites you to come up, it's something that as an organization we felt both a responsibility and an obligation to be part of.
Spring Training seems like the most logical time to make the trip. While the organization accepted the invitation, staff and players can decline to go. Ryan told McTaggart:
I expect the core group of folks to go and people in the front office and the coaching staff because it's an honor. An invitation to the White House is something that many Americans never have the opportunity to receive. We'll have a good showing, for sure.
*David Schoenfield says not to be surprised if the Astros end up with Yu Darvish. In this (Pay-walled) article for The Athletic, Jim Bowden writes that Darvish is on the Astros' radar in part due to concerns about signing Dallas Keuchel to an extension before he hits free agency next fall.
*Here's a sweet new Astros mural in the Heights.
*Watch Jose Altuve get on the struggle bus in a Venezuelan neighborhood stickball game.