It was a hilarious sight at HEB yesterday when a Freeze Warning for last night/this morning took effect and pretty much all of Central Texas descended to relieve the grocer of all their milk, eggs, bread, and alcohol. Lines to check out approached Impending Hurricane level, even though it will be in the 60s by Friday. That said, even though we survived three New England winters, cold is cold. I don't care how much snow I've seen - a windchill in the 20s sucks. I'm not "Better" than these poor freezing souls because I know what 50 degrees colder than this feels like. No, it's my own fault for knowing what it feels like to begin with.
*So I guess we lead with the biggest story of the day: a former Mariners exec took a flamethrower to the Mariners' organization. Dr. Lorena Martin, Seattle's director of high performance until getting fired a month ago, accused basically the top of Seattle's front office as well as manager Scott Servais of racism, sexism, and intimidation. Martin was hired away from the Lakers and has two years left on her contract. Martin:
And then they wonder why they didn't make it to the playoffs. Leadership is to blame, under Jerry Dipoto's leadership no team has made the playoffs. All talk, no substance. Poor leadership. This is how the Seattle Mariners treat people of color (women and minorities).
Obviously the Mariners strongly and categorically denied all of her claims. But holy crap.
*Jose Altuve - wearing a hinged knee brace but walking on his own - talked to reporters Sunday and said he aims to be "120 percent" by the time Spring Training starts. Altuve:
We have a lot of time before Spring Training. We're not doing a lot. The only thing they told me is we're going to be 120 percent for the first day of Spring Training, and that's what really matters.
*SI's Jon Tayler made a case for all 30 teams to sign Bryce Harper. He puts the Astros in Tier 3: Dark Horses.
Just picture the panic every pitcher will feel knowing that they have to survive a gauntlet of George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Harper, and Carlos Correa multiple times. That alone is reason enough to do this.
And here's Tayler, giving Dallas Keuchel the bulletin board material by saying he's one of the likeliest free agency busts of this class.
*Should the Tigers decide to move Nick Castellanos, the Astros could be a fit as the Detroit Free-Press' Anthony Fenech says Houston made a move for him prior to the 2018 trade deadline. Castellanos played 142 games in Right Field in 2018, hitting .298/.354/.500 for a 130 OPS+. He would be an offensive upgrade over Josh Reddick (99 OPS+ in 2018), OR because of the drop-off in defense from Reddick to Castellanos, could serve as DH with the occasional RF start. Castellanos has one more year of arbitration before being eligible for free agency. Kyle Tucker figure it out, please.
*Dallas Keuchel officially rejected the Astros' 1yr/$17.9m qualifying offer. Should Keuchel sign with another team, the Astros will get an extra draft pick at the end of the 2nd Round in 2019.
*Members of the Astros stopped by Santa Fe High School to meet with their baseball team and to give them new cleats.
*Alex Bregman decided to drop in on Steven and Haylee Lopez's wedding in Cypress. Steven Lopez:
We were just looking at each other. She was jumping up and down like a little kid. We were both star struck.
Shoutout to Bregman, who made sure that Haylee Lopez's wedding day memory will be of Alex Bregman. Prima nocta lookin ass boiiiiii.
*Doug Brocail will not return as Rangers' pitching coach in 2019.
*Wired: It started as an online gaming prank, then it turned deadly. (Note: this is not a sunshine-and-rainbows story.)
*A musical selection: