Thursday, December 6, 2018

Thursday Morning Hot Links

Okay, so catching up on some things that I missed yesterday because I woke up late and had to leave early:

*The Astros and Former Ramgers Great Robinson Chirinos agreed to a 1yr/$5.75m deal. So, at present, it looks as though the Astros will go through 2019 with a combo of Chirinos and Max Stassi. I'm in favor of this deal solely because my Ramger Fan Brother-in-Law is heartbroken.

Chirinos, who will be 35 in June, had an outlier year in 2017 in which he hit .255/.360/.506, good enough for a 120 OPS+. In 2018 he came back to the rest of his career's benchmark, hitting .222/.338/.419. He didn't hit well last year but he sure did strike out a lot (140 Ks in 426 PAs), though he hit a career-high 18 home runs.

Chirinos would actually be an offensive upgrade considering the Astros' offensive struggles behind the plate: Astros catchers collectively put up a .223/.298/.375 line in 2018. Max Stassi hit .226/.316/.394 in 88 games, .220/.307/.379 after April. Oh yeah, but Chirinos is a bad defensive catcher. So, no, I don't get it. I do, sort of, if I squint and shake my head.

Jake Kaplan has an excellent look at the questions surrounding Chirinos' acquisition.

So does FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan.

*Brian McTaggart has himself an inbox, in which we find that Altuve and Chirinos are really good friends

*There's a report that the Red Sox' negotiations with Nate Eovaldi are intensifying at 4yrs and (approximately) $68m, though the Astros are the Red Sox' main competition.

*Arizona traded Paul Goldschmidt to the Cheatin-Ass Cardinals for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young, and St. Louis' Comp B pick.

Weaver was St. Louis' 1st Round pick in 2014 and went 7-11 with a 4.95 ERA/1.50 WHIP/ 78 ERA+ for St. Louis in 2018. Carson Kelly, a catcher, was St. Louis' #3 prospect heading into 2018 and has hit .154/.227/.188 in 131 MLB PAs. He was BP's #44 overall prospect coming into 2018 and hit .269/.378/.395 for Triple-A Memphis. Andy Young hit .276/.372/.444 for High-A Palm Beach and in 35 games at Double-A Springfield hit .319/.395/.556.

I'm not sure what a comparable package from Houston would have been for a year of Paul Goldschmidt, but at least I can delete the draft of the "What Paul Goldschmidt Would Mean to the Astros" piece I was working up for The Athletic. That's good. Who needs a little extra money, anyway?

*Are the Astros a Sleeper Team on Bryce Harper?

*Just in case you were feeling too good, what with the sun going down around 5:20pm, A.J. Hinch reflected on Andrew Benintendi (easily my least-favorite character in The Count of Monte Cristo) and his Game 4-saving catch. Hinch:
What Benintendi's play really showed you is how small the distance [is] - in just one play - between hope and despair in sports.

*The Astros' organization was/will be well-represented at the funeral services for George H.W. Bush.

*The Baltimore Sun takes a look at what the additions of Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal could mean for the Orioles' franchise.

*Jayson Stark is hearing that there is momentum building towards limiting defensive shifts in baseball, because Rob Manfred knows what's killing baseball and it is DECIDEDLY NOT that a family has to take out a loan to go to a game, or that a 6-year old cannot actually stay awake for an entire World Series game. Thankfully Rob Manfred (Smart, Handsome) knows that what fans (Dumb, Ugly) need in order to flock back to baseball is a rule about where the shortstop can legally stand.

*The Nationals gave Patrick Corbin 6yrs/$140m. I don't believe that Patrick Corbin is worth twice as much as Nate Eovaldi.

*Daniella Yoko Rodriguez picked Noel Gonzalez (wife of Former Astros Great Marwin Gonzalez) and Kara McCullers to be her bridesmaids.

I did a Twitter mailbag:

Yes. Every September 30 - Jose Lima's birthday - I get my pitch over this plate at Casa Ole. My gluten-intolerant wife even comes with me. I call it Casa Ole Day.

GREAT question. Not only was Ford never elected to the Presidency, he was elevated to Vice President without being elected because Spiro Agnew was a sack of crap. He is basically Tom Kirkman minus the terrorism but with All The Crimes added. He is not respected because he pardoned Nixon, and did not satiate the American people's desire for BLOOD! in the wake of Watergate.

I'm going to go out on a Big Limb, upon which I have zero support or sources, and say that Sal Perez is the Astros' Opening Day catcher.

Walt Weiss, because I came back to Houston during my freshmen year Fall Break and watched that game at the Dome. Terrible way to close out the Astrodome.

I laughed, because I hate Arsenal (Fever Pitch notwithstanding - I love that book). I also hate Chelsea mainly because of John F. Terry and Frank "Shia" LeBoeuf. Sorry, George. You like Tottenham Hotspur? Nice job, Cowboys fan who also likes Duke, or whatever.

That said, I'm all for Americans enjoying English soccer. I respect you more if you like an absolutely God-awful team. Back in April 2017 I wrote about the Astros and Leeds United (my favourite football team) being too much alike, and then six and a half months later the Astros won the World Series so suck it. Currently Leeds sits in 2nd place in the Championship, which is not as impressive as it sounds, so things might be turning there. But I'm all for Americans picking up a sport that brings them misery, particularly if they get up at 6am on a Saturday to be miserable. Arsenal loves misery, so I hope their fans enjoy the weekly pain.

That said, I'm interested in the Why. Why do Americans pick their favorite English soccer teams? Fulham? You liked all the Americans, including Clint Nacogdoches Dempsey. Everton? Maybe Tim Howard. Manchester United? You don't have a soul and probably also like the Yankees. Manchester City? Bandwagon lookin' ass boiiiii. Now, you want to roll Wigan? Preston North End? Millwall? Rushden & Diamonds? I got your back.

I can't think of a good reason not to let Madison Bumgarner be the Astros' SP3/4. I'm assuming that you mean Bumgarner, and this isn't a 1960s British Booty Call. While I do think McHugh is better than Bumgarner at this point. However, a rotation of Verlander/Cole/McHugh/Bumgarner/James would be pretty okay with me.

If someone wants to pick up this Bad Boy for me (times is tight), it would be sooner than later. I'll accept PayPal. $500 should cover it.

Okay. If I could take one show out of human existence, it would easily be Gray's Anatomy. I don't trust that show. I don't trust anyone who watches it. If you watch Grey's Anatomy you are watching a time capsule. Please stop reading this web site if you still watch Gray's Amanoty.


*It's the 25th anniversary of a movie that 13-Year Old Me really liked. The Ringer: How Cabin Boy turned Chris Elliott and Adam Resnick into Hollywood pariahs and comedy legends.

*A Musical Selection:

*A bonus Musical Selection: