The Astros play today. I'm going out of town with the family later this morning until tomorrow (Sunday). The Hot Links will likely be on the 1-Day DL with discomfort for Sunday. There you have it.
*Marwin F. Gonzalez signed a 2yr/$21m deal with Minnesota. I do not have a rational explanation for the reason why the Astros could not re-sign him for a similar deal. A $10.5m deal for Marwin is $2.7m less than what Dallas Keuchel made last year. Clearly the Astros believe that Aledmys Diaz - and his 2019 salary that is approximately $10m cheaper than what Marwin just signed - can at least come close to replicating Marwin. Who am I to disagree? Maybe this is why I am a disaster of an owner after five years of OOTP, because I reward past performance and nostalgia. Maybe don't let a history teacher be the GM of your team. Still. Gonna miss Marwin. Good for him.
You cannot tell the complete story of the Houston Astros without Marwin Gonzalez:
Revisit Jenny Dial Creech's column on Marwin's Game 2 Homer.
*But this is when MFG became a True Astros Hero:
*Here's the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Patrick Reusse with a Houston-based scouting report of Marwin. Basically what's not to like about a guy who can play 6-7 positions with decent-to-good defense at all of them and a good bat.
The only good thing that can come out of this is the Twins keeping Cleveland and the Extremely Problematic Tyler Bauer out of the playoffs. Reminder that Tyler doesn't think climate change is a thing, likes Chief Wahoo, is an Obama Birther, and thinks the Astros cheat.
*Unlike Tyler, Alex Bregman is not an actual corn-filled chunk of crap and did a really cool thing for a 9-year old kid.
*Bleacher Report's Joon Lee writes about Alex Bregman wanting it all. Bregman:
I don't find that much wrong with baseball...Stop saying no. Start saying yes.
*Ken Rosenthal: Alex Bregman means Bidness.
*Here's a 16-minute SportsRadio 610 (or whatever the spacing is) segment about whether Dallas Keuchel could return to the Astros.
*Chandler Rome: Brady Rodgers has come full-circle for the Astros.
*Jake Kaplan: Myles Straw wants to steal all the bases.
*The Houston Press' Jeff Balke asks if Kyle Tucker can take the next step in 2019, comparing Tucker's limited PAs to Bregman's limited PAs to open his MLB career.
*Catcher Scott Manea - acquired in the J.D. Davis trade with the Mets - handled a Verlander spiked curve and caught an "Attaboy" and felt very good about himself. Manea:
For [Verlander] it's a low-stress situation, but for me it's probably the most stressful situation I've been in so far this year.
*The Crawfish Boxes have a "Where Are They Now" edition for the 2012 Astros' Top Prospects.
*Should you be a subscriber, and I am decidedly not, of Baseball America, they have an "If Every AL West Team Was Homegrown" article.
*The New York Times' Tyler Kepner takes a look at the new direction of the Baltimore Orioles, which is similar to the New Direction of the Houston Astros But Seven Years Later.
*FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan has accepted a position with the Rays, and we are all worse for it.
*Facts & Figures from SI's Top 100 MLB Players list.
*Christopher Hasson plotted attacks from his desk.
*A Musical Selection: