*I don't really want to lead off with this but Jim Crane says MLB "explicitly exonerated" him in their investigation, for the expressed purpose of leaving him out of any lawsuits that proceed against the team he owns in the event that the Astros, do in fact, continued to get sued.
*Evan Gattis said he had retired from baseball, and you should absolutely listen to the podcast where he announced it.
*So did 2014 2nd Round pick A.J. Reed. Chandler Rome:
The Astros did not summon Reed for a September call-up in 2017 or 2018. His weight and conditioning were often problems. Frustration grew visible. Houston designated him for assignment last July to clear a spot for pitcher Jose Urquidy on the 40-Man roster.
As a junior at Kentucky, Reed hit .462/.588/.962 (read that again) and had a 2.83 ERA in the same season. That's insane. That 2014 Draft was...hoo-boy. Picks through the 1st 10 Rounds:
Brady Aiken, Game 5 Hero and Current Toronto Great Derek Fisher, A.J. Reed, Current Mets Great J.D. Davis, Current Oakland Gret Daniel Mengden, Jacob Nix, Brock Dykxhoorn, Derick Velasquez, Bobby Boyd, Bryan Radziewski, Jay Gause.
It turns out that the prize of the Astros' 2014 draft was either Josh Big Flames James, the 1006th selection of the draft, who has put up a 0.8 fWAR, or Ramon Laureano, who has posted 5.9 fWAR...for Oakland, because the Astros traded him to Oakland for Brandon Bailey, who will likely be in Triple-A this year.
*Click this MLB.com link to see how Ryan Pressly has the nastiest 10" in baseball.
*Baseball-Reference is using OOTP21 to simulate the 2020 season. The Astros are 2-4.
*Minor-Leaguers will get $400/week until at least May 31, plus medical benefits. It's literally the least a $10 Billion industry can do.
*GQ: Inside the poisoning of a Russian double-agent.
*The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal: Victor Martinez's audacious dream is within sight.
*I have attended precisely one Leeds United game in person. It was this one, a Champions League game against Lazio, with my dad. You can see how I'd be hooked. There's a "What Happened To Leeds United" Astros County post coming in the next few days.
*I highly recommend you to watch Icarus, which is available on Netflix. It's one of the best documentaries I've ever seen.
*This is one of my favorite books of all-time.
*"Cocaine, Speed, and Gallons of Jack Daniel's." The last Rock n Roll Superstars were...Korn?
*Check out this three-part series from ProPublica called "Blood Will Tell." It will take you all afternoon. Then, when you're done with that, read this follow-up, which broke Tuesday.
*A Musical Selection:
*Another Musical Selection: