*Lance McCullers makes his 2020 debut today. It has been 502 days since he last appeared in an Astros game. Dusty:
The main thing is we've got to calm him down. He'll probably be begging or lobby for more than one [inning].
Dusty knows. Also in that link, we find that Dusty told Framber to channel Fernando Valenzuela when he gets into a jam. It's crazy to think that Dusty Baker and Fernando Valenzuela were teammates. I love A.J. Hinch, but I love Dusty Baker, too.
*Substitute Teacher Cy Sneed is a key for the Astros. Sneed, on Houston:
I tell everybody it's a heck of a lot better than sitting in Triple-A all year. We got to know the road between Houston and Round Rock pretty well.
*Brian McTaggart has an inbox. Tags has no chill. Peep his opener:
The Astros aren't sad. They're not getting hit by pitches on purpose in Spring Training. And I have no idea when, or if, they are going to extend George Springer.
Read it to find out about Bryan Abreu's role, Myles Straw, Garrett Stubbs, Josh James, and Lance McCullers.
*Zack Greinke is getting more comfortable with the Astros.
*Josh James is preparing like a starter.
*Collin McHugh has been cleared to throw, and the Astros need to sign him ASAP. There is no reason not to, and the Astros are stupid if they don't. There are plenty of teams with pitching questions, and the Astros are one of them, and it makes zero sense to let one of the smartest pitchers in baseball answer those questions for a different team.
*The NY Post quoted Karl Ravech, regarding a meeting between Former Yankees Managerial Great Joe Torre and the 2018 Astros and Red Sox, prior to the ALCS:
Torre basically said to the teams, both of them and those people and anyone else in the room, look, if you're inclined or have gotten away with or are doing anything that would violate the rules that you all are aware of of, you're gonna have to understand at some point, there's going to be a player, or players or a front office person that's going to leave your team, go to another team and basically rat you guys out. Basically tell the dirty secrets.
*Chandler Rome: Dusty Baker's mission is to guide the Astros through this freaking mess. Dusty:
Hopefully one time through, maybe it will be over. How long can people talk about the same things? Behind this whole thing, you kind of see a mean spirit a little bit. I'm hoping we all change our spirit.
GUESS WHAT. THEY WON'T.
This society feeds off of hate now. Don't get me wrong, the Astros deserve some to a lot of whatever is coming, but the self-righteous indignation is going to get old. I actually kind of can't wait for it.
I was booed in (LA) every day my first year there. I was booed in Chicago my last couple months there. That was tough. But, hey, I survived it. I'm still here. There's some people in Chicago, when I go back there and talk to people, now they're all like, 'Oh, we love you,' and I'm like, 'Wait, not all of you.'
*Tom Verducci: Baseball's fight to regain its soul.
Scout in spring: “I can’t imagine the 1st game Astros play in NY. You r literally going to have to bring in Riot Teams, SWAT, etc. It is bad w/2K fans and 3/4 are 90+ years. Continuous booing, cheaters, every pitch something. No idea how these guys can block it out during season”— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 29, 2020
This is porn, to Jon Heyman. Also, the "1st game Astros play in NY" in 2020 is September 21. Yankees fans can't keep up the bodega cocaine habit until September 21.
*No, MLB players can't
*19-year old goalkeeper Illan Messier led Leeds United to a 4-0 win over Hull City after the regular GK Kiko Casilla was banned for eight games for being a racist piece of crap. Leeds have a 5-point lead on Fulham for the 2nd automatic promotion spot, and FiveThirtyEight has Leeds at a 64% chance of winning the Championship and a 96% chance of getting promoted to the Premier League.
One more time, with the ROAR of the crowd #VamosLeones https://t.co/tJ3EHSH62z pic.twitter.com/tdUDKzJpnx— Waco High Soccer (@WacoHighSoccer) February 29, 2020
*The Strange Case of the Man With No Name. Good luck with this.
*Texas Monthly: The Desk on Hancock Hill.
*A Musical Selection: