Monday, August 31, 2020

Monday Morning Hot Links

* And we're back.

* Thank you to James for stepping up and writing blog posts on his own blog that he's run for ten years in my short absence. I hope to never disappoint him like that again. Like many of you, I was concerned with the Death Cloud of Rain and Wind was barreling toward my house in the –REDACTED– area. When I woke up on Tuesday morning, I saw on the incomparable Space City Weather that it was well within the realm of possibility that it could, at the very least, knock out our power for a least a little while. My wife and I are new parents to a three-month-old and I performed some mental calculus and decided an eight-hour drive to her family in Tulsa was preferable to two days in the dark. Luckily(? it feels incredible gross to say this, so please excuse me), it did not hit us or the Houston area nearly as hard as it could have, and all that we lost was a tire just south of the Red River – which is a story for another time.

* On to the baseball!

[touches ear]

* I am being told there was no baseball.

A member of the A's organization tested positive for COVID-19. What we know:

- There is no current make up day for the postponement, but it seems likely that they will fit in during the four-game series the two teams play from Sep 7-10 in Oakland. The Thursday getaway 12:40 pm game seems like a good candidate to be turned into two games. The Astros would have an off day the next day, meanwhile the A's would fly to South Oklahoma. It could also take place on September 14, a shared off day between the clubs. That's assuming that these teams are not in the middle of an outbreak and have to miss several days/weeks in addition to, you know, contracting a dangerous disease. Maybe this year was a bad idea? Who's to say.

- In interesting, yet, given the circumstances, extremely unimportant news – it seems the Astros will play eight of their 10 games in Oakland this year. Though James Click will "definitely prioritize" making the game up in Houston.

- The positive result came from the A's Friday round of testing.

- Which means the fact that the Astros' Friday round of testing came back clean pretty much irrelevant.

- We (you and I, not the doctors and whatnot) don't know if the positive test came from a player or another member of the traveling party. 

- The Astros were scheduled to be off today, but the status of the Rangers series that was supposed to start on Tuesday is "up in the air."

* In other COVID news:

- The Astros Alternate Site, aka Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, has been shut down for the second time this season. 

- Fun fact: Aledmys Diaz and Luis Garcia were recalled from Corpus Christi on Saturday. 

- Anyway, the Astros all took tests Sunday morning and will go through contact tracing, which I'm assuming is not as cool at Tron-like as I'm imagining. They should be getting their results sometime today. 

- Best case scenario for all of this is every test on both teams comes back negative, although even then we're not in the clear due to the incubation period of the virus.

* I can think of no better way to transition out that than to share this tweet about Former Astros Legend Erik Kratz, who is still playing baseball as a 40-year-old catcher, somehow.

* Ken Rosenthal notes ($) that the Astros have shown interest in a pair of Diamondbacks pitchers, closer Archie Bradley and southpaw starter Robbie Ray. 

* They are also, apparently, interested in Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes. 

* Speaking of, the trade deadline is today at 3pm central. I do not know what will happen, nor do any of the reporters you follow on Twitter. They will tweet it out directly to your phone the very second they do, though, so no need to ask. 

* Adam Wainwright threw a complete game on his 39th birthday. 

* Last time I wrote a Hot Link, I said I would have an article out on Jose Altuve's struggles soon. That was true at the time, but due to details that are Not Important, it is no longer true. So, if, for some reason, you would like to read what I wrote 10 days ago (I believe I submitted it after the first game in Coors Field), you can do so here. The stats aren't up to date, but the basic premise still holds. I just ask that you don't, like, post it somewhere else or something.

* If you have not already, please take the time to read "Dear Jackie," by Shakeia Taylor. It is excellent writing, and an even more important message. 

* Also, this piece in The Athletic about the lack of diversity in baseball's broadcast booth is excellent. 

"There have been only four Black lead play-by-play voices ever for a major league team, including Mariners TV/radio play-by-play man Dave Sims and Astros radio voice Robert Ford. When Ford called the final out of the 2017 World Series, he was only the second Black man to ever do so. 

* For those of you starting school back up as a parent or a student, best of luck. Please show grace and patience to your teachers, who I promise you are trying very hard to adapt to an entirely new way of providing for their communities.