Archive for April 2nd, 2018

Home Opening Day

The ‘Stros are 3-1 after 4 in Arlington? Have we ever had a 3-1 record on the road to start the season?

On Easter Sunday, Donald Trump decided to go after DACA, DREAMers, immigration reform, Mexico and Dems. I am not offended he would attack folks on Easter Sunday. The fella couldn’t tell you what Easter is if you spotted him a resurrection, a third day, a Sunday, a Holy Week, Jesus, a crucifixion, a last supper, a Good Friday, marshmallow peeps, and a bunny rabbit.

Right wing talk show host Laura Ingraham has a lucrative career based on viciously attacking her oponents and their political views. As they say, a good business model. She went after one of the Parkland teenage students and he hit back by calling for an advertiser boycott. Advertisers responded, and Ingraham is reeling. She deserves it.

It is hard to argue with this Thumbs Down from the Chron E-Board this past Saturday. I am sure Rusty Hardin liked this here:

(Thumbs down) We were a bit perplexed why Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo called a news conference this week to announce charges against NFL player Michael Bennett, who allegedly pushed an elderly, paraplegic security worker at Super Bowl LI in Houston 13 months earlier. And we wonder why the police chief felt the need to call Bennett, a Houston native and nominee for the NFL’s annual award for volunteerism and charity, “morally bankrupt.” We like that Acevedo is vocal about a number of issues in law enforcement, such as SB 4. But Bennett has yet to be tried, and if he is not convicted, Acevedo will have maligned an innocent man.

And on this Home Opening Day, you can go check out local celebs in a video singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” here: https://www.chron.com/sports/astros/article/Houston-celebs-root-root-for-the-Astros-in-cool-12793586.php?ipid=hpctp.

Everyone is a ‘Stros fan these day and that is good. Of course, folks like Commentary, the Carpenters and Carol held down the fort during the 100 loss seasons. Glad to see everyone is on the wagon so to speak.

The ‘Stros are huge proponents of the shift. If it didn’t work, they would not use it. Sometimes you get burned on it. Check out what happened with the shift yesterday between the Twins and B’More here:

The Minnesota Twins were quite aggrieved Sunday after a Baltimore Orioles player bunted against the shift trailing by seven in the ninth inning.

With one out in the ninth and nobody on in a 7-0 game, Baltimore catcher Chance Sisco laid down a bunt against the shifted Twins defense, allowing him to reach base with a single. The Orioles had just one hit before the Sisco bunt, but ended up loading the bases before Minnesota shut things down for the win and that seemed to be that.

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and pitcher Jose Berrios, however, were not at all pleased with that bunt, and made it clear after the game.

Rhett Bollinger

✔ @RhettBollinger

Twins were not thrilled with Chance Sisco bunting for a hit in 9th with Berrios working on a one-hitter with a 6-run lead. Dozier: “Obviously, we’re not a fan of it. He’s a young kid. I could’ve said something at 2nd base but they have tremendous veteran leadership over there.”

Rhett Bollinger

✔ @RhettBollinger

Jose Berrios on Chance Sisco’s bunt in the ninth: “I don’t care if he’s bunting. I just know it’s not good for baseball in that situation. That’s it.”

We already knew that bunting for a hit with a no-hitter in progress is against baseball’s so-called “unwritten rules.” This, however, was only a one-hitter.

What’s more, the Twins were putting their shift in action against Sisco, meaning they clearly still saw merit in going out of their way defensively to prevent the catcher from getting on base. If Minnesota feels justified in doing that, why is Sisco in the wrong for taking advantage of their defensive alignment and getting himself an easy single? You don’t get to employ a certain strategy in a blowout and then get upset when an opponent exploits it instead of rolling over and playing dead. It’s a silly controversy, and the Twins don’t look good for whining about it afterward.

I agree.

We lost former ‘Stro/Colt 45 Rusty Staub last week and here is an interesting article in the Chron from David Barron:

Rusty Staub’s death Thursday at age 73 rekindled memories of a moment 50 years ago when he and Astros teammate Bob Aspromonte took a stand on principle that may have helped lead to the end of their playing days in Houston.

Staub and Aspromonte, along with Pirates shortstop Maury Wills, elected not to play in the Pirates-Astros game of June 9, 1968, which was declared by President Johnson as a national day of mourning after the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., following a campaign rally in Los Angeles.

Both Astros players forfeited a day’s pay – about $300 for Staub and $200 from Aspromonte – and both were traded by Astros general manager Spec Richardson after the season. Aspromonte, who was the Astros’ players union representative, went to the Braves and Staub to the Expos, who  also traded for Wills.

“We felt strongly about it, Rusty and me and Maury Wills, and all three of us got traded,” Aspromonte said Friday, chuckling at the memory.

“But I received some incredible letters from the Kennedy family to say how appreciative they were. I still have them hanging in my sports room at my house. Very touching.”

According to news accounts at the time, baseball commissioner William Eckert ordered that no game should start June 8, the day of Kennedy’s funeral, until after the senator’s burial, which was delayed as his remains were carried by train from New York to Washington, D.C. For June 9, Eckert said games would continue but that individual players could sit out the game as a show of respect.

And so the Astros and Pirates played June 9, albeit without Staub, Aspromonte and Wills, with the Pirates winning 3-1.

“I felt so deeply about this man (Kennedy), I had so much respect for what his family had done for this country, that I felt that if a family can do this much for us, then we must do something for them,” Aspromonte told the Chronicle that day.

“If we didn’t put a day aside, it would hurt me. … I’ve never had to take this firm a stand on anything before. It’s got to boil down to one thing: how you feel personally. It’s how I felt. My conscience is clear.”

Aspromonte said he had no hard feelings toward Richardson in the wake of the decision to dock his pay.

“It was just the timing,” he said. “We had a great relationship with Spec. We went way back. He had a different way. The league made the decision (that teams could play June 9), and that led to the issue of us getting fined.”

Richardson, according to wire service reports, said of the matter: “After talking with the players Monday, I am convinced that these two fine young men had very strong convictions and deep feeling for the late Senator Kennedy. Therefore the penalty was not as great as it might have been.”

So they took a knee.

To my knowledge, the ‘Stros have never started the season going 3-1 on the road of course.

I wonder how many B’More fans will be at The Yard today?

Have a Happy Home Opening Day!


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