Random News and Notes....

You haven't heard from me for awhile, so I will discuss some random tidbits....simueltaneously typing and watching the Houston Texans apparently head toward a loss at Minnesota.  Austin fans...were you wondering if the Texans' game would be televised?  The Texans don't get a lot of television time in Austin.  Hopefully the Astros never get to that point.

Wiggy gets some kudos....

Beyond the Box Score rates third basemen.  Wigginton rates as the 9th best third baseman of 2008, among not just the NL but the majors.  Jones, A-Rod, and Wright are the top 3; no surprise there.  Two of the third basemen more highly rated than Wiggy are in the NL Central: Aramis Ramirez and Troy Glaus.  I don't know what to make of this, but 3 of the bottom 7 third basemen in 08 are former Astros: Mike Lamb, Morgan Ensberg, and Jose Castillo.  Lamb rated as the worst in all of baseball last year.  That is quite a fall for Lamb, who had some nice seasons with the Astros.  However, Mike Lamb's career seems to have more peaks and valleys than most players (meaning...that he still might have another decent season in his bat).

Yankees and Astros...

This article says that the Yankees recently contacted the Astros about the availability of Berkman and Oswalt and were told "no."  This story doesn't strike me as any big deal.  The only reason it gets much attention is because the Yankees are involved. All teams doing their due diligence should be checking around the league for players they like.  As they say, no harm in asking.  Didn't the Yankees check on Oswalt's availability last off-season too?  Both Berkman and Roy O have no trade clauses, and they seem among the most unlikely players to crave a move to the Big Apple.

Phillies and Astros...

The Phillies named Amaro as their new GM.  Yes, the same Ruben Amaro who was a finalist along with Ed Wade for the Astros' job.  In fact, Wade and Amaro are good friends, with Amaro having served as Wade's assistant in Philly.  Could this mean more possible dealing between the Astros and Phillies?  The link has a nice photo of Amaro and Lidge shaking hands.  The Phillies passed over Mike Arbuckle, the Phillies' long time farm system director, who is highly regarded for his scouting.  As a result, Arbuckle announced he is leaving.  Given his reputation, it will be interesting to see where he ends up.

More Phillies...

Does anyone remember Brad Lidge uttering the F word on live television after the Astros won the NLCS in 2005.  He probably is glad it isn't him this time.  Chase Utley dropped an F-bomb on live television after the Phillies won the World Series. He said something like "World F'ng Champions. "  Even with a  10 second delay, the broadcast technicians missed  blanking it out by  a hair.  The  crowd  loved it, "erupting into cheers for several minutes."

Free Agents...

Another article about Type A and Type  B Free Agents.  Which free agent are hurt the most by their rating...meaning that teams may not think they are worth losing a 1st and 2d round choice?  The Astros' Brocail has to be at the top of the list, along with Russ Springer and Darrin Oliver, also useful but old relievers.  Juan Cruz, Oliver Perez, Damasco Marte, and Bob Howry fit in the category of good under the radar type players....but are they really worth the risk of losing the top draft pick?  Any players who might be a bargain because they are Type B, rather than Type A?  Maybe Randy Johnson.  Bradley is definitely underrated as a Type B.  Affeldt's marketability may gain a bit because he is rated Type B.  Loretta's Type B rating will continue to hurt his marketability as a free agent...assuming the Astros offer him arbitration.

OK, the game is over...and the Texans made it interesting before succumbing...so it's my time to quit writing.


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