Here are some tidbits from last night's 30 Clubs in 30 Days:
- Mitch Williams claims that if Berkman just had debris cleaned out of his knee, he should be back in no time. In fact, Williams said he had the same procedure when he was with the Astros and was throwing within three days.
- Berkman says he's back into baseball activities within a week and a half to two weeks. He downplayed the possibility of starting on Opening Day, saying he'd rather be healthy than rushing back for "one game." Sounds like he might not have even had the surgery if it happened during the season.
- It's a good thing too, because I saw on the scroll that Darin Erstad is still unsigned. I just hope Wade doesn't get trigger-happy and call him in if Berkman misses too much time.
Roy Oswalt said the younger guys do come to him for advice, but the real problem is getting "Cudly Budly" to shut up at times. He also said that the important thing about a pitching coach is not to try and change mechanics during games. He said Brad Arnsberg had talked to him about changing a couple things on his hand and glove placement, but they haven't changed anything since then. Sounds like the problem Oswalt may have had with Dewey Robinson was messing with his delivery during the game.
- Roy said Wandy has the best curveball in the majors. He even said, "guys sit on his curve and still can't hit it." Surprisingly, he didn't mention any of Brian Moehler's pitches in the same glowing terms.
- Both John Hart and Roy said the biggest concern with Bud Norris is his control. Roy mentioned his problems are keeping the ball down in the zone while Hart and Williams both commented that Norris has top-of-the-rotation stuff if his control is good.
- The studio guys have been talking a lot about Myers as a reliever. Williams said Myers is in Houston because Wade is a "loyal guy." He also said Myers has "different gears" when on the mound and implied that he might take some effort off at times when he's starting.
- Terms used to describe Manzella "not good range," "steady," "fundamentally sound." Why does that not conjure up images of Ozzie Smith? Williams did make the point that he's got to be an improvement over Miguel Tejada, who "was a third baseman by the middle of last season." That made me chuckle.
- Also funny: Carlos Lee hitting like Ichiro in batting practice. Because, you know, he can beat out so many infield hits.
- The talk about the minor leagues was predictable and what we've heard before. Top ten of note: Jay Austin, Jason Castro, Collin DeLome, Jon Gaston, Chris Johnson, Chia-jen Lo, Jordan Lyles, Tommy Manzella, Jio MIer, Ross Seaton. Hart liked Mier best, saying he's got the best upside in the system. Hart also went out on a limb and said Jason Castro could make an impact this season.
- The homegrown all-time team? Craig Biggio at catcher, Ken Caminiti at third, Julio Lugo at short, Joe Morgan at second, Lance Berkman at first, Luis Gonzalez in left, Cesar Cedeno in center, Rusty Staub in right, JR RIchard as a starter, Billy Wagner as reliever. Apparently, Jimmy Wynn wasn't eligible since he came up as Reds property. What do you think of this list?
- Hah. Funniest Geoff Blum lines: "Lance who?" while in the cage, "This is the Lance Drill" as he ran to third and then put his hands on his knees to catch his breath. AND HE QUOTED BULL DURHAM! I know I've been down on Blum this offseason, but that's too awesome. Geoff Blum for MVP!
- Prime 9 Astros moments: 9) Roger Clemens moves up on strikeout list 8) Craig Biggio gets 3,000th hit 7) MIke Scott's no-hitter clinches NL West 6) Mike Scott strikes out 14 in NLCS 5) Denny Walling sac-fly in 1980 NLCS 4) Jeff Kent home run in 2004 NLCS 3) Chris Burke walk-off in 2005 NLDS (falsely reported as being in 2004) 2) Nolan Ryan throws fifth no-hitter 1) Astros advance to World Series in 2005
Let's end on this. Discuss those moments and anything else from the program.