Some things to talk about as this team heads to Tony D's old stomping grounds...
1) Oh, Lord, the Clemens Saga continues - It's probably naive to assume that this Roger Clemens thing would be passed over by the media completely, and he would be left alone to attempt this comeback in front of thousands of Skeeters fans.
But no, we've been subjected to tons of Chron stories about it. ESPN has been covering it and even plans on televising the start! Plus, Clemens came out cryptically last night and said that if things go well Saturday, he'll have a bigger announcement in the offing.
Cue Jim Crane's music, as we learn through Mark Berman that Crane is open to signing Clemens this year. Not to just sell a few more tickets, mind you. For the love of the game, I'm sure.
I don't even know what to think at this point. If Clemens signs with the Astros, smh. But, you can better believe I'll do everything I can to be at his first start in person, even it is a trainwreck waiting to happen.
2) Managerial updates - Two notes here today, as the first is on the Cleveland Indians mess. It looks like Manny Acta won't be fired in Cleveland and will coach there in 2013. But, I wonder if Houston really wanted to talk with Acta, if the two sides couldn't work out some compensation for it. Not something crazy like the Ozzie Guillen deal, but something to make both sides happy.
Acta certainly hasn't had a great go of it with the Indians, but I believe he's got the analytical bent Houston wants, plus he's got actual, big league coaching experience. If available, he's got to be a top candidate.
Second note is that Jon Heyman (I know, I know, guys, I don't want to go there) mentions nine names as targets for the Astros. Jim Riggleman is on there, but the rest of the names have no real managerial experience. Heyman reiterates the Tyler Kepner interview, that Luhnow wants an analytical guy sitting in the manager's chair next year.
The most interesting names there to me are Jose Oquendo and Tim Bogar. As much as I'd like to see Ausmus there, I think those are my top two choices at this moment.
One thing we haven't considered, either, is this. Maybe Ausmus was actually interviewing for a position in this front office, like maybe he'll be the next director of player development. It'd still be cool to have him back in the organization, right?
3) Law on the All-American Game - It's Insider, so I won't post much. But, I will give you this one snippet on Austin Meadows.
Meadows had a rougher day at the plate, with one hard-hit fly out and then a triple in the ninth of a curveball that righty Brett Morales left up in the zone, allowing Meadows to stay with it and line it down the left-field line.
The takeaway point that Law brought up a few times here is it's really hard to extrapolate a lot from this appearance in particular. This All-American Game comes at the end of a long summer, and many of these guys are just gassed. He made that point about both Meadows and Clint Frazier, saying that those two had the best bat speed of any prospect in the game.
Right now, it doesn't appear that Meadows is in the running for 1-1, but he's definitely a name to watch and could move up once he's rested and the spring season begins.