HOUSTON,TX - SEPTEMBER 23: Tony DeFrancesco #11 of the Houston Astros takes the ball from Jordan Lyles #41 of the Houston Astros in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Minute Maid Park on September 23, 2012 in Houston, Texas.(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Some things to talk about as the Astros take another series from the Pirates...
1) Managerial search update - There hasn't been a whole lot of new information over the weekend, but considering we haven't talked about the search since last week, might be a nice time to update things.
First up, kudos to Astros County for being proven correct about the Brad Ausmus rumor they floated a while back. Certain writers who shall remain nameless were entirely too dismissive of those rumors. Of course, the downside of this is that Ausmus admitted he was part of the process once he was taking his name out of the running, which is a bummer.
Ausmus would have been a great choice as the next manager, but I could see both Tim Bogar and Dave Martinez being better candidates right now, because they have major league experience. Neither have managerial experience, but they both have been on a major league coaching staff.
At this point, I also have to view them as the top two choices that we know of. Houston is definitely looking to fill the position soon, which could complicate things for a guy like Martinez, who may be going to the playoffs. But, since Houston is definitely leaning toward having someone on staff who knows about the AL, it figures that those two have an edge. I don't care what Jeff Luhnow says.
The other interesting thing about this is we have at least a couple of unknown candidates in the mix. How does that happen in this day of internet and Twitter? This front office is even locking down the managerial search, which is not surprising, but can be frustrating for fans looking to get a little good news at the end of a long season. There's nothing more fun than wild and baseless speculation, right?
2) Crowdsourcing an award - I was talking with a friend late last week about the Houston area baseball awards and one in particular was tough for me to get a handle on. Of course, Astros MVP was pretty easy (Altuve) and both Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year were pretty much locked up too (Harrell), but the one I didn't have a quick answer for was the Darryl Kile "Good Guy" Award.
Of course, I have no official input into this. My friend and I were just kicking around names, but that one didn't have a clear favorite in my mind. The award is supposed to go to someone who both helps out in the community and is open with the media. I guess I just don't have a good handle on which Astros this year were big into community activities this year. Tim and I talked about some names Sunday after the podcast, but I wanted to throw it out to you all and see what you thought. Who would you give the Good Guy award to? Who has been big in the community this season?
3) Thanks - The season isn't over yet, but it's never too early to thank all the wonderful contributors we have on this site. This site has never been a one-man band, and the collaboration of everyone on here, both writers and commenters alike, make it such a special place to work.
But, as I've been swamped pretty much for this entire month, it really made me appreciate all the people who make this site go. Tim, who works tirelessly across the board. His Astros History posts have been excellent this season, and this one last week may be the best thing we've published in quite a while. Brooks, Jayne and WrigleyFaithful, who have provided absolutely amazing minor league content all season. Brooks, especially, deserves a big shoutout just for the dedication and ability he's shown to write daily on this team. That's no easy task.
Clack, who may be the wisest of us all, has absolutely owned the Talkin' Sabermetrics posts this season. Every time he publishes an article, I know I'm going to learn something. Conroestro has become our go-to pitching expert and has done an excellent job all around this year. He, Tim, CRPerry and BustaPozee have all combined to make our recaps both different and original over the course of a long season. That's thankless work, but they have raised the bar for recaps around here, which deserves a ton of praise.
As we hinted at when we revealed the new TCB logo, SB Nation will be going through some changes soon with the SB Nation United project. It'll be a brave new world for the site and I'm very excited for its release soon. I think you'll enjoy it too, as we'll have some new and better ways to display content on the site.
But, in thinking about all those great ways we'll have to highlight content, I keep coming back to all the great people we have writing and visiting this site. TCB has expanded its reach yet again, in maybe the worst season in franchise history. That makes me proud to be a part of this thing and lucky that we have like-minded people who can produce such fantastic content. Hopefully, that will continue for a long time.