Thursday's Three Astros Things

Talking about Reid Ryan as the new Astros president, a new mock draft and CSN Houston nominated for awards...

It's been a crazy week. Sorry if you've been having intermittent trouble accessing the site the past two days. Our tech team is working on it round the clock to make sure you're reading experience is as smooth as possible. Meanwhile, here are some things to talk about while the Astros get two different national articles written about them this week...

1) Reid Ryan to be named president

A day before it should be officially announced by the team and three days after former president and CEO George Postolos resigned, the Astros are set to make Reid Ryan their next team president. Ryan, as you might know, is the son of Hall of Famer and former Astros Nolan Ryan.

Reid Ryan pitched in college as well as in the minor leagues and has been part of the ownership group that has run both the Corpus Christi Hooks and the Round Rock Express. He's familiar with baseball from the field and the front office and seems a good choice to succeed Postolos.

But, I'm not going to bore you with just my reaction. Here's a sampling of the reaction on Twitter:

2) John Sickels' second mock draft

Over at Minor League Ball, John Sickels posted his second mock draft of the season. No surprises here, as he went with what we've been hearing pretty much since last year. Houston takes:

1) Houston Astros: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford University: Just about everyone believes that the first two picks in the draft will be college pitchers Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray. Gray seems to have little more momentum at this point, but I'll buck consensus slightly and slot Appel here on the theory that he makes a late charge and/or Gray slumps just a hair.

I'm still not sold this is what Houston will do, but as Sickels says, it's pretty much industry consensus that Houston will take one of the top two college pitchers. For what that's worth.

3) CSN Houston up for awards

Hey, let's talk about something positive with Houston's erstwhile regional sports network. Though many of you don't have the channel, from what I've heard, the quality will be worth it once carriage deals are worked out for everyone.

Case in point: CSN Houston was nominated for three awards at the annual PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design Awards. Here's a note from the release on what CSN Houston was nominated for:

The network's "Know More" TV spots, featuring Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, were used to help launch the network in October, 2012. The spots, nominated in the "Art Direction and Design: Sports Program Special Events Spot" category, drive home CSN's commitment to providing viewers with the most in-depth coverage of their teams, thereby allowing them to "know more about each player." CSN was also nominated in the "Promotional/Premium Items" category for the "Peacock T-Shirt" that was distributed at the network's launch party and at various games and events throughout the fall.

"As a nascent network, being recognized by our peers for our creative work is an honor," CSN Vice President of Marketing Helen Wilson said. "This recognition is an excellent example of the talent and hard work of our marketing and creative teams and the quality of the content on our network."

The other area where CSN Houston has been doing well lately is web traffic. The CSN Houston web site has been growing each month and its traffic is up nearly 40 percent in the first quarter of 2013 in page views, unique visitors and visits. That includes over 80,000 page views lasts month for the I Want CSN Houston page.

What does all that mean?

People still want to see their teams on TV and the network most of us are locked out of is producing good content. I should be worth the wait.

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