Some things to talk about while I bring the blue tortilla chips to TCB's Breaking Bad watch party...
1) Women in the locker room
Not once in eight years of working as a sportswriter have I ever thought twice about a female working the same job. The very first football game I ever covered for the Eagle, I was helped out by a female sportswriter for the Katy Times. I just don't care who is working the game as well. If you're a good writer, you're a good writer.
That wasn't always the case. I understand that as a historian, but I don't know it. I've never felt the kind of ostracism that females might have faced by trying to get into the locker room back in the day.
Luckily, I follow an amazing writer in Alyson Footer, who watched a documentary called "Let Them Wear Towels," about how things changed for women in the business. Footer was great. She was witty, she was poignant and she had a great idea.
Instead of just tackling this, Footer tried to put it in a different context. She brought the issues to a Twitter feed, talking about these issues like she might today. It's a fantastic read and worth your time today. It may not be an issue to me, but it was certainly an unfair one not 30 years ago and one we shouldn't forget.
Oh, and I can't overstate this enough. Being in a locker room is not fun. No one wants to be there. I'd much rather be in a press conference, sitting in a chair, not having to be grossed out by sweat and dirt and god knows what else. Have you ever seen a high school locker room? I try to avoid it as much as possible.
2) Porter to the Nats?
Interesting speculation broke this weekend. Because the Washington Nationals are doing so poorly this year, dropping a crucial series with the Braves in the past week, manager Davey Johnson's job is on the line. His contract was already up at the end of the year, and it seems like the team may be willing to just move on from him instead of re-upping Johnson.
On the short list of candidates for the job is Bo Porter, current Houston manager. He says all the right things to Brian T. Smith about wanting to be here, being committed to the Astros. I'm sure he's sincere, too.
But, this has to be a fascinating debate at the higher levels of the front office. It gets down to a core issue that this team will have to face if Porter draws interest. What do they weigh more? What's the impact of a manager? How much does Bo's leadership style and positivitiy affect this team? If the Astros can extract value from Washington in return, does it make sense to trade him and find someone else for this team?
Tim's long gestating article on managers suggests that a manager taking over this bad team doesn't normally last long. Most managers don't get a chance to string together multiple 100-loss seasons. Given that, should the Astros cash in and get something for Porter now, rather than fire him in three or four years?
Or, does sticking to the young skipper send a message to the players? Does cutting bait with him so soon tell them this rebuilding effort doesn't have legs, that there is no clear direction if someone at the top can so easily be replaced?
Like I said, there's a fascinating debate to be had on the matter. I don't have the answers, but I know how much the front office values Bo's leadership. I'd like to be a fly on the wall for their discussions on this, for sure.
3) Springer gaining notice
Hey, so George Springer finally joined the 30-30 club. He's still red hot, and his Triple-A strikeout rate is closer to 25 percent and acceptable levels. Anthony is working on something Springer-related, but for now, I wanted to talk about him briefly and what his milestone means.
And while manager Bo Porter continued to say the same Saturday, he did acknowledge he's looking forward to a time when he can consistently write Springer's name in the lineup.
"It's a huge accomplishment, regardless of what level of baseball you're talking about," Porter said. "George is putting together a pretty good year."
Springer will not be rushed. But, he's probably pretty close to being ready right now. How soon should he promoted, though? September? At this point, does it make sense to bring him up before the end of the Triple-A season?
Secondly, after my comments on the minor league win last week, I wonder if we should be making as big a deal about the 30-30 club. Yes, it's cool because they are round numbers. But, are they meaningful for his future as a prospect?
I'd argue yes. Steals and home runs are great stats in that they're simple and they tell us something. Michael Bourn stole a ton of bases in the minors and he did the same in the majors. Few players hit as many home runs as Springer, at his age, and don't hit some in the majors.
They don't tell the whole story. Home runs without batting average aren't as useful. Steals with a high caught stealing percentage aren't efficient. But, I'm okay with playing this up with Springer. It's a win for the organization and for Springer. Can't wait to see him do the same in the majors in a few years.