Some things to talk about while Quad Cities puts a ring on it...
1) Players greeted fans
Huh. In an effort to...well, I'm not sure what they were going for here. In an effort to do something, the Astros put active major leaguers at the gates on Sunday, letting them greet fans and hand out promotional items as fans entered the ball park. From Jenny Dial's story:
"That is something that Reid Ryan has brought to the organization," manager Bo Porter said. "I think it's great. I think its good to interact with the fans and for a lot of them to feel like our players are open to coming up and greeting them.
"A lot of times they don't get a chance to get up close and personal because they are always on the field, so I think it's something great that the organization is doing."
Wait, wait, wait. I've got some jokes.
How would fans tell the difference from Cody Clark and a regular ticket taker?
Did they schedule this against a home Texans game to ensure only 15 people would come through the doors?
How many current Astros major leaguers will be actual ticket takers in two years?
I could keep going, but it seems mean. I do like the idea and Reid Ryan seems determined to change the perception of this team. But, the biggest way to do that is winning, and the Astros aren't quite there yet.
2) Nats won't pursue Porter
Remember, I'm like a week and a half behind on news. So, via Astros County, I just learn that the Nationals are probably going in a different direction than Bo Porter to replace the retiring Davy Johnson. To wit:
This is a team that's going to provide a dream job for some lucky baseball man who gets to succeed Davey Johnson as manager (Matt Williams is the name we've heard, although Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr is getting increasing support from within the organization).
I have to imagine that Knorr will be the guy, as he's got Porter-type credentials of being close to the player and he didn't just finish off a 100-loss campaign.
But, as I said the last time we talked about this, it's flattering that Porter got considered for an organization with the kind of expectations that the Nats have right now. We might have learned a little about how committed Houston is to Porter himself and not just the idea of a guy like Porter. Maybe the reason why the Nats backed off is Houston flat turned them down when they inquired about him. I hope that's the case, because this is an organization in dire need of stability at the top.
3) Best wishes from TCB to the Grossmans
It's been a special experience for Robbie Grossman this year, no doubt, playing in front of his home town fans and family. It's also given him a chance to play in front of his grandfather, Robert Edward Grossman the first. The elder Grossman is in poor health, but has made an effort to see Robbie play as much as possible this year.
TCB wishes the entire Grossman clan well. Hopefully, we can get a more extended story on the two from the Chronicle as the season winds down.
Paging Jenny Dial. Paging Jenny, please.