Tuesday's Three Astros Things

Talking about recaps, the Angels and Rob Rasmussen...

Some things to talk about while the Astros wear football jerseys to Oakland...

1) Take note, recap readers

David Barron is a talented writer. He's been at the Chronicle forever and he can cover most any sport with aplomb. Maybe that's because he got his start with Dave Campbell's magazine all those years ago. Maybe he's just that good.

At any rate, the reason I was reflecting on the considerable talents of Mr. Barron was his opening paragraph from the Astros loss to Minnesota on Monday. Check it out:

Chris Colabello's second home run of the game, a grand slam in the top of the ninth inning, gave the Twins a 10-6 win over the Astros on a decidedly off-kilter Labor Day afternoon before a gathering of 14,287 at Minute Maid Park.

It's pretty simple, but it sets the tone for the rest of the article. Barron gives you the biggest moment in the game right up front, teases you to read the rest of the article with his "off-kilter Labor Day" line and then not only brings in the score, the day and the place, but adds in the attendance.

If you only read one paragraph about Houston's game on Monday and that was it, think how much information you'd have right there.

Not sure what more I can say about it than that. At this time of year, though, it stood out to me as being pretty excellent. Thanks, Mr. Barron, for bringing your 'A' game to the Astros for a little while.

2) Jonah Keri on the Angels

In his latest The 30, Jonah Keri ruminates on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, USA, North America, Earth. He lists all the disastrous, short-sighted trades they've made, citing the players they've given up for low-impact moves and then comes up with this conclusion based on their chances next year:

So yes, even with regression toward the mean, a better bullpen, a beefed-up rotation, and at least a partial return to form for Pujols and Hamilton, a bounce-back year like the one the 2013 Red Sox are having is a gigantic long shot.

The Angels are an absolute goliath. They have the payroll to bank whichever stars they deem necessary on the free agent market. They have one of the two best players in the game in Mike Trout. But, their future also remains pretty cloudy.

Just think how easily the Astros have competed with them this season. What if that isn't luck? What if the Angels' talent level is closer to the Astros than we think? When Pujols signed in Anaheim and we knew Houston was moving to the AL West, that Lidge home run probably haunted every Astros fan who saw El Hombre terrorizing the Astros for another decade.

That hasn't happened yet and may never happen. Meanwhile, Oakland remains an irresistible force and the Rangers an immovable object. But, at least the Angels can be beat.

3) Rasmussen traded again

I missed this over the weekend, as I was overdosing on college and high school football, but apparently Michael Young was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The kicker is that he was traded for Rob Rasmussen, the former UCLA pitcher you may have heard of before. That's because he's been involved in two other trades recently, coming to Houston as part of the Carlos Lee deal and then going to LA as part of a swap for starter John Ely.

That means Rasmussen has been a part of three trades and in four different teams minor league system in a little over a year. That's not Octavio Dotel-type movement, but it's pretty incredible for a minor leaguer to move around like that. When did Rasmussen become a trade hot potato?

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