Wednesday's Three Astros Things

Talking about Nolan Ryan, Tracy McGrady and a food idea for MMP...

Some things to talk about while Roy O plays the outfield...

1) Thoughts on Nolan's hire

In case you missed the news late Tuesday afternoon, Nolan Ryan is coming back to the Astros. This time, it's as an "executive advisor" to the owner, Reid Ryan and Jeff Luhnow. What does that mean?

Well, judging by all the comments, it means Nolan will be there to help, not to take over. After Maury Brown pointed out that Nolan could quickly squeeze out Luhnow as GM, you might have panicked a bit (as I did). Luhnow is so confident and in control of this organization, I'd hate to see that process disrupted.

However, what the Nolan hire accomplishes instead is even better. By coming in as an advisor who won't be involved day-to-day, Nolan gets to add legitimacy and experience to this front office. I wrote about that very thing a few weeks ago and, as Mike Fast pointed out in the comments, the Astros do have experience dealing with agents and signing free agents.

The problem may not be with a learning curve. The problem may be with a learning curve on the market to figuring out what the Astros are doing. If Nolan can come in to change the perception of how far the Astros have fallen, good. If he can do it without taking away from the organization on the baseball side that's already there, even better.

Plus, added benefit: the Astros stole Nolan back from the Rangers. That's the best part. In this time of 300 losses, every win, no matter how small, counts.

2) Dough Thorburn on McGrady

This is fun. Doug Thorburn over at Baseball Prospectus breaks down Tracy McGrady's mechanics. His conclusion?

It's a fun sideshow act, but McGrady was nowhere near being mechanically efficient, and he has a very steep hill to climb before we can take him seriously on the mound. His biological clock is also ticking, but you can't blame the guy for enjoying life, and whether he pitches for the Sugarland Skeeters or the St. Paul Saints, he will at least be a gate attraction as long as he toes the rubber.

He's got more complete mechanical notes on McGrady which are worth checking out. T-Mac is holding a public workout Wednesday for any media who wanted to attend at Constellation Field. But, if you want his odds of actually pitching, Thorburn's probably as good as source as any of the "it has the potential to be a great story" articles that come out later today and Thursday.

3) A great food idea for MMP

Thanks to Elysian Fields for bringing this up in a post on Monday:

Crawfish Etouffee Pistolette

The Astros should find someone to serve these at the ballgame. They’re small and quick to serve. Some kind of crawfish dish should be served for sure, if it’s not already.

This is a fantastic idea! I cannot stress how much I want to get pistolettes served at Minute Maid Park. One of the best parts of Mardi Gras in Port Arthur was eating these little gems. If you're unfamiliar, it's basically a croissant filled with etouffe or some other crawfish mixture and cheese. They're wrapped in foil and are just delicious.

I'm not sure who we need to talk to about this, but I'd be so delighted if this happens. Heck, I'd be happy if it were just featured for a month. Take April or May, make it "Crawfish Month" at MMP and sell these at the new "Street Eats" stand. As I said, they're pretty simple to put together and usually go for about $5 at the fairs and such in Southeast Texas. I'm sure that means they'd be $9 at MMP, but that's the price you pay for brilliance.

If I could accomplish only one thing on this site, it'd be getting a pistolette into play at MMP.

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