Some things to talk about while I wonder when the Astros will hurry up and have a Seinfeld Night for me and Robert Ford already...
1) Spring training home moving?
Hard-hitting news broken by both the Chronicle and MLB.com Monday. The Astros are wrapping up progress on a new spring training home for 2017. From Brian McTaggart (sorry, Chron...I've been referring to you too much lately. Need to give Tags some love).
Astros owner Jim Crane said Monday the team is "pretty far down the line" in its plans to finalize a deal to build a new two-team Spring Training facility near the intersection of Haverhill Road and 45th Street in West Palm Beach, Fla.
The Astros have been trying for more than a year to get a new complex built that it would share with another club, and the team has partnered with the Washington Nationals. The Astros' lease in Kissimmee, Fla., expires at the end of 2016, and the Astros would like to begin construction on a new spring site by January.
This new shared complex with the Washington Nationals would be much closer to Jim Crane's golf course, the Floridian. In fact, the new site is only about 35 miles away from the Floridian, while Kissimmee and Osceola County Stadium are over 100 miles away from the Floridian.
Not that, you know, this is just a ploy for the new owner to put his toys closer together. Just seems relevant.
2) BPro redraft
The gentlefolk over at Baseball Prospectus took it upon themselves to redraft baseball's 2010 draft and got some interesting results. They just did the first round, but Houston got plenty of mentions, since the Astros had two picks in the first round proper and one more in the supplemental first round.
Well, Delino DeShields, Jr. didn't go No. 8 overall. Seattle's Taijuan Walker, pick No. 43 overall, went to Houston there. So that means the Astros passed on him thrice in the real draft. They also passed on Nick Castellanos, which still infuriates me to no end, even if I know the reasons they did it.
You also need to see where Mike Foltynewicz went, because it was higher than he actually got drafted. Slight surprise, but understandable that prospectors are high on the rocket-armed right-hander who still has a chance to stick in a rotation and is at Triple-A.
At any rate, it's a good look at a draft that's far enough out to yield some solid results. For the record, I'd still take Bryce Harper No. 1 overall that year, even if he is an average player at best (j/k, j/k).
3) Satchel Paige, Astro?
Do you want to read a really cool story? Well, check this one out about how Leroy "Satchel" Paige came to wear an Astros uniform in this photo at the Astrodome from 1965.
Bill McCurdy fills us in on the details here and it's fascinating stuff. He even got some quotes from sportswriting legend Mickey Herskowicz:
"The year WAS 1965, as Bill recalls. Satchel had been through lean times, as he frequently had, and was in town as the ‘coach' of one of the teams - maybe the Washington Generals - playing the Harlem Globetrotters. The game was at the old Sam Houston Coliseum and Satch's coaching technique consisted primarily of chain smoking Lucky Strikes and ignoring his players."
There's a LOT more to the story, so it's worth your time to check it out. Great bit of Astros history here. Kudos to the eBay user who bought the photo.