In all honesty, I'm still reeling from reading the Astros' candidate list. I don't want to elaborate, but my emotions range from extremely confused (Phil Garner was fired two years ago) to frightened (no one ever has anything positive to say about Ned Yost). So on that note...
- Brian McTaggart assuages all of our hysteria over the Garner interview by explaining how it came to be. Apparently all you have to do to get an interview with the Astros is call Tal Smith. That's it. If we hire Scrappy back, I really and truly will consider not watching the Astros until they invariably fire him again. I'll just write that time off as the darkest of hours for this franchise. Truly, what does it say about yourself from an organizational standpoint when you're bringing in the guy you canned slightly over two years ago for the same position you fired him from? Can someone please make sense of this to me? What has changed? Is Drayton McLane just going to admit that he runs the Astros based on gut reaction while deflecting criticism from himself? How do they possible defend this? My head (and my heart) hurt. How do I know this move is utterly insane? Justice dedicated about 2,000 words to its defense.
- J.C. Bradbury, the baseball economist, got bored the other night and decided he'd try a different approach to identifying clutch hitting. It's a unique approach, and actually one that my stat-genius former roommate once suggested (just not for playoffs only), so I know it's got to be on the right path...sort of. Definitely worth the read. As a disclaimer, I—in no way—want to start a firestorm of controversial discussion were we go back and forth on whether clutch hitting exists, doesn't, is a skill, not a skill, etc. Let's just evaluate Bradbury.
- The Hardball Times features the ol' Colt .45s in their greatest stadium closeouts. For someone who wasn't alive at the time, it was an interesting read. I imagine that it'll be even more meaningful if you remember the game.
- The Unofficial Scorer notes that outfielders provided the least offense over their allegedly more defensively specialized infield peers than anytime in the Retro-era. The question that he explores, is why?