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Saturday Morning Astros, etc. Round Up

It's Saturday, things have yet to really take off with the hot stove, and we've already burned our way through half the BWAA's award season.  Yet, we still have things to link to and talk about (to say I'm delighted with the baseball blogging gods is an understatement).

In the last month or two, Richard Justice has been writing things that make me think, "Yes, I agree," and, "Good point." As confusing as these sentiments have been for me, Justice hits the nail on the head with his latest blog post:

Drayton McLane needs to know that you still care, and the only way he's really going to know is if you put your money where your blog posts are. Buy early. Buy often. If you buy enough, Drayton might be prompted to go get some pitching and some home runs. Go ahead and roll your eyes. I believe in hope and change, but it starts with you.

It's too true, and too sad.  Does no one in the Astros front office, marketing, business, public relations, common sense departments not see it this way at all? Drayton is pretty much agreeing to lock himself into a viscous cycle where he blames poor revenue (read: fan attendance) and then cuts costs.  Thereby making the team worse—ostensibly, for now—and further driving down fan attendance.  Who wins in this scenario?

Will this stop endless prattle about champion-ism? No.  Is this going to give me an ulcer by 2011? Yes.

Jerome Solomon took a look at Michael Bourn from the hometown angle.  Yes, this one has been done before, but Solomon, as usual, delivers a solid article.  My favorite tidbit is confirmation of exactly what the Astros told Bourn to work on last winter in the DWL (at least I've never read it in black and white like this) when his approach at the plate change radically, and for the better:

Bourn worked hard last offseason to improve at the plate, and he said realizing the fruits of that labor won’t keep him from working just as hard this offseason. The Astros told Bourn what to work on in winter ball last year — staying on top of the ball, hitting the other way, being more selective — and he looked like a different hitter this season.

Alyson Footer takes a pause from the discussion of pitching to ask the question: where will all the runs go?  Her solution, of course, is to shore up pitching and defense.  Not that it's a bad one, but it seems like there's just no way around us accepting anemic offense, which is scary considering I thought if our offense got more anemic, it'd be on life support....I guess it may well be.

For those multi-sport fans in the bunch, a primer, of sorts, on the sabermetric measures of basketball.

Two important things: First, a wOBA to WAR conversion tool from BtB. Second, a ridiculously  in depth and complex article on developing a better formula for conversions from OBP/SLG to wOBA from 3-D baseball.