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Thanksgiving Astros, etc. Round Up

My original plan for this was to write this on my hour long layover in Dallas, en route to Houston.  Unfortunately, those plans were derailed when I awoke and realized that it was sunny and therefore not the 6AM wake up I had intended. After a few panic-attack minutes, I got Southwest to put me on a later flight and let my family know that even though I'm twenty-three years old, I still am fully capable of making the same kinds of mistakes I made at age 12—just with more leverage.

So as I sit around my apartment waiting for to leave for the airport dreaming of turkey, dressing, and trying my mom's new pumpkin cheesecake recipe, here are some links you can puruse as you hide from the family (ostensibly the only reason I can come up with for checking in on TCB today).

  • With Christmas now officially around the corner, we now know what's Lance Berkman's list: a World Series title. The Puma is unusually candid, I think, in speaking about how he's not sure that Astros will bring him that title and that he'll take a long look at his options when his contract with us is over.  If this doesn't start registering on Drayton McLane's radar, I don't know what will.
  • I guess Harvard educations do mean something, because this piece on the Anna Karenina principle in baseball is one of the better baseball-stats-reads I have had all year.  Really, if you read only one link in this post, read this one.
  • Here's an article about free agent closers and the Braves.  Oddly enough, there's no mention of some guy named Jose Valverde.  I think this guy lead the NL in saves in both 2007 and 2008, but really, what GM actually values saves?
  • Jonathan Mayo has the year in review for the Astros minor league system.  And it's not the following recycled slop, "blah blah blah, poor system, blah blah blah blah, haven't invested enough lately, blah blah blah blah." Mayo praises the efforts of Jordan Lyles and Kolby Clemens and actually speaks highly of our player development folks.
  • It's Thanksgiving, and the word giving is in the title for a reason.  The Astros are all about it.
  • Doug Glanville gives an insider's glimpse into what being a free agent actually feels like.  It also prominently mentions Ed Wade.  This is the human element we miss we talk about dollars and cents, WAR, marginal revenue, etc.  If you read only two links in this post, read this one, too.