There's some interesting stuff in here to keep you from doing whatever you should be doing while you read through it all:
- The Astros dropped to 28th in this week's installment of the BtB Power Rankings.
- Miguel Tejada wants to finish his career as an Astro. I don't think I'm a fan of that idea, but I afraid the front office might be.
- File this one under Hallelujah: Jose Valverde says he's ready to go, but he'll have to throw a simulated game before the decision to activate him is made. Who gets sent down? Fulchino? Arias? Backe or Ortiz?
- Buster Olney is trying to talk Roy Oswalt into take a trade and then force an extension as a result of it. It makes a lot of sense from a dollars and cents perspective.
- Lance Berkman is being more productive at the plate, in case you missed it.
- I love Craig Calcaterra for his prose on matters such as these.
- Craig thinks the Astros will be buyers at the trade deadline and tells us exactly why that's dumb. While I'm sure most of us agree, it's just nice to get an outsider's take—especially one so poignant.
- The Unofficial Scorer piggy backs on a Fan Graphs post and shows why two Astros, objectively, should be on the All Star team.
- It's always nice to read about the good ole days.
- I just love this one too much not include it, even if it is a little old.
- The best is saved for last and it's by far the juiciest. Lance Berkman on what it would take for him to waive his no trade clause:
"You don’t want to get caught in a situation that you feel is hopeless and I’m just playing out the string of my career on a lousy team that’s not going anywhere," he said. "If you look at it like that and it’s bleak and the organization would be better off getting prospects, then you have to think long and hard."