I'm still speechless about the Astros loss last night even though I called the loss when Miguel Tejada failed to turn a DP or even convert an out in 6th. So with that numbing pain still coursing through me, here are some Astros links to carry you through until Bud Norris squares off against Ricky Nolasco (a matchup I'm truly excited for):
- This link caught my eye immediately, it's a Smoltz rumor and the opening lines were just too good (and almost a paraphrase of the fanpost about Smoltz, too):
- Richard Justice comes oh so close to making a great point:
- Clack has this in greater detail below, but the general theme of today's link will be that I want Cecil Cooper to be canned—ASAP. This can just serve as example #1047 of why Cecil Cooper needs to be handed a pink slip.
- Reading through McTaggart's latest blog post really almost set off some sort of aneurysm in my brain. Coop's inability to clearly explain why Lance Berkman won't be back until Thursday at the earliest, the discussion of Sampson's overuse, and Coop's explanation of why he IBB Nick Johnson to get to Hanley Ramirez made me want to scream, pull my hair out, cry, and smash my laptop all in one simultaneous motion. Maybe I am being too hard on Coop, but I don't think so. Sampson has no business leading this team in appearances and IP when he had surgery on his elbow less than a year ago. The IBB could be argued back and forth, but it just fits into the larger, overall pattern of Coop's inability to effectively manage late game situations (I'm thinking of a few times in which Jose Valverde has come into a game at home or on the road and my TV was berated, etc.).
- Two tweets of note: 1) The Unofficial Scorer takes notice of Chris Johnson. 2) Brian McTaggart provides a great Wesley Wright post-game quote.
- This nearly a week old, but I missed it—somehow—and it deserves notice. BtB checks in on which franchises offer the most bang for their fan's buck.
- Bill Simmons's reaction to David Ortiz's steroids scandal is probably one of the best pieces I've read on how steroids affect the game for us—the fans. I've bookmarked it in case the dreaded list of 104 some day reveals that Jeffery Robert Bagwell graces its columns. It's long, but well worth the read.
Integrity, honor and a bonafide winner -- all adjectives which describes the legendary career of right-hander John Smoltz. What more can a manager ask than to have a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher who acts as a selfless, team-oriented leader on and off the field?To respond: A manager may want someone who can still pitch successfully at the MLB level. But his veteraniness, winninginess, and the fact that he's broken mine (and probably all of ours) heart(s) many, many times are great intangibles; they should factor all that into WAR.
Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter. The Astros had a magical two months, winning 31 of 48 games. Now almost every move Cooper makes, every chance he takes, blows up in his face.How he misses out on saying that it was just a matter of time before Coop's terrible managing style caught up with him in large and inglorious ways is beyond me. SB/CS, IBB, and bullpen abuse are all killing us right now, but those things have been brewing from day one of the season—even during our hot streak.