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Saturday Morning(ish) Astros, etc. Round Up

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There's not a lot out there following last nights drubbing, the end of Wandy's 1-run or less starts, and the general misery that accompanies your team not being about to do anything right. However, today's links offer not just an opportunity for us to continue to hope for Cecil Cooper's firing, but there's actually a glimmer of hope offered (if you're a tremendous optimist, that is).

Chris Sampson and Cecil Cooper have taken shots at each other in the media since his demontion. While neither has been blatant with their snide remarks—the message is clear. JJO offered Sampson a chance to air his opinion and we got this:

"Whether it's dead arm or tired, I don't think there's anything structurally wrong with my arm," he said. "I think everything I did in the first half might be catching up with me. There's probably a lot of business side of baseball that might be going on. I try not to worry about that. I'm just trying to focus on what I need to focus on."

I count an overuse on Cooper's part jab and a concern for Sampson reaching arbitration early jab. The Brewers recently optioned JJ Hardy to AAA to keep him from reaching his fifth year of service time, and Sampson began the year with just over two years of service time. Thus, this move would keep him from aging quicker and becoming more expensive to hold onto next year.

McTaggart's latest blog post gave Cecil Cooper an opportunity to clear the air, and while I posted this quote in last night's gamethread, it deservers the light of the Front Page.

Sampson was sent to Triple-A Round Rock following Thursday's rough outing in Florida, and Cooper reiterated that he was told by Sampson and the training staff that the right-hander was healthy. Sampson says he hasn't been 100 percent since coming off the disabled list.

Still, Cooper admitted that perhaps he could have not used him as much.

"I wish we could have given him more rest, maybe, early on and tried to avoid some of this," he said.

I'll leave my deragatory comments about how Sampson, who was coming off an elbow surgery, wasn't a tough case to manage to Only_A_Lad from last night's gamethread:

Oh, if only there was somebody whose job it was to – I don’t know – manage how the players are used.

Richard Justice wants everyone to take note of this strange coincidence in numbers and renew our faith in the Astros:

If you're an optimist, you'll be interested to know that Saturday is the fifth anniversary of the start of the Astros' 36-10 sprint to the playoffs. Want to hear something that'll send a cold chill down your spin? Or up your spin depending on how your chills run.

The Astros were 56-60 when they began that 36-10 run. Know what their record is going to be when they get to Miller Park on Saturday? You guessed it. The very same 56-60.

Admittedly, I read that and there was a part of my brain that started screaming "Fate, destiny...etc.," but then I remembered our bullpen woes and our starting pitching woes (I guess I could have just said our pitching woes) and found it harder to fawn over the coincidence. But thanks, Richard, at least you gave me something to feel good about, in regards to the Astros, this morning.

I think I would feel a lot better about us getting off to magical 36-10 run if we weren't going to have to rely on the fact that Brian Moehler is a hard worker.

Finally, to make this an etc. piece, there's troubling brewing for Baseball Cards. This story has everything: deception, monopolies, competition, history, and bubble gum.