It seems like I lead off the Round Up with Zach Levine pretty frequently. Why, you may ask? Well he keeps on delivering delicious tid bit o' Astros knowledge. Take a look at his competition, RJ is the top man on the totem pole, but he's too up and down on the team for my liking. JJO offers a different perspective, but after his "Astros drug problem" article, he's on computer probation. That leaves us with Mr. Levine. Informative, intelligent, laughs and learning. Yes, I purposely went with the "L" theme, but then again, so have the Astros of late...Anyways, here is Zach's post from yesterday detailing how dominant Wandy has been in 2009. Probably the biggest plus we can take away from this season has been Wandy's ascendancy into the upper realm of NL starters.
Jeeeeeezzzz...Jim Rice gets inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he decides to get all preachy on us. Speaking to a group of little leaguers, Rice decides to take off the kid gloves and delivers a knuckle sandwich or two...
You see a Manny Ramirez you see an A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), you see (Derek) Jeter ... Guys that I played against and with, these guys you’re talking about cannot compare," Rice said to Little Leaguers gathered in the cafeteria.
Jeter? Really? The Captain? A roid user? Come again, Jim? Besides the fact that all three of those players he just dissed are light years better than Jim Rice....well, that's probably all that needs to be said. Can we just go ahead and take Jim Rice out of the HOF and stick Bert Blylevn in his place? I'm pretty sure that players from the generation prior to Rice said the same things about Rice and his peers. Also, why does this guy get to talk to youngsters about baseball? I'm sure each of these kids, whose baseball memory dates back to maybe Albert Pujols' rookie season, looked at each other and said, "Who's Jim Rice?". Hell, I'm sure some of us (myself included) did the same thing. Jim, just stay quiet, enjoy your HOF status that was generously given to you, and don't trash these kids' idols.
In a completely different kind of story, an illegal immigrant was found dead yesterday on the grounds of Chipper Jones' southwest Texas ranch. I have no experience in ranching, or owning a ranch, or even being on a ranch, but I could imagine that on a piece of land that big it would be very difficult to comb it piece by piece in search of anything fishy. I'm also guessing that this happens pretty frequently, it's just that we don't hear about it.
Hey, Joel Pineiro: why don't you come play for the Astros next season? It'd totally be fun. If there was ever an unsung hero in the NL Central this season, it's Pineiro.
Rob Neyer asks where have all the lefty catchers gone? Well, Jason Castro is going to be a major league catcher very soon, and he's left handed.
As the dust settles on Stephen Strasburg's signing with Washington, it appears that the Nats may have themselves a pretty fine deal:
Considering that virtually every scout projects him as a future #1 starter and someone who can immediately step into a major league rotation and produce, the Nationals came away with a bargain. If Strasburg's value was truly $35 million, the Nationals just saved $20 million over the price they would have had to pay for getting those wins elsewhere.