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All the baseball links that are fit to link...to

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I'll start off with a link from last Monday, but I think it bears mentioning first. Rob Neyer was able to corner Michael Lewis and ask him about the re-incarnation of the Moneyball movie. And, well,click the link to get the news on who may end up playing Paul DePodesta. In my opinion, it's a Super Bad choice! Or maybe not. Who knows. Although, like Neyer points out- Podesta played football and baseball at Harvard and Hill...didn't.

Another story from earlier in the week that we at TCB have sorta skipped over because it doesn't really concern the Astros, is Nomar Garciaparra signing a one day contract with the Boston Red Sox and then retiring. Now it's not like Noma hhhh is the only guy to have ever done this. There are a number of athletes that have done this. I'm not in a position to judge these people who do this, not by a long shot. Their achievements speak for themselves, and if they choose to do something like this- more power to them.

At the same time though, doesn't it cheapen the career paths of the Bagwells, the Biggios, the Gwynns, the Ripkens? All these players played on one team throughout their illustrious careers, because at least in part, that's probably how they wanted to be remembered. Nomar Garciaparra had many great seasons in Boston, but the fact remains that he played on three teams after he left Fenway. Everybody wants to go home again, but this re-writing of history doesn't jive with me all that well.

What nobody appears to be mentioning during this love fest renewed, is that Nomar wanted out of Boston back in 2004:

In short: Garciaparra didn’t want to be in Boston anymore, didn’t want to deal with the current ownership/management group that’s still in place now and didn’t want to endure the pressure of being a Red Sox player in a baseball-crazed city. He had to be dealt away from Fenway, and Sox GM Theo Epstein didn’t waste much time pulling the trigger.

Maybe Garciaparra felt that there was unfinished business in Boston, and that his retiring as a BoSox could close the final chapter of his career. It appears that like most of us, Nomar views the past with rose colored glasses, making the good times better than they really were and the low times not so bad after all. The human, rather than baseball player side of this is as intriguing as the baseball implications in my opinion.

Hopefully this is something that we as Astros fans will not have to worry about with Lance Berkman or Roy Oswalt. As much as we may become frustrated with this team, it would be a shame to see Lance or Roy have to be traded in order to re-stock the farm system. The Red Sox faithful are arguably the most passionate in all of MLB and they take their team a little more seriously than Astros fans do. So it's not as if the Minute Maid Park denizens would be a driving force in pushing the pair out of town. Despite the pressure, or lack of it, for the 2010 season, let's hope that we can put forth a respectable team if for no other reason than to not waste the back end of Berkman and Oswalt's careers.

What a difference a year makes. Last season, Cecil Cooper proclaimed that the Astros were going to win 90 games in 2009. This season it's the Texas Rangers' President Nolan Ryan who is in the prediction making business- throwing down a 92 win gauntlet for his young club to meet. Pitching, hitting and defense are all solid on this team, and free agent additions Vladimir Guerrero, Rich Harden, and Colby Lewis should help bolster a talented bunch coming off an 87 win season.

I know the talent is there, the stats tell me this. I know their farm system is stocked to the gills with an enviable amount of potential stars, the minor league watchers tell me this. Maybe it's their track record of bad luck and bad teams or perhaps my own unfounded opinions, but I wouldn't be surprised if this team won 92 game or lost 92.

Odd things seem to happen to the Rangers franchise- whether it's the drawn out sale of the team, the A-Rod signing gone wrong, the sudden explosion of minor league talent, nothing about this team seems linear. Things are either really, really good (hitting, Josh Hamilton's redemptive 2008, Feliz, Smoak, et al) or really, really bad (their pitching for so many seasons or Tom Hicks' financial decisions).  I may be way off base here, but I won't be surprised if they run away with the AL West or end up in last place wondering how it all went wrong.

Here's something that only Farmstros and I would probably care about .