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Thursday Liftoff Links

While the Astros were getting taken to the cleaners by the Atlanta Braves, I was putting together these "it's gonna get better" links for your viewing pleasure.


The Minors

Minor League Baseball Merchandise Sales Up 12% in 2010
Minor League Baseball announced today that its national Licensing Program experienced a 12% increase in the sales of licensed merchandise last year over 2009. The program, established in 1991, consists of the 160 clubs in the domestic-based leagues. There's a top 25 list that includes an Astros affiliate.

Ultimate Astros " Astros’ Foltynewicz finally earns first win, beats The Woodlands’ Taillon
Astros’ Foltynewicz finally earns first win, beats The Woodlands’ Taillon



The Draft

Alternate Universe 2011 Baseball Draft, Part Three - Minor League Ball
John Sickels continues his venture into an alternate universe.

Alternate Universe 2011 Baseball Draft, Part Four (M through Z) - Minor League Ball
Ross Seaton makes an appearance in Sickels alternate draft universe.

2008 Amateur Draft Review: The NL Central | FanGraphs Baseball
Astros gets some props for drafting Jason Castro and Jordan Lyles. They still think he's a two or three starter though.


The Sale

Astros County: The Only Astros Blog That Matters: Morning After Ownership Round-up
A round-up of quotes in regards to the sale of the Astros.

Astros Notes: Crane, Smith, Wade : MLB Rumors -
Another round-up on new owner day. Richard Justice, Alyson Footer, Stephen Goff all make an appearance.

McLane, Crane sign the documents, address the media, wait for approval. " Alyson's Footnotes
Notes and pictures about the press conference Monday in the only way possible. Alyson Footer style.

Astros County: The Only Astros Blog That Matters: Patterson and Williams: Tobacco Lawyers
More on two of the new part-owners of the Astros

Is Jim Crane the Astros Savior, or the Next Frank McCourt?
Maury Brown takes a different look at the Astros sale comparing Jim Crane to Frank McCourt. This doesn't help my hesitant feelings about this deal.

New Astros owner Jim Crane could be in strong position | News
Jim Crane, the Astros' unofficial new owner, could be buying at just the right time, given the moves the club has made in recent years to get younger and improve the talent on the farm.


The History

The Early Houston Baseball Research Project " The Pecan Park Eagle
I've linked to this project before and I'm pleased that they're about to get rolling on the history of Houston Baseball before 1962. I look forward to reading about the project in the future.