As always, with apologies to Peter King...
I'm not sure what to take from Richard Justice's piece on Hunter Pence. It's great that he's committed to staying here, since we already went through a bad time with star players asking to go somewhere else. I'd just as soon not go through that again. Don't know if that changes much on whether Pence gets traded, but it was good to hear.
Speaking of trades, I really enjoyed the dialogue on the Detroit rumors Thursday. Thinking about making a weekly feature of that for the rest of the season. Just analyzing different rumors or scenarios to see what makes sense. Feel free to leave a comment on which scenario you want to see next. Or, you can always send me an email with it.
Wandy's start last night certainly helped his trade value, but I don't know that it tipped the scales too much. He's been a good enough pitcher to justify a good haul in return, and one thing we shouldn't overlook is that Detroit has been willing to trade prospects in the past, including guys that were at the top of the prospect lists. I'm not saying they will this time or for Wandy, but there's a better chance they trade Turner than for the Rays to trade Hellickson.
Also speaking of getting input from you commenters...we'll be putting together some pieces to run next week leading up to the All-Star Game. The theme will be the Top 10 Astros All-Star Moments. Please chime in with your personal favorite moment or anything that's stood out to you over the years. I'm still putting the list together, so here's your chance to shape the content directly.
As I mentioned today on SB Nation Houston, Rob Neyer has gotten me to come around a little on a move to the American League. Not enough to flat-out endorse it, but enough to see part of the merits. I still don't think it will happen, since Crane and/or Drayton will block it before anything happens. I'm just not ready to be an American League guy.
Another link to SB Nation Houston, this time for the standings update. Sad, but true that the Astros are the clear favorites for the top pick in the 2012 draft. Things will change some between now and the end of the season, but even last season when they were on pace for that, they weren't on that pace this late in the season.
Now, a link to the Houston Press, which makes a great point that we all need to vote for the Astrodome in this poll. I've talked about this before, but some of my fondest baseball memories happened in the Astrodome. If they've got a shot to preserve it, we should help however we can.
No link, but a comment on multiple stories lately by Stephen Goff. Is that guy killing it this season or what? From being out front of the draft back in February, to all the minor league stuff he's been doing, to the solid things he's working on for the major league team, Goff has been a breakout performer this year. I said this morning that he's like a young Zachary Levine, but I have no idea what their ages are. I'm pretty sure Levine is younger than me, but having two younger, incredibly talented Astros writers is pretty damn intimidating. Maybe I should go write about the Texans...there's not too much mainstream competition there.
Another random observation without a link...Austin Wates' Twitter account is the gift that keeps on giving. Not in the same way that Jacoby Jones' is, because Wates is a really thoughtful guy. His tweets are highly entertaining and have a philosophical bent that I dig. Seems like I need to try and spend five good minutes talking with him. I'm sure it wouldn't disappoint.
One more link, this time to Baseball Reference's blog, where Michael Bourn is listed as the National League WAR-Star fourth-best outfielder, ahead of Matt Holliday and Shane Victorino. That's a little different from FanGraph's WAR breakdown for Bourn, since they have him docked because of his defense. Of course, FanGraphs uses different defensive metrics for its WAR calculations, which likely leads to the difference. Still nice to see Bourn honored a bit, since I'm pretty sure Hunter will be the Astros All-Star representative.
Lastly, I think I shouldn't try to pick any more fights with Baylor. They've got a small fan base, but they're mean and easily riled. Also, they apparently can't take a joke.
- I think, first off, I'd like to thank all you readers out there. We all appreciate the well wishes on the award, but it's because of all of you who read, comment and shape our views of the Astros that make writing for this site mean the most. Like I said last night, the most rewarding part of writing for this site is the interaction with the readers. You guys rock!
- So does the writing staff here. No one could produce this much content day in and day out, which is why we have so many excellent writers contributing on here. It also speaks to the general atmosphere cultivated by all the previous guys who ran this site all the way back to when it started in 2005.
- Now that that's out of the way, I'd also like to apologize to David Carpenter. Apparently, I angered you or the Baseball Gods when I called you out this week. That was not my intention and I'm really glad to see your major league debut go so well. If it was a reverse-jinx I put on him, does saying something nice about him mean he's going to bomb in his net outing? Does saying he's going to bomb there then put the reverse jinx back on? I'm getting confused.