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Friday Liftoff Links

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 10:  The United States men's soccer team observe the National Anthem before the game against Mexico at Lincoln Financial Field on August 10, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 10: The United States men's soccer team observe the National Anthem before the game against Mexico at Lincoln Financial Field on August 10, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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While waiting for the Astros to begin play on the West Coast I was putting together these links that will hopefully help you stay awake long enough to get through the day.

These Are Your Astros

A Glimmer of Hope for Astros Fans | August
Could the Astros be competing in 2013, one writer seems to think so. An interesting article that looks at some of the moving parts involved in the Astros climb back to prominence.

Ultimate Astros " Q&A: Get to know young Astros with hitting coach Mike Barnett
Zachary Levine has a very good interview with the Barnett. They talk about the young guys like Jose Altuve, J.D. Martinez, Jimmy Paredes, J.B. Shuck and what Brett Wallace and Chris Johnson need to work on before they return to the big league level.

MLB Draft: Remaining Unsigned 1st Round Picks - MLB Daily Dish
The Astros are far from the only team to not have their first round pick signed.

The Statistics

Why Strikeouts Stink | FanGraphs Baseball
A look at strikeouts and when they start to become detrimental to a players success. Both Brett Wallace and Chris Johnson are pretty good examples.

This ShH Just Got Real! | FanGraphs Baseball
FanGraphs has got a new offensive statistic for you to play with.

Seasons Are Arbitrary Endpoints | FanGraphs Baseball
Looking at statistics over a season we come to certain conclusions about players. What if we flipped the season on it's side...We may very well come to a different conclusion.

The Pitching

The science of scouting: A biomechanical look at Gerrit Cole
He was the first pick in the 2011 amateur draft. How do Cole's mechanical markers match up against the best in the big leagues?

Three starters get their feet wet
Two other pitchers made their Major League debut along with Henry Sosa this is a break down of their respective outings.

In the Box

MLB Has a Serious Player-Umpire Problem
Does Major League Baseball have a problem with umpire-player relationships. In my opinion no, I think it's just something else for the media to focus on. The attendance issues has gone quiet, the trade deadline is gone so what's next. Ah yes umpire verse players.