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Monday's Three Astros Things

Talking about Sunday's series finale with Oakland, Houston's Fan Cost Index and Norris' stock rising...


Some things to talk about while Coco Crisp continues to eat Houston up...

1) Thoughts on Sunday's game

One of the things I noted in my pre-game notes on Sunday was that Porter sort of dodged a question of whether Carlos Corporan would be Lucas Harrell's personal catcher. We've assumed that would be the case, but so far, it's just been a coincidence. After Opening Night, you can understand Porter wanting to get his second catcher some work, so Corporan started Game 2. As he said in the quote, it's also logical that Castro get the day off after a night game. How many more coincidences will it take for Porter to acknowledge a pattern?

Harrell, once again, has cool music. His walkout music before the game is Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around. I approve.

No Carlos Pena in the lineup today, but there were plenty of strikeouts to be had with Chris Carter and Brett Wallace in there. Brandon Barnes also got his first start in right field since Opening Night, joining Carlos Corporan, J.D. Martinez in left and Marwin Gonzalez at short. Could Bo Porter be developing a Sunday lineup?

Jayson Werth looks like a mountain man. Josh Reddick looks like a hobo.

Houston really has a way of killing any good feelings you might have about this team. Lucas Harrell, the shining example of this pitching staff, got absolutely rocked on Sunday, giving up fly balls and line drives left and right. No extreme ground ball tendency here, just getting rocked. Sigh.

2) Astros highest in Fan Cost Index

My boss at The News had a good note in his column this week that I meant to mention earlier. He found MLB's Fan Cost Index and was surprised to see Houston at No. 11 in the majors for the highest cost for a family of four to attend a game. Here's the full quote:

The Astros opening day payroll, as reported by the Associated Press, is a mere $27,251,33. By comparison, the next lowest payrolls are Miami at $44,619,900 and Tampa Bay at $59,070,272. What’s going to make Houston’s payroll difficult for fans to swallow is where the team falls on MLB’s Fan Cost Index. The reported expense for a family of four to park, buy four average price adult tickets, consume two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular size hot dogs and buy two game programs and purchase the two least expensive adult-size caps, came to $224.33. That’s some $14 above the MLB average and ranks as baseball’s 11th highest, ahead of the likes of the NY Mets ($223.70), the LA Dodgers ($204.95) and the Texas Rangers ($196.13) . . . Most expensive teams on the Fan Cost Index, as you would expect, are the Red Sox ($336.99) and the Yankees ($324.30. San Diego ($151.94) and Arizona ($151.55) reside at the other end of the spectrum .

Aside from the dig at the payroll (he's kind of national media in that way), isn't it a bit surprising that it costs so much to go to an Astros game? Have any of you run into this? How many games a year do you budget in and how many of you regularly take families to games? I know we only went as a family to one game last summer, because the costs do add up quickly.

3) Cafardo on Norris

So, apparently a good start against the Rangers on Opening Day raised Bud Norris' stock enough that he should bring the Astros a "good haul," according to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. Here's the full quote:

2. Bud Norris, RHP, Astros — Norris’s stock rose higher after he beat the Rangers in the opener last Sunday. He should bring the Astros a good haul between now and the trade deadline. One veteran NL adviser indicated the Rangers might be his landing point.

Cafardo's post published today, so I wonder if he got to see Norris against the A's on Saturday. That might have lowered his stock a bit, though most of the damage came after Norris left. That may be how Norris does this season, with one good start and one not so good. What will that mean for his trade value?