Some things to talk about while we place Tim on August waivers...
1) DirecTV is just messing with me, right?
So, like many of you, I don't get CSN Houston. I do have DirecTV, which has been one of the biggest opponents of adding any new regional sports networks on anything other than the sports tier. That's despite the fact that DirecTV owns a couple of its own RSNs, but that's not what we're talking about here.
No, we're talking about DirecTV adding a channel instead of CSN Houston. One that apparently caters to more viewers than a sports channel one of the country's Top 10 media markets. A channel that can appeal to all viewers all the time.
I'm talking of course about DogTV.
I'm sure there are all sorts of business reasons why DogTV gets put on DirecTV instead of CSN Houston, but I'm still pretty upset by it. How many people are going to watch that? Two? Four? Oh, that's right, it's a channel not even made for people. From DogTV's website:
DOGTV is scientifically developed and Pup approved. DOGTV is the first television network for dogs that is created exclusively for canines, and the humans who love them.
DOGTV's 24/7 programing helps stimulate, entertain, relax and habituate dogs with shows that expose them to various movements, sounds, objects, experiences and behavior patterns, all from a dog's point of view.
All I want to do is watch the Astros and the Rockets. That's all. I want to see CSN Houston put on quality programming like the award-winning Jose Altuve piece or the upcoming piece on the Rockets' legacy of big men. Instead, my dog can watch TV all day while I'm at work.
Eff. Let's just move on.
2) Blackley on waivers
In August, lots of players get put on waivers, as Tim explained in his piece on Monday. However, few of those players actually get traded. Sometimes, it's just to gauge interest in them. Other times, it's to legitimately move them to another team after the July trade deadline.
It appears Travis Blackley, left-handed reliever for the Astros, has been placed on waivers. At least, that's according to his Twitter account:
On waivers waiting to see my fate. Hopefully someone could use a lefty the rest of the way. Everything happens for a reason!— Travis Blackley (@Travis_Blackley) August 8, 2013
A couple of thoughts. First, does this mean Blackley knows he's not playing for the Astros any more? Did they tell him he's going to someone, whoever claims him or via trade if he clears? Or is he just hoping to go to a winning situation?
Second, it's pretty decent of the Astros to inform the player he'd been placed on these revocable waivers in August. They could have left him hanging, but they apparently were up front about the whole process with him. Communication is key, people, and the Astros seem to have done that in this case.
Of course, they could have told him that because...
EDIT: Well, seems that while I was writing this, it comes out that Houston has designated Blackley for assignment, not putting him on trade waivers. That changes things, doesn't it? Why Blackely tweeted about it before it was announced, I don't know.
3) Kevin Chapman getting promoted
That's right, the fruits of Jeff Luhnow's second (?) trade with the Astros is about make the majors. Chapman, a hard-throwing lefty, was acquired in the Humberto Quintero/Jason Bourgeois trade that almost got Luhnow brought up on charges of interstate highway robbery.
Chapman, 25, has a 3.28 ERA with 10.8 K/9 but a lofty 6.4 BB/9 rate in 50 2/3 innings this season at Oklahoma City. He was acquired from the Royals last season along with outfielder D'Andre Toney in a trade that sent Humberto Quintero and Jason Bourgeois to Kansas City.
The walk rate is the worrisome part, but if he can bring that down to manageable levels, he could be a great piece in the bullpen. Or, he could help Houston reach 100 bullpen home runs allowed this season. I guess he can't be worse than what they have now, right?