Some things to talk about while we give a baby bear straight LSD...
Luhnow on J.D. Martinez
The Astros held their annual media luncheon on Tuesday
That included going to the scrums where Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch answered reporter questions after giving their talks at the main event. An old journalism pro-tip, which I rarely follow: if everyone is crowded around one person, go somewhere else.
That's because no one will really get much interesting out of that scrum. Or, if they do, two other people may write it better.
Alas, there was no where else for me to go. Instead, I listened and waited to see if anything interesting might come up.
At the very end of Jeff Luhnow's session, I had an idea. Everyone asked him about the usual things, but no one had mentioned something that's bothered me since last summer.
Will the Astros learn anything from what happened with J.D. Martinez last spring?
I wasn't recording, so I don't want to quote him verbatim. But, his answer left me wanting. He didn't say no, but said that J.D.
I wanted him to say that they had changed things, that capping the spring invites was a reaction to this. That they took into account the intangibles that helped Martinez break out in Detroit when they signed Colby Rasmus.
He didn't say any of that. Maybe he shouldn't have, either. At the tail end of a 10-minute media session, a schlub like me asks him this when he hadn't been talking about anything similar. What did I expect?
Maybe the answer lies in the team's actions. He said that evaluation was done in conjunction with the coaches. Most of those coaches are gone. He said Martinez didn't get enough at-bats. They limited the guys in spring this year to spread those at-bats around more easily. He signed Rasmus, maybe taking into account things that you can't see in the numbers.
Time will tell if things change this year. They will still make mistakes, because these things happen every year. If it's Dan Straily turning into an ace with the Astros, the Cubs will look dumb. If Mike Foltynewicz turns into an ace, the Astros will look dumb. That's baseball.
2) 30 Clubs in 30 Days
The Astros will be featured this spring on the MLB Network's 30 Clubs in 30 Days program. Houston's up on March 23 at 7 p.m.
From the network's official site:
Watch 30 Clubs in 30 Days on MLB Tonight
startingMarch 3 for field reports, interviews, predictions and inside access to every club's training camp in Arizona and Florida.
Check out highlights from the shows below and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for behind-the-scenes photos and videos with #30Clubs30Days.
3) A baseball road trip
Mark Appel and Brady Rodgers are taking Rodgers' truck to spring training. The two are also live-tweeting the event. Think of it as a fun mashup between Midnight Run and Dumb and Dumber. Oh, and something about baseball, too.
At any rate, you should really follow along. There have already been Taylor Swift mentions and a live tiger sighting.