Some things to talk about while Kevin Pillar makes a nice catch...
1) Astros in on July 2 free agent
It's not quite IFA season, but we're already getting the same of the July 2nd market. That's in part because, well, these deals have been done for a while. Most accounts say that, with the bonus pool implemented, teams are making deals with players a year or two away from being eligible.
That's right, they're telling a 14-year-old that they'll sign him for $4 million or whatever. It's a crazy time in
At any rate, the Astros
Gilberto Celestino, RF, Dominican: Celestino was tied to the Cubs for
awhile, but now it sounds like Houston will be his destination, with a rumored $2 million bonus. He's a fringyrunner with solid average arm strength and raw power projection and good feel to hit in games.
It's impossible to say anything interesting more than this on a 16-year-old. I will only say that, if the Astros feel he's worth that much, they either don't have many other options or they just feel pretty solid about his future. They just haven't spent like this in IFA very often, going on a scattershot approach instead of the controlled bursts.
2) Grizzlies free night
Pretty cool promotion by the Fresno Grizzlies yesterday. No, it didn't have anything to do with championship rings.
How much would you pay to see a minor league game? What if the Astros did this? How much would you pay to see the local nine?
3) Anniversary of "Astros" name
On April 12, 1965, the Astros officially came into existence. The Sporting News did a nice job tracking down some info on how that all played out and what other names were considered at the time.
Team owner Judge Roy Hofheinz went on record as favoring "Stars," a reference to Houston's expanding role in the space program. The public did not react well, the thought being that "Stars" was a pretentious moniker for a ninth-place ballclub.
Imagine, for a minute, what Twitter would do with that. Instead of Lastros, we could get "Falling Stars" or "Black Holes" or some such nonsense.
What's also interesting is this note, culled from an AP story written at the time.
"It was understood that the Colt Firearms Co.
hasno objection to the baseball club using its name, but is objecting to the baseball club sub-licensing to manufacturers the right to use the name on novelties and souvenirs sold at baseball parks."
When you think about how much money is now made off merchandise at Minute Maid Park and at other outlets, that certainly seemed like a good objection. I wonder if Colt could have taken a cut of the merchandise instead of the team changing
Oh, also, this quote from Judge Roy Hofheinz just makes me sad:
"It's the Houston Astros of the National League, henceforth and forevermore."
I miss the NL.