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Astros Crawfish Boil: July 15, 2015

Like the brutal Texas summer, trade rumors are heating up

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

There are no Major League Baseball games being played today for the first time in nearly 5 months

Houston Astros News

Houston Astros: Jeff Samardzija could be the cheapest trade target - Climbing Tal's Hill
With the trade deadline slowly approaching, the Houston Astros will hit the market in search for additional help within their starting rotations while sitting in second-place in the A.L. West behind the Los Angeles Angels by just a half game

Astros County - The State of the Astros, All-Star Break Edition: Part 1
If you had told me on April 1 that, at the All-Star Break, the Astros would be a half-game out of 1st place in the division with a 5.5-game lead on the Rangers and in the 2nd Wild Card spot by 3.0 games, I would immediately think that you were playing an April Fool's joke and then I would want to spit on you.

Report: Astros, Blue Jays, Royals aggressively pursuing Johnny Cueto |
The trade market for Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto continues to heat up, as the Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, and Kansas City Royals have been the most aggressive in their attempts to acquire him, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Jim Crane and J.D. Martinez have a fun reunion - Ultimate Astros
"Congratulations," Crane told Martinez as the slugger headed into the AL clubhouse during batting practice Tuesday at Great American Ball Park. "You look great. I’m happy for you. I knew you could do it.

Astros owner travels to All-Star Game to deliver special gifts to Keuchel, Altuve - Ultimate Astros
Crane went into the American League clubhouse shortly before batting practice Tuesday afternoon and presented Altuve and Keuchel each with a Breitling watch.

MLB News

The Outsider: A long, strange trip from Las Vegas to L.A. with Pete Rose |
Rose is older than you think because his public persona barely has evolved. He is famous for the way he played baseball and the way he left it.

Rob Manfred "committed" to eventually hearing Pete Rose's case for reinstatement
Rob Manfred said he remains ''committed'' to giving Pete Rose a thorough hearing in Rose's bid for reinstatement to the game and plans to meet with Rose at some point.

Rob Manfred sees expansion in MLB's future
Montreal, Charlotte, North Carolina, San Antonio, Portland, Oregon, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, northern New Jersey, Mexico City or Monterrey, Mexico, are among the markets that could eventually land on baseball's radar as potential locations for new or relocated franchises.

How the shift can ruin a player - Beyond the Box Score
Ground balls are a significant portion of anyone's batted ball profile, and the shift can destroy the production of a pull hitter.

New MLB Fan Safety Class Action Lawsuit Unlikely to Succeed | FanGraphs Baseball
Monday’s lawsuit appears unlikely to achieve its ambitious goal, as the case faces several legal hurdles that may prove quite difficult to overcome.

For your listening pleasure

This past week of Texas heat has been especially brutal. For some reason this kind of weather always puts me in the mood for some hazy psychedelic music. The Black Angels out of Austin do a great job capturing the essence and style of bands like The Doors and the 13th Floor Elevators.

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The official video is pretty badass, though it is NSFW