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At Last, At Long, Long Last, Baseball Returns.

The First Spring Training Game is Tomorrow!

The Astros Play a Game Tomorrow. At Last

“At last, my love has come along.

My lonely days are over

and life is like a song, oh yeah

At last, the skies above are blue”

Oh Etta, you’re singing our song. Tomorrow, at last, the music returns, the clouds part.

It’s been four months. Four long, cold, lonely months. But tomorrow, at last, our heroes return to the diamond. The pop of the catcher’s mitt, the crack of the bat. The throw down to second. “You’re out!” At long last.

OK, the games don’t count. But at least they’re playing again. At last.

I think I look forward to this season even more than I did last season. The 2018 Astros were pretty much the same team that won the World Series the previous year, only they were proven, even grizzled veterans, plus one Gerrit Cole. We knew they would be good, our only concern was team wide regression, the dread World Series jinx. Indeed, they won even more games in 2018 than in 2017, thanks to historically good pitching, but the bats went a little quiet, and the Stros were overtaken in the ALCS by the Red Sox.

But this season harkens back a bit to 2015, when the Astros were the new kids, the upstarts, the insurgents, the underdogs. Oh, they still have the killer Core Four, and Verlander, and Cole, and many projections have them winning the most games in MLB. But they have many new faces too.

Does Josh James really have the dominance he flashed briefly last season? Can Valdez Framberize the league like he did down last year’s stretch drive? Is Forrest Whitley ready to be the next Clayton Kershaw? Will Kyle Tucker make us start talking about the Core Five? Was Tyler White’s August to remember proof he really is the Great White? Can he terrorize the league like that for a whole season?

Hope springs eternal. But if the answers to all these questions turns out to be no, or at least, not this year, then with the departures of Charlie Morton, Dallas Keuchel, Marwin Gonzalez, Lance McCullers, Evan Gattis, Tony Sipp and others, the Astros might not reach exit velocity this year.

So just a little uncertainty, and a bevy of new, young faces to watch, is going to make this a very interesting season to follow. And if the answer to all the above questions is yes, this team could be one of the best of all time.

That is, if Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and George Springer all have bounce back years.


And there’s another All-Star on the roster. Welcome, Michael Brantley.

So bring on the boys of Spring. They play tomorrow, 5:35 CST against the Nats of Washington D.C. A once shiny but now tarnished prospect, Brady Rogers, opens for the good guys, going against Mighty Max Scherzer. We will have a game thread, and game threads for all televised Spring Training games. Those are February 24th, 25th, 27th, 28th, March 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 19th and March 20th.

Baseball returns tomorrow. At last.


Do the Astros win more games in 2019 than they did in the record setting year, 2018?

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