Welcome to Humpday. Here’s your Wednesday Boil!
Houston Astros News
Alex Bregman, A.J. Hinch issue plea to help ex-Astros coach Rich Dauer (houstonchronicle.com)
Astros’ Lance McCullers: Ahead of schedule (cbssports.com)
Astros 2023: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times (chipalatta.com)
AL West News
ESPN’s Jeff Passan: It’s far too early to worry about Mariners (sports.mynorthwest.com)
Las Vegas baseball fans love Aviators, but the A’s are very tempting (reviewjournal.com)
Rangers’ Jacob deGrom aims for better vs. Orioles (deadspin.com)
Lessons From 11 Years of Darin Ruf (fangraphs.com)
Houston Astros Birthdays
RHP Brandon Backe (45) is a native of Galveston, TX. In six seasons as an Astros pitcher from 2004 through 2009, mostly as a starter, he went 30-28 with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.550 WHIP. He threw an immaculate inning on April 15, 2004 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Later that year, Backe topped himself by throwing eight shutout, one-hit innings in Game Five of the NLCS to top the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-0. In 2008, he reached a career-high with 166 2⁄3 innings pitched, but also led the National League with 112 earned runs and the majors with 36 homers allowed.
Backe’s saga took a left turn after the 2008 season when he was arrested at a wedding party in Galveston. He alleged that the respondents used excessive force, and indeed, four of them were found guilty of it. Backe was seeking damages up to $13 million in lost wages, as he was unable to pitch effectively due to damaged incurred to his pitching arm in the fracas. The jury was unable to award him anything other than the $48,900 awarded to injured plaintiffs.