Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy New Year!

Wow, can't believe I haven't posted since last year! (I know, I'm a dork, but for some reason those jokes just never get old for me.)

It's 35 days till pitchers and catchers report. Yay! The Astros look to have a much stronger line-up than last year, with speed at the top (Michael Bourn and Kazuo Matsui), power in the middle (Hunter Pence, Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, and Miguel Tejada), and no gaping holes at the bottom (Ty Wigginton, J. R. Towles, and the pitcher--and Woody Williams and Brandon Backe can actually swing a bat a little). Okay, so maybe the pitcher's spot has a bit of a void, offense-wise. . . .

Speaking of pitchers, the rotation is still anybody's guess. With the better line-up, Roy Oswalt should have a better year, barring injury. Hopefully Wandy Rodriguez will continue to mature and blossom; he surprised a number of people last year with his improved poise and was in fact the team leader in Ks. Woody Williams was first in the line of people disappointed with his own performance; he grew up watching and rooting for the Astros and had hoped to contribute more to the team's success. Perhaps he will do so in 2008. Brandon Backe pitched fairly well in a few limited appearances last September after returning from Tommy John surgery. He is key--the Astros need him to step up, stay healthy, focus, and deliver. The fifth spot is up for grabs--Fernando Nieve, Chris Sampson, and Felipe Paulino all figure into the mix. Nieve and Sampson both were injured for stretches of 2007. Sampson, who won the fifth spot out of ST last year, is a former position player, like Backe, and has had similar elbow problems but has avoided surgical intervention thus far. Nieve spent all of 2007 at AAA, and was not available for September call-ups due to some type of elbow procedure.

Sounding good, huh?

The bullpen is full. They're all new. I know very little about them.

The bench should be okay, with Mark Loretta, Geoff Blum, Darin Erstad, and Brad Ausmus (whoa, did I just say that? But despite his absent bat, I love to watch Ausmus play. Frankly, I love to watch Ausmus do pretty much anything).

I have to say, I'm getting excited about the upcoming season. I'm also getting pretty tired of the whole Clemens/steroids/Mitchell report stuff. People believe whom they choose to believe. Many of them choose to believe the trainer over Roger Clemens, which is understandable, as his testimony could be considered quite damning. However, given the virulence being hurled around message boards, I think a lot of it has to do more with bringing down a celebrity rather than where they think the truth lies. As with Barry Bonds, those who dislike Clemens assume he is guilty and are gleefully anticipating a comeuppance. I've always thought Clemens was probably a jerk, with his one redeeming quality being that he seems to be a good dad. In my opinion, you can't be a total jerk and be a good dad. But even though I think he's probably mostly a big, egotistical, arrogant redneck. . . I choose to believe him. He is either innocent, or he is VERY sure that there is no way to prove that he used.

I would say that it will be interesting to see how it plays out, but frankly, I won't be watching. I'm much more interested in seeing how ST is going to play out, and how the rotation and roster will fill out. Go 'Stros!


Post a Comment

<< Home