Wandy, Pudge, Doublemint Twins and more old pictures.
From a lazy Sunday at the ballpark:
Wandy Rodriguez’s next start was pushed back a day, and now the left-hander is tentatively expected to throw on Tuesday.
Rodriguez hurt the tip of the index finger on his left hand after being hit with a comebacker during his start against the Mets last Thursday.
“I was able to keep pitching in the game after it hit me,” said Rodriguez, who gave up five runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks over two innings Thursday. “It just hurts a lot and feels like it’s going to bleed when I throw my curveball. I even tried to [poke] it with a needle (Saturday night) to get the blood out of there, but the blood is still on the tip.”
Because he digs that index finger into the ball when he he throws his curveball, he cannot pitch through this injury, as he discovered during a recent bullpen session.
“I tried to throw my curveball in the bullpen without putting the pressure on the finger, but I didn’t even reach it to the plate,” he said. “It bounced way before it got there.”
The Astros won’t need their fifth starter until halfway through April, which makes it possible that Russ Ortiz, assuming the job goes to him, would make one start in the Minor Leagues before joining the Major League club.
The way things are going, I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Wandy was not ready to start the season, which would allow for both Ortiz and Jose Capellan to make this team. Based on spring performances, I don’t think that would be such a bad thing, do you?
Pudge Rodriguez probably will not play Monday, but manager Cecil Cooper expects him to catch Wandy on Tuesday and play again Wednesday, when the Astros travel to Jupiter.
Brian Moehler, on throwing to Pudge for the first time: “He did a good job. I enjoiyed the way he set up back there, he mixed pitches up well. We seemed to be on the right page. It’s a learning experience for him as well as us. I thought he did a great job.
“He brings leadership and he brings playoff experience, two great qualities to have.”
From the “Did you know” vault:
Did you know Jason Michaels’ wife, Pamela, and her twin sister, Karen were Doublemint Twins as a teenagers? They were featured in a couple of commercials of the famous chewing gum brand, which launched its long-running Doublemint Twins ad campaign back in the 1950s.
According to Jason, Pamela can sing and play piano, “while I have absolutely no ability to do either.”
And here we have the final installment of our trip down memory lane. I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures, as much as I enjoyed posting them.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani threw out the first pitch before the Astros-Yankees game last year. Here he is walking off the field with Mark Loretta, who caught the pitch.
Nope, no pressure here: imagine trying to throw a strike while Nolan Ryan is standing three feet from you with that look on his face. That’s what Jason Hirsh got a taste of a few years ago at the Astros’ Elite Camp.
I snapped this in Dennis’s office, a couple of hours before Biggio was to play in his final game. He spent most of the weekend signing baseballs.
Jeff Kent, at an autograph session during the Astros’ caravan in 2003.