Good luck, Booooone.
Before we get to the baseball stuff I’d like to take a moment to wish Aaron Booooone the best of luck tomorrow. He’s having the heart procedure that he told us about last week, and I’m sure we can all agree that we want nothing but the best for him and his family.
Be well, Aaron.
Back to business. The Astros have an offday Thursday, and manager Cecil Cooper has made it clear he doesn’t want anyone doing anything baseball-related. Days off are few and far between in baseball, and seeing this is the last one of the spring,
Cooper wants his players rested and relaxed when the team returns to work Friday.
“Tomorrow is the last offday, period,” Cooper said. “This is the last time they’ll have to rejuvenate.”
That said, Miguel Tejada is the one exception — he has a busy day ahead of him, seeing that he’ll be flying to Washington, D.C. to receive his sentence for lying to congressional staffers about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.
Tejada pleaded guilty to that charge prior to his arrival to Spring Training, and from everything that has been reported since then, the shortstop is likely going to receive probation, and no jail time.
Russ Ortiz has a touch of the flu, and apparently, he’s not the only one. Darin Erstad showed up to the Astros’ clubhouse Wednesday morning feeling ill, and he was immediately sent home.
That’s one of the worst things about Spring Training — when one gets sick, it seems like everyone does. It’s risky to spend so much time in such close quarters, whether it’s the locker room, training room, weight room or even the eating area where players are served breakfast and lunch. I remember a few years back, early in the season, when it seemed like everyone was sick, all at once. I recall Lance Berkman walking around the clubhouse wearing surgical gloves and a mask to protect himself from the germs.
(Does that surprise you? I mean, who else would do that?)
Here and there: Humberto Quintero was scheduled to catch six or seven innings at a Minor League game Wednesday, in order to make up for some of the playing time he’ll miss with the arrival of Pudge Rodriguez. …Roy Oswalt threw a side session at his junior college in Mississippi and is slated to start Friday against the Phillies. …Brandon Backe threw eight minutes on flat ground Tuesday, the first time he’s been cleared to do anything since straining a side muscle several weeks ago.