Hampton day to day, what to do with Backe, and, most importantly, remembering Arnie.

Mike Hampton is tentatively scheduled to start on Sunday when the Astros wrap up their series with the Rangers, but as of Wednesday, the lefty’s status is day-to-day. Basically, this means that either the cut on his thumb will be healed by Sunday, in which case he’ll pitch, or it’ll still be an open wound, in which case he won’t.

“We think he’ll be fine,” manager Cecil Cooper said. “If not, we’ll have to figure out a way to give him a day or something, if he needs it. If there are issues, we might skip him. We’ll have to see.”

Hampton apparently cut his thumb on a soap dispenser while showering in the clubhouse at Wrigley Field on Sunday. I have to admit, it sounds a little strange to me. How does a soap dispenser have something that sharp enough on it that it would cut someone?


Brandon Backe will make his seventh and final rehab outing on Saturday in Round Rock, but he won’t be reinstated from the DL right away. He can’t make any more rehab starts beyond next Tuesday, per the 30-day rule for pitchers, but that does not mean the Astros have to make an immediate roster move.

Instead, Backe will throw his normal between-start bullpen session and, assuming the team intends to put him on their 25-man roster, a move would be made just prior to Backe’s joining the rotation.

There is no target date for when Backe may appear for the first time in a big league game this season.

“We’ve talked preliminaries, but we haven’t nailed it down,” general manager Ed Wade said. “We’ll have to see how he progresses, how other guys progress and try to figure it out when we have to.”

Presumably, Backe would bump Felipe Paulino from the rotation, considering Paulino is the only starter who has options remaining on his contract and can go back to Round Rock without penalty. Nothing has been decided, however.

“It’s a nice problem to have,” Wade said. “It’s always better to have more than not enough. We tend to be able to figure those kinds of things out and unfortunately, as if often the case, those things figure themselves out. All we want to do is hope Brandon gets through that start on Saturday in good shape and pitches the way he pitched in his previous rehab outings.”


Sad, sad news about a Minute Maid Park institution, Arnie Murphy, better known as “The Peanut Dude.” Arnie passed away after undergoing a stem cell procedure to aid his ailing heart.

Arnie was a member of the Astros and Aramark family for over 15 years and through the years, in addition to displaying some of the best peanut-tossing moves in the business, he had dedicated himself to bringing comfort to the many young children of the Sunshine Kids — a support group for kids with cancer and their families.

Every night, Arnie would pose with a Sunshine Kid in front of the press box, and the image would be shown on the giant JumboTron for the entire stadium’s viewing. It was a small gesture, but not to the featured youngster. Arnie always had a smile and a kind word, and the ballpark just won’t be the same without him.

Alyson Footer is on Facebook and Twitter 


Shocking news about Arnie, I will miss him at the games, condolences to his family and all his friends there in the Astros’ family.

Terrible news about Arnie. A fun guy who I loved joking around with whenever I go to MMP. We will truly miss him.

I actually had to dab my eyes after seeing Brownie mention Arnie’s passing. I’ll always remember his act tossing out peanuts and seeing him on the jumbotron with the sunshine kids. MMP, the Astros, and the city of Houston have lost a great person.

Somewhere, an angel is saying “Yo, Peanut guy! Over here!”

Hampton is not hurt. Cooper took him out of the game before he could give up anymore runs. He will start on Sunday. Trust me. If Backe comes back and is consistant….
he will take the spot from Paulino. This club is in need of a new manager, so bad it’s pitiful. Cooper has lost his clubhouse, and needs to be replaced. But he won’t be.

This is not specifically related to today’s topics but recently there has been news about Bourn and Pence do so well. This caused me to look at our stats and I found we had four starters batting over 300 (Pence, Lee, Tejada and Bourn). I was wondering when the last time we had four starters batting 300 so I looked into historical stats and what I found was interesting. In 2005 when we went to the World Series we had no full time starters batting 300. Our best final batting average year where we had four finish over 300 was in 1998 when Biggio, Bell, Alou and Bagwell did it. Another interesting year was in 2000 when Alou, Hidalgo and Bagwell finished over 300 as full time starters but we had Caminitti, Spiers and Melusky with about 300-350 at bats also finish over 300. 2000 seemed to be a real team effort and I would like to see our support staff this year pick it up. If we have 4 guys over 300 we should be over 500 in the W-L column.

I agree Cooper needs to go, I have never seen a team have this many injury’s to it’s pitching staff, what gives here! Why didn’t Cooper leave it up to Geoff Blum to calm down and explain to Bourn what happen?

I once asked Arnie if he ever missed. His answer was “Have you ever seen me miss?”. When I said no, he said a smile on his face, “Well, there you go.” We’ll miss him. He was as much of a part of the game as the first pitch.

Glad you put something here about Arnie but it needs to be on the homepage! Someone with a heart and soul like that needs to be on the front page.

I remember buying beer from him at the Dome before he changed to peanuts. Great memories. Won’t be the same without him RIP ARNIE!! WE miss ya!!!

very nice piece on arnie this afternoon on NPR. i didnt realize he could throw those bags of peanuts upwards of 45 mph. the man will me missed.

There has to be some player in the minor leagues who can benefit the Astros more than Jason Smith. Why hasn’t Cooper brought someone else up who can be a reliable pinch hitter? Doesn’t he want to win!!!

There has to be some player in the minor leagues who can benefit the Astros more than Jason Smith. Why hasn’t Cooper brought someone else up who can be a reliable pinch hitter? Doesn’t he want to win!!!

Sorry to hear about Arnie, I remember getting one of my first legal beers from him WAAAAAYYYY back in the Dome.
But seriously, Hampton needs to lay off the man-scaping on start days…..

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