The day before report day: players arriving in droves.
Although report day isn’t until Wednesday, the home clubhouse at Osceola County Stadium on Tuesday had plenty of traffic as pitchers and catchers — and several position players, too — trickled in for the start of Spring Training.
This year’s camp will be a big one, possibly the biggest one ever. It’s the most players in one Spring Training that I can remember, but seeing I haven’t been here that long (comparatively speaking), I asked around. A few members of the clubhouse staff have been here since 1980-ish, and they can’t remember a camp ever having as many as 63 players. So there we have it. The biggest camp, ever.
Most of these early days are filled with meetings, meetings and more meetings. Ed Wade, Brad Mills and their coaching and operations staffs have been in lockdown upstairs in a conference room near the Astros’ offices for most of the morning the last two days, going over, and critiquing, every player on the roster.
Meanwhile, the equipment room in the clubhouse is an overpopulated place, as is the case this time every spring. Players drop by to pick up all of the items that were packed away on the truck in Houston — shoes, jerseys, pants, undegarments, sleeves, t-shirts, belts, shower shoes, jackets, sweatshirts, socks, helmets…and on and on and on.
And here we go…
(Above: Chris Johnson, Brian Bogusevic)
Former pitcher Shane Reynolds will be Milo Hamilton’s guest on Astroline this Wednesday at Buffalo Wild Wings on Gray St. in Midtown from 7 to 8 p.m. CT. The following week, former manager Phil Garner will join Milo for the final Houston airing before the show moves to Florida.
Mills will appear on the first show at the Disney Boardwalk on March 2.
“We Are Your Astros”
The Astros recently revealed their 2011 advertising campaign tagline: “We Are Your Astros.” The campaign features iconic Bayou City landmarks that reflect the team’s close connection with the community.
The imagery features action photos of Astros stars alongside well-known locations from around the city that most Houstonians will recognize. These landmarks include: the downtown skyline, the Sam Houston statue at Hermann Park, Houston City Hall and Rocket Park at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Other Houston-area landmarks included in the campaign are the Texas Medical Center, Hines Water Wall, San Jacinto Monument and Battleship Texas. These images are bathed in orange and Astros red hues of a morning sunrise, symbolizing the 2011 club’s fresh, young roster, and were created by the design team at Lee Queaño Creative.
The campaign will be executed on several Houston-area billboards in addition to graphics both in and around Minute Maid Park including wallscapes facing the U.S. 59 Freeway, column wraps and light pole banners. The artwork will also be included in television commercials, print ads, collateral materials and animations on the ballpark’s new high-definition video boards.
The campaign will extend to surrounding Texas cities, including San Antonio and Austin, and feature familiar locations from those communities. Here’s what you’re going to see around town, starting next week: