Results tagged ‘ Brett Myers ’

Astros notes: FanFest, Myers, Bourn…and your Opening Day first baseman.

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The Astros have announced details about this year’s FanFest, which will take place April 9 and 10 in conjunction with Opening Weekend at Minute Maid Park. The events will take place primarily on the main concourse and will include autograph sessions, Talkin’ Baseball seminars with broadcasters and staff, silent auctions and the popular annual Garage Sale.

Admission is free each day with the purchase of a game ticket. The game on April 9 begins at 6:05 p.m. CT and at 1:05 p.m. CT on April 10.

Proceeds from the autograph sessions, Garage Sale and Mystery Grab Bags will benefit the Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy at Sylvester Turner Park. Additionally, in-stadium and online auction proceeds will benefit relief efforts in Japan.

The list of, and schedule for, former and current players who will sign autographs will be announced in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, here are the basics:

Saturday, April 9:

* FanFest begins at noon, with gates opening at 11 a.m. This day will feature four autograph sessions, two from noon to 12:50 p.m. and two from 1 p.m. to 1:50.

* Each session will include autographs from four current players for a donation of $20 per session. Alumni will also sign.

* Other activities: Garage Sale, Mystery Grab Bags and auctions and face painters, clowns and other free activities for kids.

Sunday, April 10:

* Gates open at 11:30 a.m. Astros alumni players will sign autographs (current players sign on Saturday only).

* Other activities: Garage Sale, Mystery Grab Bags and auctions and face painters, clowns and other free activities for kids.

Tickets to the April 9 and 10 games are on sale now with prices starting as low as $7 for adults and $1 for kids ages 3-14.  Game tickets are available online at http://www.astros.com, at the Minute Maid Park Box Office on Texas Avenue or by phone toll free at 877-9ASTROS (877-927-8767).

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Myers to start Opening Day

The news that Brett Myers will pitch the first game of the regular season came as a shock to exactly no one, but it was still nice to hear Brad Mills make it official before the game in Jupiter on Friday.

Logic would dictate that Mills will have his rotation set up in a righty-lefty-right-lefty format, which would probably mean pitchers one through four would be Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris and J.A. Happ. But that doesn’t mean that’s how the rotation will look in another two weeks.

Mills hesitated to reveal how the pitchers will line up, probably because Wandy has been sidelined with shoulder tendinitis. However, Wandy has been cleared to start Tuesday’s game, and if you count out the days following that start, assuming he’ll be pitching on normal rest, that would put him on schedule to start April 1. Since that day is taken by Myers, it would make sense if Wandy pitched the next game.

Stay tuned.

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Other notables:

* Angel Sanchez’s back is still bothering him and he did not play on Friday.

* Michael Bourn, who has been hampered this week by a sinus condition, was back in the leadoff spot on Friday. Mills said before the game they’d be keeping an eye on him: “With this heat, it would be easy for him to get run down.” Bourn was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored against the Marlins.

* One Killer B leaves, another arrives. Jeff Bagwell left Kissimmee on Friday but plans to return the final week of Spring Training. Meanwhile, Craig Biggio is here for the weekend. Both are special assistants to the GM.

* Congrats to Jason Michaels and his wife, Pamela, on the birth of their son, Logan James. Little “LMike” arrived on St. Patty’s Day, weighing in at a robust eight pounds, seven ounces and measuring 20 inches.

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Links worth clicking:

* When you have a chance please read this delightful piece from Jerry Crasnick about Astros pitchers and their coach. It perfectly captures Brad Arnsberg and his relationship with his pitchers.

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* Heading into Spring Training, first base wasn’t Brett Wallace’s job to win as much as it was his to lose. He was penciled in as the starting first baseman when he arrived to Kissimmee, but with less than two weeks remaining before Opening Day, you can chuck the pencil and mark it in red ink.

From the feedback I received from readers throughout the spring season, there seemed to be a feeling that Wallace was competing with Carlos Lee for the first base job. That was not the case. Lee showed he could play a pretty good first base last season and was considered a Plan B for that position — but only if Wallace showed he wasn’t ready for the full-time job.

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Wallace would have had to have a monumentally terrible spring for that to happen. Instead, he’s had a fantastic go of it, hitting .364 through Friday’s game in Jupiter (where he went 2-for-4). He’s got it all but wrapped up.  

MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez has a nice write up on Wallace here.

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For the first time, Baseball Dinner tickets are now available online

The Astros and the Houston Athletic Committee are now offering the opportunity to purchase tickets to the annual Baseball Dinner on Astros.com.

The Baseball Dinner, presented by Minute Maid, is traditionally held late in the winter every year, serving as an unofficial end to the offseason and as a warm-up to Spring Training and a brand new season.

The banquet, which will be held Jan. 14 at the Hilton Americas Convention Center Hotel, recognizes the best of the best from the 2010 season, and this year’s honorees include:

Hunter Pence, Most Valuable Player;
Brett Myers, Pitcher of the Year;
Chris Johnson, Rookie of the Year;
Geoff Blum, recipient of the Darryl Kile “Good Guy” award;
Barry Waters, Astros traveling secretary, recipient of the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service award;
Carl Crawford, Houston Area Major League Player of the Year.

Additionally, several local folks will be recognized: Mike Rutledge of Kyle Chapman Baseball, Anthony Rendon of Rice University, Rick Lynch of Tomball High School, the Greater Houston area’s top 16 high school seniors and the Pearland Little-League All-Stars team.

The evening will conclude with a live auction featuring a Hunter Pence-themed auction package which includes: four (4) Diamond Level seats for a 2011 Astros regular season home game, dinner in the Diamond Club, in-game recognition and a first pitch, breakfast with Hunter Pence at Buffalo Grille and more. The opening bid starts at $2,500.

Individual tickets are $75, with tables of 10 available for $750. To order tickets, click here.

 

Photos from Social Media day, and some musings on Brett Myers.

I’m glad we were able to host one final Social Media event before the end of the season, and it happened to fall on what was hands-down the most activity-filled day at Minute Maid Park this year. Between Dog Day, Faith and Family Day, the MercyMe concert and Social Media Day, the Astros were fortunate to actually be able to squeeze in a ballgame.

Or, as Tweeter @MyVidaLocal adequately put it, “I’m thinking if you’re a dog-loving Christian rock fan on Twitter, Sunday’s game is a must-go.”

It wasn’t a must-win, but the Astros took care of business anyway, beating the Reds 4-3 to take the series from the division leaders. All in all, it was a great game, one that more than 70 Tweeters/Facebookers watched from the Budweiser Patio as part of our second (and final) Social Media event of the 2010 season.

Judging from the positive response we’ve received, we’ll be hosting many more of these in ’11. In the meantime, thanks to everyone who attended and made it such a good time. And special thanks to Chris Johnson, who was gracious enough to stop by the Patio and hand out prizes during our Twitter trivia contest.

Come to think of it, Johnson went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and two runs scored during Sunday’s game. After Hunter Pence made his Social Media appearance on Aug. 31, he was 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs later that night. And the Astros won both games (Just saying.)

Enjoy the pictures, congratulations to the winners, and hopefully we’ll see you out at these events next year.

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We also had a hot dog building station, and we picked out two photos from that activity. First up, our youngest participant:

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And the most creative decoration…I’ve never seen “Astros” spelled out in onions, so I’m compelled to post:

 

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During our Twitter question and answer session during our Social Media event, @mcrows asked who I thought the Astros’ team MVP is. I’m not sure there is a clear-cut favorite, but honestly, if I had to pick one today, I’d go the unconventional route and select a pitcher: Brett Myers.

When Ed Wade signed Myers last winter, we sensed he could be pretty good, considering he had previously pitched well for a good team (Philadelphia), in a good division (the NL East) and had thrived in some pretty high pressure situations (two World Series).

But no one could have predicted he’d be this good. Not only is he one of just six pitchers since 1920 to pitch at least six innings in their first 31 appearances of the season, but he’s also going to finish the season undefeated at his home ballpark.

Myers is currently 8-0 at with a 2.01 ERA over 14 starts at Minute Maid Park, which is pretty much in line with his career numbers in Houston: 8-1 with a 2.31 ERA over 19 games, including 17 starts. He is scheduled to start Friday in Pittsburgh and once in Cincinnati, which will mean he won’t pitch during the final three-game set against the Cubs Oct. 1-3.

I realize starting pitchers work only once every five days and position players are out there every single game (more or less), and with that in mind, Pence certainly merits consideration as the team MVP. But no one has been more consistent than Myers, and he’s spread it over a full six months. For that, I give him the edge.

What say you?

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Myers takes over No. 3 starter spot on depth chart.

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Brett Myers was adamant during his introductory press conference on Tuesday that he was taking nothing for granted, and that he will be trying out for a rotation spot just like everyone else.

But it’s safe to say that Myers, who signed a deal worth a guaranteed $3.1 million for 2010, with a mutual option for ’11 worth $8 million (a buyout is worth $2 million), was not brought to the Astros with an off chance to crack the starting five. Myers is here because he not only fills a big hole in the Astros’ rotation, but he can, based on history, contribute the number of innings that earns pitchers “workhorse” status.

Still, I do admire his humility. “I’m going to have to earn that spot,” he said. “It’s always been that way. I’ve always liked a fight, liked a challenge. This is no different.”

Assistant GM Dave Gottfried, who helped complete the Myers signing and was pinch-hitting for the absent Ed Wade, was a little more pointed with his view of where Myers fits in.

“We have Roy (Oswalt) and Wandy (Rodriguez), and he’ll slot in after that,” Gottfried said. (Wade is in Phoenix for MLB meetings, by the way.) “He’ll push the young guys and it would be great if he pushes Roy and Wandy too. The rotation just got a whole lot better.”

I spoke with Wade on Monday about Myers and the rotation in general, and it’s clear that Bud Norris, Brian Moehler and Felipe Paulino will compete for the last two spots. Other suitors for starting jobs include Yorman Bazardo, Wesley Wright and Wilton Lopez.

Wade mentioned that he spoke with Moehler the night they signed Myers, and assured Moehler that nothing was set in stone and that he had not even begun talking with manager Brad Mills and pitching coach Brad Arnsberg about the makeup of the rotation for 2010.

Moehler, as expected, was not upset with the Myers signing. The exact opposite, in fact.

“He said he just wants to win, and that Myers make us a better team,” Wade said.

If Moehler is not one of the starting five, he’ll move to the ‘pen, where he can offer his versatility as a middle and long reliever.

Some random shots from Tuesday’s press conference, introducing Myers:

Myers with Asst. GM Dave Gottfried.

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Tal Smith, Myers, Gottfried

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After the formal introduction, Myers granted more personal interviews with reporters.

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Crowd shot…media and front office. In the front you can spot Asst. GMs Ricky Bennett (left) and Bobby Heck (right) with Myers’ wife, Kim, sitting in between them.

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Lots of photographers at this press conference.

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