Results tagged ‘ Edwin Maysonet ’

How John Rocker helps me find my way to Flushing.

Back in the old days (10 years ago), I never could remember which train to take to get to Shea Stadium. It’s one of those things where you think you’ve got it memorized, but then in the year that passes between trips, inevitably, it fails to stick in the memory.

Then the 2000 offseason arrived. Braves pitcher John Rocker went on his now famous tirade to Sports Illustrated writer Jeff Pearlman about everything he didn’t like about New York. He was mean, bigoted, fierce…and, turns out, strangely helpful.

Obviously, I’m not condoning Rocker’s behavior, which I found offensive and deplorable, and embarrassing. But he started that famous line of hatred with “Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark…”

And from then on, I never forgot which train to take to Shea. All thanks to Rocker, who was rightfully booed out of just about every ballpark he appeared in after his tirade and thankfully has been out of baseball for years.

But he did leave one lasting impression, inadvertently so.

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Trying to not lose my cell phone and coat while pulling my computer bag behind me was challenging enough, but at the same time, I also attempted to snap a couple of shots of the outside of Citi Field, the brand new home of the New York Mets. You can see MLB.com writer Brian McTaggart and radio announcer Brett Dolan in the shot, and you’ll notice they’re not waiting for me to catch up to them.

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Inside, the ballpark is pretty impressive, and not just because anything would be a gigantic upgrade from the eyesore that was the old Shea Stadium. Citi Field has all the charm of a new ballpark — nice field and scoreboard, plush accommodations in the clubhouse and club levels — and overall, I give it a thumbs up, although I’ll spare you my whining about the ridiculous guessing game I had to play trying to get to the press box.

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More random shots:

Dave Clark, who hopes to have a shot at the permanent manager’s job once the season ends, chats with pitching coach Dewey Robinson.

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Chris Johnson says hello to Steve Sparks, who is filling in for Jim Deshaies in the TV booth this weekend.

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I have no idea what Aaron Boooooone was doing in this shot but it always cracks me up that he cannot resist giving some kind of strange pose when there’s a camera around.

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Hunter Pence grants a pregame interview to FS Houston’s Greg Lucas.

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Roy Oswalt is one of the most bored men on earth right now. It’s one thing to be a starting pitcher with nothing to do for the four days in between starts. It’s quite another to be shut down for the year because of a bad back and having NOTHING to look forward to, other the pending opening of his new steakhouse this fall.

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You’ve heard us talk/write plenty about Assistant GM Bobby Heck, who was brought on staff a couple of years ago to take over the Astros’ scouting department. Now you know what he looks like. That’s him on the right, talking to TV announcer Bill Brown.
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From the Twitter files:
Why is Blum still starting over Chris Johnson? I can see Tejada over Manzella, he has a shot at 200 hits. But Blum? Really?

I’ll be honest — I have no idea. These days, when I post the lineup on Twitter, I cringe, because I know I’m about to be hit with a stream of responses wondering why the kids aren’t playing.

I understand that Dave Clark wants to give Tejada every chance to reach 200 hits on the year, and I grudgingly agree.

I’m not suggesting Clark bench the veterans indefinitely. But in a three-game series, I see nothing wrong with simply mixing in Tommy Manzella or Chris Johnson or Edwin Maysonet for just a game here and there.

The current regular Astros lineup has contributed to a likely fifth-place finish. I seriously doubt one or two kids are going to mess up that chemistry.

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Norris, Brocail have arrived to Chicago. Wright was dehydrated.

Bud Norris landed in Chicago early Wednesday morning and arrived to the visitors clubhouse at Wrigley Field several hours before gametime, as did right-hander Doug Brocail, who was actived from the disabled list a day earlier.

Brocail takes LaTroy Hawkins spot on the roster, and to make room for Norris, the Astros optioned infielder Edwin Maysonet to Triple-A Round Rock.

According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Norris is a candidate to start on Sunday in St. Louis, in place of Roy Oswalt, who is en route to Houston to have his lower back checked out by team doctors.

For now, Norris is available out of the bullpen.  

Meanwhile, reliever Wesley Wright was diagnosed with dehydration, not appendicitis, and was released from the hospital last night. He is not expected to be at the game Wednesday and will instead rest at the team hotel. Wright would not be available for the game anyway, seeing he threw more than 50 pitches Tuesday night.

Blum leaves game with strained hammy.

Geoff Blum will likely miss at least two games with a strained left hamstring after suffering the injury during Sunday’s finale with the Rangers.

Blum felt the discomfort after singling in his first at-bat in the second inning.

“When I went into second base, I kind of hesitated a little bit in my slide,” he said. “It felt more like a cramp when I did it but my third at-bat when I took that swing, I felt it. It bit pretty good. It hurts.”

Blum left after the sixth inning and was replaced at third base by rookie Edwin Maysonet. The veteran infielder’s status is currently day-to-day.

“We’ll wake up tomorrow and see how it goes and I’ll probably have a better evaluation of what’s going on,” Blum said. “[Athletic trainers] Nate [Lucero] and Rex [Jones] are going to do a good job in taking care of me and hopefully it is just a day-to-day thing and something I can deal with and work through.”

Blum said he hasn’t pulled a hamstring since 1996, while playing for the Expos’ Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg, PA.

Maysonet called up, Cooper addresses team issues.

Edwin Maysonet messed up a bunt attempt in the eighth inning Thursday night and afterward his Triple-A manager, Marc Bombard, called him into his office and said, “You’ve got to start working on your bunting, especially up there.”

Maysonet didn’t initially understand what “up there” meant. Turns out, it meant the big leagues. Maysonet was called up to replace Jason Smith, who, hitless this season, was designated for assignment after the Astros’ loss to the Brewers.

This is Maysonet’s second call to the big leagues. He was also part of a group of Minor Leaguers who was called up last year when rosters expanded to 40 in September.

Maysonet was hitting .309 with seven doubles and five RBIs for Round Rock at the time of his recall. He’ll fill the same role as Smith — a backup infielder and pinch-hitter.

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There have been a lot of whispers about a contentious relationship developing between the players and manager Cecil Cooper, and Cooper addressed the topic before Friday’s game with the Rangers.

Cooper insisted his repoire with the players is fine and downplayed the notion that he’s lost the clubhouse. Here is what he said:

“When you struggle, all sorts of things happen. I’m sensing that’s probably what’s happening. I don’t think it’s a bad relationship. If it is, I don’t think it’s really on me. I think my door’s open. I expressed it all the time. I’m open, I move around amongst my players every day, if there are issues they should be addressed. I don’t feel there are.

“You have to be open, you have to be available and guys have to speak their minds when there’s something going on. There’s only so much you can sense or feel. They have to express themselves.”

Lately, however, the players have been expressing their feelings, largely off the record, to reporters, and not Cooper. They were not happy when Cooper opted not to bunt when the Astros had runners on first and second in the ninth inning in Chicago last Saturday, and some were irked with how he handled the lineup card mixup the other night during their game with the Brewers. Several wondered why it was a player, and not Cooper, who reached out to explain the mixup to Michael Bourn, who did not initially understand why he was being called back to hit again, after he had led off the game with a base hit.

On going to the media with their concerns, and not directly to him, Cooper said this:

“Then I’d say they’ve got a problem. They need to come and talk to me. That’s what I say to that. They need to talk to me. If I had an issue with someone, I would talk to that individual. I would hope they’d have enough confidence and feel good enough to come and talk to me. It’s not like I’m not around. It’s not like my door’s closed. It’s not like I don’t move in and out
of the clubhouse. It’s not like i’m not approachable. I would hope they would come talk to me.”

Geary on the mend. Maysonet recalled.

Geoff Geary is throwing on flat ground every day, fully intending to be ready for activation from the disabled list when he’s eligible on May 29. Whether he’s actually ready remains to be seen, however.

Geary, sidelined with right biceps tendinitis, is working with the team’s athletic trainers to strengthen the muscles on his upper back — near the back of his neck — with hopes that it will improve Geary’s posture and relieve the pressure on the front of his shoulder.

“It’s a day to day process, and every day that I feel better, the more excited I become,” Geary said.

Pitching with pain is something Geary is accustomed to. He says he’s done so most of his career, not from anything out of the ordinary, but simply because pain is the natural byproduct of doing something so physically unnatural and violent as overhand pitching.

“There have been times I can’t sleep because I couldn’t get my arm in the right position,” Geary said. “That’s just something you have to deal with. Your pain tolerance increases.”

Geary pointed out that he pitched with tears in his groin and abdomen in 2008 and found a way to get through it. This time, however, he realized he couldn’t pitch through the pain and still produce acceptable results.

He realized this pretty quickly during the Rockies series last week. In what was headed for a blowout Astros win, Geary allowed five runs in the ninth inning. He went on the DL the next morning.
 
“I kept telling myself, ‘if Jamie Moyer can pitch at 86 [mph], so can Geoff Geary,'” he said, referring to the Phillies’ 46-year-old mainstay. “But I’m not doing anything but hurting myself. Jamie Moyer knows how to pitch at 86. I don’t.”

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Following Thursday’s game, the Astros designated infielder Jason Smith and recalled infielder Edwin Maysonet from Triple-A Round Rock. Maysonet will serve in the same role as Smith, as a second utility infielder. “He can play all over,” manager Cecil Cooper said.

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Two things that struck me funny from Wednesday’s lineup card mixup that resulted in Michael Bourn hitting second, despite leading off the game with a base hit:

* Before the game, Bourn was the featured presenter of the lineup during FS Houston’s pregame show. I believe his exact words were, “Hitting in the leadoff spot, me.”

* According to manager Cecil Cooper, just before the game began, he and a couple of his coaches were talking about Joe Maddon’s lineup gaffe from a few days earlier that resulted in the Rays having to bat their pitcher. Little did they know…

From batting practice:

Erstad, Blum and everyone’s favorite lefty, Jim Deshaies. 

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Dave Clark talks bunting with Michael Bourn.

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Carlos Lee.

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Carlos Lee and Puma have a laugh while Puma fields grounders.

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Jason Michaels and Jeff Keppinger talk hitting.
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Alyson Footer is on Facebook and Twitter 
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