Results tagged ‘ TwitterTuesday ’

Astros are on MLB Network, and Bagwell’s on Twitter (Tuesday only).

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As a self-admitted MLB Network junkie, it sure has been a long month without my favorite cable sports station.

The place I rent down here has the bare minimum when it comes to cable programming, so I’m a little limited. After three (three!) Disney channels, TNT, E! and ESPN, the pickings are slim. Sadly, I’m experiencing pangs and withdrawal symptoms without MLB Network — and Bravo, too, come to think of it. Now, not only am I without nightly baseball talk, I also have no way of getting my daily dose of the fantastic train wrecks that are the “Real Housewives.”

Anyhoo, I happy to see Greg Amsinger and his crew at our spring complex early Monday morning, shooting b-roll and stocking up on interviews with about a dozen Astros. While I won’t be able to actually watch Tuesday night’s “30 clubs, 30 days” special featuring your Astros, it was, I suppose, gratifying enough watching the crew gather the content.

A full hour, beginning Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT, will be dedicated to all things Astros. They talked to every prominent player while they were here shooting, and they will also dedicate an entire segment solely to the farm system and the talent that we may see in the big leagues in the not-so-distant future.

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“It’s for the hardcore baseball fan,” Amsinger said. “It gives a little bit of everything, not just the guys at the big league level.”

Hopefully you’ll watch, enjoy, and give me a proverbial scouting report. For a full schedule of “30 clubs, 30 days,” click here.
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Question from e-mailer Ben:

I was wondering if you could tell me the following distances (miles/hours to get to certain camps.) Most notably Nationals, Braves, Phillies and Yankees.

Answer from your friendly neighborhood blogger:

The Astros travel anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours for Spring Training road trips, which is why the Braves (30 minutes) and not the Red Sox (three hours) are the official Preferred Opponent of Your Spring Training Houston Astros.

Here’s a photo of the entire Grapefruit League schedule, bus-ride version. To calculate the time it takes to get to the road destination, simply subtract the time the bus leaves from 10 a.m., which is the standard arrival time for a 1 p.m. game (4 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game, 3 for a 6 p.m. game. You get the drift).

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So, if the Astros are traveling to Lakeland to play the Tigers, that trip is an hour, so the bus will leave from the ballpark at 9 a.m.

I don’t know the exact mileage, but you can find that easy enough on Google maps. Enter “Kissimmee” and the road city and it will include how many miles it takes, in addition to directions.

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Why is this man smiling?

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I can’t tell you yet, but you’ll find out soon enough when we reveal our #TwitterTuesday question on, well, Tuesday.

Jeff Bagwell is the topic of this week’s Google-free trivia question and we’ll tweet that question exactly at noon CT. The first correct answer wins two free tickets to any Astros game this season with the exception of Opening Day, the Red Sox series and the final homestand of the season.

The exercise is simple — I tweet the question, you tweet your guesses back to me. When we receive the first correct answer, we’ll run a video of Bags giving his answer. Soon after that, we’ll also type it out on Twitter, for those who might not be able to access the video.

(Bagwell is here until Friday, by the way.)

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The Oklahoma City RedHawks have announced that tickets for the March 29 exhibition game against the Astros will go on sale to the general public beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday (March 15).

Remaining availability is limited, and seats are expected to sell quickly. For the Astros-RedHawks exhibition, Club seats are $20, Field and Bleacher seats are $16, Third Base Terrace seats are $12 and Lawn seating is $10. First pitch on March 29 is scheduled for
6:30 p.m., with gates opening at 5:00 p.m., the same time Astros batting practice is scheduled to begin.

Tickets are available for purchase by phone at (405) 218-1000, online at http://www.okcredhawks.com, or by visiting the RedHawks ticket office on Mickey Mantle Drive in Bricktown.

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Questions? Send to afooter@astros.com  

Mix in a salad: Astros focus on nutrition.

Today’s ballplayers are arguably more fit and health-conscious than players of any era that preceded them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t use a little friendly supervision in the nutrition department every now and again.

The Astros have hired Sports Dietician Consultant Roberta Anding to help players maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the season, which isn’t always such an easy thing once they reach the big league level.

Anding, the Sports Dietician for the Houston Texans and Rice University (where she’s also a professor), met with the entire squad before workouts Tuesday morning and stressed the importance of eating well, staying hydrated and staying away from supplements that could contain, unknowingly, banned substances.

In addition to working in healthier food choices inside the clubhouse, Anding will also work with Continental to come up with better options when the club is flying from city to city. In the past, players were greeted with dozens of food items as soon as they walked onto the plane, from the healthy (bananas, apples, oranges) to the relatively harmless (cheese and crackers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Lunchables), to the sinful (Snickers bars, Dove ice cream bars, Hershey bars).

Additionally, “appetizers” served before the main meal were often fried and accompanied by creamy sauces.

The Astros aren’t looking to overhaul the entire operation in one fell swoop. Rather, they want to slowly work in healthier choices that players can adapt to seamlessly without feeling like they’re missing anything. Although today’s athletes are well-conditioned and disciplined, temptation is everywhere.

(Speaking from personal experience, sometimes it’s hard to reach for the apples when you’ve got Peanut M&Ms staring you in the face.)

Meanwhile, Anding hopes to add a Smoothie station to the clubhouse kitchen. She also encouraged players to work in a healthy diet with their strength and conditioning routine and to stay hydrated.

“Fruits and vegetables are the water you chew,” she said, adding that dehydration can affect performance by “15 to 20 percent.”

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A lot of you have asked how many Major League players are on Twitter. Thanks to @MLB, we can view the entire growing list with one click of the mouse. Here’s the most recently updated verified list, including the Twitter profiles of a couple of Astros players: @HunterPence9 and @hyphen18.

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The first Florida-based Astroline will take place on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/7 CT, live from the ESPN Club at the Disney Boardwalk. Hosted by Milo Hamilton, this week’s Astroline show will feature manager Brad Mills. The show can be heard on KTRH 740 and Astros.com.
You can tweet me your questions for the skipper at http://www.twitter.com/alysonfooter.

Astroline will air four times this spring: March 2, 9, 16 and 23.

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Speaking of Milo, a few weeks ago, he was inducted into the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. In perfect double-play form, he also picked up the Pinky Primrose Long and Meritorious award.

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Notables: Fernando Abad was sent home Tuesday morning after the lefty checked in with a temperature of 101. Wesley Wright took his place took his place on the projected list of pitchers scheduled to appear during the home opener with the Braves. …congratulations to @dailyfudgeround for giving the correct answer during the second #TwitterTuesday contest. The question: What was Bill Hall’s favorite musician when he was a kid? Answer: Tupac Shakur. #TwitterTuesday takes place every Tuesday at noon CT throughout the spring and asks a question about a player that cannot be found through an online search. The first person to tweet the correct answer wins two free tickets to any home game this season, with the exception of Opening Day, the Red Sox series and the final homestand of the season. …the Astros will play two games on the road Wednesday — one in Lakeland (Tigers), one in Tampa (Yankees). J.A. Happ will start in Lakeland, Bud Norris in Tampa.

Some pregame images from the home opener:

Hanging on the field, waiting for the anthem…Bogusevic, Johnson…

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…etc….
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Brett Myers warms up

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Jeff Bagwell, in town for a few days, strides to the dugout

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Astros are on Facebook
Follow Alyson Footer on Twitter
Check out Astros witticisms at AstrosOneLiners 

Questions? Send to afooter@astros.com  

Morning news and notes: Pitching schedules, Twitter Tuesday, Focus Friday, and today’s links.

The Astros announced on Tuesday that Wandy Rodriguez will start the Grapefruit League opener on Feb. 28 at Atlanta, while Brett Myers will pitch the next day when the Astros host the Braves in their first spring game of the season.

The Braves have Derek Lowe scheduled for the first game and Tommy Hanson for the second.

While Wandy is opening the spring season, I would not assume that translates into the same order when the regular season begins. The Spring Training pitching order is mapped out so that pitchers throw every fifth day and wind up making their first start of the season on that same schedule. If you count out the days from Myers first Grapefruit start, it would put him on schedule to start April 1 in Philadelphia. Not a coincidence.

As for the rest of the rotation order, that has yet to be announced. Stay tuned.

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Thanks to everyone who participated in #TwitterTuesday. The contest didn’t last long thanks to @austincory ‘s very prompt correct answer, but we still had a nice flow of guesses come in and I appreciate the interaction.

For those who missed it, every Tuesday at noon CT throughout Spring Training, I’ll post a Google-free, can’t-find-it-on-the-internet, won’t-be-able-to-look-it-up-on-baseballreference.com trivia question on my Twitter, and the first correct answer tweeted back to me
wins two free tickets to any Astros home game this season, with the exception of Opening Day, the Red Sox series and the final homestand of the season.

Yesterday’s question was: What is Chris Johnson’s favorite can’t-miss television show? The answer, which we first posted here in video form, was Entourage.

Next Tuesday, we’ll ask a different question of a different player and you can guess as many times as you want. The only requirement is you have to be following me on Twitter to participate.

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In addition to Twitter Tuesday, we’ve also added another new feature — Focus Friday. For this, we’ll ask an Astros player a handful off-the-field, non-baseball related questions that give some insight to him away from the game.

We’ll video the interview and post it on Twitter, and we’ll also provide a transcript on this blog. This is where the fun part comes in — the questions asked will come from you. I received some really good ones on Twitter yesterday for Hunter Pence, and we’ll sift through those, pick the best five or 10, and post them on Friday.

I’ll send out another alert next week when we’ve determined who we’ll be featuring in Focus Friday.

Miscellany:

* The Astros have teamed up with the Florida Blood Centers to host a blood drive prior to the March 3 game vs. the Florida Marlins at Osceola County Stadium. The blood drive will take place from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., and donors will receive a free Astros special edition t-shirt, as well as a voucher for a free ticket to one of two pre-selected Spring Training games (while supplies last)…donors must be at least 16 years old and weigh 102 pounds to be eligible to donate and a photo ID is required.

* Two Astros Spring games will be broadcast on FS Houston: March 18 at the Marlins and March 19 vs. the Cardinals.

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On to the links…

MLB.com:

Clint Barmes knew only the Colorado Rockies until he was traded to Houston last year. The shortstop welcomes a new beginning, he tells Brian McTaggart.

Lots of interesting information in this notebook, including who the Astros’ player representatives are this year, Fernando Abad’s role as he competes for a spot on the roster and Nelson Figueroa’s loss of his grandfather.

Chronicle:

The Astros find plenty of talent on the waiver wire. Zachary Levine gives a brief history of the club’s recent wire acquisitions.

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