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Houston Astros - Are the stars aligned?


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Dec. 10, 2005

Cashman Signed As Stro's GM

hou.gifHouston Tx. - The stars are shining bright in Texas these days. The newly signed GM, Brian Cashman, has started getting to work on revamping an old and worn roster. The average age is around 30 and no signs of getting better. Having made the World Series last year, it might be the last run these players have in them. In other words, the gas tank might be running out.

Roger Clemens has made no guarentees of returning, and Cashman has made it clear that he wont expect him to. Jeff Bagwell was contemplating retirement before the start of spring, and Cashman has made plans to see that he does. Craig Biggio, a mainstay in Houston for years, is on his last leg as well. So the Killer Bees legacy as we knew it, is coming to a thunderous close.


Brian Cashman is looking for change

Brian Cashman: "The team made some strides in their push to the playoffs and the World Series last year, but I will make us better. I want to shake up the roster by leaps and bounds, so no one feels like their job is safe. If its one thing I learned working for George, is to never get comfortable in any situation."

Cashman, released from his contract due to disagreements over how to run the Yankees organization, was hired by Drayton McClane to get the Astros back to the World Series in the shortest period of time possible.


Drayton McClane bought the team in 1993 hoping to change the losing ways that seemed to daunt the Astros every year. Hiring Cashman as soon as he heard that Cashman was a FA General Manager.

Drayton McClane: "I look at it this way, Im a buisness man, Im in a situation where my team is aging and there is no hope of turning it around any time soon. I hired Brian, because he is just to good a talent to pass up."

Cashman worked along side George Steinbrenner for the past few years and never developed a great relationship with him. The constant fueding and infighting left Cashman with his hands tied in most cases. Deal after deal had to be ran passed George to get his opinion or approval so the deals could get done. None the less, it finally came to a close last week, when Cashman resigned his post as Yankees GM.


Cashman and Steinbrenner never saw eye to eye

So Steinbrenners loss is the Astros gain. In any event, it will take nothing less than a Houdini, to get the Stros back to the World Series. If history is right, Cashman wont take long to pull the trigger on any deal, and that goes for stars or prospects. We will see, and lets keep our fingers crossed.

Jim Downs has been the experienced beat reporter for the Houston Astros Organization since 1990

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Feb. 15, 2006

Pitchers And Catchers Report To Camp

hou.gifKissimmee FL. - After a winter full of questions and answers, one thing is for certain. Its the second week of February, and that means its time for MLB Camps to open up for pitchers and catchers.

A lot of speculation as to who the Astos have traded away or given their outright releases to, have been put to bed, finally. All answers will be given during and after Spring Training. Phil Garner has another youthful roster to look forward to, and the faces are familiar ones. Not to many of the original roster from last year are present, and the average age is not 32, anymore.


Given the reigns last year, Garner got the Astros over the hump and they rolled off a 48-26 record and rolled their way through the playoffs, only to get rolled themselves, by the Chi-Sox in 4.

Phil Garner: "I was disappointed with the outcome of the W.S., for sure. We have put that behind us, so we have to move on now. Its a new year and things have changed considerably. Our roster has changed immensely since '05. Some of the players wanted out, so they got their wish. 90% of the roster is gone. What we got in return, was just remarkable. Im really excited to see what we can do. "


Osceola County Stadium has been where the Astros have played since 1985

As pitchers and Catchers start to arrive, they will have to start preparing for the daily routine of throwing, throwing and more throwing. Not to bad, if you get paid to do it for a living. If all of us could be so lucky.

The Astros open up with Cleveland, and ends with L.A. Dodgers, before they play two with K.C. in Houston before the start of the 2006 season.

Astros 2006 Spring Training Schedule

Date Opponent Site Time

Wednesday, March 1 No Game

Thursday, March 2 INDIANS KISSIMMEE 1:05

Friday, March 3 Indians Winter Haven 1:05

Saturday, March 4 BRAVES KISSIMMEE 1:05

Sunday, March 5 Phillies Clearwater 1:35

Monday, March 6 NATIONALS KISSIMMEE 1:05

Tuesday, March 7 Mets Port St. Lucie 1:10

Wednesday, March 8 BLUE JAYS KISSIMMEE 1:05

Thursday, March 9 METS KISSIMMEE 1:05

Friday, March 10 NATIONALS KISSIMMEE 1:05

Saturday, March 11 PHILLIES KISSIMMEE 1:05

Sunday, March 12 Dodgers Vero Beach 1:05

Monday, March 13 Blue Jays Dunedin 1:05

Tuesday, March 14 Braves DWWS 7:05

Wednesday, March 15 YANKEES KISSIMMEE 1:05

Thursday, March 16 Yankees Tampa 1:15

Friday, March 17 Braves DWWS 1:05

Saturday, March 18 Indians Winter Haven 1:05

Sunday, March 19 TIGERS KISSIMMEE 1:05

Monday, March 20 Off Day

Tuesday, March 21 Tigers Lakeland 6:05

Wednesday, March 22 INDIANS KISSIMMEE 7:05

Thursday, March 23 Yankees Tampa 7:15

Friday, March 24 TIGERS KISSIMMEE 1:05

Saturday, March 25 METS KISSIMMEE 1:05

Sunday, March 26 Nationals Viera 1:05

Monday, March 27 Tigers Lakeland 1:05

Tuesday, March 28 BRAVES KISSIMMEE 1:05

Wednesday, March 29 Indians Winter Haven 1:05

Thursday, March 30 DODGERS KISSIMMEE 1:05

Friday, March 31 Royals Houston 7:05

Saturday, April 1 Royals Houston 6:05

Sunday, April 2 No Game

Schedule subject to change

Jim Downs has been the experienced beat reporter for the Houston Astros Organization since 1990

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Apr. 3, 2006

Astros Get Ready For Fish

hou.gifHouston Tx. - Spring Training is Finally Over, and with a not so great spring, the Stros come back home and face a twin bill with the Marlins, tomorrow.

With the opening day matchup expected to be T.Hudon against A.Pettite, This looks like it might be an instant classic.

A.Pettite vs. T.Hudson Game 1

J.Vargas vs. D.Willis Game 2

The rotation for the Astros works out like this:


(From left to right) T.Hudson, D.Willis, J.Washburn, F.Carmona, J.Sowers

Phil Garner was quoted as saying that "He was quite pleased in what he has gotten so far, to date." He was expected to get more, but with the lack of takers and teams willing to make that extra move, he will have to take what he has, for now. Which to say, is pretty good, for what he does have. A lineup of pure speed and defence. Prospects mixed with Veteran leadership. Its always a good mix when you can tie the two together.


P.Garner: "Dont be fooled into thinking we made ourselves weaker this year. I have news for you, these 5 pitchers are as strong of a rotation as you will find."

The Marlins come in with possibly the worst team they have fielded since their inception. Miguel Cabrera is the power horse in their lineup, but he wont be able to do it all by himself. The Fish were willing to deal, but the price tag might be a little steep at this point. Teams looking for a big bat, might be looking to deal at midseason.

My prediction, the Astros take all 3 games. Their is no way they can compete with the Astros pitching. The lineup consists of to many hitters that can put pressure on you, with the way they handle the bat. We will see what happens in the coming days, for now, the Astros are my pick for the Wild Card, in a division full of teams that are playoff caliber.

Tomorrow will be the release of the full roster and lineups.

Jim Downs has been the experienced beat reporter for the Houston Astros Organization since 1990

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Apr. 4, 2006

Astros Lineup Looks To Make Noise

hou.gifHouston Tx. - Phil Garner has released the roster and lineups for the upcoming season. With a lineup of speed and guys who can handle the bat, he might be right in saying that they will be competitive.

I give Brian Cashman a B- for the moves he was able to make. Players who didnt want to be here, are gone. People who wanted to play here, are here. Its a roster full of vibrant young players who want to establish themselves as MLB stars.


B.Cashman: "I believe we will be a better ballclub. Whether we will be a great team remains to be seen. We have not played alot of games to get a fair assesment of any players yet. We will eventually, and Im not done by any stretch."

2006 Houston Astros


1B: (LH)Prince Fielder

2B: (SH)Brian Roberts

3B: (RH)Andy Marte

SS: (RH)Bill Hall

RF: (RH)Austin Kearns

CF: (RH)Willy Tavaras

LF: (LH)David DeJesus

C : (RH)Jason Phillips


UT: (LH)Marlon Anderson

SS: (SH)Ramon Santiago

OF: (SH)Nook Logan

C : (LH)Sandy Martinez


SP: (RH)Tim Hudson

SP: (LH)Dontrell Willis

SP: (LH)Jarred Washburn

SP: (RH)Fausto Carmona

SP: (LH)Jeremy Sowers


LR: (RH)Nate Mateo

MR: (RH)Matt Miller

MR: (LH)DeMaso Marte

MR: (LH)Marcos Mendoza

MR: (RH)Manny Aybar

SU: (RH)Shinjo Takatsu

SU: (RH)Rafael Soriano

CL: (RH)Frankie Rodriguez


CF Willy Tavaras

LF David DeJesus

2B Brian Roberts

3B Andy Marte

RF Austin Kearns

1B Prince Fielder

C Jason Phillips

SS Bill Hall

*DH Marlon Anderson

*Designated Hitter (AL home games)

Jim Downs has been the experienced beat reporter for the Houston Astros Organization since 1990

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This team was fantasy drafted I imagine?

No fantasy draft here. All rosters are basically the same except for mine.............lol All traded for fairly, no crap trades were made. I had an idea what I wanted, and pulled the trigger on the deals...........:wtg:

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Apr. 4, 2006

Astros Beat Pettite Win Opener 5-2


hou.gifHouston Tx. - Andy Pettite was traded away for Dontrell Willis in the offseason. When he came back, he was greeted warmly by the fans and rudely against his former team to the tune of 5 runs in the 2nd inning. Allowing all 5 runs on 7 hits, walking 1 and striking out 1.

The Astros were able to get to Pettite in the 5th, when he didnt have his best command. A Tavaras 2 RBI Double and a DeJesus RBI single made it 3-0 early, followed by a 2 RBI single by Bill Hall, made it 5-0.

The Marlins got 2 runs in the 5th off of Hudson, with a 2 run single by Hanley Ramirez, scoring Willingham and Reed.

Tim Hudson went 6 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, walking one and striking out 6. Relieved by Takatsu in the 7th to get the final out of the inning to keep the score at 5-2. Soriano pitched the 8th and Frankie Rodriguez pitched a perfect 9th for his first SV.


Willy Tavaras had a 2 run double and Bill Hall Had a 2 run single in the 2nd

WP: T.Hudson (1-0) 2.57 LP: A.Pettite (0-1) 6.43 SV: Frankie Rodriguez (1)


W.Tavaras 1-4 2B (2)RBI SB(1)

B.Hall 1-3 (2)RBI

H.Ramirez 2-4 (2)RBI SB(1)

Tonights Probables:

J.Vargas (0-0) vs. D.Willis (0-0) 7:05 P.M.

Game Recap:

P.Garner: "Well I think once Pettite got out of the 2nd, he was able to concentrate and get command. He is a master of controlling the situation, and I think we took him by surprise with our aggressiveness at the plate."

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Apr. 4, 2006

Astros Get Sweep Of Double Header


hou.gifHouston Tx. - What was a crazy night to start with, ended in a 2 game sweep of a twi-night doubleheader on opening day. What a way to start the season, getting 2 wins on one day. A matchup of lefties in game 2.

Dontrell Willis was simply amazing against a subpar team, getting the win, while going 7 innings, striking out 7 and walking 2. He allowed only 4 hits. Matt Miller pitched the 8th and Frankie Rodriguez picked up SV number 2 with another great inning of work.

The Marlins manufactured a run with an RBI single by Miguel Cabrera in the 3rd, to tie the game at 1 apeice.

The Astros got an RBI single from Kearns in the 1st and a 2 RBI double by Bill Hall in the 4th to make it 3-1.

Vargas didnt pitch badly, but gave up crucial hits with 2 outs. He did go 6 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits, while walking 3.


Austin Kearns gets his 1st RBI, Jason Phillips has to throw to 1st to get the out on the K in the dirt by Willis in the 6th inning

WP: D.Willis(1-0) 1.29 LP: J.Vargas (0-1) 4.50 SV: Frankie Rodriguez (2)


A.Kearns 1-3 RBI

B.Hall 1-3 2B (2)RBI

M.Cabrera 2-4 RBI

Wednesdays Probables:

R.Pinto (0-0) vs. J.Washburn (0-0) 7:05 P.M.

Game Recap:

Dontrell Willis: "I knew they would be aggressive with me, so I had to pitch a little more effectively with my offspeed stuff. I usually just come after people, but they made me use my changeup a little more."

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Apr. 6, 2006

Astros Slam Fish Get Sweep


hou.gifHouston Tx. - This was suppose to be a test to see how the Astros would fair against the young Marlins. They passed with flying colors.

The Astros dismissed the Marlins from Minutemaid, with their fins dragging behind. With clutch hitting from Bill Hall, who has carried them through this series with 5 RBI, bailed the Stros out again with 2 outs. His RBI single in the 4th broke any momentum the Marlins could get, and helped the Astros get the sweep of the series.

Jarred Washburn went 6 2/3 innings allowed 7 hits in giving up 3 runs. He gave up a 2 run bomb to Hanley Ramirez in the 7th to get the Fish to 4-3, but would get no closer. The bullpen came in and shut the door. Manny Aybar pitched an inning and Marcos Mendoza picked up the SV(1) due to the 2 innings Rodriguez had pitched in the double header.

Renyel Pinto was as good as advertised, but really lost control with the 2 walks issued in the first 3 innings, which led to 4 runs. He allowed 4 runs in 5 2/3 innings, gave up 5 hits, walked 1 and sruck out 1 in the loss. He gave up a 2 run bomb to Andy Marte in the 2nd inning. The bullpen put gas on the fire giving up a 3 run HR to Austin Kearns to make it 7-3 game over.


Willy Tavaras makes an outstanding diving catch in the 3rd, while Marte has lift off for a 2 run HR his 1st of the season

WP: J.Washburn(1-0) 4.05 LP: R.Pinto(0-1) 6.35 SV: M.Mendoza(1)


A.Kearns 1-3 HR(1) (3)RBI

A.Marte 3-4 HR(1) (2)RBI

M.Cabrera 2-3 2B RBI

R.Andino 2-4

Fridays Probables:

Washington Nationals (2-1) @ Houston Astros (3-0)

R.Ortiz (0-0) vs. F.Carmona (0-0) 7:05 P.M.

Game Recap:

Bill Hall: "Im seeing the ball pretty well right now. I didnt know i was getting RBI like that. Ill take 5 RBI every series."

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Apr. 8, 2006

Astros Get 4th In A Row 6-3


hou.gifHouston Tx. - The Astros continued their winning ways, winning their 4th in a row. Brian Roberts 3 run shot in the 5th inning, sealed it for a 6-3 win for Carmona.

Fausto Carmona pitched very well, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits, striking out 7 and walking 1. He gave up a solo HR to Weeks in the 4th. Soriano pitched the 8th, K-Rod got the SV in the 9th.

The Astros got a SF from Roberts in the 4th, and RBI singles from Tavaras and DeJesus in the 5th off of Ortiz. Roberts would get a 3 run HR in the 5th to cap the scoring.

Washington scored their runs on RBI singles from Church in the first, and Byrd in the 8th. A Weeks HR in the 4th was all that the Nationals got.

Russ Ortiz really never got it going. He kept it scoreless for the first 3 innings, but it fell apart for him in the 4th and 5th. He allowed 6 runs on 7 hits, walking 3 and striking out 1.


Brian Roberts hits a 3 run HR in the 5th, Rickey Weeks hits a solo shot in the 4th

WP: F.Carmona(1-0) 3.86 LP: R.Ortiz(0-1) 9.00 SV: F.Rodriguez(3)


B.Roberts 1-3 HR(1) (4)RBI SF

D.DeJesus 2-4 RBI

R.Weeks 2-4 HR(1) RBI SB(4)

C.Guzman 2-2 (2)BB

Tomorrows Probables:

R.Drese (0-0) vs. J.Sowers (0-0) 6:05 P.M.

Game Recap:

Frank Robinson: "They are a tough ballclub. Right now they are getting great pitching and timely hitting. When you get that, your gonna win games."

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Apr. 9, 2006

Hall HR Lifts Astros To 5th Straight


hou.gifHouston Tx. - The reason Cashman traded for Bill Hall, was that he felt Bill was a solid young player. Little did we know he was this good.

His GW walk off 3 run HR, gave the Astros their 5th straight victory and he has 8 RBI to lead the team in the early going. He had defensive help as well. The Astros turned 4 DP's in helping Sowers get out of a couple jams. Sowers only allowed the 1 run on 3 hits, but he walked 2 and struck out 5 in 6 1/3 innings. He gave up a solo shot to Jose Guillen in the 1st, and settled down after that.

The Astros got an RBI single from Marte in the 6th and a GW 3 run HR from Bill Hall in the bottom of the 13th to end it.

The Astros bullpen was outstanding, going a combined 6 2/3 innings, 3 hits and 5 strikeouts. Takatsu pitched 1/3 of an inning to record his first win.

Ryan Drese was steller in his first performance of the year. Matching Sowers pitch for pitch. He went 8 1/3, scattering 8 hits and 1 earned run, walking 1. He was relieved by T.J. Tucker who went 4 innings before surrendering the HR that ended the game.


Weeks takes out Anderson as he completes a DP, Halls 3run HR was the GW

WP: S.Takatsu(1-0) 0.00 LP: T.J. Tucker(0-1) 6.75


B.Hall 1-2 GWHR(1) (3)RBI

W.Tavaras 3-6 (2)R SB(3)

R.Weeks 1-5 HR(2) RBI

R.Zimmerman 2-5

J.Guillen 1-5 HR(1) RBI BB

Tomorrows Probables:

L.Hernandez (0-1) 1.08 vs. T.Hudson (1-0) 2.57 1:05 P.M.

Game Recap:

Phil Garner: "All it takes is one hit. Ive been stressing this since spring training. My guys are listening to me and all the practicing of fundamentals is paying off for them. Im especially happy for Bill. He was struggling a bit last year with Milwaukee, and for him to come in and contribute right away is a big boost for us."

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check this out

[ b ][ color=darkred ]Phil Garner:[ / color ][ /b ] [ b ]"All it takes is one hit. Ive been stressing this since spring training. My guys are listening to me and all the practicing of fundamentals is paying off for them. Im especially happy for Bill. He was struggling a bit last year with Milwaukee, and for him to come in and contribute right away is a big boost for us."[ /b ]

[ b ] is the boldness of color i had to space it a little so you can see what it might look like

is the size I think 28 is the biggest you can go on size

is the color, you can play with the colors, there is more than just whats on the color chart they give. Just play with it.

best thing to do is hit quote and look to see how it was done. copy and paste to notepad if you like, so you can always remember how it looked.

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Im gonna be retiring from this for a while, because Im gonna be working on homerun animations and where they are located, and see if we can incorporate them into other players.....lol Wouldnt it be cool to see Dunit or Kgbaseball hit a HR and pose down a pitcher.............lol AWESOME! ! ! I want to find this stuff and I hope we can get a few more modders to tag along in this investigation, I only have UncleMo right now.......A very good start.........:wtg:

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