Remember all that talk about Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens bringing a new 'attitude' to the Astros?
The new attitude seems to be one of utmost seriousness.
Don't get me wrong - we NEED to go for it all this year. At the end of this year, we will lose (or should let go of) Clemens, Biggio, Kent, Hidalgo, probably Miller, maybe Dotel, PLEASE Vizcaino, etc...to be replace by The Kids: Jason Lane, Chris Burke, John Buck, Brooks Conrad, Willy Taveras, etc.
But the season is just over 1/4 of the way through, and already the Astros are taking everything really...seriously.
The Chronicle urged the Astros to "Get Angry" today, after Richard Justice advised them to have fun and play the game the day before. I'm more on Justice's side on this one. Maybe it's just me, but the whole team seems a little tight right now. It's hard to play well when you're putting tons of pressure on yourself. That's one thing I admire so much about the Yankees; every year, they've got huge expectations to live up to, and every year they're right there at the end. But I don't know if that's good for every team. Clemens and Pettitte have been awesome so far, but hopefully they're not making the game less fun for everybody.
Houston: Relax. It really IS a marathon, not a sprint, and you simply can't have extreme intensity every single game for 162 games, or you'll go crazy.
That said, here are some minor-league stats on "The Kids" that I mentioned earlier that we might see a lot of in 2005:
C John Buck .290 / .372 / .435, 5 HR, 14 BB in 131 AB.
1B Todd Self .354 / .450 / .543, 15 2B, 6 HR, 32(!!!) BB in 175 AB.
2B Chris Burke .324 / .393 / .495, 12 2B, 5 HR, 17 BB in 182 AB.
2B Brooks Conrad .297 / .370 / .475, 13 2B, 3 HR, 21 BB in 158 AB.
CF Willy Taveras .356 / . 420 / .401, only 5 XBH, 17 BB in 177 AB.
Buck - starting 2005 C
Self - backing up Bagwell
Burke - starting 2005 2B
Conrad - has played 3B and SS - no more Viz!
Taveras - overrated. Singles hitter with a lot of speed. Late-inning defensive replacement and pinch-runner extraordinaire, though.