I think I'm going to get a Mark Loretta Astros uni. The funny thing is, I don't own any Astros jerseys. Berkman or Biggio would be my other top choices... maybe Burke or Oswalt. But just reading about Mark Loretta over the past week has really excited me. The fact that he really wanted to sign here despite the lack of a starting position really signals that he's in it for the right reasons. He likes Garner and Ausmus, likes the stadium and the fans and the city of Houston. What else could you ask for?
Not only that... the man produces. His last year was arguably one of his worst, yet he put up a .345 OBP. He is 35, but he seems to be the type of hitter — making contact, driving balls into the gaps — that ages well. Plus he won't have too heavy a defensive workload, at least not at first. Mabe that'll keep him fresh. Check out his career numbers: 513 Ks to 462 BBs. A .363 OBP. An .886 OPS in Petco in 2004.
Most importantly, though: Loretta was a Northwestern Wildcat. So you know he's on the level.
Also on my mind: Starting picthing. Once again, we get to ride the Clemens rollercoaster. If we have a deal worked out where he signs in June and pitches in the second half, I suppose I could live with two months of Wandy and Nieve/Sampson/Albers. But if he signs elsewhere, we NEED one more starter. Brian Lawrence, Tomo Ohka and Jeff Weaver are still on the market. Brad Penny and Jon Lieber are likely to be traded. Any one of these guys would be a good acquisition.
Man I can't wait for baseball. In the meantime, I'll have to focus on ultimate and disc golf.