The Lone Star Advocate

All the Texas teams you care about!

Archive for the month “July, 2011”

Thank You, Hunter

As you all are aware of by now, Hunter Pence has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies; it’s a sad time for us Astro fans. We lost the franchise and the only bit of hope for the future that we had after bringing up the very recently successful Jose Altuve. After a horrible Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt trade, Astros fans are heart broken to lose their stars and favorite players, and when the Rangers made the World Series that year, a few unloyal Astros fans decided to jump on the bandwagon only to find themselves en route to a sinking ship. You know who you are…

With Hunter going to the highest bidder, Atlanta seems to have their eye set on snagging Michael Bourn after losing the gold prize of Hunter to the Phillies, and getting placed behind the eight ball in their division. Unless the Braves go out for Jose Reyes of the Mets in their own division, but that seems unlikely, but enough about them. Lets talk about us and what we got

Jarred Cosart: a young right-handed pitching prospect, an ERA just over 3.64 and a winning from class single A, he throws a decent curve and a good fastball in his arsenal, and was considered to be the Phillies’ top pitching prospect this year. He is going to come to Corpus and hopefully I’ll be able to see his first start in the Astros system

Jonathan Singleton: playing High A for the Phillies system and hitting .282 with 9 home runs and 47 RBIs in 92 games, he’s a lefty can be used either at left field of first base, like Carlos Lee, so if El Caballo is to be traded down the road, be expecting this guy possibly to take his place, although he is only reporting to High A Lancaster, so if Lee is indeed traded before Sunday, look for a guy from AAA to take on that role. (that goes for Michael Bourn, Drayton is technically still the owner so he’s trading away all of our talent before he leaves this sinking ship, well already sunken ship.)

Josh Zeid: a 24 righty with a 2-3 record and a 5.65 ERA as a starter (he’ll fit right in…) with 11 starts, but has a 2.25 ERA as a reliever through 10 games, so expect to see him flirting with the bullpen. He is also designated for AA assignment here in Corpus

And finally, a player yet to be named by the Phillies! Wow, that’s a shocker, expect to get a lemon here, im not expecting much, but I am very content with who we’ve got and I think we’ll do just fine, but yet again our team chemistry gets derailed by a trade.

Who is going to fill in for Hunter you ask? Well! That is simple, JD Martinez from AA Corpus Christi, that’s who! Another AA ball player is called up directly to the Astros, shocking, I know, I cant help but think that the guys up in AAA Round Rock Oklahoma City are a bit ticked off right now! I’d be upset too if a freshman got called up to the varsity before a sophomore or junior on the JV!

– Richard Perez

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Defense Wins Championships.

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Yeah, we’ve all heard that saying “offense wins games, but defense wins championships” but really? How are you going to get to said championship without scoring points?! You have to have an arsenal, at least a few weapons, a pea shooter and a pocket knife can only go so far.

Look at a high caliber offensive team: Dallas, (when they want to be) New England, both New York teams can light up the scoreboard, what do they all have in common? High powered offense AND defense! It’s a perfect combination of offense and defense that wins you games and eventually championships. Houston, well, we’ve got a great offense that, when firing on all cylinders, can really put point up.

Matt Shaub, an amazing and smart quarterback can read defenses like a book and can gun the ball deep to any one of our receivers.

Arian Foster, a lighting quick running back, can make quick cuts to get into the gap, and has the ability to bust a big run. I cannot say enough about Arian, but he wouldn’t be where he is without the blocking abilities of Vonta Leach, at this point, it doesn’t seem likely that we’re going to get Vonta back in the Liberty White and Deep Steel Blue; so we have to find a suitable replacement to compliment Arian.

Andre Johnson and our entire receiving core is certainly on par and above compared to other teams; Andre is considered to be the best wide receiver in the NFL and his stats back it up! From selling out and putting his body on the line to catch a ball, be it a touchdown, first down, or just to gain yards, and playing through an injury and fighting on for his teammates, you can bet that Andre will do it all.

Owen Daniels, you cannot credit this offense without crediting Owen Daniels, he is a scrapper and will fight tooth and nail for every last inch of every yard. He’s a great 3rd and short guy when the defense has us locked down with their coverage. A utility tight end as a few faux coaches on Twitter like to say, and he can battle for this team.

Offensive line: our five men in the trenches might not be the best, but thu get the job done, they can give Matt all the time in the world to make a pas and they open up holes for Arian, Vonta, [insert new full back here], or Steve Slaton when he’s not at wide out.

Nobody can say our offense is lacking, we have an arsenal of weapons willing and waiting to strike, the only question come game time is: how much damage can they do?

They only component that we lack is defense, secondary specifically, Mario, DeMeco, and Brian do a great job in the front seven defensive players, but we need help at safety and corner, which is an article for another time.

– Richard Perez

Astros’ Trade Possibilities

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Yeah, I know I should be getting ready for the Texans’ offseason moves, signings, trades, cuts, etc etc, but the MLB trade deadline is this Sunday; SO… I figure why not do an assessment to hopefully see who we have on the block and who we can get.

We already know that the Astros are deep in a rebuilding phase, on pace to their worst season in recent history, and possibly a franchise worst and first 100 loss season. What’s keeping us from such a low level of mediocrity is our developed young talent prospects.

The Jeff Keppinger trade was indeed a surprise to me and I didn’t expect him to get traded away, I knew we had to open up some cap space but trading Kepp didn’t seem like an option, but Ed Wade is a smart man and dealt him for two minor league pitching prospects, to help our possibly crippled bullpen down the line. That fortunately opened up the door for a little known AA player from Corpus Christi named Jose Altuve to come up, but you already knew that!

Wandy Rodriguez: outstanding, outspoken, heavily underrated pitcher. If this guy was on a winning team or a team that could give him decent run support. If we deal Wandy, he’d probably go somewhere like San Fran, Philly possibly, but I dont think it’s exclusive to them. I am expecting quite a bit for this guy because he’s the talent equivalent of Ubaldo Jimenez, and that kind of talent with such a low price is a steal.

Michael Bourn: fast, talented, dedicated. Michael Bourn is a great athlete and makes this team what it is as a contributor. Maybe a team who needs a speedy outfielder could trade for him. I doubt he’ll be traded, but then again, I doubted Kepp’s trade too.

Hunter Pence: here is the part that kills me, HP is the face of our franchise to our fanbase and he is the work horse of this team, he leads the league in plenty of stats. ESPN has blown up his trade qualities since the all star game, and it’s made me cringe every time I see it. I watches him here in Corpus Christi and I am a huge Pence fan. I love this guy and I want him in Houston. If you take him away, you kill the last of our morale, but I think Ed Wade knows this and won’t trade him… I hope…

Carlos Lee: I say this because we need to lower the salary cap, Jim Crane wants to lower it to open up the door for a big time free agent down the road. I love Lee and he’s a great player, hope to keep him in Space City.

– Richard Perez

CBA almost done? (again) Free agent frenzy to come?

I know, I know, it seems they’ve been saying this all month, and last time was supposed to be the real deal, but the player representatives immediately shot it down, causing fans and players to rip their hair out, punch walls, or whatever venting method they could think of (this would have been the only time it’s ok to have cried, I did.) it probably put a few extra dollars in a contractor’s wallet and maybe barber who cut off a dudes hair that he couldn’t pull out, but it took quite a few million out of the NFL’s wallet and some folk aren’t too happy about that…

With the NFL player reps and owners speculating a done deal by today, seeing if the NFLPA can re-unionize; all 32 team’s camps could be opened by as early as this Friday, a free agent signing frenzy is certainly immanent as no team activity has occurred due to the lockout. While we assessed our defensive needs in the draft; JJ Watt, Brooks Reed, Roc Carmichael, Shiloh Keo, and “Mr. Irrelevant” Cheta Ozougwu just to name them, we may still struggle a tad, even if we keep our defense intact if the salary cap drops.

We definitely are going to cut a few players that will give us breathing room, but there are a few that are most definitely overpaid, i hope they can either take a pay cut or get traded, if we do not need them. There is no telling what Coach Kubiak, and Rick Smith can do to reel in a big free agent or a great trade.

What is certain is that we’ll have our defensive captive DeMeco Ryans back at the helm to hopefully fill the holes in our swiss cheese of a defense, but it is uncertain that we’ll have our players back, due to a number of them being unrestricted free agents. They are not easily replaceable, but that is what I hope our draft picks can do with time. With only two offensive linemen going into free angecy, one restricted the other not, our offensive line is safe and intact, for now.

I can only cross my fingers and pray that this deal is approved and we can return to football!

– Richard Perez

(PS: I am now a contributor to the ToroTimes.com, a strictly Houston Texans blogging site. I will still post to this site in conjunction with the other! Please visit us and let us know how you feel! Thank you very much! The link to my first post is below!)

http://torotimes.com/?p=2554

A fragment of consistency shines

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The Astro bats were indeed alive and kicking yesterday in Chicago, although, I wouldn’t say they did much kicking, more like stretching. 10 singles in the game, one being an RBI single from Carlos Lee scoring Angel Sanchez giving the Astros their only run of the contest. Aside from Wandy’s excellent pitching performance today, this is the only sign for consistency from the Astros this year, aside from strike outs.

Our offense was trying to get fired up and looked as if it was going to take up, but instead sputtered through the game. It is a sign that this team can rally around one another and get hits when we need it, unfortunately, we cannot capitalize on it just yet, though, with time, we’ll come into it and rise like the phoenix next year.

On track to the worst season in recent years, and possibly our first 100 loss season, the Astros havent much to fight for except dignity, respect, and confidence for next year. With such young talent such as Humberto Quintero, Hunter Pence, and Jose Altuve just to name a few, Ed Wade must keep this team together rather than trade for prospects who might not do what Michael Bourn or Carlos Lee can. Even though Jim Crane wants to lower the salary cap of this team, I think the true lovers of this game will tale a pay cut if needed to lower the budget to help raise funds for a big time free agent during the off season.

– Richard Perez

Players Refuse To Ratify, Hall of Fame Game Cancelled.

Almost immediately after the owners agreed and proposed a deal, the player REPRESENTATIVES rejected the deal, now keep in mind it is representatives, not actual players themselves, fans should NOT attack the ANY of the players and accuse them of being greedy and ruining football. Most have no control of it and just want to get back to football, but the “delegates” if you will, more than likely know exactly what they are doing, and have a solid plan in mind.

I have faith in these delegates to get it figured out and salvage the preseason, and open training camp to get their teammates back together; but first they must meet the owners halfway on this CBA. It imperative to the deal that the Players Association re-unionize so that we can legally withdraw their lawsuit against the NFL

Who knows, maybe the early proposal of a deal was to vilify the players and get fans into the favor of the owners and the commissioner; it’s a clever tactic and a wise move by this party to put the players on the hot-seat. Or it’s just coincidence, either way, it’s perfect timing.

Although the induction ceremony is still on, the actual Hall of Fame game is cancelled, as well as an early start to training camp for the Bears and Chiefs. It’s a shame for these inductees not to have the usual ritual of induction followed by the game. Football fever usually begins in the first week of August, but now it looks like fans are going to have football influenza come August.

– Richard Perez

NFL CBA agreement looming

With the NFL owners ratifying, it is up to the players to re-unionize and agree to terms on the new CBA to lift this lockout.

I’m somewhat skeptical about this seeing as they had quarrels earlier this week, but I am confident it’ll be settled by the head coaches and GM’s and the NFLPA will agree with the new CBA to last us until 2021 when this current CBA expires.

I like the rookie wage scale, it’ll help teams battle greedy, cocky rookies and save them room on their salary cap, allowing teams to bring it top tier free agents and jump start a struggling team or propel a power house team that extra mile to win games.

Overall, I just want this lock out to be over and done with, the players need to get their business together to get this 2011 season on track!

– Richard Perez

What we got for Keppinger…

Alright, so the Astros goofed horribly on the Lance Berkman trade, so let’s get this out there and find out what we’ve got: Jeff Keppinger is dealt to the San Francisco Giants for two minor league right handers, Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel. Sosa, 25 years old, spent time going back between Triple and Double A earning an 8-3 record but tends to walk frequently, he had a stellar year in ’09 and I hope he can return to glory in the Astros’ system and develop into a bullpen pitcher or a starter, in best case scenario. Stoffel, a reliever in the minors, is only 22 years of age and was mostly a closer, successful in his two seasons, hopefully this young man will help the Astros bullpen and aid us in our much needed category of pitching. Jose Altuve, the real beneficiary of this deal, is getting the call from AA Corpus Christi to be the starter, and hopefully compliment Angel Sanchez, at 2nd Base. I was able to see him a few times here in Corpus and he’s a great player, and hopefully will contribute to the growth of this Astros team. Speaking of minor league prospects: JD Martinez, another Corpus Christi Hook, is having an astounding year in AA and he’s shooting for a call up later this year, with 11 or so HRs and 59 RBIs, those stats are great for a minor leaguer. I’d love to see him in an Astros uniform very soon! In an obvious phase of rebuilding, Jim Crane wants to lower the payroll to 60M either this or the next year to allow saving for a big free agent signing in the future, I am speculating. I see a bright future for this team. Jose Altuve makes his MLB today against the Nationals, let’s see what he can do, very excited to see him!

– Richard Perez

My first post!

Well, as much as I have procrastinated making this blog, due to my indecisiveness about choosing between The Lone Star Advocate and Space City Advocate. Seeing as I do not like the Rockets. At. All. I decided to go with the first; I actually like it now that I made it, and I hope you do to! I am new to actual blogging, I’m used to 140 character blogging via twitter, but have never actually done journal blogging. This is to test my writing skills for a future job, hopefully, and I am going to branch myself out into new “media” i have a YouTube channel and will have a link somewhere! I hope to make somewhere down the line this humble post will mean something to me. So, this is my first blog post and hopefully the first of many from the Lone Star Advocate!

– Richard Perez

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