Play Ball, Baby

A new season for the Astros, and hopefully a new team.

While I'm at it, here are some bonus "win total" wagers for you enterprising future degenerates out there:

1. Texas UNDER 87 wins and San Francisco UNDER 88 wins: I did a little research, and since 2003, every playoff team not named the Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies (teams that can and do just fix whatever they want to quickly and expensively) went backwards in win totals the following season by an average of nine wins per season (none fewer than five wins). If you need to pick one, take the Giants — getting all the way to the mountaintop always breeds complacency (the root cause of most divorces in this country, by the way), and there is a decent chance Tim Lincecum could fail a drug test before the All-Star break.

2. Kansas City UNDER 69 wins: Because if the old adage is that "Nobody ever got rich betting on the Kansas City Royals to win games," then that would mean that somebody had to have gotten rich by betting on them to lose games. It's simple physics, really. Let's be that somebody!

Chris Johnson was big for the Astros in 2010 — they'll need that again in 2011.
Aaron M. Sprecher
Chris Johnson was big for the Astros in 2010 — they'll need that again in 2011.
Drayton McLane seems to have stepped aside and let his baseball people start to build a conventional baseball organization — for whatever reason.
Aaron M. Sprecher
Drayton McLane seems to have stepped aside and let his baseball people start to build a conventional baseball organization — for whatever reason.



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3. Milwaukee OVER 85 wins: Also a bit of an "opposite Kansas City" play, since this past off-season the Brewers pilfered starting pitcher Zack Greinke, the Royals' only player that you would have been able to pick out of a lineup with the "Goes to Japan" version of the Bad News Bears. (Thankfully, we don't have to pick Tim Lincecum out of that lineup because he's a dead ringer for a post-puberty Kelly Leak.) In a National League Central where the Cardinals have lost Adam Wainwright for the season, the Reds are bound to come back to the pack, and the other three teams are the Astros, Cubs and Pirates, the Brewers at +190 to win the division isn't a bad prop bet.

By the way, my non-Astro predictions for the MLB season:

AL East: Boston

AL Central: Minnesota

AL West: Oakland

Wild Card: New York Yankees

NL East: Philadelphia

NL Central: Milwaukee

NL West: Colorado

Wild Card: San Francisco

World Series: Philadelphia over Boston in six games

Conclusion — Best-case Astros scenario

Star Wars geeks will remember the end of The Empire Strikes Back. (Hey, stay with me on this one. I just used "Pythagorean Win Total" a few paragraphs ago, so Star Wars references inherently will not be the dorkiest thing in this preview.)

For those who got laid before the age of 22, Empire was a transitional movie between the first Star Wars release in 1977 and Return of the Jedi in 1983. It spawned new storylines from the blockbuster first movie, but left a bunch of open storylines at the end. When the credits rolled, Han Solo was frozen in carbonite and being taken off to God knows where by Boba Fett, the rebels were all homeless and Luke was five minutes removed from having his hand severed by the Dark Lord of the galaxy, who, oh by the way, happened to be his father. (In retrospect, that might have been a good day to tell Luke and Leia that they shouldn't be tongue kissing, just to get it all out of the way. For whatever reason, Obi Wan and Yoda decided to wait a couple more years to tell Luke, and then they put it on his plate to tell Leia. Wussies.)

Basically, at the end of Empire, there was a lot of uncertainty and unresolved shit. And here's the thing — Empire was my favorite of all the Star Wars movies. Because you felt like it was at least going somewhere.

I think that's the best-case scenario for the Astros. The season will end and Carlos Lee will be frozen in carbonite (if we're lucky), Jason Castro will be fully rehabbed from his knee with his arm around Brad Mills as they watch the rest of the rebel fleet fly around inside Minute Maid Park. (With droids C-3Pence-0 and R2-Humberto-2 looking on.)

And there will be hope for 2012 and beyond. That's my prediction for the season. Seventy-seven wins, renewal and hope.

Just please, no Ewoks in 2012.

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Rhonda Omberg
Rhonda Omberg

You're a very funny guy, Sean. I enjoyed the read immensely. I actually haven't been looking forward to the Astros this year as much as I would like to, but then they've surprised me before. I am a little miffed that they haven't done much in the area of improvement (a 100 million dollar TV doesn't do much to mollify the void on the trophy case) in several areas - minor leagues among them. However, the team shows some promise and as long as Drayton doesn't get a wild hair and sell everyone off 'Major League"-style, I think 81-81 is possible.


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Great work Sean! Gambling, Seinfeld, Carlos Lee, Star Wars, White Snake, etc. all wrapped up in an Astro's nugget! My only question is how could you leave Milo out?


You work in a Whitesnake reference, but not Tawny Kitaen pics? I'm pretty sure you've achieved dork status.How about The Ultimate Fighter: Drayton? I admit I just want to see Drayton wearing an Affliction tee.

Chance McClain
Chance McClain

The 800 Pound Gorilla...I totally thought you were going to the Carlos Lee card early...

I continue reading...

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