So, 3 starts for Astacio = 3 quality starts. This may not be the biggest surprise across baseball in the early going of 2005, but it has to be right up there. After having 1 start in 2004, many (including yours truly) thought that he was done. When the Rangers announced his signing in February, I yawned with indifference. But you could not ask any more of Randy Johnson in his prime. He has been awesome.
Since it is a one-year deal, we should keep in mind the objective with Astacio all along; trade bait. Well, if he can throw out a couple months of pitching that resembles these first 3 starts in any way, the Rangers should be able to hold an auction of pretty enormous proportions in about 10 weeks.
T.R. Sullivan’s game story from the Ballpark …
Astacio, again showing he is healthy and his shoulder is strong, is pitching much better for the Rangers than he did in his abbreviated stint with the Red Sox.
He held the Athletics to six hits and one walk, while striking out four. This was only his first victory, but he has a 1.64 ERA after three starts.
"He's had three really good starts," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "His makeup and personality are bargains in themselves. When he's healthy, he's shown he can do this."
You may want to amuse yourself by clicking on the statistical leaders in the American League . Scroll down to ERA and find Astacio right there. Of course, also find two pitchers who were anonymous at the start of the season, but shut down the Rangers bats within the last few days, too.
Pitcher, Team ERA
Wakefield, Bos 1.37
Chacin, Tor 1.42
Astacio, Tex 1.64
Chen, Bal 1.80
Blanton, Oak 2.04
And then there is 42-year old Roger Clemens , who has pitched 21 innings in 3 starts for a mind boggling ERA of 0.43 to lead the National League…
Also, Soriano not pleased with sitting …
Laynce Nix called up …Adrian Gonzalez going down?
Transactions: Texas called up center fielder Laynce Nix, who was a game-time scratch from the RedHawks' No. 7 batting order spot.
Redskins mortgage more of future for the Broncos first round pick …
Paying a hefty price for a short-term gain, the Redskins acquired the No. 25 overall pick from the Denver Broncos. In exchange, Washington gave up its third-round selection (No. 76 overall) in this year's draft and picks in the first and fourth rounds in 2006.
The trade allows the Redskins to take care of both of their most pressing needs -- cornerback and receiver -- in one afternoon. Washington holds the ninth and 25th picks, with the flexibility to trade up or down to get the players the team has targeted.
Texans get Buchanon trade done …
The Raiders traded disgruntled cornerback Phillip Buchanon to the Houston Texans for two draft picks Tuesday, nearly four months after he publicly ridiculed the franchise with no warning leading into the final game.
An NFL source with knowledge of the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Oakland would receive a second-round and third-round pick in this weekend's NFL draft.
Pete Hunter wants out …I am not sure who cares what Pete Hunter wants, but…
McGrady reminded about last time he was in the playoffs …
Tracy McGrady pretended he had forgot. He pretended he had never said anything stupid or controversial during his last trip to the playoffs.
But Jon Barry wouldn't let him get off that easy. Barry was more than willing to remind everyone how McGrady announced he had reached the second round of the 2002-03 playoffs despite still being one victory away.
Barry was with Detroit at the time and said McGrady's words were quickly passed around the Pistons' locker room.
"(Orlando) got up 3-1, and he said, 'It feels good to get in the second round,' " Barry said. "And it was a seven-game series. They proceeded to lose by 20 in the last three games, and we moved on. He's heard about it from me a few times."
Mavs heap praise on
Rockets , Rockets blush…
The Pros and Cons of the new Pope …
CLEARLY GAY LINK: Enter at the risk of seeing stuff you might not wish to see But here is a feature on Gabe Kapler …
Sports By Brooks grabs another BaD Radio bit …And we were Fark’d again!
Blacks don’t dig baseball …
As the Washington Nationals took to the field Thursday night, they played in a city where nearly six in 10 people are African-American. And they played in a neighborhood where that percentage is even greater. But if you look around, few fans are African-American, and the same is true of the players.
In the NBA, 78 percent of the players are African-American. In the NFL, it's 64 percent. In Major League Baseball, however, just 9 percent of the players are non-Hispanic American blacks.
There are two teams that have no African-American players on their active rosters: The Baltimore Orioles and the Houston Astros.
We had Bob Ortegal on the show yesterday, during which I mistakenly suggested that Jerry Stackhouse’s contract was up. Here is a good P1 to clear up my error:
Just a note to what you were discussing with Coach Ortegal, Stackhouse is actually under contract for the next two years at a pretty reasonable rate of $7.5 million and $8 million. I think the Mavs definitely need to keep him around with Finley's decline and Daniels slide this season causing them both to be somewhat question marks as the Mavs move forward.
Van Horn and Terry both will be free agents after next season so the Mavs have another year to decide what they want to do with them long term. The only players who are free agents after this season are Armstrong and Henderson.
Star-Telegram’s MLS Insider …
Since you demanded it after yesterday’s Daisy Duke conversation…
Daisy Duke, 1982
Daisy Duke, 2005
Time takes a Toll...