Astros Media Day Kicks Off 2012 Season -- 5 Early Storylines

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Milo: He's baaaack
In sandlot football growing up, we always had a saying after touchdowns that "losers walk," meaning the team that scored stays at that end of he field to kick off and the "losers" on defense have to march to the other end of the field to receive.

So it's probably appropriate that, due to the NBA calling a presser to announce the 2013 NBA All-Star Game's coming to Houston, the Astros had their scheduled lunchtime news conference today moved at the last second to a 10 a.m. brunch instead.

While the Rockets have been no great shakes lately, they haven't come close to the recent futility of the Astros. So in the battle of dueling pressers, the Astros had to move things to 10 a.m. Losers walk.

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Carlos Lee and Brett Wallace take the field
So the Astros kicked off the 2012 season today with a little brunch, and I can't decide whether to get excited for the upcoming baseball season or brace myself for another summer of trying to book `80's movie stars for my radio show. (Truth be told, I could and probably will do both. There's NEVER a bad time to talk to `80's movie stars.) But how does one go about getting excited for a team that went 56-106 last season? Well, I'm guessing spring training will uncover a few methods along the way, but for now here are the first few off the top of my head:

5. Will Millsy and Luhny become best friends?
Okay, maybe it's a little bit of a reach to think that manager Brad Mills and new general manager Jeff Luhnow will become best friends. Mills, who I think is a good manager and who may not get a chance to show that until he is somewhere else (likely after getting sacrificed at some point), has the rank stench of Ed Wade on him, and I frankly envision the Mills and Luhnow meetings going a lot like the meetings with Michael Scott and Charles Miner on The Office after Ryan was fired. Michael and Ryan wallowed somewhat unknowingly in a sea of underachievement and dysfunction, and when Charles came in it was a complete culture shock for Michael that eventually led to him quitting and starting the Michael Scott Paper Company. I like Mills, but if the upshot of the Luhnow Era is Mills leaving and starting the Brad Mills Baseball Team, then bring it on.

4. So Brett Wallace (and his pants) at third base, huh?
Apparently, Brett Wallace was originally drafted (by Luhnow, of all people) as a third baseman by the Cardinals, so with Carlos Lee no longer able to run to left field now a full-time first baseman, Wallace's best chance at sticking with the big club is to get some time in at the hot corner. Of course, if he hits like he did in the Dominican League, where he was cut in November after batting .173, he could be the second coming of Brooks Robinson and it won't matter. But there is a big part of me that would love to see a Wallace/Lee combo on the corners, if only so we could see the two of them riding onto the field on tiny mopeds like those 800-pound twins in the Guinness Book of World Records.

3. Will Jose Altuve reach double digits in walks?
The diminutive Altuve (or "Toovey," as the kids call him) was about as selective at the plate as a shitfaced college student hitting on coeds at the bar at 2:30 a.m. He had five walks in 234 plate appearances. FIVE. To analytical nerd types like Luhnow, if the sport of baseball were a computer, players like Altuve are the Storm Worm virus.

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8 comments
Ahem!
Ahem!

"Milo on a Mobile", on the other hand, is radio gold.

Aaron
Aaron

Awesome article.  But maybe you can try to be more of a shill for the team and provide, oh, I don't know, 15 reasons why we need to care about the Astros right now.

Bob F
Bob F

When I moved to Houston in 1988, I thought that Milo was the worst bb announcer I'd ever heard. A coworker told me that he was a washed-up hack who had bounced around MLB before landing in houston. 24 years later, we have the same washed-up hack. Time for Mr. Hamilton to retire.

big red
big red

The astros would be lucky to get two bread truck drivers in a trade for Brett Wallace. Please cut him now. In addition to not being a major league talent, he is the personification of why baseball games take forever to play. Every at bat for that clown includes, after EVERY pitch, a a couple of steps out of the box, taking off and putting his batting glove back on, squeeaing and rubbing his hands on the bat, stepping back into the box, putting up his arm to the umpire to maintain the time out, 3 or 4 practice swings, and then he is ready for the next pitch. All this from a guy who cannot hit his weight. Enough already.

Face it, the highlight of the season will be when Milo collapses and dies while broadcasting and no one notices until the end of the inning.

Sudipta Pal
Sudipta Pal

 

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Eric S
Eric S

I would love for the Astros to put Milo out to pasture. I honestly don't think Milo even knows the names of most of the players anymore. Hell, the only time anyone even remembered he was there last season was when he took a couple shots at Berkman that were completely absurd. However, I think it's gonna be another one of those moments like trading Pence or moving to the AL where casual Astros fans freak out and completely overreact. 

Sean Pendergast
Sean Pendergast

Can I have the rat of the spring to figure that out?

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