Series Preview: Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros - Let the Booting Begin

Somewhere, in the dark recesses of Minute Maid Park, a verbose Ron Washington has called his team together. He is inspired. He knows now is the time to strike. He says:

"Gather men. Yes, young men, we owe to baseball an undertaking which has merited the applause of the universe. You have conquered and you will conquer still, because you are prepared for the tactics that decide the fate of battles. You are not unworthy of the men who entered the ranks of a New York Yankee phalanx, and who contended not in vain to be now the proud conquerors of Milwaukee & Florida. To this wonderful page in our team's history another more glorious still will be added, and the bunt shall show at last to his small ball brothers a sharpened sword forged from the spikes of his cleats.

To arms, then, all of you! All of you! And the Houston oppressors and the mighty shall disappear like dust. Let timid base-running depart from among us to carry their servility and their miserable fears elsewhere. This gut is its own master. It wishes to be the ruler of all strategies, and to look on the insolent with a proud glance, not to grovel before them imploring its own wise explanation. It will no longer follow in the trail of men whose hearts hit foul. No! No! No! Tom Hicks gave up on us. Who needs hardware when we battle for footwear? This Boot is ours men. Take it."

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Ron Washington is a scholar of history.

Friday, June 18 7:05: RHP Scott Feldman vs. LHP Wandy Rodriguez

Saturday, June 19 6:05: RHP Colby Lewis vs. RHP Brian Moehler

Sunday, June 20 1:05: LHP C.J. Wilson vs. RHP Felipe Paulino

How about some quick Astros facts:

  • The Astros are currently at -2.4 WAR offensively. They're worth minus $9.7 million this season. The Astros batters need to pool together $9.7 million dollars to refund the team.
  • The second worst team in baseball, the Pirates, are at 0.4 WAR. That means the Astros are nearly three wins worse than any team in baseball offensively.
  • The Astros are at -94 wRAA which is 37 runs worse than second worse Seattle (-57). They are nearly 100 runs worse than the average baseball team at hitting.
  • The Astros take the fewest walks of any team in baseball by 1.1 %. They walk 6.3 % of the time.
  • The Astros are truly, truly awful at hitting baseballs as a baseball team.

And speaking of awful, if Milwaukee's Miller Park is like baseball in the middle of a Wal-Mart, then the Astros' ballpark centerfield hill & flag pole, Chick-Fil-A "fowl" pole, and the giant toy train makes Minute Maid Park pretty much the equivalent of walking into a Big Lots and discovering there's a Major League Baseball game going on. I don't know why there are so many gimmicks at "The Juice Box," but if I were to wager a guess, perhaps the idea is to distract from the on-the-field product in case of seasons like the one for the home team is experiencing right now. Or money. Yes, it's probably money related.

I mean, who wants to think about their team having the worst offense in baseball by 40 runs in terms of runs created? That's too depressing. More random impedimenta! Snow cones and T-Shirts from the T-Shirt Cannon for everyone! Come on down to the ball yard for some summer fun! There's guaranteed to be annoying shenanigans and ridiculous tomfoolery! Whoopee!

Ho'boy! The Rangers are finally missing a team's good starters and just in time too because they're playing the Astros. That's like finding out in addition to getting that Go Kart you wanted for Christmas, it also turns out your parents are not getting that divorce after many a promise to the contrary. The Astros are tremendously beatable without getting the luck of the draw, but getting the luck of the draw is always welcome.

Sure, when talking about the Astros, anything good may sound like a misnomer, but Roy Oswalt is having a fantastic season, and by WAR, Brett Myers has been the NL's 15th most valuable starter this season. Of course, you should probably ignore that Felipe Paulino is right behind him at 16th best in the NL because that kind of ruins my point, but the fact is, since the Astros are already terrible, missing Oswalt and Myers makes them unbearably awful and for the Rangers, that's pretty great.

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Houston Astros (26-41, 5th place NL Central)

Rangers' 2010 Record vs. Houston: INTERLEAGUE!

Houston's Recent Results: 1-2 Series loss against the Kansas City Royals

SBN Astros' Blog: The Crawfish Boxes

     Match-up: (as of 6/17)

       Rangers

Astros

Advantage

Batting

(RAR)

91.8

         (t-13th)

-21.9

(30th)

Rangers!


Starters

(RAR)

37.6

(25th)

61.0

(9th)

Astros

Bullpen

(RAR)

21.1

(6th)

3.7

(23rd)

Rangers

Overall RAR

150.5

42.8

RANGERS!

Defense Runs Saved

22

0

Rangers!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions to Ponder:

  • Did you know the Silver Boot is actually made of pewter? We've been lied to!
  • Over/Under: Will the Silver Boot be mentioned 97 times over this three game series?
  • Were you aware that the very first Silver Boot was won in 1963 by the Houston Colt .45s when they beat the Washington Senators in an exhibition match in which afterward, Frank Howard's high top cleats were stolen by rambunctious Houston player Rusty Staub, out of the visitor's clubhouse, and then dipped in pure silver to commemorate the win at the behest of then Houston owner Judge Roy Hofheinz?
  • If you had your way, would you like to see the Rangers win the Silver Boot, melt it down, and sell it to meet July's payroll?
  • Silver boot silver boot silver boot silver boot silver boot (silver boot), silver boot's silver boot-silver boot, Silver Boot?
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