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Astros manager Bo Porter says his players were disrespectful to Roger Clemens

roger-clemens-skeetersThe Houston Astros should take all the advice they can get. They have not won more than 56 games in a season since 2010, and their record has gotten more embarrassing each year since. Last season, Houston won just 51 games. Given their resume, the players would be wise to listen when people like Roger Clemens speak.

Clemens is a special advisor to the Astros. He met with the team for a short period on Wednesday, and Houston manager Bo Porter was unhappy with the “disrespectful” manner in which his players carried themselves.

“Obviously, as an organization, we’re fortunate to have some people like Roger Clemens and Craig Biggio and different people that will come in throughout the course of the year and speak to our ball club,” Porter told the Houston Chronicle. “Out of respect to your teammates, out of respect to the people that take time out of their day that come out here, it’s the right thing to do to make sure that you are dressed and ready and attentive when that person shows up.”

A 51-111 team (that’s a .315 winning percentage, math people) should be particularly attentive. The Astros are the laughing stock of Major League Baseball. Is listening to Clemens going to make them a playoff team? Not quite, but it can’t hurt — especially for pitchers and catchers.

By going public with his frustrations, Porter is obviously setting the tone in his first season with the club.

Jeopardy takes shot at Houston Astros

Jim-Crane-AstrosThe Houston Astros lost 111 games last season. To the fans, players and front office, that is incredibly embarrassing. To others, it’s pretty funny that a professional baseball team can be that horrible. The people who write the questions for “Jeopardy” apparently see the humor in Houston’s abysmal 2013 season.

Earlier this week, the Astros were used as a hint for an answer that was presented on “Jeopardy.” If you were at all familiar with Major League Baseball, the hint was a huge help.

The corresponding question was, “What is a blowout preventer?” Get it?

Good news, Astros fans — there’s nowhere to go but up in 2014. Well, we hope.

H/T Houston Chronicle

The 2013 Houston Astros are reportedly the most profitable team in baseball history

Jim-Crane-AstrosFor the third straight season, the Houston Astros are well on their way toward finishing with the worst record in Major League Baseball. They finished with a pathetic 56 wins in 2011 and took a tiny step back with 55 in 2012. The 2013 Astros would need to win 14 of their last 33 games to improve upon the previous two seasons. Don’t bank on that happening.

Yet, somehow, the 2013 Astros are the most profitable team in MLB history. According to Forbes, Houston is on pace to make an estimated $99 million in operating income this year. That number is roughly the same amount that the last six World Series champions made combined. That’s right, combined.

Naturally, most of it has to do with payroll. The Astros are paying out roughly $21 million in salary and bonuses this season. Starting pitcher Erik Bedard is the highest-paid player on the team in 2013 with a salary of $1.15 million. He is the only player who will make over $1 million. Last year, before Jim Crane purchased the team, the payroll was roughly $56 million higher.

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Astros vendor fired after taking snow cones into the bathroom with him (Video)

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Astros-vendor-snow-cones-bathroomJust when the Houston Astros were actually starting to do a few things right on the field (yes, winning four of seven is a huge accomplishment for them), one of their vendors had to go and put a tray of snow cones on the bathroom floor while he was sitting on the can. Needless to say, the snow cone salesman has been fired.

A fan who caught the vendor in a bathroom stall with the delicious treats sent a cell phone video to Local 2 in Houston.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” he said. “This guy is taking a dump. There’s no doubt about it. What sane person could possibly think, yeah this is a good idea? I’ll just put the food that I’m about to sell on the floor.”

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Houston Astros collide, allow winning run to score (GIF)

Astros collisionThe Houston Astros are the worst team in baseball, so the way they lost Friday night’s game in Pittsburgh was quite fitting.

Houston blew a 4-1 and lost 5-4 after two players collided when they were trying to catch a pop up to shallow right that allowed the winning run to score.

The Pirates loaded the bases and Russell Martin was facing Edgar Gonzalez with two outs. Martin had a full count and popped the ball up to shallow right. Second baseman Jake Elmore was calling it all the way, but right fielder Jimmy Paredes ran into him, knocking him to the ground. According to Houston Chronicle reporter Brian T. Smith, manager Bo Porter said the ball was Elmore’s, while Elmore said he couldn’t hear whether or not Paredes tried to call him off.

The ball hit the ground to give Martin a walk-off RBI single to win the game — much to his surprise. None of the Pirates players were running hard because they all thought it was going to be caught.

Now the best part is Eye on Baseball points out that another blooper from earlier in the game helped the Pirates make the comeback. This is another must-see GIF:

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Mike Scioscia correctly protests Houston Astros’ pitching change; Umpires were wrong

Mike Scioscia umpireAn MLB spokesman said on Friday that the umpires made a mistake by allowing the Houston Astros to make a pitching change in the seventh inning of Thursday’s Angels-Astros game, a move that was protested by Mike Scioscia.

The Astros were up 5-3 in the top of the seventh. Paul Clemens had just walked Chris Ianetta to put runners on first and second with two outs. Left-handed batter J.B. Shuck was coming up, so Houston decided to bring in lefty relief pitcher Wesley Wright. Scioscia decided to counter by pinch-hitting for Shuck with right-handed batter Luis Jimenez.

This is what led to the error.

Astros manager Bo Porter responded to Scioscia’s move by going back to his bullpen to have right-handed Hector Ambriz come in. However, he did not have Wright pitch to a batter, which is required when a reliever is brought in.

Rule 3.05(B) states:

If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief’s judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher.

With Ambriz coming in, Scioscia also made a change and subbed out Jimenez for lefty Scott Cousins, who popped out to end the inning.

Ambriz gave up two runs the following inning and was charged for a third run, which was the winning run.

MLB says it is reviewing the matter. I’m not really sure what there is to review — the umpires made a big mistake and MLB confirmed it. Scioscia knew the rule. It’s shocking that the umpires didn’t.

Astros owner Jim Crane open to having Roger Clemens make a start this season

Roger Clemens may be 50 years old and five years removed from baseball, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing his career. Clemens is scheduled to pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League on Saturday, and if the rumors are true The Rocket still has some pretty nasty stuff in his arsenal. If he performs well this weekend and is interested in returning to the MLB, the Astros just might have him.

Astros owner Jim Crane told FOX 26 Sports on Thursday that he is open to the idea of having Clemens make a start for Houston this season. Sounds like a major publicity stunt for the worst team in baseball, doesn’t it? Crane insists that wouldn’t be the case.

“If it goes alright (with Sugar Land) and he comes to us, we’ll talk to baseball about it at length,” Crane said. “The only thing we don’t want to do is make it a publicity stunt. If we did it, I want to try and take it and turn it into a positive, which would be Roger’s doing it for the good of baseball. The extra proceeds on the game might go to the (Astros’) community charity deal to build (baseball) fields, do something positive out of it.”

If you’re making a baseball decision that has nothing to do with winning a baseball game, it’s always going to be viewed as a publicity stunt in some capacity. Raising money for charities would be nice, but the Astros would be lying if they said they aren’t desperate to sell tickets and salvage something from their abysmal season.

“I think the fans might like it,” Crane continued. “It might be fun and certainly get a few people in the ballpark. I don’t see anything negative about that, but the Astros wouldn’t want to do it for the money, the extra gate or anything like that.”

Would a sell out during a season in which your team ranks in the bottom four in the league in attendance be nice, Jim? You bet it would be.

H/T Hardball Talk
Photo via Sugar Land Skeeters