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February 24 - This Date in Astros History
February 24 - This Date in Astros History
February 24

2006 - It's normally not news when a player shows up for spring training but that's not true this time for Jeff Bagwell. The first baseman arrives with a $15.6 million dollar insurance tag on his head if he can't play. Bagwell insists he'll play despite an arthritic right shoulder that required surgery the previous year. He fields grounders and hits in light drills the first day and talks briefly with owner Drayton McLane.
2004 - Nolan Ryan returns to the Astros organization under a five-year personal services contract. Ryan and his sons own one team in the Astros farm system and plan to add another one in 2005 when the AAA affiliate moves to Round Rock, TX and the AA squad moves to Corpus Christi.
1984 - Houston swaps backup catchers with Montreal. George Bjorkman heads to Quebec in exchange for Tom Wieghaus. Bjorkman batted .227 in his one season as an Astro. Wieghaus sees action in just six games and goes hitless.
1967 - Astros send pitcher Jim Ray to the Mets on a 30-day conditional deal. The Mets send him back a month later. It's a lucky break as Ray goes 42-25 with 23 saves over the next six years in Houston, used as both a reliever and a spot starter.

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Date      Opp      Result
2/22     #WSH       cncl
2/23     #WSH*     L 2-1
2/24     @DET*      ----
2/25      MIA*      ----
2/26      STL*      ----
2/26     @NYM*      ----
2/27     #WSH       ----
2/28     @MIA*      ----
2/29      NYM*      ----
3/01      STL*      ----
3/02      off        --
3/03     @STL*      ----
3/04      MIA*      ----
3/05     @BOS*      ----
3/06      NYM       ----
3/07     @STL*      ----
3/08     @NYM*      ----
3/09      DET*      ----
3/10      NYM*      ----
3/10     @ATL*      ----
3/11     #WSH*      ----
3/12      off        --
3/13     @STL*      ----
3/14      BOS*      ----
3/15      MIA*      ----
3/16      STL       ----
3/16     @NYM       ----
3/17     @MIA*      ----
3/18     #WSH       ----
3/19     #WSH*      ----
3/20      ATL       ----
3/21     @NYM*      ----
3/22     @MIA*      ----
3/23     $CLE       ----
3/24     $CLE       ----
3/25      off        --

* - day game.
# - at W. Palm Beach
$ - at Minute Maid Pk

Spring record:   0 -  1

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Houston Astros recap - 02/21/20 - Play Ball! (not brawl)
Play Ball! (not brawl)
Astros Spring Season Opens Saturday

Diaz: Richer by 600k
(c) Associated Press
Amidst death threats and certain booing and trash can banging, the Astros will take the field Saturday evening in their spring training opener at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches home they share with the World Champion Washington Nationals. Fans will finally get their chance to voice their displeasure at the sign-stealing incident that largely took part in 2017 but was only exposed to daylight after Mike Fiers' went on record back in November.

Hey, we get it. In a sport where everyone seeks a competitive advantage including corking bats, doctoring pitches and using body-altering chemicals, only the 2017 Astros took it too far and have incurred the wrath of countless folks who try to teach their children to play hard but play fair.

Nick Markakis of the Atlanta Braves said every Astros player needed "a beating". Pitchers have admitted wanting to throw beanballs at the offending players. Houston batters may be smart to wear more body armor than HBP champion Craig Biggio use to wear 20 years ago.

Such talk may be reckless and I have a hard time believing MLB and the Players Union (MLBPA) understand the increasing stain they are making on their sport talking of retaliation as if these were UFC fighters. Bad blood may sell tickets but real blood is a turn off to most of the fans to whom baseball is marketed.

Houston manager Dusty Baker has asked Commissioner Rob Manfred to protect his players from violence, just as he said would be provided to Fiers, who has also claimed to receive death threats. MLBPA President Tony Clark held a four-hour closed-door meeting with Astros members Friday (his usual meetings last half that long) and the players relayed to him some of the safety concerns they have.

My concern isn't so much that the players will go postal as much as fans will try to take vigilante justice into their own hands using guns, knives, bats or other weapons they can sneak through security. The sports media have breathlessly fanned the flames since January, whipping players and opposing fans into a frenzy over something more common and widespread than just the Astros.

If you think your favorite team is innocent, this little slideshow chronicles a myriad of cheating scandals throughout the history of the sport. There's been far more covered up than even these instances document.

In the early going, the regular players will be making token appearances, most often at home, and then are replaced by bench players and scrubs after a few innings. Most "star" players don't ride the rickety buses to play in road games. For the uninitiated, this is a common practice for all teams and is not evidence of the Astros "ducking" hostile crowds.

Hopefully, actual on-field action will take the attention away from the angry rhetoric this incident has fueled. It does baseball no good to portray their product the way it has been lately.

In other news, Aledmys Diaz was awarded $2.6 million for the 2020 season in arbitration. The Astros had offered $2 million, the same as he made the year before. Diaz was good as a utility player when healthy. The unfortunate part was his injuries often coincided with shortstop Carlos Correa's, which left a glaring hole at shortstop most often filled in by Alex Bregman shifting over from third.

Brad Peacock's neck soreness returned early in camp. The righthander missed parts of last season due to neck and shoulder woes. He is expected to compete for a starting rotation spot this year if he can stay healthy.

As bonkers as Houston went as defending World Champions in 2018, expect a very low-key celebration this year as defending American League Champions. On the one hand, that will be a shame not to celebrate. On the other hand, you can expect the scandal to reduce the price of 2019 A.L. Champions gear.

- Bob Hulsey

Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961
(click to order)


RSS Feed | News Archives
Here’s what the Astros said in their first legal defense to a cheating scandal lawsuit - KPRC-TV
Huff warns Astros to "wear bullet-proof vests" this season - Detroit Sports Nation
Dawson turns to big picture after struggles - Houston Chronicle
How will the Astros respond to their self-inflicted drama - Beyond the Box Score
Video: A look at Astros' up-and-down Grapefruit League opening weekend - Houston Chronicle
How Astros fans feel about the sign-stealing scandal rocking MLB - Yahoo Sports
The Astros' trash-can cheating scheme is a window onto human nature - The Ringer
The Astros' scandal isn't going away. Neither are the Astros. - FiveThirtyEight
Springer must find a way to repair his reputation as Astros cheating scandal roils baseball - Hartford Courant
Astros stars sit again, Nats hoist World Series trophy - Associated Press
Dotson: Hate of Astros has gone too far - New York Post
Astros to keep Springer as leadoff batter, Baker says - ESPN
Springer to remain in leadoff spot for Astros - Houston Chronicle
Astros to ask more of Greinke in 2020 - Houston Chronicle
Astros, Red Sox, MLB urge dismissal of sign-stealing lawsuit - Reuters
Altuvé loudly booed in his first spring training at bat - NBC Sports
Astros minor league team revokes season tickets of lawyer who sued the parent club - NBC Sports
Notes: Springer at leadoff; regulars scheduled - Astros.com
Baker has Greenberg at peace after ill-fated AB - Astros.com
The games (and jeers) have begun for Astros - Houston Chronicle
Hecklers’ signs taken at Astros spring opener - Associated Press
Astros confiscate fan’s sign, booed in first spring training game - Yahoo Sports
Astros get a taste of what’s to come during season from Nationals fans - Palm Beach Post
Tainted love: Astros' sign-stealing scheme should have fans feeling cheated - Abilene Reporter News
Astros destroyed by fans and real games haven’t even started - New York Post
Losing more than a title: Astros cheating scandal proves the loss of reputation is greater than any trophy - Forbes
Javier works past nerves in spring debut - Houston Chronicle
Astros get a taste of fan vitriol during spring opener - Houston Chronicle
Astros greeted with boos in first spring training game - NBC Sports
Greinke arrives at Astros camp, wishes he knew years ago that report dates weren't mandatory - Houston Chronicle
Haters gonna hate -- and Astros fans are embracing it with these shirts! - KHOU-TV
Baker finds light in Astros’ darkness - Houston Chronicle
World Series favorites, ranked from 1 to 30 - Astros.com
Greinke 'just found out' he could report later - Astros.com
Under new leadership, Astros seek redemption - Astros.com
Astros face boos as they start to play way out of scandal - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
In a sea of Astros criticism, some lines should never be crossed - ESPN
Progress report: Houston Astros - San Diego Union-Tribune
The controversial past of the tycoon behind the Astros [$] - Wall Street Journal
‘Steal it back:’ Check out the creative swag these proud Astros fans are showing off - KPRC-TV
The Astros scandal is the latest cheating case in sports history [audio] - NPR
Enough with the grandstanding, the Astros can't be the only ones [audio] - Fox Sports Radio
Astros get roasted - Houston Chronicle
Huff: Astros will be beaned all year - TMZ Sports
How to watch Houston Astros spring training games online - Huoston on the Cheap
Astros’ scandal clouds MLB’s future - Marquette Mining Journal
Nats, Astros clash in intriguing World Series repeat - MLB.com
Nationals, Astros wade into first spring training game after polar opposite weeks - NBC Sports DC
Champs vs. cheaters as Nationals, Astros meet in spring opener - Associated Press
Former Twins weary of players' Astros-bashing - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Notes: Baker on lineup; Urquidy a hit in Mexico - Astros.com
Best-case scenarios for 5 key Astros this season - Astros.com
Astros receiving death threats and other news from spring training Friday - Houston Chronicle
Play Ball! (not brawl)
- Astros Daily
Fiers told Martinez about Astros cheating before 2018 ALCS - NBC Sports
Reddick says he and his Astros teammates have received death threats - NBC Sports
Hollywood, Texas: Relive the Astros cheating scandal as a TV series - Texas Monthly
Did the Astros cheat in 2019? - Power Line
Astros' sign-stealing, juiced baseballs the biggest unknowns for 2020 MLB season - USA Today
Astros-Nationals Grapefruit opener offers plenty of familiarity for Dusty Baker - Houston Chronicle
Lucroy talks crazy lengths he’d go to beat Astros’ sign-stealing - New York Post
Astros must fill in for Cole - Associated Press
Video: The rise of Astros prospect Cristian Javier - Houston Chronicle
While awaiting chance to manage, Espada vital for Astros - Houston Chronicle
Bolsinger adds Crane, Vigoa to lawsuit vs. Astros - Houston Chronicle
Why Fiers won't dwell on possible repercussions of Astros scandal - NBC Sports Bay Area
MLB, union trying to figure out future of technology in baseball - NBC Sports DC
Bolsinger amends Astros lawsuit to include Crane, member of codebreaking team - Larry Brown Sports
Baker keeps Astros clubhouse steady - KXAN-TV
Mccullers intimates Dodgers are comfortable criticizing Astros because 'those guys aren't going to have to face us' - Dodger Blue
Fiers says he's received death threats after revealing Astros' cheating scheme - CBS Sports
Astros' cheating haunts Kershaw's memory of 2017 World Series - Sports Illustrated
Astros concerns include impossible task of replacing Cole - New York Post
The crookedest team in baseball history - The Atlantic
MLB players union finds representing Astros as well as opposing players isn’t easy - Los Angeles Times
Fiers says he does not need extra protection in 2020 - USA Today
Girardi doesn't see penalty for Astros players as a deterrent - NBC Sports
Social media erupts with #CancelHouston tweets after comedian slams Astros, MLB - KPRC-TV
How Rays were ‘hurt’ by Astros cheating suspicions - Tampa Bay Times
Musgrove suffers in silence amid talk of Astros’ tainted title - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Do any of the Astros lawsuits stand a chance? A lawyer explains. - Houston Chronicle
Astros prospect Javier to start spring opener - Astros.com
Astros heat hurler channels Cole in quest to start - Astros.com
How your favorite (and least favorite) baseball team also cheated - Houston Chronicle
Astros' battle in right field and other insights from Thursday at spring training - Houston Chronicle
Marisnick refutes Torres’ Astros cheating theory - New York Post
Baker shares some ideas on how Astros will look - Houston Chronicle
Diaz wins arbitration case against Astros - Houston Chronicle
Fisher regrets keeping mum about Astros cheating - Sportsnet.ca
Cole on his teammates’ Astros cheating talk: ‘I am not personally offended by it’ - New York Daily News
The Astros are leaning into the role of villain - NBC Sports
The Astros have become the villains that MLB has been missing - SB Nation
Astros facing more lawsuits for sign-stealing scandal - Houston Chronicle
Stanton says he 'would have hit 80 plus home runs' if he knew what pitches were being thrown - New York Daily News
Astros players throw shade at Dodgers, say they'll 'shut everybody up' as sign-stealing talk continues - CBS Sports
Astros fans battle range of emotions amid cheating scandal - Sporting News
Astros strike back at critics: 'We're going to go out there and win and shut everybody up' - Yahoo Sports
Latest on Astros' rotation - MLB Trade Rumors
Manfred must suspend Astros from the 2020 postseason - Forbes
How Yankees fan became internet legend for trolling Astros: ‘Gasps’ and smiles - New York Post
Toro: Son and legend of Canada - Houston Chronicle
Astros scandal: Roy Hobbs gets sucker punched - MinnPost
Survey shows Astros are most-hated team by a wide margin - Kansas City Star
Strom to use individualized approach with Whitley - Houston Chronicle
Ex-Charleston baseball manager, Astros coach blasts sign-stealing ‘mess’ - Charleston Post and Courier
Why MLB players are speaking up about sign stealing like nothing else ever - ESPN
Hate them all you want, but the Astros could be back in the World Series - Washington Post
Reds-Pirates brawl - not Astros' scandal - leads to hit-by-pitch enforcement - Cincinnati Enquirer
MLBPA says it didn't obstruct Astros probe - Reuters
Former Astros conditioning coach makes history as first woman hired full-time as hitting coach by MLB team - KPRC-TV
Notes: Taylor's stuff; Astros baserunning - Astros.com
Stubbs working with Biggio, learning to play 2B - Astros.com
Manfred: Fiers deserves praise; Astros banged trash cans in 2017 postseason - Houston Chronicle
Tebow had to give up No. 15 jersey because of Astros’ cheating scandal - MSN.com
Corpus Christi law firm files lawsuit against Astros - KIII-TV
Manfred addresses Astros’ sign-stealing scandal at another press conference - NBC Sports
Manfred says Astros' trash can banging occurred during 2017 postseason - Sports Illustrated
How MLB & the Astros dug their own hole - MLB Trade Rumors
Astros open spring training facing off the field criticism - Nexstar
Video: Astros' Brent Strom discusses competition for No. 5 starter - Houston Chronicle
Roundup from Tuesday at Astros spring training - Houston Chronicle
Manfred apologizes for calling World Series trophy a 'piece of metal' - Associated Press
Amid many changes, Brent Strom a constant for Astros - Houston Chronicle
White acknowledges Astros' wrongdoing with sign stealing - Dodger Blue
Baker responds to Markakis - KPRC-TV
Mattress Mack: Astros’ apologies won't satisfy everyone, but were more than enough for me - Houston Chronicle
Astros' scandal turns MLB into must-see TV – as the worst kind of reality show - MyNorthwest.com
A brief guide to trolling the sign-stealing Astros - SB Nation
Fan taunts Astros by banging trash can during batting practice - New York Post
Someone really used a trash can to heckle the Astros at spring training - USA Today
Baker calls new reliever rule 'a challenge' - Houston Chronicle
Haven’t the Astros suffered enough? - Galesburg (IL) Register-Mail
A union divided: Astros cheating scandal rocks MLBPA - Sports Illustrated
Astros' sign-stealing scandal has rocked the game, but it might also be good for it - Seattle Times
It's up to the MLB and baseball fans to ensure Astros cheaters never prosper - The Federalist
Down the road from disgraced Astros in Florida, Cardinals exude integrity - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Nationals install World Series signage to one-up Astros at shared spring training facility - NBC Sports DC
Disciplining Astros not as easy for MLB as Altuve revealing a tattoo - ESPN
Martinez thinks Astros bashing a bit much - ESPN
Buffalo Wild Wings, facing fallout from foul Astros tweet, shows perils of social media - Houston Chronicle
Q&A with pitching coach Brent Strom - Astros.com
Markakis: Every Astros player 'needs a beating' - Houston Chronicle

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- Bob Hulsey