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AL West Standings
Team W L Pct GB RS RA Diff Home Road East Cent West L10 Strk
Houston10755.66092064028060-2147-3419-1321-1356-208-2W3
Oakland9765.5991084568016552-2945-3617-1625-844-326-4L1
Arlington7884.48129810878-6845-3633-4818-1418-1633-434-6W2
Anaheim7290.44435769868-9938-4334-4717-1813-1830-463-7L3
Seattle6894.42039758893-13535-4633-4814-1918-1527-494-6W1

Last Game:
Nationals 6
Astros 2




April 4 - This Date in Astros History
April 4 - This Date in Astros History
April 4

2003 - Brad Ausmus slugs a grand slam homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the 12th to carry the Astros over St. Louis, 6-5. Ausmus also guns down three runners, including Fernando Vina at third base for the game's final out. Brad Lidge gets his first major league save.
1994 - Mitch Williams walks the bases full then surrenders two 12th-inning runs in the season opener against Montreal. Ken Caminiti's two-run double ends a dramatic three-run comeback for a 6-5 Houston triumph. . The Astros also debut their new navy-and-gold uniforms with the leaning star logo.
1982 - J.R. Richard tosses one inning in an exhibition game against Toronto. It would be his last appearance as an Astro after suffering a stroke in 1980. Richard gives up no runs and no hits but walks the bases full in the 3-2 victory.
1977 - Houston bombs the Rangers in a 16-6 exhibition win in Oklahoma City. Willie Crawford drives in five runs but the moment nobody forgets is when Bob Watson doubles into a double play. Texas catcher Bill Fahey tags out both Enos Cabell and Jose Cruz at the plate.
1966 - A tornado rips through the Astros' spring training home in Cocoa, FL. Three light towers are toppled, one crashing into the grandstand. The scoreboard has vanished. The batting cages are ruined. That day's exhibition game with Kansas City is cancelled.



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SPRING CALENDAR

Date      Opp      Result
2/22     #WSH       cncl
2/23     #WSH*     L 2-1
2/24     @DET*    W 11-1
2/25      MIA*     L 7-4
2/26      STL*     L 7-5
2/26     @NYM*     W 4-2
2/27     #WSH      T 5-5
2/28     @MIA*     W 6-4
2/29      NYM*     L 2-1
3/01      STL*     W 5-4
3/02      off        --
3/03     @STL      L 6-3
3/04      MIA*     L 2-1
3/05     @BOS*     W 5-0
3/06      NYM      W 3-2
3/07     @STL*     L 5-1
3/08     @NYM*     L 3-1
3/09      DET*     W 2-1
3/10      NYM*     L 7-4
3/10     @ATL*     L 3-0
3/11     #WSH*     L 6-2
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:   7 - 11 - 1

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Houston Astros recap - 04/03/20 - Medical Masks, Neutral Sites Among Ideas
Medical Masks, Neutral Sites Among Ideas
Hinch, Luhnow Suspensions End This Year

This year's fashion trend?
(c) Australian Broadcasting Company
Baseball is in such a deep freeze right now because of the coronavirus, you'd think this was the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, the nasty bug is doing a number on our favorite sport just like it has practically everything else (incredibly, the WWE is continuing to wrestle).

Players don't like the forced inaction any better than the fans do and this has led to some interesting proposals to get players back on the field. Arizona player Nick Ahmed said the players union was considering going back to work with players donning medical masks. He claims some of the Asian leagues are already doing this.

Certainly, catchers are already used to wearing masks as is anyone who played through broken facial bones. But these masks aren't the same. There are also some who question their effectiveness in actually halting the spread of virus germs. The masks are designed to block outgoing germs, not so much the incoming ones, leaving some with a false sense of security.

Others see a PR problem if baseball players take the field with these masks while hospitals and clinics complain of shortages. Bad optics.

But there are ideas how to get the sport moving again since it is estimated teams will need 3-4 weeks just to get back in playing shape. I would recommend that spring training become a series of intrasquad games perhaps played without fans to limit exposure between clubs. This way, the players get their work in but there's little chance of a league-wide epidemic.

Perhaps they could also set the rosters at 30 to begin play but without trades and without players coming up and down from the minors until a set date. Again, this is to limit contamination between work groups. MLB and the union have already agreed to a 28-player opening roster, up from the new number of 26 per team.

Another idea is to hold games at neutral sites, some even suggesting that one town can host all the games of every team just to get the season underway. I'm not sure where they can go where there are no cases although maybe a hot dry place like Yuma, AZ would be remote enough.

None of this is much to hope in right now but at least some folks are trying to think through the logistics of getting baseball started again. If they can somehow kick off the regular season by the first or second week of June then a 100-game season could still be possible which is enough to say a full season has been played (about 60%).

Meanwhile, Evan Gattis has emerged from his cave to keep the Astros scandal stirred up. First he tweeted a glass he spotted at the Flying Saucer chain of drinking establishments. The glass had an image of Mike Fiers with the caption "Snitches get stitches". Perhaps this is meant as a joke for the player who broke open the sign-stealing scandal but since Fiers has already been the subject of death threats, many did not see the humor it.

Gattis later claimed he wasn't agreeing with the message but just found it noteworthy, maybe a keepsake. Gattis, of course, is one of the players most implicated in the scandal which makes me question why he decided now was the time to kick that hornets nest yet again instead of keeping his mouth shut. El Oso Blanco has become El Oso Loco. Gattis, by the way, has retired from baseball.

Finally, ESPN received clarification from MLB that fired Astros managers Jeff Luhnow and A.J. Hinch will complete their suspensions this year even if there's no baseball season. The suspensions were worded to say they would complete at the end of the 2020 World Series rather than a set number of games, or months. I would not expect either to be back with the Astros, however.

- Bob Hulsey



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

MORE NEWS ARTICLES...

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Verlander to donate paychecks to help people impacted by coronavirus - Houston Chronicle
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Judge dismisses one sign-stealing lawsuit against Astros and Red Sox - Yahoo Sports
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McCann got a ring playing for 2017 Astros, but the cheating is 'eating him up' - NJ.com
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Hinch, Luhnow suspensions to count in 2020 even with no MLB season - Houston Chronicle
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Medical Masks, Neutral Sites Among Ideas
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Hinch, Luhnow suspensions fulfilled in 2020 even if MLB season canceled - ESPN
Are the Houston Astros the villains or the antiheroes of baseball? - The Ticker
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Manfred and Co. want Astros scandal to fade away - Trentonian
Law firm seeks Dodgers, Yankees fans to join lawsuits against Astros - Houston Chronicle
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Should Correa be traded? - WBLZMedia
Astros: Move ex-pitcher's Astrogate suit to Texas in "fairness" - Fansided
Tompkins' Valasek inspired by Astros, Biggio - Katy Times
'Toy cannon' launched rockets for the Astros - Newser
A's-Astros series in Oakland could have set tone for captivating season - Yahoo Sports
Crane says MLB 'exonerated' him in sign-stealing investigation - CBS Sports
Astros ask L.A. court to toss ex-pitcher Mike Bolsinger's lawsuit - Houston Chronicle
Remembering Jose Lima, the human antidepressant - Call to the Pen
Minor league players will receive $400 per week through May 31 - NBC Sports
Gattis confirms he is "done playing" - MLB Trade Rumors
Verlander (groin) on schedule, doing well - numberFire
Owners of Astros affiliate selling meal kits to employees [$] - Sports Business Daily
How golf helps Verlander stay sharp - Golf Digest
Pay for minor league players extended during coronavirus shutdown - Houston Chronicle
Reed announces retirement - MLB Trade Rumors
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A.J. Reed has retired - Line Star Ball
Reed's retirement underscores Astros' tepid 2014 draft class - Houston Chronicle
A's fans had warm welcome planned for Astros - Sports Illustrated
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Costas: MLB should footnote 2017 Astros World Series as 'not authentic' - Fox Sports Radio
Astros and Indians should ignite MLB with this surprise trade - 12up
Astros' Top 5 first basemen: McTaggart's take - Astros.com


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- Bob Hulsey