So much stuff. So little time.

There are times in which you have so much stuff to talk about, you simply don’t know where to start. It might be unbelievable, but today is one of such days.

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– It’s true that the chances for the Astros to advance to the postseason are very remote. However, new manager Cecil Cooper is trying to infuse a new mood into the clubhouse. Of course, the losses are still there. But the job is being done. Talent is being evaluated, and that has a lot to do with this particular edition of September callups. This is for the long stretch, not a sprint; so we’ll have to be a bit patient. It seems like things are going the right way, though.

– Interviews for finding a new GM have begun. Names are being tossed from inside (Ricky Bennett, head of Player Development) and outside (former Expos GM Jim Beattie, reports say the Phillies’ Ruben Amaro Jr. is also in the mix) the organization. This interview process will be a bit long. They really need a VERY creative person, I’d say.

– We hope Matt Albers and Troy Patton keep on pitching well for the rest of the season. In their arms rest a lot of our hopes for a better 2008. It’s great to see Brandon Backe back. He was missed.

– It’s time for Felipe Paulino and Juan Gutierrez to show us what they’re made of. They must not waste this chance.

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– We’ve seen an interesting baseball movement going on in Italy. It has caught MLB’s eye, and they have set up an Academy in that European nation. As a product of those efforts, the Astros have signed RHP Andrea Lucati, who belongs to the Ponzano Veneto team. Lucati’s signature has caused headlines big and small in Italy, going from the TV giant RAI to local dailies, and of course, it has been featured in the Italian Baseball and Softball Association Website. Lucati will remain in Italy until his High School promotion, and we’ll get to see him next year in Kissimmee. Reports say the 17-year-old already owns a 90-MPH fastball. Hopefully, this will mean some increase in the interest Italians have in baseball (which is far from being a mainstream sport. Very far), and why not, they will start to follow him in the Astros organization. As a descendant of Italians, I can only be happy about this news. Benvenuto e complimenti ad Andrea!

– I have received some very bad news today. Caribes de Anzoategui, a team from the Venezuelan baseball league, might disappear tomorrow. A power struggle between its stockholders has no solution as of now, and tomorrow will be a decisive day. This saddens me, not just because of the fan base which was hard for Caribes to built, but for its employees, which we know, respect and appreciate, and for the talent this team has showcased in its almost two decades of existence. The list is scary. Magglio Ordoez, Victor Martinez, Carlos Zambrano, Fernando Nieve, just to name a few. Carlos Lee worn the Caribes jersey while he played in Venezuela.

Caribes and its Chico Carrasquel stadium was the place in which yours truly learned to love baseball, then moved on to the pressbox, and learned the craft of writing, interviewing, keeping score, and basically, living and breathing baseball. That was where I fell in love with baseball for life. I feel that, if they take Caribes away from us, a huge piece of my life will cease to exist.

1 Comment

Thanks for the welcome note, Rafael!

I’m hoping Albers and Patton are ready next season – I mean, REALLY ready! Backe, too. They’re all great, and they’ve all got amazing potential, but as of now (what less can you expect), they’re just a tad rough around the edges. I’m ready for it!

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