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[Chron]: Oswalt might pitch opening day

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Nick, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

    Feb 28, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Astros sell out opening day in record time
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
    In a sign of the excitement Astros owner Drayton McLane created by signing Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte this offseason, the team's April 5 season opener at Minute Maid Park sold out in a record 15 minutes this morning.

    After the Astros put regular-season single-game tickets on sale at 8 a.m. today at the Minute Maid Park box office, the Opening-Day game against Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants sold out quickly.

    Opening Day is always a prime ticket in baseball, and the excitement in Houston has grown since Clemens put off retirement Jan. 12 and signed with his hometown club a month after his former Yankees teammate Pettitte also bolted the Bronx to pitch at home.

    "We sold out Opening Day quickly, but for the rest of the 80 games we still have plenty of seats available," said John Sorrentino, the Astros' director of ticket sales. "It's just about as exciting as when we signed Roger Clemens, and the season-ticket requests backed up the phone lines Jan. 12. It's very exciting. We have a lot of people buying season tickets."

    The Astros will open the season with a three-game series against the defending NL West champion Giants. Fans interested in watching Clemens or Pettitte pitch for the first time as Astros might consider purchasing tickets for the second and third games of the opening series. There is a strong chance that righthander Roy Oswalt will be chosen to pitch the first game to set him up against other teams' aces.

    "The only thing we've held back is small numbers of seats for season tickets," said Pam Gardner, the Astros' president of business operations. "We'll continue selling those. February 16 is the deadline to get All-Star tickets.

    "People are really picking hot series, the Cubs, the Cardinals, the Rangers. They're picking up hot series, which is probably a good thing. It's good we have the excitement that we had when we opened the stadium (in 2000)."

    The Astros expect to sell at least 22,000 season tickets, which this year guarantee fans an opportunity to buy their seats for the 75th All-Star Game on July 13 at Minute Maid Park. To qualify for the All-Star Game seats, however, fans must purchase their season-ticket plan by Feb. 16.


    My guess is that Drayton will see that games 2 and 3 are lagging behind in sales, and will come out and say "Oswalt will pitch game one, and we'll go from there."

    That way, people will buy up games 2 and 3 at a fervish pace.

    They're all guranteed sellouts anyways, but I'm sure Drayton wants to reap the $$$ benefits of this as FAST as he can.

    For the common fan, this is big news... because there's plenty of seats for games 2 and 3 left right now.
  2. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

    Nov 8, 2002
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    That's how it should be.
  3. JPM0016

    JPM0016 Contributing Member

    May 23, 2003
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    it's simple,


    Oswalt gives the astros the best chance to win. With all due respect to Roger, Roy Oswalt is a much better pitcher at this point in their careers.

    Besides, you are already going to sell out opening day. Stick Andy and Roger next and you've got a complete sell out for the series.
  4. BobFinn*

    BobFinn* Contributing Member

    Feb 10, 2000
    Likes Received:
    On a somewhat related note:

    Feb. 6, 2004, 12:31AM

    Perseverance helps Oswalt earn honor
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle


    Of all the awards that will be given out tonight at the Houston Baseball Dinner, Roy Oswalt has no doubt the most prestigious honor is the Darryl Kile Good Guy of the Year Award, which recognizes character and decency toward teammates, media and fans.

    Oswalt, who will pick up the 2003 Darryl Kile Award tonight at Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel, would know the value of the awards. He will add the latest honor to the 2001 Astros Rookie of the Year award and 2002 Astros Pitcher of the Year awards he received at the previous two banquets.

    "I think it's probably the most important award of all of them given out, just because the type of character Darryl was on and off the field," said Oswalt, who threw off the Minute Maid Park mound Thursday. "I never really met him, but I pitched against him. I've talked to many people who played with him (with the Astros), and they all speak very highly of him.

    "That's kind of how I guess you know about his character. Anytime you have that many people who played with you speaking high of you, you can figure out what kind of person he was."

    The Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America established the award to honor Kile, who died in his hotel room in June 2002.

    Jeff Bagwell, one of Kile's closest friends, was the first recipient of the award.

    Oswalt is the second, in large part because of the way he fought through three stints on the disabled list with groin strains last season. Given the chance to have season-ending surgery in August after his third injury, Oswalt held off surgery until October to give himself a chance to pitch in September.

    The delay on the surgery allowed Oswalt to make four starts after coming off the DL on Sept. 8. He won all four to finish 10-5 with a 2.97 ERA despite missing the equivalent of two months.

    Twelve weeks after the surgery, Oswalt received full medical clearance. He threw off the mound for the first time since the surgery last Friday in his hometown of Weir, Miss. He threw again Thursday for 15 minutes.

    "I mixed it up and threw like a regular bullpen (session)," he said. "It wasn't at 100 percent. I was probably at 85 to 90 percent just trying to spot the ball. I felt well from the stretch and the windup throwing all my pitches.

    "I don't feel anything. I was telling the trainers my right leg is feeling like my left leg, so that's got to be a good thing."

    The others honorees tonight will be Richard Hidalgo (Most Valuable Astro), Billy Wagner (Astros Pitcher of the Year), Brad Lidge (Astros Rookie of the Year), Andy Pettitte (Houston Area Major League Player of the Year) and Roger Clemens (recipient of the Allen Russell Distinguished Achievement Award).

    Charlie Maiorana, who was Clemens' high school coach, will receive the Fred Hartman Award for long and meritorious service. Rice ace Jeff Niemann will get the Houston Area Preseason College Player of the Year award, and Rex Sanders will get the Ray Knoblauch Award as Houston Area High School Coach of the Year.

    Baseball commissioner Bud Selig will attend the dinner for the first time as a prelude to Major League Baseball's 75th All-Star Game being played at Minute Maid Park in July. Astros owner Drayton McLane and manager Jimy Williams also will address the crowd.

    The Baseball Dinner will draw a record crowd of 1,700, making it one of the nation's largest baseball banquets.

    "This is a great turnout," said Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker, who will present the Darryl Kile Award. "In a city that gets its share of criticism for not supporting baseball, the tremendous showing of over 1,700 to support our annual dinner is a testimony to the tremendous enthusiasm for baseball in this city."
  5. Uprising

    Uprising Contributing Member

    Dec 29, 2000
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    sounds cool. tickets for the next 2 games are still available.
  6. A-Train

    A-Train Contributing Member

    Jan 1, 2000
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    Hmmm...I wonder if opening day tickets would have sold out in 15 minutes had this been announced a week ago. :D
  7. rrj_gamz

    rrj_gamz Contributing Member

    Aug 15, 2002
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    Agreed...Besides, everyone knows they want to sell out the entire series, which is why nothing won't happen until Jimy says so...;)
  8. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

    Feb 15, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I hope this is the case. That way, I'll have tickets for all three nights!

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