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Here's a laugh; Astros expect to win 90 games

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by REEKO_HTOWN, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    this is halarious. Everybody keep an eye on this entertaining bunch.
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/6333325.html

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Cecil Cooper realizes the so-called experts don’t expect much from his club this season. Furthermore, the Astros’ manager knows going 22 days and 19 Grapefruit League games between victories this spring didn’t exactly raise the veteran team’s stock in the baseball world.

    Yet, he's predicting brilliance from the 2009 Astros.

    “We should win 90 games,” Cooper said nonchalantly Monday morning at Osceola County Stadium.

    To an extent, Cooper appreciates the low expectations because he hopes to “go under the radar” and surprise some teams. He expressed those sentiments recently to Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker, who also hopes to play above expectations.

    Cooper didn’t tell Baker, however, that he’s predicting at least 90 victories for the 2009 Astros a year after he was only four victories shy of being correct with a similar prediction. Last year’s 90-win prediction, he says, might have been fulfilled if not for the awful stretch that started immediately after they played two games in Milwaukee against the Chicago Cubs after Hurricane Ike.

    “They’re not thinking that we’re going to win anything or be anywhere,” he says of the so-called experts. “We’re going to be in the lower rung of our division (according to predictions). I don’t believe that and (Dusty Baker) doesn’t believe that.”

    Never mind that the Astros have been one of the worst teams in all of baseball this spring, going 1-16-3 in the Grapefruit League before winning three in a row.

    Although Cooper has admitted he lost sleep recently after one of the losses during the 19-game winless streak, the man who spent nearly two weeks discussing his frustrations with the offense and sloppy defense actually used previous poor spring training records to back his prediction.

    Because the Astros are a veteran team with Michael Bourn as the only position player who hasn’t established himself in the majors, Cooper isn’t too concerned with the stats his starters have had this spring.

    “If you got a bunch of young kids and you got a young team and that’s happening, then you got to be a little worried,” he said. “I mean really, really worried. Veterans, their focus mainly is on getting ready. That’s it and pacing themselves to a certain time.”

    To back his claim, he cited the 20001 American League champion New York Yankees, the 1999 and 2000 World Series champion Yankees and the 1984 World Series champion Detroit Tigers.

    In 1984, the Tigers were 11-17 in spring training. The Yankees were 14-19 in the spring of 1999, then 13-20 the next spring and 9-20 in the spring of 2001.

    Since the Tigers used their poor Grapefruit League as a springboard to the 1984 World Series title, only three of the World Series champions have had the best spring records in baseball. Heck, 10 champions and 20 of the participants in the World Series have gone under .500 in the last 24 years.

    “I’d say we’re going to be very competitive,” Cooper said, “and we’re going to have a chance to win. … I believe we’ll win 90 games, 90-plus.”

    Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee, two players who have been adamant that there shouldn’t be concern with the spring losses, agree with Cooper’s prediction. Lee said as much last Friday when he confronted a worried Drayton McLane.

    “Listen,” he told McLane, “do you want me to drive in a run in the bottom of the eighth in April or do you want me to drive that run in right now in March? April, right?”

    McLane shook his head in agreement, and the Astros broke their winless streak a day later.

    “I believe that we can win at least 90 games,” Berkman said. “At least 90. It could be 91.

    I don’t care what they’re (predicting) to be honest with you. We know what kind of team we have. We got a good group of veteran guys. The reality is we’re not real deep in our starting rotation, which is a concern. But any time you have a good season you’re going to catch some breaks. And if we stay healthy and catch some, we’ll be fine.”

    Yeah, but why should fans believe the Astros can win 90 games a year after winning 86?

    “This is the Houston Astros,” Berkman said. “It just means that we play better than what we look like on paper.”

    Added Lee: “If we stay healthy, yeah, we can win 90.”

    Maybe more, Tejada says.

    “We have the talent,” Tejada said. “If we keep everybody together, we’ll win 90 games. Last year we lost Carlos. It’s a big loss. That’s why we’re going to win more games.”

    Ty Wigginton and Brad Ausmus are the only position players who are gone from last year’s team. Geoff Blum and either prospect Chris Johnson or a late spring pickup will share time replacing Wigginton at third. Pudge Rodriguez will replace Ausmus.

    “Why wouldn’t we (win 90)?” Berkman said. “We won 86 games last year. I feel like we have a better team this year than we did last year.”

    The rotation isn’t very deep behind ace Roy Oswalt. At this point, the rotation is likely to include Wandy Rodriguez, Mike Hampton, Brian Moehler and Russ Ortiz with Brandon Backe starting the season on the disabled list and Jose Capellan either in the bullpen or starting at Class AAA Round Rock.

    “I’m saying we have a terrific bullpen,” Cooper said. “If not the best, awful darn close to the top. One of the best closers in the game, OK? We got one of the best aces. We got the ace, I think, in all of baseball or definitely in the National League.

    The bullpen is expected to be a strength with closer Jose Valverde, who led the league in saves last year, and LaTroy Hawkins, Doug Brocail, Geoff Geary, Chris Sampson, Wesley Wright and Tim Byrdak all back.

    “We’ve got three of the best offensive players (Lee, Berkman and Tejada) at their position in baseball,” Cooper said. “We got if not the best pretty close to the top, from a catching standpoint in baseball. We’ve got a second baseman (Kaz Matsui) who if he’s not the fourth or fifth best … a terrific defensive player. Come on.

    “We got one of the best young stars (Hunter Pence) in the game. We’ve got what it takes. I love our middle guys — Geary, Sampson. I love those guys. We got three veteran guys at the end of the ballgame — Brocail, Hawkins, Valverde. If we’re winning a game in the fifth inning, the sixth inning, we’ve got probably and 85-90 percent chance of winning that game. You tell me we’re not going to win that many games?”
     
  2. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    While it would (pleasantly) suprise me if they won 90+ games, based on last year, it is not unreasonable to predict that they could win 90 games. It is entirely possible that, based on how they were playing at the time, had the Hurricane Ike fiasco not occurred, they may very well have won 90+ games last season. Who would have thought that?

    Comparing the rosters at the start of the seasons, this year's rotation is on par with last year and the bullpen is better. Offensively they should be better.
    The addition of Wolf and his unexpected production will be missed, but it could be offset by Oswalt having a good first half as opposed to last year.
    The bench should be comparable if not better and Cooper probably won't be as patient with Bourn this year.
     
  3. Cannonball

    Cannonball Contributing Member

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    While a few faces may have changed, our talent level is on par with what we had last year when we won 86 and finished 3.5 out of the wild card. We were rolling until Ike hit and we had to go play Chicago in Milwaukee. We might have reached 90 last year if that hadn't happened. I'm not saying we should expect to win 90, but I don't think it's that ridiculous of an idea.

    EDIT: bobrek pretty much hit my major points.
     
  4. right1

    right1 Member

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    Either way, it's nice that Berkman, Lee and Tejada are happy with the talent level of the team and have high expectations. They even pinpoint the problem of depth in the starting rotation (doesn't take a rocket scientist) and are still optimistic. That's good. I'll be there opening day.
     
  5. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    major would know better than me, but at least according to stats, we played about 10 games over our heads last season.
     
  6. Cannonball

    Cannonball Contributing Member

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    True. Our Pythagorean W-L (estimated wins and losses based on the number of runs scored and allowed) was 77-84. It seems to indicate that when we lost, we lost bad. When we won, we won by a little. We were the only team above .500 that gave up more runs than we scored.
     
  7. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    I have seen the stats you refer to and that always makes me wonder why Cooper got zero consideration for manager of the year. Shouldn't the very definition of that award be getting more wins out of your team than they should have gotten?

    Anyway, the record was what the record was. With the current roster, I expect 84-88 wins.
     
  8. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    Pythagorean records are just what they sound like, mathematical estimations. They simply compile statistics to come up with a win total. In some cases it's obvious that a manager just got more out of his team than the numbers would indicate they had, but in other cases the numbers are just skewed by factors that the formula can't account for.

    Anyway, I hope the Astros win 90 games, but I look at the pitching staff and ask myself, who after Oswalt is going to win 12+ games? I can't answer that with anyone's name unfortunately. Wandy has the potential to certainly if he's healthy, but that's it.
     
  9. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    Who, besides Oswalt, won 12+ last year?
     
  10. RunninRaven

    RunninRaven Contributing Member
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    I think, if healthy, Hampton has that ability as well. Unfortunately that's a much bigger "if" than Wandy's health situation.
     
  11. Cannonball

    Cannonball Contributing Member

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    Wouldn't you be more upset if the manager and players of your team came out and said "We expect to be 10 games below .500 and finish 5th in the division"? That's a bad mindset to be in. You want the players to believe they can win and make the playoffs. It's had to do that if you're already conceding defeat before the season starts.
     
  12. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run

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    well if this is true, my bet might come through before the september callups ;)
     
  13. cardpire

    cardpire Member

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    any team in the majors can say they are gonna win 90 games in baseball - and be right. surprises happen every year. we have a team where it isn't completely unfathomable for a ton on things to fall into place for us (hampton, ortiz pitching well in particular, pence improving, tejada having a much better season than last, etc.) and for us to be good. i'd be surprised...pleasantly surprised, but not shocked. who knows what the hell will happen.

    as the saying goes though, talk is cheap.
     
  14. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    Exactly, all of you fans and the millions upon millions of Yankees/Red Sox fans would have been laughing it up and totally destroying the Rays last year had they come out and said that they were going to win the division. Guess what happened? Those fans got pwned.
     
  15. blathersby

    blathersby Contributing Member

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    I'm sorry. This is bugging me more than the actual story. This is the second time I've seen it in as many days.

    It's spelled H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Buck Turgidson

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    They played in 14 games decided by 7 runs or more. They went 3-11 in those games & were outscored by 86 runs.
     
  17. jev5555

    jev5555 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    We will win more than 90 and Jake Peavy will have an Astros jersey by June.
     
  18. BrooksBall

    BrooksBall Contributing Member

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    That's bold.

    What will we give up to get Peavy?
     
  19. ths balla

    ths balla Member

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    hunter pence
     
  20. BrooksBall

    BrooksBall Contributing Member

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    And??
     

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