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I think "boy with a thorn in his side" is more appropriate. :lol:;)
ooh ooh me too!

re: forcing us to keep the roof open:

"A dreaded sunny day So I meet you at the cemetery gates..." (The Smiths, of course) :P

y'all are awesome :lol:

i have changed my mind, however - i think it should now be: "Panic"

hell, i could come up with a zillion appropriate smiths songs! (i started something i couldn't finish...i know it's over...paint a vulgar picture...) :rolleyes:

Edited by sevfiv
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  • 4 weeks later...

Plus they're raising ticket prices next year.

Astros an economic home run for McLane

Jim Greer

Houston Business Journal

Postseason prosperity for the Houston Astros will pay dividends in the off-season, and beyond.

The afterglow from the best season and first National League baseball championship in the 44-year history of the Houston Astros will likely swing the ballclub further into the black.

"Every revenue stream will be affected and should be affected in a positive way," says Dean Bonham, owner of the Bonham Group, a sports marketing consulting firm based in the Denver area.

Bonham believes that more revenue will flow to the Astros via radio, the Web and television. In addition, sales from sponsorships, merchandising and concessions stand to gain before the 2006 season, or after it starts, according to Bonham.

"It certainly should help the season-ticket sales, and ticket sales next year," says Astros owner Drayton McLane.

The Astros could see their attendance go from 2.8 million in 2005 to 3.1 million next year, with their base of season-ticketholders jumping from approximately 18,000 to 22,000 season-tickets sold, according to Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, an affiliated publication.

Link to HBJ article

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It is my belief that it only works if we get our key players to comeback. I am all for the economic injection though. Roger Clemens is a major spokesperson for my company. C'mon Rodge, one more year baby !

Rog is great. Gives us old guys some hope. But at 18 mil a year I think the 'stros would be be better off spreading that money around for some more hitting.

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That's very interesting, especially considering that the Chicago papers all did the story saying that the World Series wasn't a big deal and didn't have much of an economic impact.

I guess it's all semantics.

If it had been the Cubbies, Chicago would have been more appreciative.

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If it had been the Cubbies, Chicago would have been more appreciative.

Of course. But the Cubs would deserve the extra appreciation. They would no longer be laughed at.

I'm curious what the Astros will do this off-season. I hope Roger comes back, but more than anything I hope our newer talents become stars. we could be unstoppable for years to come

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That's very interesting, especially considering that the Chicago papers all did the story saying that the World Series wasn't a big deal and didn't have much of an economic impact.

I guess it's all semantics.

Economic impact on the city surely was small, but the value of the White Sox organization surely jumped, as well as the Astros, considering revenue from merchandize sales and increased visibility on TV, etc.

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I don't know what the Chicago papers are thinking, because it's brand recognition that separates the top revenue clubs from the rest. Brand recognition sells merchandise. You can only make so much from ticket sales, the rest has to come from somewhere else, and that's hats and tshirts. The three top clubs in revenue and total value are the Yanks, Red Sox and the Cubs in that order, none of which has the brand-new corporate-named stadium with suites that all the other clubs say they need to keep up. They are the top revenue teams because people all over the country wear their ballcaps. Before this year, you would be hard pressed to find someone with no connection to Houston wearing an Astros cap, but there are millions of people who have never set foot in NYC wearing Yankees gear.

The only way to get brand recognition is to be the Yanks-BoSox-Cubs, or play in the World Series.

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I don't know what the Chicago papers are thinking, because it's brand recognition that separates the top revenue clubs from the rest. Brand recognition sells merchandise. You can only make so much from ticket sales, the rest has to come from somewhere else, and that's hats and tshirts. The three top clubs in revenue and total value are the Yanks, Red Sox and the Cubs in that order, none of which has the brand-new corporate-named stadium with suites that all the other clubs say they need to keep up. They are the top revenue teams because people all over the country wear their ballcaps. Before this year, you would be hard pressed to find someone with no connection to Houston wearing an Astros cap, but there are millions of people who have never set foot in NYC wearing Yankees gear.

The only way to get brand recognition is to be the Yanks-BoSox-Cubs, or play in the World Series.

I think the problem is that in Chicago the White Sox are always seen as the "second" team, and even the World Series hasn't changed that. The childish and jealous northsiders had a joke this year, "I heard Chicago is in the World Series -- Go Cubbies!" Which illustrates the point that not only Chicago, but much of the rest of the baseball playing world associate the Cubs with Chicago first, and the White Sox a distant second.

A lot of that has, interestingly enough, to do with urban planning. In the area around the Cubs' Wrigley Field (known as Wrigleyville, though it's technically Lakeview), there are dozens and dozens of bars, restaurants, private clubs, souvenier shops, and other businesses catering to the summer-long party that goes on in Wrigley Field, win or lose. The Cubs games are more of a neighborhood festival than a sporting event, and getting tickets without going through a broker is virtually impossible. Even if they don't have a ticket for the Cubs game, or even if the team is playing out of town, tens of thousands of people pour into the Wirgleyville neighborhood for the honor of watching it on TV next door to the stadium.

The contrast is U.S. Cellular Field, where the White Sox play. It is typical of many modern stadia -- surrounded by acres and acres of parking lots so the only choice for a drink or a bite is inside the stadium. The team controls the experience. The nearest bar is three blocks away. The nearest souvenir shop even further.

While Wrigleyville revels in its baseball-fueled festivals several hundred times a year, the area around The Cell is virtually deserted. There's no reason to go there. The surrounding blocks of bars and restaurants were bulldozed for surface parking, and it's a scar on the landscape. The Sox thought it would draw people into the stadium if they didn't have to compete with every mom-and-pop watering hole in Bridgeview. The reality is that virtually no one goes to see the White Sox play, and radio stations can't even give the tickets away.

It also helps to be connected to a TV network, like Atlanta, where you build brand recognition by having all your games televised.

Another area where the Cubs have an advantage over the Sox. The Cubs are owned by the Tribune Company which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers. More importantly, it also owns a lot of TV stations, and the biggest radio station in the Midwest. So the Cubs games are always on TV (WGN/Superstation WGN, Tribune-owned Comcast Sports Network, or Tribune-operated WCIU-TV), and radio (WGN radio).

Until just this year, the Sox had trouble finding anyone to carry their games, and they bounced around between the local Fox station, Fox Sports Midwest (which was actually owend by CBS back when I worked for Westinghouse), and sometimes weren't televised at all. Again, that changed this year when the Tribune Company bought the broadcast rights to the Sox games and they're always on WGN/SSWGN/WCIU/CSN, and somtimes even bump Cubs games to the lesser-distributed channels.

But old habits die hard. Just like most people in Houston watch KTRK out of habit, most people in Chicago assume that WGN is the "Cubs station" and the Tribune is the "Cubs paper" even though Tribune's TV stations broadcast the Sox games. During the Series, Tribune reporters were very often harassed and pelted with beer cans because of this mistaken perception. Old habits and all that.

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A lot of that has, interestingly enough, to do with urban planning. In the area around the Cubs' Wrigley Field (known as Wrigleyville, though it's technically Lakeview), there are dozens and dozens of bars, restaurants, private clubs, souvenier shops, and other businesses catering to the summer-long party that goes on in Wrigley Field, win or lose. The Cubs games are more of a neighborhood festival than a sporting event, and getting tickets without going through a broker is virtually impossible. Even if they don't have a ticket for the Cubs game, or even if the team is playing out of town, tens of thousands of people pour into the Wirgleyville neighborhood for the honor of watching it on TV next door to the stadium.

The contrast is U.S. Cellular Field, where the White Sox play. It is typical of many modern stadia -- surrounded by acres and acres of parking lots so the only choice for a drink or a bite is inside the stadium. The team controls the experience. The nearest bar is three blocks away. The nearest souvenir shop even further.

I hope Minute Maid turns out to become another Wrigleyville in the near future, but with our team ending up with the World Series pennant like the team from U.S. Cellular.

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I hope Minute Maid turns out to become another Wrigleyville in the near future, but with our team ending up with the World Series pennant like the team from U.S. Cellular.

It was surprising how little Wrigleyville-like development ever occured around MMP. I think it was expected that the ballpark would have done more to help redevelopment in the area.

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It was surprising how little Wrigleyville-like development ever occured around MMP. I think it was expected that the ballpark would have done more to help redevelopment in the area.

I remember that was the promise made when it was being built -- that businesses would flock to the area to cater to the crowds and it would revitalize the neighborhood.

To date: Didn't happen. I think primarily because there is so much vacant land around there. Businesses like bars usually can't afford to build their own buildings; they move into existing buildings. But around Minute Maid, pickings are pretty slim.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Garciaparra sounds promising, if he can fully recover.

The 05 team was great and pretty well rounded, but we need some heavy hitters.

Ausmus is coming back which is great, lets wait and see on who else is.

I would LOVE to see GarciaParra in Left Field for the Astros next year. Not only that, but his wife is the biggest soccer star ever to come out of America.

Wife aside though, imagine our team next year with a Beltran-like offensive spark like Garciaparra (the current Astros roster is one that seems to always score on streaks), AND imagine our powerful defense only getting stronger. If we can sign Garciaparra and not have to trade anyone for him, I think it's safe to say that all we'd need after that is to develop our younger pitching. I smell a World Series title in 2006.

Also, it's not impossible for Clements to come back one last time with the 'Stros in May 06 as well, which I think he'll do, especially after he will experience that WBC tornament and get an idea of how much he can physically take at age 43. (By the way, he can be 83 years old, but he will still be mentally ready to play :P .)

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What needs to happen is for Bagwell to retire (he's of no consistent use to us anymore), let Berkman play his natural position of first base, keep Lane in left, Taveras in center, and add Nomar to right (or switch Lane and Nomar). That would give us an upgrade at first, an upgrade in the outfield, and a huge upgrade at the plate.

With Ausmus back our pitching won't slip too far. Remember that as well as the Rocket pitched last season, he still only won 13 games due to our crappy offense. Even if he doesn't come back, maybe a more potent offense could make up for some of those 13 games.

If we get him back in May or later (very unlikely), all the better.

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What needs to happen is for Bagwell to retire (he's of no consistent use to us anymore), let Berkman play his natural position of first base, keep Lane in left, Taveras in center, and add Nomar to right (or switch Lane and Nomar). That would give us an upgrade at first, an upgrade in the outfield, and a huge upgrade at the plate.

With Ausmus back our pitching won't slip too far. Remember that as well as the Rocket pitched last season, he still only won 13 games due to our crappy offense. Even if he doesn't come back, maybe a more potent offense could make up for some of those 13 games.

If we get him back in May or later (very unlikely), all the better.

Agreed, I think Roger could have easily had 17 to 18 wins, if we had some bats for him . :mellow:

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What needs to happen is for Bagwell to retire (he's of no consistent use to us anymore), let Berkman play his natural position of first base, keep Lane in left, Taveras in center, and add Nomar to right (or switch Lane and Nomar). That would give us an upgrade at first, an upgrade in the outfield, and a huge upgrade at the plate.

With Ausmus back our pitching won't slip too far. Remember that as well as the Rocket pitched last season, he still only won 13 games due to our crappy offense. Even if he doesn't come back, maybe a more potent offense could make up for some of those 13 games.

If we get him back in May or later (very unlikely), all the better.

I don't really agree that Bagwell needs to retire. U gotta remember that the man came straight off of shoulder surgery, came back to a playoff contending team, and had unrealistic expectations on him for the rest of the season-post-season. The ONLY reason why he batted in the World Series was not to win the Series; it was because of Bagwell was a guy that deserved to play after waiting for so long. What I suggest is that Nomar goes left, Taveras Center, Lane Right, Berkman First Base, and have Bagwell as the main pinch hitter to see if he has his strengh back. If he does, and the 'Stros keep winning, keep him as pinch (or at least until a dude got injured, then they could put Bagwell back on first, Berkman in Left and Lane at the missing position. But I think Bags can still play, and could posibly be more effective on offense than defense this year. And Nomar would be the only offensive addition the 'Stros would need if we got him.

I think the 'Stros need to sign only two new free agents: a batter like Nomar, and one more free agent pitcher. Byung-Hyun Kim and Jose Lima are still available. Both would be great for the 5th pitching spot for da Stros, and we wouldn't have to give anybody up.

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I'd be ok with Bags as a pinch hitter, not an everyday player though. Also, keep in mind that if he comes in as a pinch hitter you're either putting Berkman on the bench or moving him to the outfield and bringing somebody else in. Would you really want Berkman going back to the bench or switching positions mid-game that often? He needs to stay in the lineup and healthy.

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Let's not write off Bags until he has a full chance. He has more than paid his dues for that chance. Heck, if he can come back 80%, that's still 20 homers and 80 or so ribbies. Funny, you don't have that guarentee with Nomah either and it seems everyone is jumping on that bandwagon and writing off Bags in the same sentence.

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With Bagwell it's a tradeoff between strong, but diminished ability, and his contract price. Because of the Series effect the Astros are expecting strong revenue next year, so it might make sense to let him play one more season and see how it works out. After that it's time to move on.

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I agree with giving Bags a chance to comeback and play. I believe its the least the Stros can do for all his years of service and great memories. Having said that, I also believe that if he dose not play well at all, he should do the club a favor and retire. Relieving them of his contract and giving them a chance to go out and get a bat or starting pitcher. I do believe that the Rocket Roger Clemens will comeback on May 1 and pitch again for the Astros because he came here to win a world series and after the WBC he will want to pitch again and feel good about not having to go the whole season.

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I'd be ok with Bags as a pinch hitter, not an everyday player though. Also, keep in mind that if he comes in as a pinch hitter you're either putting Berkman on the bench or moving him to the outfield and bringing somebody else in. Would you really want Berkman going back to the bench or switching positions mid-game that often? He needs to stay in the lineup and healthy.

I think Berkman's natural position is First Base. But let's see how Bags feels physically when he gets back in uniform. I think he will be a dominant player this year. Get the right teammate by him, and he'll have CRAZY RBI numbers I think

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Bagwell restructured his contract years ago to help the team. It's not his fault the 'Stros backloaded his salary so that he was making journeyman money during his star years and windfall during his decline. Now you are saying he should just give up 17 million to help the team? Would you? I know it's a "what have you done for me lately" society, but Bagwell deserves every penny he is guaranteed this upcoming year whether he can help the team or not.

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I agree with giving Bags a chance to comeback and play. I believe its the least the Stros can do for all his years of service and great memories. Having said that, I also believe that if he dose not play well at all, he should do the club a favor and retire. Relieving them of his contract and giving them a chance to go out and get a bat or starting pitcher.

I agree with this. If he's healthy, give him a shot. But if he can't perform, I don't think we should keep him out there because we "owe" it to him. That's not the way you win championships. You win championships by having the best players on the field. If Bags isn't one of the best, he shouldn't play.

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Agreed. It's a cruel world out there when you're making $17 mill. I doubt that Bagwell will regain the strength he used to have before they toughened up steroid testing. That being said, I think the team can afford him another year, plus he is still a big draw for fans, which counts for something.

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What's next should be nothing. All that's left out there is retreads in free agency. Anything else will come in a trade with a steep price tag.

We made it to the World Series with the team we have right now minus Clemens. If anything, we need to be worried about starting pitching again, not trying to get a hitter. We have a number of guys right on the cusp of stardom. Why trade Burke, Lamb or Lane when either of the three could be the one that has their breakout year?

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What's next should be nothing. All that's left out there is retreads in free agency. Anything else will come in a trade with a steep price tag.

We made it to the World Series with the team we have right now minus Clemens. If anything, we need to be worried about starting pitching again, not trying to get a hitter. We have a number of guys right on the cusp of stardom. Why trade Burke, Lamb or Lane when either of the three could be the one that has their breakout year?

That's just the thing, though. We use the same team from last year minus Clements AND minus anyone to help Oswalt, Backe, and Pettitte, and use the same players that added up to one of the worst offenses in the MLB last year, and you're only running with the HOPE that one of the current players will step up as a power hitter with no insurance. Granted we made it to the World Series last year, but as we lost Clements, at least 10 other teams out there bolstered and improved their bullpens and bats.

Not saying we can't win the World Series next year with the current team, but it's extremely risky, players will have to become stars, stars will have to become superstars, and Garner will have to be extremely careful to just get the team to the playoffs...

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That's just the thing, though. We use the same team from last year minus Clements AND minus anyone to help Oswalt, Backe, and Pettitte, and use the same players that added up to one of the worst offenses in the MLB last year, and you're only running with the HOPE that one of the current players will step up as a power hitter with no insurance. Granted we made it to the World Series last year, but as we lost Clements, at least 10 other teams out there bolstered and improved their bullpens and bats.

Not saying we can't win the World Series next year with the current team, but it's extremely risky, players will have to become stars, stars will have to become superstars, and Garner will have to be extremely careful to just get the team to the playoffs...

Are any of those 10 teams you mentioned the Cubs or Cards? Last I checked, St Louis lost Matt Morris already, and neither team is lighting up the free agency wire. Same goes for the Brewers. Unless you think the Reds are due for a breakout season, we should have no problem keeping our head above water in the central next year with the current roster, giving us time to evaluate talent for midseason aquisitions. Something you left out is our offense last year was without a healthy Berkman for much of the year, a healthy Berkman alone will drive up the offensive numbers next year.

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Are any of those 10 teams you mentioned the Cubs or Cards? Last I checked, St Louis lost Matt Morris already, and neither team is lighting up the free agency wire. Same goes for the Brewers. Unless you think the Reds are due for a breakout season, we should have no problem keeping our head above water in the central next year with the current roster, giving us time to evaluate talent for midseason aquisitions. Something you left out is our offense last year was without a healthy Berkman for much of the year, a healthy Berkman alone will drive up the offensive numbers next year.

The goal now is to no longer win the division. The goal is to win the World Series. The Cubs and Cards will have their own issues (Cards still have a pretty good lineup), but I'm worried about the Astros being the best team in baseball and not getting swept in the World Series in 06. Proud of the Stros in 05, but it's time the team takes it to the next level next year

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