Welcome to the big leagues Jeff Luhnow. A mere six days into his inaugural tenure as a general manager of a Major League franchise Mr. Luhnow has already completed his first trade. As a fan I’m stoked. Sure, it might have cost us a cheap and controlled closer, but who cares when you’re only going to win 55-60 games. We were able to bring back a shortstop that has a higher ceiling than any of the other options left via free agency, and we brought back a young arm that has the potential to be as good as a number 3 starter. Sweet.
There was still one part of this trade that left me with my mouth just a bit open and my mind grasping at straws…we didn’t shed any of the large salaries we have trade Carlos, Wandy, or Brett. As a matter of fact, the exact opposite occurred. Whatever. After being strong armed in to joining the American League, showing up to prom stag (RE: the Winter Meetings), and having David Stern defecate all over the Houston Rockets, it is nice to be able to say that something positive is happening in Houston sports. I can handle the fact that the rebuilding process will test my heart and drive for the team. I can accept that. What I would not have been able to handle was a blown move right out of the gate. So it is nice to finally enjoy a victory as an Astros fan- no matter how small that victory may be.
I will be sad to see Mark Melancon leave, though. Not because of any stats, or because he made one of my outlandish predictions come true, or because of any way he could possibly help the team between the lines. Melancon will be just fine as a closer. As he logs more innings his BB/9 will decrease and finally allow his 8K/9 to let him slam the door shut. No, this break-up is of a more personal shade. Before Marky Mark was chuckin’ in The Show, he and I were teammates in Tucson. We were both on the 2004 University of Arizona team that went to the CWS that year. You can only imagine my excitement when he came to Houston as part of the deal that sent Berkman to the Yankees. It was pretty cool to have a friend playing for your favorite team. It was a unique lens from which to view. But that is neither here nor there. Honestly, I just wanted to share a quick story about Mark and myself from that 2004 trip to Omaha. It goes like this…
It was the night after our first game of the tournament- a loss to Georgia- and Mark and I were back at the hotel. Because I was medical redshirting and not playing I was obviously itching to go out and enjoy the local taverns and watering holes. Mark tells me that he has some friends from high school in town and I should hang out with them. One house party, and many sodas later, I find myself back at the hotel approximately 3:30 A.M. Not quite sure which room was mine I began trying them all. Then called my girlfriend at the time to find out why she wouldn’t open the door to her apartment. She immediately realized how lost I was and called Mark, begged relentlessly, and convinced him to find me. He finds me on the floor below and politely walks me back to the room. Then Beelzebub reared his true colors. His eyes locked with mine and I felt his tug on my soul as he yelled something at me about how, “…and If I blow a f—–g save tomorrow I’m going to f—–g kill you!” Sure enough, the next day Mark, the true freshman, was out there in a win-or-go-home game at the College World Series. And true to form Marky Mark shoved and made sure we saw another game that season. It was tits. Mark, if you ever read this, big ups man. You deserve everything that comes your way.
 No, the Texans don’t count for me. I grew up an Oilers fan and moved out of Houston before the Texans were a team.