Results tagged ‘ Houston ’

Young interested in playing for hometown Astros

All-Star outfielder Chris Young has certainly found a comfort level hitting at Minute Maid Park, but could it be his home ballpark next year?

Young, who is a free agent after hitting 12 homers and driving in 40 runs with the A’s in 107 games last season, said Thursday he would like to play in his hometown of Houston, but he said he didn’t know if his agent had been in contact with the Astros.

“Every team is an option,” said Young, who went to Houston baseball power Bellaire High School. “I love Houston. I’m from Houston and play well in Houston and always have. Something about being home that’s refreshing to me. I love everything about the city and the team. They’re growing, and I feel they’re going to make some moves here soon. They have a good future. I’m open to all the possibilities.”

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Chris Young with Astros manager Bo Porter

Young, 30, is a career .235 hitter with 144 homers and 448 RBIs in eight years, including seven with the D-backs, where he was coached by current Astros manager Bo Porter. In 52 games against the Astros, he’s a career .325 hitter with 12 homers and 47 RBIs, including .392 with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 23 games at Minute Maid Park.

“There’s quite a few teams I’m in conversations with right now,” Young said. “It’s an exciting time for me. It’s the first time I’ve been able to have more of an input on where I played and where I end up at, and now it’s prime time for me to be able to go somewhere I want to go and help the team win.”

Former Astros pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, who had a strong year with the Mets last year, says a return to Houston isn’t in the cards.

“I’ve got some teams that are showing a lot of interesting right now,” Hawkins, 41, said. “But it’s still early. Hopefully things will shake out towards the Winter Meetings next month.”

Astros’ 50th coverage

The Astros’ three-game winning streak came to an end in a 6-4 loss to the Braves on Tuesday night in a game played on the 50th anniversary of the first game in franchise history. If you missed any of the coverage at of the Astros’ 50th and the Walk of Fame induction ceremony, I’ve compiled the links in one handy spot:

Story: Fifty years after the first game in franchise history, original Colt .45s are honored by the Astros.

Story: columnist Marty Noble takes a look at unique histories of 50-year-old Mets and Astros.

Story: A look back at the first game in franchise history, an 11-2 win over the Cubs on April 10, 1962.

Photo gallery: Astros Walk of Fame and 50th anniversary ceremony.

Video: Bob Aspromonte gives a nice speech for his Walk of Fame induction speech.

Video: Here’s another piece of the Walk of Fame ceremony.

Video: Former Colt .45s talk about the ceremony.

Alyson Footer’s blog: Stars come out to celebrate Colt .45s.

Astros to kick off CAREavan Feb. 1

The Astros 2012 CAREavan will begin Feb. 1 with three full days of visits throughout central and south Texas, a trip to Oklahoma City, Okla. and five days in the Houston area. In addition to numerous private community stops, each day will include free public autograph sessions at Academy Sports and Outdoors stores.

The team will make two-day trips to Austin (Feb. 1-2), Brownsville, Harlingen and McAllen (Feb. 1-2) and San Antonio (Feb. 2-3), travel to Corpus Christi and Victoria (Feb. 3), and head to Oklahoma City (Feb. 6).  The team’s annual winter trek will also visit five different communities in the Houston area (Feb. 6-10).  More than 30 Astros players, alumni, coaches and front office staff will take part in the 2012 CAREavan.  A summary of the team’s activities and the players participating are listed below and a list of stops open to the public is posted at

The 2012 CAREavan is part of a two-week winter baseball festival that includes the annual Baseball Dinner and the Astros In Action Foundation’s FanFest.  On Feb. 10, the Astros In Action Foundation and Minute Maid will host the 27th Annual Baseball Dinner benefiting the Grand Slam For Youth Baseball scholarship program.  This year’s dinner will highlight 50 years of Houston baseball.  Past Astros MVPs will be honored and the evening will feature awards given to current Astros and other area baseball standouts.

FanFest will be Feb. 11 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.  The one-day fundraising event will feature autograph sessions, a garage sale of Astros merchandise, mystery grab bags and new experiences including the opportunity to run the bases.  Fans will be able to meet the new ownership group and hear from Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow at Talkin’ Baseball sessions.  Proceeds from FanFest benefit the Astros Urban Youth Academy.  Information about CAREavan, the Baseball Dinner and FanFest is available at

 Here’s a list of CAREavan public appearances:

Feb. 1 – Austin

Jordan Lyles, J.B. Shuck, Kyle Weiland, Doug Brocail, Dave Raymond

Academy Sports + Outdoors, 5400 Brodie Lane, Austin.

  • 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Open to fans

Feb. 1 – Brownsville

Jose Altuve, Jimmy Paredes, Fernando Rodriguez, Alex Trevino

Academy Sports + Outdoors, 4305 Old Hwy. 77, Brownsville.

  • 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Open to fans

Feb. 2 – Harlingen and McAllen

Jose Altuve, Jimmy Paredes, Fernando Rodriguez, Alex Trevino

Academy Sports + Outdoors, 3901 Expressway 83, McAllen.

  • 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Open to fans

 Feb. 2 – San Antonio

Jarred Cosart, J.A. Happ, Humberto Quintero, Angel Sanchez, Larry Dierker, Brett Dolan

Academy Sports + Outdoors, 7523 Northwest Loop 410, San Antonio.

  • 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Open to fans

Feb. 3 – Corpus Christi and Victoria

Brian Bogusevic, Chris Johnson, J.B. Shuck, Shane Reynolds, Milo Hamilton

Academy Sports + Outdoors, 8903 Navarro, Victoria.

  • 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Open to fans

Feb. 6 – Oklahoma City, Okla.

Oklahoma City RedHawks Season Ticket Holder Reception

  • 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Open to RedHawks season ticket holders

Academy Sports + Outdoors, 7700 South Walker, Oklahoma City, Okla.

  • 7:15 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
  • Open to fans


Feb. 6 – Houston

Jason Bourgeois, Bud Norris, Bobby Meacham, Brad Mills, Bob Watson, Jimmy Wynn, Jim Deshaies

 Chick-fil-A, 2715 Southwest Fwy., Houston.

  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Lunch service for fans
  • Open to fans

Academy Sports + Outdoors, 2404 Southwest Fwy., Houston.

  • 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Open to fans

Feb. 7 – Sugar Land

Chris Johnson, Bud Norris, Brett Wallace, Doug Brocail, Brett Dolan

Academy Sports + Outdoors, 23801 Brazos Town Crossing, Rosenberg.

  • 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Open to all fans

Feb. 8 – Spring/The Woodlands

Brian Bogusevic, Jason Bourgeois, J.D. Martinez, Brad Mills, Jose Cruz, Jim Deshaies

Academy Sports + Outdoors, 1360 Lake Woodlands Dr., The Woodlands.

  • 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Open to all fans

Feb. 9 – Cypress

Jed Lowrie, J.D. Martinez, Brad Mills, Alex Trevino, Jeff Luhnow, Bill Brown

 Academy Sports + Outdoors, 19720 Northwest Fwy., Cypress.

  • 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Open to all fans

Feb.  10 – Katy

Jason Castro, Jed Lowrie, Brett Wallace, Bill Brown

Academy Sports + Outdoors, 23155 I-10 West, Katy.

  • 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Open to fans

Tickets available for Houston Baseball Dinner

Tickets are still available for the 2012 Houston Baseball Dinner Benefiting Grand Slam For Youth Baseball’s Scholarship Program, which will include a special celebration of the Astros 50th anniversary.

This year will mark the 27th season of the popular dinner, which will take place on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston.  The event is sponsored by the Astros In Action Foundation and Minute Maid, with proceeds benefiting the Grand Slam For Youth Baseball Scholarship Program.

In addition to honoring the top players from the 2011 ballclub, this year’s dinner will include a special 50th anniversary tribute featuring Astros Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton and a long list of former Astros team MVPs, including Bob Watson, J.R. Richard, Jimmy Wynn, Larry Dierker, Jose Cruz, Enos Cabell, Bob Aspromonte and more.  Phil Garner, manager of the 2005 NL championship team, will also be in attendance. Members of the 2011 Astros scheduled to attend include J.D. Martinez (Rookie of the Year), Wandy Rodriguez (Pitcher of the Year) and Jason Bourgeois (Darryl Kile Award) and manager Brad Mills. Former Astros Hunter Pence (2011 MVP) and Lance Berkman (Houston Area Player of the Year) will also be recognized at the event, but won’t attend.

Additionally, longtime Astros television broadcaster Bill Brown will receive the Fred Hartman Award for Long and Meritorious Service to Baseball. 2011 marked Brown’s 25th season as the Astros play-by-play TV voice.

Houston Baseball Dinner co-founder Ivy McLemore, a long-time baseball writer who currently serves as a MLB official scorer, will receive the Allen Russell Distinguished Achievement Award. Brazoswood’s Bobby Williams will receive the Ray Knoblauch Award as the area’s outstanding high school coach in 2011.


The event will also include the annual introduction of the 16-member All-Greater Houston Preseason High School Team as well as the Greater Houston Area’s Preseason College Player of the Year. Members of the Preseason High School team are as follows: SS Geonte Jackson, Fort Bend Elkins High School; 1B Austin Dean, Klein Collins High School; C Hunter Kopycinski, St. Thomas High School; RHP Kevin McCanna, The Woodlands High School; IF Leon Byrd, Cypress Ranch High School; OF Billy ‘Nick’ Williams, Galveston Ball High School; RHP Grayson Long, Barbers Hill High School; C-OF Boomer White, Memorial High School; RHP Holden Helmink, Willis High School;  RHP Chris Lanham, Lamar High School; OF Jesse Baker, Brenham High School; IF Dalton Perry, Brazoswood High School; C Cameron Burns, Bellaire High School; RHP Blake Fox, Episcopal High School; IF Billy Arendt, Second Baptist High School; LHP-1B Hayden Jones, Langham Creek High School.

The Preseason College Player of the Year, who will also be recognized at the dinner, will be selected later this month.


As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, a special VIP reception will be held prior to the dinner, at 6 p.m.,

and will feature several of the former MVPs and current Astros players. A limited amount of MVP tables for 10 that will include tickets to the dinner and the VIP reception will be available for purchase for $2,500.

Dinner attendees will also have the opportunity to bid on several attractive items at a silent auction, with those proceeds also going to the GSFYB Scholarship Program.

Tickets for the dinner are priced at $100 each or at $1,000 for a table of 10, and can be purchased online at or by calling Jo Russell at 713-789-0626. General information on the dinner is available at, via email at or by calling 713-259-8686.

Pence: ‘I love Houston’

With the Astros possibly getting closer to a deal to trade Hunter Pence, the right-fielder admitted following Thursday night’s win over the Cardinals that he couldn’t help but think it might have been his last game in an Astros uniform.

“What can I say? I’m not in control,” he said. “I love these guys, I love Houston. That’s all I know.”

The Phillies are pushing hard for Pence and could be willing to offer pitcher Vance Worley, outfielder Domonic Brown and a Minor League pitcher.

Pence went 2-for-4 with two doubles on Thursday to raise his average to .309, saying he benefited from a day off.

“Sometimes when you get to watch a game you know it kind of slows things down for you,” he said. “Things were piling up and was making mistakes of the past and trying to do too much just to make up for it. It made me realize…slow the game down.”

Day 16: Tough day for non-roster pitchers

The Astros lost to the Atlanta Braves 9-4 on Sunday at Champion Stadium to fall to 2-2 this spring. Most of their regular starters played, with Michael Bourn and Geoff Blum among those that didn’t make the trip.

Here’s the breakdown:

The good: Lance Berkman appears to be fully recovered from his bruised knee. He went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a strikeout and looked very Puma-like going into second base. After his second at-bat, manager Brad Mills asked him how he felt and he told the skipper he wanted another at-bat. Carlos Lee also had a double, and Hunter Pence (1-for-2), Pedro Feliz (1-for-2) and J.R. Towles (1-for-3) continue to swing hot bats.

Even Kaz Matsui, who has one hit in 10 at-bats this spring, smoked a ball hard in his first at-bat, but it was caught for an out. Jason Michaels also hit a couple of balls hard that resulted in a pair of rare outs for him. On the mound, Henry Villar continues to impress. He threw a scoreless inning, as did Evan Englebrook.

The Astros also had nice execution on a failed squeeze bunt in the second inning by Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson with third baseman Pedro Feliz making the tag of the runner between third base and home plate.

The bad: There were some ugly pitching lines, with non-roster relievers Gary Majewski and Roy Corcoran each giving up three runs. Majewski got the loss after allowing three hits, one walk and two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning, and Corcoran followed him and allowed four hits and three earned runs in one inning.

Josh Banks, also a non-roster invitee, was roughed up for five hits and two runs in two innings. Starter Brian Moehler pitched in out and of trouble in his first start and wound up allowing four hits, two walks but only one run in his two innings.

Houston did commit one error, but it probably should have been a hit. Shortstop Tommy Manzella was swallowed up by a grounder that took a bad hop. Mills said after the game the ball nearly took Manzella’s face off. He was right. Mills also said there was one relay and cut-off situation he would have liked to have seen performed better.

What they said: “It was nice to see Lance swing the bat real well, and I thought Carlos swung the bat real well. Kaz hit that line drive to lead off the game, so there were some well-hit balls. There at the end of the game, too, [Chris] Shelton up the middle. J-Mike hit a couple of balls hard. Any time you can put those at-bats together and hitting the balls on the button [that’s good]. They hit some balls on the buttons, too, but they found the holes and found the alleys.” – Astros manager Brad Mills.

What’s next: The Astros return home to face the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday at Osceola County Stadium. Bud Norris will make his first start of the spring as the Astros finally get through their starting rotation one time. Mills said Sunday second baseman Kaz Matsui would be given the day off, with Jeff Keppinger starting at second.

Among the other pitchers scheduled to throw Monday are Tim Byrdak, Jeff Fulchino, Shane Loux, Chia-Jen Lo, Gustavo Chacin and Polin Trinidad.