“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): Carlos Correa is the next face of baseball

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. Today, the Houston Astros and their young star, Carlos Correa.

If I was making a computer program to pick out the next “Face of Baseball”, I’d tell it to find a young position-player phenom who was bilingual and played in a large city, who has already tasted both the highs and the lows of Major League Baseball.

In other words, I’d basically force it to pick Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros. Just 21, the Houston shortstop is perhaps everything that baseball would want in a new superstar.

Here’s why:

  1. He’s young. Even younger than Harper and Trout.
  2. He’s bilingual, able to speak both his native Spanish (he’s from Puerto Rico) and English. With the great internationalization of baseball, this allows him to reach fans around the Western Hemisphere regardless of what language they speak.
  3. While he plays with joy and confidence, he also doesn’t seem to be one to make enemies or ruffle too many feathers. Not that there’s anything wrong with ruffling feathers when they need to ruffled, of course.
  4. He already knows joy and pain. He helped lead the Astros to the playoffs last season, but also was somewhat responsible for their shocking blow-up in the ALDS against the Royals.
  5. He plays in a big market- Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States!
  6. Most importantly of all… he’s good! Really good! He had 22 HRs last season despite only appearing in 99 games. He showed great speed on the bases, swiping 14 bags while only getting caught four times. And while his “slash stats” show some room for improvement, they still are remarkable for somebody so young playing at shortstop, and will probably improve in the coming years.

So, in short, Carlos Correa is awesome.



30 Teams, 30 Posts (2015): Orbit of the Astros

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. This is the third post of the series- look here for the rest. Today, I look at the one of the great rising stars of the Houston Astros- their mascot, Orbit.

The Astros are going to be something. Sooner than you think, they will have one of those “What The Heck” seasons, bursting onto the scene and into the playoffs like the Rays, Pirates and Royals of past years. They will revive pro baseball on the Gulf Coast of Texas, and teach everyone the true meaning of the unit of measurement known as the Altuve.

But until then, the Astros can at least rest easy knowing that they have one of the rising stars of the MLB Mascot Circuit- Orbit.

Photo by Matthew Britt. Used under Creative Commons (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/)

Yes, Orbit, the Alien Muppet… thing. Once the mascot of the Astros from 1990 to 1999, he returned in 2012 by popular demand. And, since then, he has made his return worth it, using puns, slapstick, dancing, and mock-feuds. It is no coincidence that Orbit was brought along with the MLB All-Star Team to Japan for a recent tour, considering how great he was in 2014? No wonder, as our good friend Michael Clair once pointed out, that Astro won the Mascot of the Year Award.

Go below the jump for some thoughts and observations about some of Orbit’s highlights:

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