Tuesday Morning Hot Links

 *After two days of reflection, this is where I am:

1. Absolutely amazing the Astros got as far as they did without Verlander, Yordan, and Osuna. 

2. Absolutely infuriating that the largely-intact lineup couldn't come up with a few more hits in Games 1-3. 

3. The emergence of Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Enoli Paredes, Blake Taylor, and Andre Scrubb makes 2020 a success no matter the ALCS outcome. 

4. I still love Charlie Morton.

5. I told you I was terrified of the Rays. 

6. I do not care who wins the World Series, despite my text to my cousins on Saturday night that "I would rather the world end than see the Dodgers win a World Series." I was acting out. 

*At a press conference, GM James Click said that Altuve's struggles in 2020, and his sudden difficulty throwing the ball to first base, were but a blip:

I was really impressed by the fact that he didn't take that with him to the plate and he didn't let that affect the rest of his game. We are 100 percent confident that those blips are behind him. He is going to come back next year, I'm sure, as the elite offensive and defensive player that we know he is.

*Remember when Zack Greinke said after Game 4 that it was nice to have someone (Dusty) believe in him? Greinke and James Click had a talk about that. Click:

We had a long conversation. It was great. It was a very healthy conversation. He expressed his views and why he made the comments and I mostly listened. My job in that situation was I think just to listen to a Hall of Famer and find out why he would be frustrated by those kind of things.

*The entire coaching staff is coming back for 2021.

*This Martin Maldonado coming-home video will melt your heart.

*This Tim Brown piece says something along the lines of "The Astros' past caught up with them in Game 7 and that's why they lost."

*Check out MLBTR's projected arbitration salaries for next month.

*It's not terribly fun to read about, but we all love Geoff Blum so whatever: When utilityman Geoff Blum became a World Series hero.

*Former Astros Great Chris Holt is the leading candidate to take over as Baltimore's pitching coach. Former Astros Great Jim Hickey is the new Nationals' pitching coach.

*According to Mark Berman, Jeff Luhnow and [squints] A-Rod approached the Dynamo about purchasing the franchise, but nothing came of it. 

*Luhnow spoke to KPRC about the sign-stealing scandal, because what is another early postseason exit without getting a chance to experience pain, past or present? I have many thoughts, and I'm going to work through them, and we'll convene tomorrow, yeah?

*Leeds United 0 - Wolves 1. Leeds are at 18% to get relegated, according to FiveThirtyEight. It is unhealthy how often I check this. Next up: Aston Villa on Friday at 2pm Central.

*10 Psychological Haunted House movies - for when the ghost might be you.

*I voted last Tuesday. It took 45 minutes, longer than I've ever waited to vote. Pro Publica: Why do non-white voters in Georgia have to wait for hours? 

*I'm not much on Maureen Dowd, but I really like Sacha Baron Cohen.

*You'd think that no one would be stupid enough to hire a hitman on a website called "Rent a Hitman." You'd be wrong.

*A Musical Selection:

Tuesday Morning Hot Links