People in Houston DO NOT like the idea of changing the Astros’ name

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Remember how Jim Crane suggested the other day that the Astros could have their name changed?  Yeah, not a very popular idea in Houston. According to this article by Zach Levine of the Houston Chronicle, 80% of 11,000 people (admittedly unscientifically) polled by the paper were opposed to the idea. Levine produces some of the responses.

To be fair, Crane’s comment about a name change was an off-the-cuff thing in response to a question and I doubt he has seriously considered the idea. And even if he has, the mostly negative response he’s received in the past couple of days will put an end to it.

But man, he does need to change the uniforms. The current Astros unis look like they were designed by a focus group. A boring focus group that had been fed a bunch of fatty foods earlier and by then were too tired to put much thought into anything.

Unlike a lot of people I don’t think they need to go back to the rainbows — gotta move forward, after all — but “brick” is not a proper color for a sports team. To that end, a restoration of some orange and blue seem to be in order as does the return of the proper star-H logo on the cap, which was perfection.

Make it happen, Jim. The baseball is going to be hard to watch for a couple of years, so at least give Astros’ fans something nice to look at until the ship is righted.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.