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.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.