The Astros were an overwhelming success … compared to Congress

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My Twitter friend @baseballot hipped me to some Texas poll numbers from Public Policy Polling. They’re almost all political, but then you get to the end:

And finally- we’ve found a lot of pretty degrading poll numbers for Congress over the course of this year, but this might be the worst one. The Houston Astros went 51-111 this season, but no matter- by a 65/10 margin Texans think they did a better job than Congress this year. And there’s no party divide on that question as Republicans (65/14) and Democrats (64/10) pick the Astros in almost equal numbers on that question.

I guess it’s the difference between a team that has hit bottom and is rebuilding and one that still thinks it’s winning but is really a tire fire.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.