Jose Altuve has the most hits by a second baseman in 78 years

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Astros dynamo Jose Altuve notched multiple hits yesterday for the 10th time in the past 11 games to give him 220 hits on the season, which is the most by any second baseman since Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer of the Tigers had 227 in 1936.

Here are the leaders since 1937:

JOSE ALTUVE        2014     220
Rod Carew          1974     218
Dustin Pedroia     2008     213
Dave Cash          1975     213
Craig Biggio       1998     210
Steve Sax          1986     210

In terms of the all-time leaders, Altuve currently ranks 11th and if he keeps up his season-long pace for the Astros’ final six games he’d finish with 228 hits to rank fifth all time. Here’s the current top five (with ties):

Rogers Hornsby     1922     250
Rogers Hornsby     1921     235
Nap Lajoie         1901     232
Rogers Hornsby     1929     229
Rogers Hornsby     1924     227
Charlie Gehringer  1936     227
Billy Herman       1935     227
Nap Lajoie         1910     227

Rogers Hornsby was a monster and that would be a pretty amazing list for Altuve to crack.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?