Altuve Now 8 for 9 in Last Two Games

~ Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness ~
In a sport which celebrates the measurement of many things that come together in “3”s, Jose Altuve has found all three of the big ones as the star player of the Houston Astros.

ANOTHER 4-HIT NIGHT FOR JOSE ALTUVE! The Little Big Man from Venezuela is on fire. A perfect 4 for 4 night in the rain-delayed 13-4 Astros-thrashing of the Phillies in Philly Monday night give Jose Altuve 8 for 9 in his last two games and .013 point leap in his season batting average from .352 to .365. If he were the anciently wonderful race horse that many of us remember as Secretariat, we would all begin to see him breaking for the long stretch soon, and maybe even now, all alone on his way to a one-man finish in first place, with only two questions to answer: How big is his final number going to be? And how far back down the track to we need to look in the hope of catching a glimpse of his nearest competitor?

But this is baseball, not horse racing. With 63 games left on the Astros schedule, anything can still happen to any player or team, no matter how great, that dares to step onto this field of honorable challenge in the face of other talented human beings, relegating himself to the whims of the baseball gods, and to the rules of speed, force, impact and gravity that come together to test the will, resiliency, and body of every mortal combatant so engaged with each other.

The Only Sure Thing. Barring unthinkable fates, only one certainty now exists in the future of Jose Altuve, and that one’s now even fortified by the soft news, or rumor, that’s floating around that our little future Hall of Famer recently turned down an offer for a new long-term contract with the Astros. If true, the question it inspires is simple: Do they make legal contract paper copy wide enough to hold all the numbers that eventually are going to be sprawling from left to right on any new baseball contract signed by Jose Altuve?

The little guy’s agent is Scott Boras, for Chris-sake!

Don’t you think that Scott Boras already knows that the money he can get for Altuve later, after a third batting championship and the possibility of an AL MVP Award, plus a good shot at the World Series team championship title, is simply much better than anything they could have worked out now for the sake of assuring his client’s future status as an Astro?

Of course, you realize it. And so do Astros owner Jim Crane and  Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow. We all do. And we also know this much about Scott Boras too, based on the Astros’ 2004 experience of trying to negotiate the retention of young Carlos Beltran as an Astro through the same agent, Scott Boras: Boras couldn’t give a rat’s ankle where Altuve plays in the future, if it’s the place that offers the biggest dollars.

Speaking of of Carlos Beltran. Bless his heart! The return of Carlos Beltran to the Astros this year reminds me too much of a 1967 Corvette I once owned and dealt away too cheaply prior to 1969. My “Seller’s Regret” was tempered about twenty years later when I turned away from the opportunity to re-acquire the same vehicle, but elected not to do so for the most basic reasons. – The asking price was too much for how little the car could still do. – And, even though I like his presence on the 2017 Astros as a role model, that opinion I now hold for what my old ’67 Corvette has become is sadly pretty much what I now also think about Carlos Beltran as a “13 years later” Astros re-acquisition.

Jose Altuve as an Astro, from 2018 to beyond, is a must. As close to an absolute must as there is to both dynastic winning and the club’s future gate and other revenue stream retention. This is Houston, a town that does not long support short-sheet window-dressing success that suddenly loses its punch or primary puncher.

How the Astros get it done will be the challenge of genius.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE BATTING AVERAGE LEADERS

THROUGH GAMES OF MONDAY, JULY 24, 2017

RANK PLAYER TEAM AB H 2B 3B HR BA
1 JOSE ALTUVE HOU 378 138 30 2 15 .365
2 JEAN SEGURA SEA 301 99 19 0 6 .329
3 BEN GAMEL SEA 300 97 19 3 6 .323
4 JOSE RAMERIZ CLE 367 118 30 5 17 .322
5 CARLOS CORREA HOU 325 104 18 1 20 .320
NR * MARWIN GONZALEZ HOU 261 83 16 0 18 .318
6 ERIC HOSMER KC 373 116 20 1 15 .311
7 GEORGE SPRINGER HOU 368 114 22 0 27 .310
8 AARON JUDGE NYY 339 105 13 3 32 .310
9 AVISAIL GARCIA CWS 335 103 17 3 13 .307
10 DUSTIN PEDROIA BOS 322 99 16 0 6 .307
11 STARLIN CASTRO NYY 316 97 14 1 12 .307
12 JOSH REDDICK HOU 303 93 23 3 9 .307
21 YULI GURRIEL HOU 334 98 27 0 13 .293

NR * = NOT ENOUGH AT BATS TO QUALIFY IN THE RATINGS

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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