Blog Entry

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'

Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:20 am
Edited on: March 23, 2009 1:38 pm

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Astros have been one of the least impressive teams in Florida this spring. They haven't won (4-16-3, even after three straight wins), and they haven't looked good, either.

You wouldn't know it by talking to manager Cecil Cooper.

"We should win 90 games, without question," Cooper said this morning. "We have a terrific bullpen. We have one of the best closers in the game. We've got the ace in the National League. We've got three of the best offensive players at their position. We've got, if not the best, then one of the top catchers in baseball.

"I mean, c'mon. We've got what it takes. You're telling me we're not going to win that many games?"

The Astros do have a top closer in Jose Valverde. They have Roy Oswalt atop their rotation. They have Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee. Miguel Tejada can still hit, even if he's starting to look slow at shortstop. The Pudge Rodriguez signing can't hurt.

But 90 wins?

"He's not looking at the same pitching staff I am," said one scout who has followed the Astros this spring.

No one outside the Astros clubhouse is predicting 90 wins for this team. More people are predicting 90 losses.

"I've heard," Cooper said. "I don't care what they say. I've been with them everyday. I believe in what we have here. I do believe we'll win 90-plus."

Cooper's players agree with him.

"At least 90 games," first baseman Lance Berkman said. "We know what kind of team we have. I mean, why shouldn't we [win 90]? We won 86 last year, and we have a better team. This is the Houston Astros. We play better than we look on paper."



Category: MLB

Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: March 24, 2009 10:00 am

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'

Good for Cecil!  Every manager should be saying this at the start of the season, so there's nothing wrong with him saying this.  The N.L. Central is weak and it's up for grabs for anyone to take, so why can't the Astros (or even the Pirates for that matter) swoop in and steal the division.  At the start of 2008, did anyone besides the most die-hard Rays fans expect the Rays to finish anywhere but last.  After seeing what the Rays did last year, that should be inspiration for every team in baseball this year and for years beyond.  And the Rays did it in a much tougher division.  Any team could win the N.L. Central, even the Pirates.  The Cubs are vastly overrated and will choke again this year, like they do every year.  The Cardinals and Brewers have several glaring question marks, though either team could still easily win the division.  The Reds, Astros, and Pirates are obviously the teams no one expects to even reach .500, though I think any of those 3 could easily catch lightning in a bottle this year and steal the division (well, maybe not the Pirates, but remember the Rays last year at this time...). 

I'm sure everyone has the Cubs running away with the division, but I see them as the N.L.'s version of the Yankees (spend incredible amounts of money with little returns on many of those investments).  I could just as easily see the Cubs in 3rd or 4th place as much as I could see them winning the division.  Even if the Cubs win the division, they will just lay down like lambs in the first round yet again.

Everyone has their opinion, but after what the Rays did last year, who is anyone to say that Cecil Cooper is on drugs for saying his team should win 90.  I'm not an Astros fan, by the way, but I'm a realist, and to say they have absolutely no shot at 90 wins is very foolish, especially in that weak of a division.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: March 24, 2009 2:13 am

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'

90 wins is feasible.  They won 86 last season with an injured Carlos Lee, Berkman suffering one of the worst slumps of his career, and Roy O with an off year.  The rest of the NL Central hasn't got any better in the off season, so division play won't be a problem.  Please don't base your judgements on the "power rankings" of this site.  They had the Astros ranked 14th at the end of last season, only to drop them to 29?  Why?  Because we lost Randy Wolf and Ty Wigginton?  Please.  Besides, when was the last time there was an MLB game on the CBS network?  I'm no baseball expert, but a Berkman, Lee, Pence, Tejada, Pudge line up looks pretty good to me.  Roy O will be good for 17-20 wins.  Hampton and Wandy will get 14-17 each.  I feel some avatar bets coming on this season.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 9:08 pm

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'

I doubt they'll win 90 games either but, sheesh, this is spring training when every team thinks they'll play better than they wind up doing. What's the harm? After the bad start to the spring, he needs to boost confidence, needs to help sell tickets.

Last July when the team was under .500, he said the same thing and then he almost pulled it off but for a hurricane and a crappy commissioner. So who am I to doubt him? The Astros will need to have a lot of things go right to reach the playoffs but, as Joaquin Andujar used to tell us, "junebberno". 

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 8:16 pm

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'

Theres no way they can win 90 games. This is just preseason optimistic talk from a manager trying to excite the team and its fans. The Astros really arent that good, especially with ace Roy Oswalt pitching like he did in the WBC. I can see them going .500, maybe even a little more but they cant expect to win 90, even with a late surge. 

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 7:33 pm

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'


 I guess that's just Coopers way of doing a little pep talk.  I think it sounds a litte to cocky the way he did it.  He could have come up with a better way to do it. But I agree, the central is going to too hard for them.  And they play all those teams like 20 times. 


I'd like to see them win 90.  But doesn't seem likely.  Perhaps Cecil was talking about 2009 AND 2010?

Since: Nov 26, 2008
Posted on: March 23, 2009 7:31 pm

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'

Amen to that.

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: March 23, 2009 6:39 pm

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'

You got those rankings right. Don't forget about Big Z in Chicago, he had a great year last year despite being injured, and capped it all off with a no-no after his DL stint. I think he's a better bet than Oswalt.



Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 5:15 pm

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'

Ok I will say first of I think the Astros are a sleeper team in the NL Central. I can see them finishing anywhere from second to fifth. They will probably finish the season on a tear as usual. That being said they are fighting along with the Cards, Brewers, and Reds for second through fifth with neither of these teams likely to get a wild card. They will not win 90 at most they will win 85-87 if they really overachieve. Cubs are the only team in this division that will touch 90 wins.



Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2009 4:28 pm

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'

He must be including his wins in spring training games. 

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2009 3:59 pm

Astros' Cooper: 'We should win 90'

Cecil Cooper is an idiot.  He had a "plan" for 90 wins last year too, and that didn't work out too well.

I love Berkman as a player, but he says some downright stupid things.  This is one example.

Even with Pudge, the lineup is solid, but not great.  There are holes at 3B, CF, and possibly SS.  Matsui is a freaking hypochondriac too.  We don't know what Pence will do; he could be great, and he could be the second coming of Jason Lane.

The rotation outside of Oswalt is a trainwreck.

The bullpen is pretty good, but it's gonna get overused because of the trainwreck rotation.


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