Posted on: June 15, 2010 5:31 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2010 9:46 pm

New lease on life for Astrodome

Astrodome The Astrodome is an antique, a hulking relic that costs Houston more than $2 million each year just to insure and keep upright. Its last sports tenant was the Houston Energy of the Women's Professional Football League, who departed in 2006.

So what do you do with a problem like the Astrodome? If you're Houston, you pump $1.35 billion (yes, billion ) into it.

Local officials on Tuesday unveiled a plan to renovate the Astrodome (technically it's now called the Reliant Astrodome) and convert it into a convention and science center that would be called Astrodome Renaissance.

That was the most expensive of three possible plans laid out. A $1.13 billion plan would upgrade the stadium to a lesser extent, and an $873 million plan would raze the dome and turn the area into a plaza (it was not immediately clear how knocking down a building costs $873 million, which is more than twice what it cost to build the humongous Reliant Stadium next door).

The sticking point is that Harris County taxpayers would have to pay for at least a third of any plan, and vote to do so by referendum.

The Astrodome (pictured here during a 1995 Astros game) was the first domed, multipurpose, air-conditioned stadium in the world, hailed when it opened in 1965 as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." It housed the Astros from 1965-99. It also gave us the first artificial turf, which was hastily developed when grass didn't grow in the dome as intended.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Tags: Astros
Posted on: June 14, 2010 6:21 pm

Oswalt to Texas seems unlikely

Roy Oswalt There are conflicting rumors flying around today about a possible deal sending Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt to the Rangers.

Oswalt has demanded a trade to a contender, and the first-place Rangers would qualify at this point. It is worth noting, however, that Oswalt has a say on accepting any deal. And as a resident of Houston, he is well-aware of the difference between being indoors (Minute Maid Park) and outdoors (Rangers Ballpark in Arlington) in Texas for the summer.

Even if Oswalt would give it the nod, such a deal seems like a major stretch considering the financial pickle the Rangers are in. The team is in bankruptcy, and Major League Baseball is in control of the team's finances. Oswalt is due about $27 million on his contract, which is a) an awful lot of money for a bankrupt organization to be throwing around; and b) an awfully big obligation for MLB to assign to future owners who probably wouldn't have any say in it.

The Rangers mess, Oswalt notwithstanding, is due to land in bankruptcy court Tuesday. Tom Hicks' group is negotiating with a group that includes ex-Ranger Nolan Ryan, while Houston rich guy Jim Crane is trying to derail that and buy the team. The latest news is that documents show the Ryan group would get $10 million from Hicks & Co. if they don't end up with the team. Perhaps the best part of the agreement is that Hicks, under whose watch the team went bankrupt, would get to keep a 1 percent stake in the Rangers, the title of Chairman Emeritus and complimentary season tickets and parking passes.

Maybe the Rangers should try offering Oswalt some parking passes.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 14, 2010 4:18 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2010 4:29 pm

Do Astros deserve league of their own?

Casey Daigle It doesn't seem that the Astros left a positive impression on New York Daily News columnist Bill Madden during a three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium last weekend.

In fact, watching the hapless Triple-A-stros set him to wondering about whether baseball should institute some version of the process used by English soccer in which the worst teams are demoted from the top-tier division and the best second-tier teams can move up.

"(Owners) who refuse to give their baseball people the financial resources to acquire the best talent should have to pay a price for that insult to the fans," Madden wrote, "by having their teams consigned to baseball purgatory from which they have to play their way out of, without sharing in the revenues of the real major league teams."

It is frustrating to watch teams seemingly sit around and collect TV and revenue sharing money while not seeming to make an honest effort to field a competitive team. But the logistical and financial realities of demoting and promoting teams would probably create more problems than it solved.

Madden's complaint is that fans are paying major league prices to watch minor league-quality teams. But if you consign the Pirates to Triple-A, or some newly created level of play, what you're doing is depriving fans in Pittsburgh from being able to see major league talent -- and the fans aren't the ones who picked the owner.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 11, 2010 7:32 pm

Oswalt not backing down from trade request

The Astros have won eight of their last 10 games, but you know who doesn't believe Houston can salvage the season? Roy Oswalt.

Oswalt reiterated his desire for a trade when he spoke to Fanhouse's Ed Price on Friday.
"I'm just kind of leaving all the options out," Oswalt said. "Someone said something about a list [of teams to which he'd approve a trade] not too long ago and all this, and I don't know anything about that. We'll see where I fit at."

Price said Oswalt wants to go somewhere where he's "pretty much" sure of a postseason chance.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 11, 2010 1:12 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:33 pm

Are interleague 'rivalries' still relevant?

Interleague play opens up again Friday and yet again I'm underwhelmed by the Reds-Royals, Mets-Orioles and Pirates-Tigers.

But it's not just those mashups of also-rans that have begun to bore -- anyone excited for Cubs-White Sox? A's-Giants? Dodgers-Angels? Aren't those the reasons we're still stuck with a bastardized schedule? OK, it's Mets-Yankees and nothing else.

Every time this argument comes up, we're pointed toward interleague attendance numbers, without noting that most of those dates are summer nights on the weekend -- nights when teams would draw regardless of the visiting Royals or Pirates.

So what's on tap this weekend for our interleague overlords?

White Sox at Cubs: Nurse that hangover from the Blackhawks parade at Wrigley. What does it say that the NHL in June will overshadow one of the prime interleague matchups? Everything, really.

Astros at Yankees: Loser has to claim Roger Clemens?

• Mets at Orioles: When the Wilpons and Peter Angelos get together, there are no winners. Really.

• Pirates at Tigers: Well, there will be two nice looking uniforms on display.

Nationals at Indians: Yes, they're going to play twice before Steven Strasburg pitches. But one relevant game out of three ain't bad.

• Royals at Reds: The first-place Reds 24th in home attendance. There's only one way to solve that -- a visit by the Royals.

Phillies at Red Sox: OK, I'll admit, this should be a good series. Boston plays in front of sold-out crowds every night, so it's not like this is going to help the gate.

Braves at Twins: Two of the best debuts of 2010 (non-Strasnurg division), Target Field and Jason Heyward meet.

Rangers at Brewers: Does any argument about interleague play hold up when it involves the Brewers?

Blue Jays at Rockies: I got nothing... Blue Jays. Rockies. That's enough.

Mariners at Padres:
Two great ballparks, two awesome cities, one good team.

Angels at Dodgers: If you live in Southern California and want to see the Angels, you've got 81 chances.

• A's at Giants: See above, substitute "Southern" for "Northern."

Oh, the excitement.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 9, 2010 11:48 pm

Lee, Astros heating up

Carlos Lee's 10th-inning grand slam, coupled with a Pirates loss, moved the Astros out of last place in the National League Central.

Lee, who entered June hitting just .206, has a hit in every game this month and is hitting .333 with four home runs and 12 RBIs this month.

It's not just Lee getting hot in Houston, Lance Berkman has improved his average 28 points this month and the Astros are 7-3 in June. Houston is now just a half-game behind the Brewers for fourth in the division.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 9, 2010 8:25 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:12 pm

Familiar surnames in draft

Through 50 rounds of the MLB Draft, several familiar names -- or at least last names -- are picked . Among those kin to current or former big-leaguers drafted:

• Delino Deshields Jr. (1st round, Astros), son of Delino Deshields.
• Cam Bedrosian (1st round, Angels), son of Steve Bedrosian.
• Kellen Sweeney (2nd round, Blue Jays), brother of Mark Sweeney.
• Mel Rojas Jr. (3rd round, Pirates), son of Mel Rojas.
• Cory Vaughn (4th round, Mets), son of Greg Vaughn.
• James Baldwin III (4th round, Dodgers), son of James Baldwin.
• Dickie Thon Jr. (5th round, Blue Jays), son of Dickie Thon.
• Connor Narron (5th round, Orioles), son of Jerry Narron.
• Drew Cisco (6th round, Reds), grandson of Galen Cisco.
• Patrick Leyland (8th round, Tigers), son of Jim Leyland.
• Benjamin Gamel (9th round, Yankees), brother of Mat Gamel.
• JaDamion Williams (10th round, Twins), son of Reggie Williams.
• Reggie Williams Jr. (10th round, Cardinals), son of Reggie Williams.
• Hunter Jones (11th round, Indians), son of Tracy Jones.
• Josh Magee (18th round, Astros), son of Wendell Magee.
• Dillon Moyer (22nd round, Twins), son of Jamie Moyer.
• Ozney Guillen (22nd round, White Sox), son of Ozzie Guillen.
• Mark Tracy (22nd round, Rockies), son of Jim Tracy.
• Bryan Harper (28th round, Cubs), brother of Bryce Harper.
• Brett Bochy (30th round, Giants), son of Bruce Bochy.
• Benito Santiago Jr. (31st round, Cubs), son of Benito Santiago.
• Andy Fermin (32nd round, Blue Jays), son of Felix Fermin.
• Devon Ethier (32nd round, Dodgers), brother of Andre Ethier.
• Logan Thompson (33rd round, Indians), son of Robby Thompson.
• Andrew Benes (35th round, Cardinals), son of Andy Benes, nephew of Alan Benes.
• Bobby Geren (36th round, A's), son of Bob Geren.
• Jake May (39th round, Reds), grandson of Lee May.
• Bo McClendon (39th round, Tigers), son of Lloyd McClendon.
• John Franco (42nd round, Mets), son of John Franco.
• Chad Wallach (43rd round, Dodgers), son of Tim Wallach.
• Benjamin Verlander (46th round, Tigers), brother of Justin Verlander.
• Joesph Jackson (50th round, Royals), great-great-grandnephew of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 7, 2010 7:56 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:57 am

Feeling old, Astros take Delino Deshields Jr.

Delino Deshields was born in 1969 -- he made his big-league debut in 1990, and now his son has been drafted.

Delino Deshields Jr. was taken No. 8 overall by the Houston Astros.

The elder Deshields played parts of 13 seasons for the Expos (ask your parents, kids), Dodgers, Cardinals, Orioles and Cubs. Like his dad, the younger Deshileds can flat fly. He was also a top running back in the state of Georgia.

Now I know how my dad felt when Ken Griffey Jr. was drafted.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com