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The Astros are sorry for promoting a luncheon featuring the late Joe Niekro

Sep 18, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT

Joe Niekro

Look, I understand it was a mistake, and I understand why the Astros are apologizing. All I’m saying is that a lunch with the late Joe Niekro would be really, really cool:

The Astros have apologized for a post on the team’s Facebook page that said Astros career pitching victories leader Joe Niekro, who died in 2006, would attend the Astros’ Legends Weekend luncheon next weekend.

According to a screen grab of the page archived at, the team on Saturday noted the Sept. 15, 1985 anniversary of Niekro’s trade from the Astros to the Yankees for three players, including pitcher Jim Deshaies and Jose Cruz’s 2,000th career hit.

Having lunch with Jim Deshaies is still OK. I guess.

  1. Brian Donohue - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I’ll be watching the Astronaughts broadcast tonight to see if JD has something to say about it. I like him, he’s a funny, refreshing, often insightful guy. Seriously, I’d rate him among the top 2 or 3 color commentators in the game right now. And this is one of those things that just cries out Monty-Python-skit to me, why not have fun with it? I bet Joe himself is laughing his ass off right now from The Other Side.

    • stex52 - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      I’m with you on Deshaies. I just hope that he gets hired by Comcast when the Astros start up their new network in the fall.

  2. stex52 - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Now come on, you’re just starting to have fun with all of this Astros stuff. It’s nice to see that in the midst of hiring all of these high-powered statistical types that they couldn’t find an events organizer who could read a six-year old obituary.

    But who knows? Maybe he will be there. I’m kind of open to that sort of possibility.

    And if not, Deshaies has a wicked sense of humor.

    • cur68 - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Will they be wearing those uniforms in the picture, Stex? Any chance, y’think? That is an AWESOME uniform. Its so awful it comes out the other side of awful and makes it into awesome land. Tell me they go with those for next season, eh?

      • stex52 - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM

        Certainly is in discussion, and there is a fair amount of local support. I have a sentimental attachment; the ’86 Astros were my favorite team.

        But I don’t know what they will end up choosing. Nice to think they would be willing to take some risks.

        BTW, I saw some of your discussions with nitwits on previous threads, Cur. Sometimes you just have to shrug and remind yourself there are no IQ tests for blog sites.

      • cur68 - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        “Sometimes you just have to shrug and remind yourself there are no IQ tests for blog sites.”: true that. Know what else? Its a losing proposition getting into a back and forth with morons. They just make those around them dumber rather than raising themselves out of the muck.

        Anyhow, I’m hoping for great things for your boys next season. I hope they really do take a chance. Like ChiSox sized chance. Robin Ventura was a huge risk and look how he turned out? Maybe Vizquel is your man for the job? Perhaps Larry Jones? Someone with no experience but a lot of cred. A rallying point and unifying figure. That’s what your boys need. And that uniform. They need that, too.

  3. mrfloydpink - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Hey, the Dodgers recently promoted a luncheon with Tommy Lasorda, and he’s been dead for at least ten years.

    • mrfloydpink - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      If the thumbs down are because I said something negative about the wonderful Tommy Lasorda, I suggest you look into his handling of his (disowned) son’s death, which he refuses to admit was from AIDS.

  4. Old Gator - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Why should anyone be surprised that after a season like this one the Astros are seeing dead people? Anyway, if you go up to the Little Haiti neighborhood of Macondo, you can have dinner with the dearly departed any night of the week. They seem a little dazed, but otherwise will listen to you attentively, and how many friends can you say that about?

    Maybe this weenter, I’ll invite Joe to a friendly game of Ouija Scrabble. It’d be nice to know who I was playing for a change. The last game I played, the whoever it was tried to count “u” for “you,” and when I politely informed him that this was Scrabble, not Twitter, the board suddenly went off the edge of the table. At least I know Joe Niekro wouldn’t be caught dead on Twitter.

    • Brian Donohue - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      Contact Hasbro immediately, you just made your fortune. I envision a 20-tier letter tray (140 total, of course) with a transparent ouija overlay. You’ll need to team with a good C++ programmer to plan out the online/software version. You’ll need a name for your invention: Twitja is an obvious choice, but I’d go for “Angry Words”.

    • stex52 - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      Or, as a Catholic, I would just think of it as All Souls’ Day – Pitchers’ Edition.

      But on a more serious but sad note (Not sad about Joe, I’m sure he has no problems at this point). I went to the site and read the note. They also mispelled Deshaies’ name and printed “mistakingly.” Now I’m just another corporate minion, but I figure if you pay $650 MM for a big company and you have run large professional outfits in the past, you would start by thinking your marketing and PR types should be competent. It doesn’t give me warm and fuzzies about the baseball side.

  5. nategearhart - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Goddamnit, I don’t care what anyone says; that’s a beautiful uniform.

    • cur68 - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Totally, unequivocally, wholeheartedly agree.

    • mybrunoblog - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      I cannot say it is a beautiful uniform. I can say it is so gaudy, loud, and 1970s that it awesome. I have fond memories of this uni combo but if we’re are gonna talk Astors history, I much prefer the earlier shooting stars jerseys.

      • nategearhart - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        Objectively, you are right. However, as I was born in Houston in 1981, I sometimes get irrational when it comes to these guys. Same reason Biggio is my favorite player. :)

  6. mungman69 - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    He could still pitch for that team. I think that he started 3 games last weekend.

  7. pogodog7 - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Perhaps he was coming back as a zombie.

    • deepstblu - Sep 18, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      “Zombie Knuckleballer”–coming soon from Hardball Talk International Pictures.

  8. lumpyf - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    They should have asked Phil to stand if for him. I bet Jim Crane wouldn’t have known the difference.

  9. onbucky96 - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Astros’ PR Depart…”What? He’s dead? Oh s…! Wait, we’re the Astros, who’s going to know.

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