Skip to content

Now the Astros are embarrassing themselves

Apr 25, 2014, 3:27 AM EDT

Jed Lowrie

It’s one thing to play bad baseball. The Astros have had plenty of practice at that. They’ve just never done it with so little class before.

As you may remember from last week’s Athletics-Astros series in Oakland, Astros reliever Paul Clemens threw at (and missed) Jed Lowrie in retaliation for him bunting against the shift in a 7-0 game in the first inning. Lowrie took issue after flying out, and Astros manager Bo Porter came out of the dugout to chastise him.

That was stupid enough, but it almost certainly seemed to be the end of things. Clemens had other ideas, though.

With Lowrie up in the seventh inning in Thursday’s series opener in Houston, Clemens aimed his first pitch at his backside, hitting him this time (Video). Home-plate umpire Toby Basner did the smart thing and immediately ejected Clemens. Lowrie, for his part, raised surprisingly little fuss, though things might have gone differently if not for the ejection.

Clemens, at that point, was probably winding down his evening anyway. Fortunately for the Astros, he didn’t do it the first time he faced Lowrie in the fifth. With starter Brett Oberholtzer done after 3 2/3 innings and two relievers unavailable, the Astros needed a long man. They could still use a fresh arm for Friday, and it’d be fitting if Clemens, who hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory when he’s not trying to drill opposing shortstops, is sent down to make room after his display.

The incident came with the Astros down 8-1. Josh Donaldson immediately followed it with a two-run homer, and the A’s ended up winning 10-1 on a night in which the Astros committed five errors.

Afterwards, Clemens, of course, denied throwing at Lowrie, just as he did last week. Manager Bo Porter rehashed his very same quote from last week. “I think the game of baseball takes care of itself,” he said. “George Springer got hit tonight, and it’s part of the game.”

It’d sure be interesting to know just how much support Clemens had from Porter for his actions. Porter didn’t have anything negative to say about his right-hander afterwards. He didn’t even go the same route as Clemens and say it was an accident.

If Porter really thinks what Lowrie did was worth further retaliation, well, that just makes him a sore loser. Lowrie did nothing wrong in the first place, and even if the warped code of baseball suggests that throwing at him once was OK, going the same route again a week later was nothing short of pathetic.

The Astros, though, have nothing to lose in situations such as this. They’re not competing for anything this year. The A’s, on the other hand, can hardly get involved in beanball wars with last-place clubs as they attempt to win another division crown.

Hopefully, Houston’s front office takes a stand after this one and tells Porter to cut it out. Even if Clemens was completely on his own here, Porter certainly could have done better with his postgame comments. His tough guy act is wearing thin.

  1. sdelmonte - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:20 AM

    Feels like we are seeing a good deal of inept managing this season from many quarters. Porter is not alone.

  2. renaado - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    God… Definitely much worse than the Hanwha Eagles style of play.

  3. deep64blue - Apr 25, 2014 at 6:15 AM

    Just shows why the DH rule is crazy, he might think twice about hitting someone if he actually had to bat!

    Or perhaps a 30 day suspension without pay would get his attention?

    • johnnysoda - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:08 AM

      Yeah, I remember back when the Astros didn’t have to worry about the DH rule. I miss those days.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:49 AM

      Considering that he appeared to have the tacit approval of his manager, the team didn’t seem to care if retaliation came against their one good hitter either.

    • clydeserra - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:09 AM

      yup. no one ever was thrown at before the DH

    • scatterbrian - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Paul Clemens is a middle reliever will probably never bat. The DH is not the problem.

  4. macjacmccoy - Apr 25, 2014 at 6:43 AM

    I have no problem with Lowrie bunting up 7 especially considering it was the 1st and the Stros still had a chance to come back, but I also dont care that Clemens threw at him then or a week later(probably because he missed him the first time). Right or wrong its always been part of the game. Officially(with new rules) or unofficially(players,coaches,managers etc. deciding not to take part) changing the way athletes police themselves bothers me more then the ways they go about it. I have to deal with the wussification of America in regular life everyday. I dont want what I use to escape for that to be polluted by it even more then it already has been.

    I can handle seeing an elbow to the ribs(NBA), a few shots at the bottom of a pile(NFL), a bean ball(MLB, or a fight(NHL), if an athlete feels its the only way to force the opponent to respect him, his teammates, and the way things are suppose to be done. Even if my favorite team is on the receiving end.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:30 AM

      Wussification my ass. You don’t punch somebody for being better than you.. You want respect? Try carrying yourself with some level of class. I doubt anybody respects the Astros right now after this clown crap.

      • stex52 - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:39 AM

        I’m going to give Porter the benefit of the doubt. Not that he has earned it, but you have to give the guy a couple of years to prove himself. After all, he is working with a lineup that is no better than AAA replacement level. That is tough sledding. And he was very popular in Washington.

        I am going to assume he decided that this one was better dealt with inside the clubhouse. If I am proven wrong and he really is that big a jerk, I will freely admit it.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:42 AM

        Given the way he reacted to Lowrie’s bunt, I’m not giving him anything. Sorry.

      • stex52 - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:14 AM

        I happen to agree with that Kevin S. There was no glory in last week. But I’m still not ready to say that defines his tenure. I’m all for multiple chances.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        Oh, tenure defining? Nah. Pretty sure the clown I was responding to was talking about this incident, though.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      Mac:
      Please know you will get nowhere on HBT using words like “wussification,” “political correctness,” “I like Chief Wahoo,” “pansy” or “I am in favore of the Braves’ tomahawk Chop.” Further, you would be far better served to misrepresent yourself with regards to anything involving our current President, the Democratic Party, or left leaning ideas in general.
      Personally, I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I feel I carry no weight whatsoever with regards to said opinions. However, you must also never forget roughly 98% of readers, posters and those that contribute to this website/blog lean so far left they simply can’t avoid stroking each others gentle sensibilities. We do this by rubbing one anothers belly’s, patting each other on the back, handing out participation trophies and we avoid (at all costs) grading papers with red ink all together. After all, we have to think of the Children.

  5. timmons94 - Apr 25, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    Bo porter is a clown. Dude thinks he is such a tough guy. What a tool

  6. bowltr - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    This crap is so ridiculous. Baseball players are such whiny little b!tches. So it’s ok for them to shift when the game is 7-0 but not ok for the hitter to try and beat that shift? Are you f’ing kidding me? It was the first inning! So because of that Lowrie has to get thrown at twice? Really? Players on the Astros should concentrate more on improving instead of trying to justify how tough they are by throwing 90mph baseballs at guys. I love baseball over every other sport but it’s times like these that make it difficult to be a fan.
    TAlos to see Porter come out of the dugout to yell at a player on the opposing team. Some tough guy he is. One word to describe him…………….jerk!

  7. bowltr - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    This crap is so ridiculous. Baseball players are such whiny little b!tches. So it’s ok for them to shift when the game is 7-0 but not ok for the hitter to try and beat that shift? Are you f’ing kidding me? It was the first inning! So because of that Lowrie has to get thrown at twice? Really? Players on the Astros should concentrate more on improving instead of trying to justify how tough they are by throwing 90mph baseballs at guys. I love baseball over every other sport but it’s times like these that make it difficult to be a fan.
    To also to see Porter come out of the dugout to yell at a player on the opposing team. Some tough guy he is. One word to describe him…………….jerk!

  8. mdpickles - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    LASTros.

  9. padraighansen - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    All that matters is that both McCann & Cole gave their blessing to Porter and Clemens. End of story.

  10. nottinghamforest13 - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    Bo Porter is a complete relic from another time & has lost the dressing room already. He carries himself, both on the field as well as off, with this militant 1960s attitude, symbolic of his kind back then. A real hardcase with a chip on his shoulder over some perceived slight that likely never happened.

    • stex52 - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:29 AM

      Militant ’60’s attitude? We dealt with this last week. Porter was born in 1972. I believe what you are trying to say is “the boy doesn’t know his place”. There, fixed it for you.

  11. nickmiller63 - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    “symbolic of his kind…”? That language is also symbolic of a “kind,” a kind I’d hoped had dunk into the tarpits.

  12. nickmiller63 - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    *sunk, darn it.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      It sucks having a sweet burn and ruining it by misspelling something. I’ve been there.

      • nickmiller63 - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        indeed.

  13. tysonpunchinguterus - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    So are the Astros conceding that they can never possibly score 8 runs in a game? If so, why bother playing defensive shifts at that point? You can’t keep playing hard and expect the other team to give away at bats.

  14. drewzducks - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    I saw “embarrassment” and “5 errors” in the headline so I assumed this story was about my beloved Red Sox.

  15. unclehilroy - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Am I the only one that watched till the very end and saw Ron Washington getting upset? Where did that come from?

    • nickmiller63 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      I think it was meant as humor; “see, even Ron Washington is upset by this.” But hard to tell.

  16. jkaflagg - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    As an Astros fan, I have to admit I’m somewhat disappointed in the leadership Porter has displayed even going back to last season, when he was the only person on the planet to not know the rules on relief pitching participation……it seems the Astros wanted a young manager who would relate to their horde of young players, but their lackluster play suggests that an more experienced manager who lays down the law and kicks some butt may be more in order.

    In this case, however, he may simply be covering for a stupid play by Clemens, refusing to bash him to reporters; hopefully he the chewed out Clemens in private (and given his poor performance, a demotion may be in the cards as well).

    The most interesting thing that came out of the whole mess for me were the comments of catcher Carlos Corporan, who noted that Lowrie had been killing them and they wanted to work him inside…..Finally ! And for the morality police, I DO NOT MEAN HIT THEM – I mean come inside so that guys who have been killing you might not dive across the plate with big swings without any fear of the ball. The way the A’s have been swinging it’s time for this simple lesson that has been part of baseball since it’s creation to be reinforced.

    But not by Paul Clemens.

  17. dhar77 - Apr 25, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    Is showing wash a regular thing for the A’s broadcast?

  18. jamie2ucsd - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Looking at their 2013 schedule, the Astros scored 7 or more runs in a game 25 times last year.

    It was the 1st inning. While the Astros are not a good team, the game was far from over. Ridiculous to get upset about it at the time, and even more so to throw at him again a week later.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Red Sox shopping Lester and Lackey
Top 10 MLB Player Searches