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News » Houston Astros Notes, Quotes 2009-04-28

Houston Astros Notes, Quotes 2009-04-28

Houston Astros Notes, Quotes 2009-04-28
--Astros assistant general manager Bobby Heck, the amateur scouting director, will get a briefing from amateur scouting coordinator Mike Burns on what was learned by attending the Houston Texans' draft war room this weekend.

Burns, Astros director of research and analysis Charles Norton and an intern were allowed to sit in with the Texans this weekend. The Rockets afforded the Astros the same courtesy during the NBA Draft, just as the Astros allowed the Rockets' scouts to visit them during last June's baseball draft.

"It's good," Heck said of visiting the Texans. "I'm going to sit down with Burnsy and talk to him to see what he got out of it and add to our process and hopefully make it better.

"That's really just an effort to learn from them and the Rockets to improve our process and make better decisions on draft day. It's a good exchange and hopefully we'll have them there for our draft day."

--C Ivan Rodriguez and manager Cecil Cooper likely will be fined by Major League Baseball after they were ejected for arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Mike DiMuro on Saturday night. Tensions reached a crescendo not long after Milwaukee's Prince Fielder greeted RHP LaTroy Hawkins with a leadoff single to left in the eighth inning. Rodriguez was then ejected for arguing after DiMuro called a ball on an inside pitch to Mike Cameron, putting the count at 2-0.

Rodriguez "turned around and asked (DiMuro) and (DiMuro) said, 'Don't show me up,'" Cooper said. "And I don't think he actually showed him up. That was his take on it. I told him it was not a reason to throw him out of a ballgame right there. It was just a bad decision."

As Rodriguez's argument with DiMuro grew more heated, Cooper rushed out of the dugout. Hawkins attempted to calm Rodriguez and keep him away from DiMuro, who has nearly 10 years of experience as an umpire in the majors. He also is the son of Lou DiMuro, who spent 20 seasons as an American League umpire from 1963 through 1982.

--RHP Jeff Fulchino was optioned to Class AAA Round Rock to clear a roster spot for RHP Doug Brocail, who came off the disabled list. Fulchino had a 4.50 ERA in four appearances (six innings) for Houston.

--INF Geoff Blum is the Astros' emergency catcher, and INF Jason Smith is the emergency, emergency catcher, manager Cecil Cooper said. "(Blum) told me last year he could do it," Cooper said. "He said he don't like it, but he could do it."

As for Smith, "He doesn't want to do it, either," Cooper said. "He's caught bullpens, but he hasn't caught in a game, but he said, 'I can do it if I have to.'"

--C J.R. Towles was called up from Class AAA Round Rock on Saturday after C Humberto Quintero went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder.

"They let me know about 2 o'clock (Saturday), and I got in my vehicle about 3:30 after getting everything packed up," he said. "I pulled in, in here (at Minute Maid Park) I think in the first inning. I wasn't expecting to get to play, but it was good to get in there and contribute a little bit."

He was rushed into action in the eighth inning Saturday after C Ivan Rodriguez was ejected.

"The thing was that I kind of froze," he said. "I thought, 'Is there another catcher here?' So I was like, 'Well, I am, so I guess I better get ready.'" I didn't even warm up, didn't stretch, nothing. So I was like, 'Oh, man.'"

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- RHP Geoff Geary suffered three losses in relief on the Astros' 10-game homestand, prompting manager Cecil Cooper to make clear that he must see improvement from the veteran.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "After things started to escalate a little bit (between Astros catcher Pudge Rodriguez and plate umpire Mike DiMuro after Rodriguez was ejected Saturday), I was trying to make sure Pudge gets out. I knew I wasn't finished. I had to go out and tell him he blew a lot of calls tonight. He was missing a lot of pitches. A lot of our guys were complaining. I had to tell him. And when I told him, he basically said, 'You're out of here.' I thought he had a bad zone." -- Manager Cecil Cooper, on his ejection from the April 25 game.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 28, 2009

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