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3/20/10: Houston Philly Vultures - The Houston Astros may want to change their name to the Houston Philly Vultures.   Over the past few seasons, they have netted Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary, Chris Coste, Pedro Feliz, and Brett Myers directly from the Philadelphia Phillies.   Jason Michaels, who appeared in 102 games with the Astros last season, was originally drafted by the Phillies and played for them from 2001-2005.   --KG

3/17/09: Sign of the Times - Last year, the Houston Astros paid 39-year old Brad Ausmus $2 M to have a typically inept season platooning behind the plate. This year, they will only guarantee 37-year old first ballot HoF candidate Ivan Rodriguez $1.5 M to be their starter. As unfair as that sounds, how about the plight of catcher J.R. Towles, perhaps the only good young player in the Astros organization, who will now be relegated to another year at Triple-A? No fear there: the Astros had already been planning to name Humberto Quintero as their starting catcher before this news broke.  --KG

12/16/08: Doug Blackmail - Doug Brocail will turn 42 in May and make $2.75 million in 2009.  He has only made more than $1.3 million in three seasons, each with the Astros: 2001 ($2.3 M), 2008 ($2.5 M), and now 2009.  It's pretty clear that he has some incriminating photos of Astros owner Drayton McLane.  --KG

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