Totally Not Fake News: The Houston Astros, in desperate need of specialized employees (2024)

HOUSTON - In the current US economy, it is a time of contradictions. Unemployment is consistently running between 3.5 and 3.9%, which most Rice graduate economists would say is good. It is rare to find a negative job loss report, and most monthly metrics show job gains. Some fields are dying for bodies and qualified candidates. Yet, other fields continue to downsize. For the job seeker and hiring agencies, the modern job market can seem both target rich and target poor. Then you find those jobs that find themselves at a major level of desperation.

A case in point centers on this LinkedIn advertisem*nt:

Have you ever wanted to live the American Dream? Want the chance to show your stuff to tens of thousands of people in person and millions on TV and the internet? Can you excel in high-stress, high-pressure environments...or even if you can’t, have you ever dreamed it? Well, if you can throw a small sphere object the size of an actual baseball, apply now at the following:


Well, we aren’t sure if the employee did anything with that, as we at Totally Not Fake News don’t take kindly to employees screwing around on paid time. After immediately liquidating the employee, we did officially tag our research department, whose actual job it is to surf the net and check out this link. They did, and as it turned out, they also found corresponding ads on Indeed,, USAJobs and Craigslist.

“One of our staffers swore he saw a request on FreeCycle giving away a pitcher.” One of the individuals in the “Oppo research” section observed.

After a few applications were filed, we did call some of the numbers, which eventually led us to the Houston Astros’ front office.

“Oh, you guys. Well, for you, we are fine. Our pitching staff is doing ok and we don’t need to resort to any desperation tactics or job search ads. We are fine, all fine here. How are you?”

Well, we weren’t exactly sold on that answer, so using some of our Oppo Research folks, some calls were made back to the same offices, where the tone was so much different:

“Oh, thank [Deity Deleted]!!! Are you lefty or righty? Actually, doesn’t matter. Just get over to our offices, bring a glove and we can probably get you a uniform and a starting date in the rotation in the next couple of days.”

Even if the Astros won’t publicly admit their pitching needs, it would be hard to hide the dire situation the pitching depth is in for the team, especially for the starters. Urquidy and Javier are out until at least mid-2025, Garcia and McCullers may be back in late summer. Verlander is injured yet again, France is hurt and a top prospect Bloss could only give the team 4 innings before he went out. Even Valdez had some arm issues at one point.

“Maybe Crane should’ve paid that voodoo priestess in full. Sure, we now have a winning record at home, but the starting pitching attrition...Can’t believe I am saying this, but the Angels were so right when they used all their draft picks on pitchers a couple of years ago. Speaking of which, I think we will try to get them on the line...” noted another unnamed staffer working in the personnel office.

When asked about just bringing up some more starting pitching arms from AAA, the staffer laughed and went back to lamenting the state of the team’s pitching.

“Man, we’ve been in such dire straits with the pitching. Makes me wish we’d kept [1B Jose] Abreu. Sure, he was sucking something awful, and despite Bagwell’s insistence he would improve with a few more developmental sessions, Abreu wasn’t getting his average over .200 without some creative math and the latest version of AI. Still, maybe we could have pawned him off on someone gullible and gotten a pitcher or two. [Expletive Deleted], he could give us a few innings.”

With the trade deadline on the horizon, and the Astros moving back into legitimate contention, they will likely be a major player in the pitching market. Yet, there will be competition.

“Well, it is no secret that we don’t exactly have the most stocked farm system in the game right now.” The same staffer noted. “Yeah, we are down like 4-5 starting pitchers, but so are other teams. Take Baltimore. They’ve just lost three starting pitchers for the year, they are deep in contention with the fighting Cashmans’ [ED note: We mean the Yankees, but apparently staffers within the Astros front office refer to them as the Cashmans, per the guidance of Crane.], and they are LLLLLOOOOOOAAAAADDDDDEEEDDDD with prospects. They got infielders to burn, and they can get all of the guys we want, unless we get creative.”

“You might want to be careful there.” Noted another unnamed staffer that came into the interview area. “Remember what happened to [NAME REDACTED PENDING NOTIFICATION OF NEXT OF KIN]. Well, he was trying to brainstorm some ideas for how we could outbid other teams. Unfortunately, I think [NAME REDACTED] just looked at the latest SI Swimsuit issue. Starting thinking that maybe, in lieu of a prospect, a GM or two would take a signed autograph from Kate Upton. Apparently, [NAME REDACTED] did his brainstorming out loud. Got to the point where he would propose sending one of our limited OF prospects and the promise of Kate signing a body part of choice while doing a live rendition of the Dougie.”

When asked what was wrong with that, the second staffer noted “That was right when [Justin] Verlander came walking by. Heard the guy babbling and decided to investigate. And by “investigate”, I mean wailing away on [NAME REDACTED]’s skull with a hammer and machete. Of course, the screams brought in [GM Dana] Brown, who was all upset that Verlander was potentially injuring his arm, but seemed placated when Verlander told him he was using his non-throwing arm.”

We followed up wondering how that all turned out. “Well, you see, that is where Verlander injured his neck. Right as Verlander was about to finish severing the head to place it on a pike to warn others, one of the phones in the office rang, startling him, leading to a pulled muscle. Another visit to the IR.”

We reached out to Verlander to confirm the story but heard nothing back. However, we did talk with some of the injured pitchers. For brevity, we won’t include the whole transcripts here, but some of the comments spanned from “Can’t wait to get back out there...just hope they are patient on the rehab.” to despondency, to a comment attributed to McCullers, who noted that he told the guys not to think of this as being “injured”, but on “paid sick leave.” “You get paid, and you don’t have to do anything.” McCullers apparently told France and Ortega as they prepared for their upcoming, season-ending procedures.

Still, that doesn’t solve the pitching issues. Aside from the trade market, the staff came up with some other methods. Sources indicated that the team wanted to set up a “throwing cage”, so that fans could test their arms and see how fast they could throw. Anyone who brought in a glove, or even showed good accuracy throwing concessions trash away got called in for a visit. That seemed to go ok at one point, but then nearly 75% of those lucky fans reported elbow soreness, at which point, Crane shut it down.

“Hadn’t locked up the discount rate for Tommy John/UCL repairs yet. Still trying to make up the $75M shortfall from the Space City Channel TV deal.” Observed the original staffer.

Thus, the search for more starting arms continues. While they still remain on the outside of the playoff picture, that may not last. Depth will be critical. How they go about getting that depth...well, as we at Totally Not Fake News have already observed, the Astros likely will use any and all means to get what they need. Hopefully, it will not involve too many more injuries.

ED NOTE: We apologize for any writing issues with this article, but we are down to our 4th-string writer. The other three primary writers all went down with, what else, arms injuries (Elbow, UCL, Carpal Tunnel, etc). Fortunately, they can take advantage of the services of our, and the Astros’, latest sponsor: Doctor Arms-R-Us. Doctor Arms-R-Us, for all of your arm/elbow/UCL issues. Now offering a new special, come in for a UCL repair, get a free shoulder/prostate/rectal exam. Doctor Arms-R-Us, now the official sponsor of the UCLs repairs of the Houston Astros and Totally Not Fake News.

Totally Not Fake News: The Houston Astros, in desperate need of specialized employees (2024)
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