All Part of the Process

Carlos Pena is an Astro. College sports continues in conference turmoil. The Houston Texans can’t win…for winning. Everything is part of the process that never ends in sports. It is always a work in progress.

Take the Astros often billed “first DH”, Carlos Pena. He is not a work in progress, but the actions of the Astros signing him illustrate that the team very much is still in that category. Pena is hardly one of the big bats in baseball. A low overall batting average with high strikeout figures is hardly overcome by a better than normal walk percentage or a few home runs. Even the newest stats don’t make Pena anything special. His on base percentage in 2012 of .330 is good only for a .197 hitter. His home run total of 19 is good only for the powerless (or unfortunately, for the Astros.) His very low .151 average with runners in scoring position does not project well. Pena is part of that “work in progress” that is the Astros. He is a stop gap offering major league experience. As a ballplayer he is dangerously close to J.A.G. status–just a guy. At the same time if he can get back to a level he showed a few seasons back he can help the Astros in their quest to avoid another 100 loss season while younger and hopefully more talented players make their way through the system or gain experience in the American League. The work continues in progress.

The same has to be said about the status of major college sports. Conference changes and re-alignment continues to occur. The latest word that seven basketball-only schools in the recently depleted Big East planned to break off and form a new league could cause repercussions as far away as Idaho and here in Houston. It will certainly cause problems with the Atlantic-10 where some more basketball playing schools reside and would be top candidates to join a new loop. More and more leagues have expanded with little regard to geography. TCU has been all over the map until finally landing where the school should have been all along–in the Big 12. Political considerations may kept Houston from the same logical location, but with a new stadium in a year who knows where U-H may be? Maybe still in the Big East if it exists, but how about the Big 12 or even the SEC? Sounds far fetched to many, but who really knows. Everything is college sports is still a work in progress.

Even the Houston Texans with their AFC South title and 12-2 record are a work in progress. They are a very good team, but even very good teams are not perfect. Until they win a Super Bowl or maybe a series of them they will be a work in progress. There will always be some positions to improve or injuries to cover. After having their heads handed to them in New England just over a week ago they came back to win again. And the Patriots who looked so unbeatable in the game against the Texans fell way behind early to San Francisco then rallied, but still fell short. The Patriots are a work in progress, too.

When you get down to it everything is really a work in progress. That is good. Instead of resting on one’s laurels it is a human trait to strive to improve or find out what is on the other side of the hill. Maybe we find something better. Maybe we don’t. But checking it out is most of the fun. It is all part of the process.

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About gregclucas

Author, "Baseball-Its More Than a Game" available through Amazon.com, BN.com or by order. Veteran sportscaster with extensive play by play experience in MLB, NBA and college sports. "Houston to Cooperstown- The Houston Astros' Biggio & Bagwell Years" is available at many Barnes and Noble stores, Costco, Sam's Club and other selected locations. Also can be ordered through Amazon as hard copy of Kindle.
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