KISSIMMEE, FL (Kiii Sports) - The 2013 Astros are all about change and why not? Houston is coming off the two worst seasons in team history, but is trying to reshape its image with a new manager in Bo Porter, new, yet old school uniforms and even a new league in the AL. The 'Stros are hoping those shifts will be the start of a brighter future in the Bayou City.
"I think it's going to be exciting, not having to watch our pitchers hit everyday," centerfielder Justin Maxwell said. "I think our fans are going to be excited with the new uniforms and all the new ballclubs that are going to be coming into Minute Maid. I think we're looking forward to the challenge and going to all the new cities and going to the new ballparks."
Hooks' Manager Keith Bodie is also a fan of the changes. "Yesterday I was on the field and the umpire said to me, 'Keith, what do you think of the new uniforms?' I said, 'It's fantastic, I'm glad I'm wearing one.' Having a new manager and a new direction, a lot of jobs are out there for the taking and these players feel that."
The consensus around Kissimmee has been the influx of positive energy under Bo Porter. The Astros players all say Porter has both a sense of humor and plenty of patience, two things much needed with a younger ballclub.
"Bo I think he's a high energy guy, very positive. He likes to have a good time. He likes to have fun. He likes to keep everything fresh," said former Hook J.D. Martinez, who is trying to crack the Astros' roster at some point this year.
"You know a lot of the times you get caught up in the game, and you know it's get the guy over, do this, do that, you forget to have fun in the game. I think that's what he's trying to do this year: keep it entertaining, keep it fun," Martinez said.
Porter has a vested interest in the Astros' newly restocked farm system, even taking in a minor league inter-squad game on his off day. The Astros' skipper knows the big league team's future rests in the hands of those rising stars.
"I get the game reports every night via email, and I get the hard copy every morning. I evaluate those game reports from the rookie league all the way through the whole system because I'm very interested in what's going on down there, and how our players are progressing."
The Astros refuse to call 2013 a rebuilding year, but rather a re-invigoration for the future.