How Many Altuves?

Length in Feet:

Number of Jose Altuves:

*Note: Number of Jose Altuves is Official Standard Listed Altuves (OSLA). Actual Number of Jose Altuves may vary.

Catfishing: A Public Service Announcement

I know that not all of our readers are on Twitter, but the below post is good information for everyone. Those of you who do follow us on Twitter may have already heard about some of what is detailed below. You may see this cross-posted to a few blogs as we attempt to raise as much awareness as possible. I am not the author of this. This information is the result of several people working together to try to make our group of fandom a little safer.

Opening day brought a little more excitement than Astros Twitter was expecting. Outside the excitement of a new Astros season, you may have missed that another #AstrosCatfish emerged, and this one is big enough to feed a family of 50.


Before this story gets told, please remember that there are very real dangers on the internet. The Astros Twitter community is, in my opinion, a great place to make friends, talk about the Stros, and have a good laugh. Unfortunately, it is also another place where you can’t completely let your guard down. As we reflect on some of this, please take these few tips to protect yourself and others in the community:
  • ·         If someone raises a red flag about someone else, listen to them;
  • ·         Be suspicious of someone who is too friendly too quickly;
  • ·         Unless you know the person, be wary of new, especially anonymous, accounts;
  • ·         If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is;
  • ·         If you agree to meet someone, do it in a public place;
  • ·         If someone keeps giving excuses as to why they can’t meet, be even more suspicious;
  • ·         Trust your gut.

In general, just lookout for other people and try to keep this environment a good one for everyone.

Let’s Go Catfishing

First, let’s reflect on what has brought us here. Many of you may be familiar with the Twitter account, @McCullersManiac. Some of you may have seen this person as an online friend or a foe during the recent #AstrosTwitterMadness and #AstrosTwitterNIT. These contests are actually where the unraveling began so we’ll start from there.

During #AstrosTwitterMadness, @McCullersManiac was very vocal in his solicitation for votes. He offered prizes such as a signed ball from Lance McCullers and tickets to opening day. The “winner” of the opening day tickets turned out to be Julia DeBerry (@jbvdeberry – go follow her, she’s cool). When her husband, Dustin (@dkdeberry – follow at your own risk), went to arrange for the tickets to be picked up, he was met with:

And then on Monday, Opening Day…

Well, this is odd. Telling someone they won tickets and then completely sketching out on them. Not unheard of, but deleting your account as well? That seems excessive. Why take such extreme measures just for overpromising?

Once this was posted, the floodgates seemed to open up about this character. Just some of the claims made by this person include:

·         offering these same tickets to other people within Astros Twitter;
·         offering suite access;
·         claiming to be a season ticket holder;
·         making excuses multiple times when people have tried to meet up with him; and
·         claiming his house burned down.

Although sketchy, none of this really warrants more than just ignoring someone and moving on. As things started to progress throughout the day, some more disturbing claims began to trickle out.
Interactions with the person behind @McCullersManiac were exposed by multiple people, mostly female, within the Astros Twitter community. Some of these interactions included attempts to manipulate women, becoming prematurely intimate through text and DM’s, arranging dates then “ghosting,” and solicitation of nude pictures.

Here’s where things started to take a distinctly weird turn. While discussing these interactions, it was noted that @McCullersManiac was a late 20’s male and presented the following pictures as himself:

Good looking dude, amirite? Well, someone is but it isn’t @McCullersManiac. A reverse image search of these images shows that they were used in a previous dating website scam. The original source of these images hasn’t been discovered, but there is a pretty high confidence level that it isn’t him.

Also, @McCullersManiac has been many accounts before. There may be more out there, but here is a list of the Twitter Accounts that have been connected to this person:
  • ·         McCullersManiac
  • ·         AstrosTwittaNIT
  • ·         WinAstrosWin
  • ·         CrushCityDoc
  • ·         Seasonticketguy
  • ·         ChrisRyanComedy
  • ·         ChrisBiggio

Now you’re probably wondering at this point, who is @McCullersManiac? And that is a good question. He told multiple people that his name was “Chris,” some that it was “Mike,” and others that it was “Shane.”

@McCullersManiac is actually a mid-40’s male that lives in SE Texas named Chris S. (The decision was made not to publish his last name, but we’ve independently verified the information we found with information he provided himself, and a matching Facebook profile was found.)

So where do we go from here and what do we do with this information? Well, for starters, we need to be on the lookout for any future accounts this individual may try to create. He has been active in Astros and other Houston sports related Twitter communities for at least 2 years. In general, it’s good to be cautious of any followers that are familiar with inside jokes despite being a new account and anyone that claims to be highly connected with tickets or inside access.

It should also be noted that everyone involved feels like we’ve only scratched the surface of this individual’s actions. Please don’t hesitate to share your experiences and shine a light on this person.

In conclusion:

To Chris: Stop doing this. You’re playing with fire and it wasn’t hard to figure out who you are.

To Astros and Houston Sports Twitter: Let’s take care of each other. We’ve come together around teams that we love on a platform that allows us to interact freely and openly. Let’s be vigilant but not let one idiot ruin it.

Review: OOTP 17

If you've been a fan of How Many Altuves for a few years, you know how much we love OOTP Baseball. Well, the latest version, OOTP 17, was just released late last month and I've spent way too many hours exploring the new features. While last year saw them gain an MLB license, which allowed them to make use of official team logos, this year they also picked up an MLBPA license. So now, using their FaceGen technology, your favorite players are accurately represented visually as well as statistically, and they even age as their career progresses!

As usual, you get full roster sets, even down to the lowest of rookie leagues, and full player ratings based on ZiPS projections. New for this year are historically accurate minor league systems for years past.

Despite the unbelievable amount of information available, the user interface continues to be streamlined and intuitive, allowing players to make full use of every nugget that can be gleaned from their robust simulation engines. OOTP has also continued to improve their 3D in-game view, which was first introduced in OOTP 15.

One of my favorite new features in the expanded management and coach system. Now you can see which managers have positive or negative influence over which players. For example, hiring a contact oriented hitting coach may give our namesake Jose Altuve a boost, but probably wouldn't help a player like Chris Carter.

Another great feature is the ability to set team-defined needs during trading. If you say you want a young, top prospect while shopping your aging slugger, offers that include prospects are bumped to the top of the list.

Finally, despite this leap forward in gameplay, everything runs much faster than previous versions, thanks to support for multi-core processors.

I'm running out of ways to say that OOTP keeps getting better every year, but OOTP 17 truly does make their great franchise even better. This year's edition is a must have for any serious baseball fan.

A Message from How Many Altuves

I started the How Many Altuves website, Twitter account, and Facebook pages in May of 2012. As someone with no background in web design, it took some effort to figure out how to code the basic calculator that has been unchanged since the site first went live. I then dusted off my high school math skills to come up with all the other fun Altuves calculations (Altuves per second, cubic Altuves, etc.) And I never imagined it would be as popular has it has become. One of my favorite early examples of how popular this is was when the Astros featured a How Many Altuves infographic on their TV broadcast, complete with a link to the website. As a fan of the team from as early as I can remember, about 30 years, I was excited. 

Then, a year later, the team started selling How Many Altuves tshirts in the team store. Shirts that featured the copyrighted speed, area, and volume calculations on the back. And I had no idea these shirts existed until fans of the website brought them to my attention. Needless to say I was disturbed. I reached out to the team for an explanation. After a series of phone calls and emails the Astros and I were able to reach an agreement, the terms of which shall remain undisclosed, other than to say I received no monetary compensation.

Another year later, I reached out again to the team to inquire about any remaining inventory they may have had. I was told at that time that the shirts were discontinued and the team wouldn't "do the item again."

So imagine my surprise when it was brought to my attention a few days ago that the shirts had again emerged for sale, this time at Houston area Walmarts. The team has assured me that they are not involved in this; that the shirts did not come from them.

This latest development is extremely disappointing. I feel as though I have been completely taken advantage of. I have never tried to profit from the popularity of my content. The few ads you've seen don't even cover the cost of the site's domain name. 

So I've decided that How Many Altuves will be taking an indefinite hiatus while I consider my options and decide if I want to put any more effort into padding other people's pockets.

OOTP 16 Review - The Best Keeps Getting Better

Those that have been following us for a while know that we are huge fans of the Out of the Park Baseball franchise, and OOTP has really outdone themselves with their latest version. As always, the level of detail is unbelievable, but one of the underrated parts of their program for me are the quotes and trivia tidbits that you see while the game is loading and simming. For example, with this year's version I learned why the bullpen is called the bullpen. It seems that in Cincinnati in the 1870's there was a billboard for the Bull Durham Tobacco Co that stood above where the pitchers warmed up. For me, baseball is just as much fun for diving into its rich history as it is for the exciting athletes who play the game today. But anyone can dig up historical trinkets, where OOTP really sets itself apart is the depth of its sim and its constant striving for excellence.

The first thing that sets this year's edition apart from previous iterations is that, for the first time ever, OOTP has a license from MLB. What that means is official logos, and not just the current ones. Every logo of every franchise it now available. Want your Mariners to sport the old trident unis? Or think the Padres looked best in gold and brown? Now you can do it with ease.

As always, OOTP offers full roster sets, from the major league club all the way down to the Dominican Leagues, with ratings based on PECOTA, to ensure that sims are as accurate as possible. Last year saw them expand to include many international leagues, and with OOTP 16 we get full independent leagues with real rosters. Now you can find the next Daniel Nava.

Another area that OOTP 16 makes great strides is by expanding the depth of their front office options. No longer is your team owner some vague suit that would fire you for your first losing season. Now he has a personality and interacts with you through a series of goals that help you mark your success, or failure.

Often included in these goals are certain financial targets, which you have the ability to achieve based not only on your ability to field a winning team while staying within budget. Now you can set ticket prices that have a real impact on things, including season ticket sales.

Also included in the front office revamp are robust manager ratings and temperments. Want a manager with a strict, demanding personality, or a pitching coach that can help your young flamethrower reach is full potential? Now you can see a manager's tendencies before offering him that contract. You can even see which strategic elements he's dead set on, and which areas he's willing to listen to your input. 

All this, of course, is icing on the cake that is the best, most detailed, most accurate sim in the business. You can let the season run its course, or choose to manage each game of the season, even including the full minor league seasons. And should you find yourself in the midst of a playoff race come September, OOTP has added a new playoff chase screen where you can follow your teams odds of success day by day, game by game; even compare the strength of your remaining schedule against that of your rivals.

The final new feature I want to touch on is the Hall of Fame voting. In the past, you could either let the system decide who gets elected based on preset criteria, or you could force a play to be elected. Now, though, you can be a part of the voting. Take the PED dilemma into your own hands and fight for Clemens, Bonds, etc. or help them to wither on the vine. Either way, you have a voice to shape the Hall how you want.

What I didn't focus on this year is the meat and potatoes of OOTP, but rest assured this product is as robust as ever on that front. But for fans of the series like me, the exciting part of each year's effort are the new and innovative features and OOTP 16 delivers as always.