HOUSTON -- Craig Biggio, the Astros' all-time hits leader who's eligible for Hall of Fame induction next year, said Wednesday he's looking forward to continuing his role with the organization as a special adviser to general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Astros owner Jim Crane told KRIV-TV in Houston on Wednesday that he had completed a deal with Biggio to keep the longtime Houston star in the organization. Biggio has served as a special assistant to the GM since retiring following the 2007 season.
"What we're doing now is the same thing we were doing before, getting out to the Minor Leagues and seeing the kids a little bit, and at the beginning of the year going to Spring Training and getting to as many Astros games as I can, and just try to be around as much as possible and lend a hand whenever it's possible," Biggio told MLB.com from Florida, where he was watching his son play for Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament. "This is something we've been doing for the last four years."
In addition to his duties with the Astros, Biggio is the head baseball coach at St. Thomas High School in Houston and has won two private school state titles. When he's not coaching the kids, he's been visible around the ballpark.
"I get the opportunity to get to at least half the games, and whenever they're on the road you watch the games and you go out to the Minor Leagues whenever you can," Biggio said. "When you're around you see things, and when something needs to be said you pass it along. It's fun and it's part of the deal. We've got a lot of coaches in place and the more good people you have in the organization, the better."
Crane hopes to keep former Astros star Jeff Bagwell in a similar role.
Schafer misses Cubs finale with toe injury
HOUSTON -- Astros center fielder Jordan Schafer, who missed games on Sunday and Monday with a lower leg strain sustained in Saturday's win over the Rangers, missed Wednesday's series finale against the Cubs after having a procedure to remove part of the toenail on his right big toe, manager Brad Mills said.
Schafer fouled a ball off the toe a few days ago and had a hard time sleeping Tuesday night because of pain. The toe had swollen and became infected, Mills said.
Mills is hoping that Schafer will be ready to play on Friday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
"I guess [Tuesday] night, in the middle of the night, it started acting up again and he had to go the doctor this morning, and they took part of the toenail, from what I understand," Mills said. "He went back and went to bed and came back to the ballpark at 2:30 [p.m. CT] and he tried to put on his shoe and do some running and couldn't. We're hoping all will be OK when we go on this trip."
Schafer wrote on his Twitter account early Wednesday: "I don't think I've ever been in this much pain!!!!!!" When asked to comment on his condition at the ballpark prior to Wednesday's game, a groggy Schafer declined and said he was going back to sleep.
Astros, Budweiser partner to aid military families
HOUSTON -- The Astros and Budweiser announced a program on Wednesday that will help fund scholarships for families for U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country.
Astros owner Jim Crane, Marine Sgt. Scott Momper (Ret.) and Silver Eagle Distributors president John L. Nau were on hand at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday morning to unveil the "Walk Off A Hero" program -- a nationwide effort to raise $2.5 million in support of the Folds of Honor Foundation.
Budweiser/Silver Eagle Distributors will donate five cents for every case equivalent of Budweiser sold between now July 7 to FOH. Budweiser is featuring patriotic cans, bottles and packaging, which are available for purchase at local retailers.
What's more, Budweiser is donating $5,000 to FOH for every Astros' walk-off win at Minute Maid Park this year. Consumers can also make a $5 donation to FOH by visiting www.facebook.Budweiser or texting HERO to 80888.