Classic card of the week

Jeff Juden, 1991 Upper Deck

Jeff Juden discussion begins … now!

Jeff was Houston’s first round draft selection in June, 1989 from Salem High School.

Wikipedia, would you like to expand on this?

He is in the discussion of being one of the best high school pitchers in Mass history.. pitcher at Salem High School.

No period to abbreviate Mass., two periods at end of sentence, followed by part of a phrase that belongs God knows where … just when I think I can’t love Wikipedia any more, I read another Wikipedia page. Anyhoo, the point is that Jeff Juden is in the discussion of “best high school pitchers in Massachusetts history,” and that is a discussion I would like to have, if it were up to me, every single day.

The Astros expected to take it slow with Jeff, but his performance for Osceola dictated an early promotion to Double-A.

Astros Exec. 1
: Tell me about Juden, Charlie, and remember that we as an organization are fully expecting to take it slow with him, as he is our No. 1 draft pick and prized pitching prospect.

Astros Exec. 2: Sit down, Orville. Listen—I know we’re expecting to take it slow with Juden. But have you seen him at Osceola?!

Exec. 1: No. That is why I am conferring with you.

Exec. 2: He’s throwing bee-bees over there, Orville! He can’t be contained! Last week he struck out all 27 batters in one game!

Exec. 1: It seems impossible that I have not heard about that until this very moment. Is that true?

Exec. 2: No, but you get my point. The truth is, his performance dictated a promotion. I’m sorry, Orville! I gotta wipe my hands clean of this (symbolically wipes hands) … there was nothing I could do!

Exec. 1: Well, technically, one thing you could have done was not allow him to be promoted by an abstract concept like “performance,” which has no authority to do such things, and let him continue to pitch well at Osceola because we EXPECTED TO TAKE IT SLOW WITH HIM!

Exec. 2: You’re overreacting, Orville. Take a chill pill, ‘Ville. Here, listen to this … (begins playing Naughty By Nature’s “Everything Gonna Be Alright” on nearby tape player, bobs his head … Orville begins bobbing his head)

His poor performance at Columbus was not due to being overmatched by batters, but rather from fatigue. Juden, who never threw more than 90 innings in high school, lost 5 mph off his fastball due to his amount of innings pitched.

Record scratches on tape player …


The Astros, taking all precautions

Except the ones they “expected” to take in the first place.

gave Jeff the last week of the season off

Read: “Allowed him to miss one last start”

to give him time to regain his arm strength.

Montage of time passing, seasons changing …

Jeff’s performance in the Florida State League was good enough to be voted the second best prospect.

Exec. 2: Bursts into Exec. 1’s office … Orville, did ya’ hear?

Exec. 1: Angrily at desk, without lifting head from paperwork … What?

Exec. 2: Juden’s performance in Florida was just named second best prospect!

Exec. 1: How does a performance get named as a prospect and not the individual?

Exec. 2: I don’t know! Same way a performance can promote a guy, I guess. Still!

Exec. 1: Alright, call the local paper. Tell ‘em we want a reporter down here stat for a Juden feature, and tell him to be careful with the name and context! You still got the tape?

Exec. 2: Pulls Naughty By Nature tape out of the breast pocket of his suit jacket ...

Exec. 1: Play that shizz!