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No-name Houston Astros Have Look of Expansion Team

Bob Levey, Getty Images

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — The sign on the facade of Osceola County Stadium is a reminder of better times:

Houston Astros — 2005 National League Champions.

My, how things have changed.

Coming off a 106-loss season, the Astros are going through spring training with a roster full of unproven players, looking very much like an expansion team. Manager Brad Mills has made it clear that every spot on the team is up for grabs. One pitcher says the workouts seem more like open tryouts.

At a time of year when every camp is filled with optimism, the Astros probably have less reason to be hopeful than any other team in the big leagues. Serious playoff contention is likely years away, leaving Houston more focused on a long-term rebuilding job rather than immediate results.

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