Norris gets free advertising

Norris gets free advertising

HOUSTON -- Astros starter Bud Norris was in for a surprise Tuesday when he walked onto the field with his teammates to stretch before batting practice. He saw his 1996 gray Acura on the warning track in front of Tal's Hill in center field.

"It's free advertising," reliever Tim Byrdak joked. "Bud's been trying to sell it for some time now. The market has been low for a while so we thought we would give him some free publicity."

Norris is planning to sell the car and his teammates jokingly thought it would be a good idea to surprise Norris by placing it there. The front windshield featured a shaving cream bull's-eye and on the back windshield the car had '$100' inscribed in shaving cream. A few teammates tried to hit the car during batting practice but they were unsuccessful and the car was moved.

"We wanted to keep it out there and have him defend the car during batting practice," Byrdak joked. "But with safety issues we decided to put it in."

Norris, who is still considered a rookie, was a good sport about the ribbing.

"I thought it was funny," Norris said. "I thought it was really good. I've been talking about getting a new car, and I haven't pulled the trigger yet. Hopefully I'll get one here soon."