KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Unlike last year when manager Bo Porter didn't allow the players to wear their last names on the backs of their jerseys -- he wanted them to earn it -- the players have their names on their spring tops this season.
"We moved forward one year and we're in a different place as an organization," Porter said. "We went out and we signed some proven Major League players that we brought into a core group of guys that went through the grind last year that earned the right to have their names on the backs of their jerseys.
"You look at the young players in which we had coming up, and it's one of those things you put that combination together. We are the Houston Astros and we're one family and these guys have earned the right to have their names on their jerseys."
Porter has begun sending the players a text message each morning with a motivational saying, which also appears on the daily schedule in the clubhouse. The second-year skipper is a proponent of positive reinforcement and motivational messages, which rim the ceiling of the home clubhouse in Houston.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.