Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 2/27/12
By Mark Mitchell Special to FOXSportsHouston.com It was an eventful offseason for Jed Lowrie. After getting married in November, the couple went on an exotic honeymoon to Tanzania only to return to be traded to the Houston Astros. Such is life in the major leagues. After the wedding, Lowrie and his wife spent 14 days on safari. While in the Serengeti, they camped out and spent the days on game drives looking at wildlife. At night, he had his trusty airhorn ready to blow should a curious lion wander into camp. "We didn't see any kills or chases, but the magnitude of being there and seeing things in the wild you wouldn't see anywhere else but in the zoo was pretty awe-inspiring," he said of the experience. A photography buff, Lowrie snapped thousands of pictures while on safari, some of which he hopes to post on his website. In addition, they visited Zanzibar for snorkeling, meeting villagers and experiencing the culture and food. The couple is accustomed to being on the move. In addition to baseball, Lowrie's wife, Milessa Muchmore-Lowrie, is a diplomat in the U.S. State Department, and in April leaves for a two-year assignment in Mexico. The two attended Stanford University, where she was a pole vaulter and he played baseball for the Cardinal. Less than a week after returning from the "spectacular" experience, Lowrie was making plans for another trip- this time to his new home in Houston. "Ever since I was drafted, I have been involved in some sort of trade talk," Lowrie said about being traded by the Boston Red Sox, where he had played since 2008. "It is always a shock, but it is part of the business. You have to make the best of it. I am going to miss some of the guys over there, but I am an Astro and excited to be here." Lowrie was acquired to fill the shortstop vacancy for the Astros. A career .252 hitter, he spent time on the Red Sox' disabled list each of the last three seasons because of problems with his left wrist, left forearm and right shoulder, and a bout with mononucleosis, he is looking to stay healthy and help his new team. "It's about getting the culture of winning and believing that we are going to win everyday," Lowrie said. "I'm not coming in here thinking that I am going to be responsible for that change. I think the pieces are in place at the top to change that culture and I would love to be part of that for a long time." And from what he has seen thus far, the Astros are doing things the right way to turn the organization into what he left in Boston. "Anytime you are starting new, you can take it any direction that you want," he said. "The direction that Jeff (Luhnow) and Mr. Crane have portrayed to us seem to be the right track. They want to change this organization into a long term winning organization." Livan Hernandez will start the Astros Grapefruit League opener on March 4 against the Washington Nationals at The Astros Osceola County Stadium complex. "He is a veteran and has been through it," said Astros manager Brad Mills. "He feels good and is throwing the ball well, so we are giving him the start." J.A. Happ will get the nod the following day on the road against the Nationals. Jordan Schafer is doing his best to put the past behind. The center fielder was arrest in October for possession of marijuana. He apologized the first day of camp to the Astros and their fans, and now is making amends with his effort on the field. "He really seems like he is on a mission," Mills said of the outfielder. "You hope that you don't have to go through experiences like that to learn lessons. You would like to learn from other people who have to go through them."
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