Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tremendous "mediocrity" indeed

The Astros are 15 games under .500 aaaaaaand 9 games out.

The Cubs, Central division leaders, are only three over. Milwaukee is a game and a half back at .500 and St. Louis, defending World Champions, are a game under and two back.

I hope that the winner of the division has a losing record. That would make my season.

Monday, August 27, 2007


In possibly the strangest turn of events in Houston this season, Uncle Drayton has fired Astros GM Tim Purpura and manager Phil Garner.

This leaves Astros Nation cheering (after all, we booed Purpura during his introduction at Bagwell's retirement ceremony yesterday), but also puzzled. Why now? Why not, I don't know, when it could have made a difference? Why not wait until after the season?


But, hell. I'm not going to complain. I do, however, want to know who's gonna play interim.
Replacing Tim Purpura as interim GM is Tal Smith, after whom that hill in center is named. He is President of Baseball Operations.
Replacing Phil Garner as interim manager is Cecil Cooper. Bench coach, has coached during Phil's ejections and also suspensions, and I love him. Plus, he's black. TAKE THAT, MILTON BRADLEY.


Foxnews says that Vick is losing "mountains of prestige."

My response?

....Michael Vick HAD prestige to lose?!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What is classy?

Classy is holding the runner at third when a single is hit with your team up 24-3 and there are no outs in the ninth inning.
Rangers won 30-3, setting a franchise record for most hits in a game (...possibly a ML record?) and scored the most runs in one game since 1900.

Now they play the O's again. I'm banking on another 30 runs.
Wes Littleton got the save with a 27-run lead. Here is the definition of a save:
A pitcher is credited with a save when he finishes a game won by his club, is not the winning pitcher, and either (a) enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning, (b) enters the game with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat, or on deck, or (c) pitches effectively for at least three innings.

Littleton did (c). Now, he could have pitched ineffectively (given up, say, six grand slams) and the Rangers still would have won.

Kendall v. Zito

I was briefly excited that I'd be watching Zito pitch tonight on WGN as the Giants are playing the Cubs, then I realized that wait a second, Kendall has caught Zito quite a few times. Kendall knows all his stuff better than anyone in the world.

This may not be pretty.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Home Runs (plural!) for ... Jason Kendall?!

Perhaps the most shocking event I saw highlighted on Sportscenter was the fact that Jason Kendall had hit a home run.

That's three on the season!

I don't know what to do with myself.

What I Think About Bonds (Finally!)

Yeah, I've been packing for school and driving from Texas to Indiana, plus throw USMS Long Course Nationals in there and there's no time left for Barry Bonds.

But as I sit in this most comfortable bed, I have decided to give all of you my opinion on Barry Bonds and the HR record. I know you've been waiting with bated breath and haven't read ENOUGH opinions on the subject matter, so I shall give you what you desire.

I've been keeping a VHS tape in the VCR this summer labeled "Let's Watch History!" Recognizing this summer as a summer of milestones, my original intention was to record those milestones being reached and broken for posterity. Or maybe a slow winter day. I missed the opportunity to tape Sammy Sosa's 600th HR (cruise to Alaska!), but I did see it live. I decided to stay home from the game that Biggio eventually got his 3000th hit and have that, as well as three of his other hits from that night. Somewhere in there is a long stretch of tennis, with Rafael Nadal making a hard push at winning Wimbledon but it ended up being Federer's historic 5th. And then Bonds, with #755.

I'll probably best remember the #756 game as the one wherein Barry Zito managed to groundout into an RBI, his first in his Major League career. Honestly, Barry Z means more to me than Barry B, and no matter what, that's not going to change. Many people say no one will remember that the Giants lost that game, but I will, because Z was in line for the win before the bullpen blew it.

The worst part of that game wasn't the record-breaking home run and Barry Bonds being booed all across the nation. No, it was Barry Zito being booed by San Francisco, an act absolutely unacceptable to me. Here's a pitcher you're going to have on your roster for at least six more seasons -- love him. You're going to be miserable if you don't.

My mom told me this morning that the Reds radio guys here in Indiana were talking about what a huge mistake SF made by signing him to that monster contract. I explained to her that he's never been on the DL and he likely never will. I don't even feel jinxy when I say that! That's how much confidence I have in the arm of Barry Zito. Besides that, everyone knows what he's capable of -- he just needs a little confidence from himself in order to achieve it.

So this is what I think about Bonds: Willie Mays is his godfather and Bonds is a San Francisco legacy. Aaron congratulated him in front of all of baseball. The record is not tainted. It is what it is and when it's broken Alex Rodriguez will accept the congratulations from Bonds, who will have held that record for a far shorter amount of time than Hank, befitting his lack of grace next to Aaron.

I know that if you allow yourself to admit it, you stood from your chair or couch or barstool -- whatever you were sitting on to watch the game -- and your heart skipped a beat as that ball shot out of that park. You think the fact that Bonds thinks the ball belongs to the fan, not the player, is somehow admirable and you have given him some of your respect for that.

I'll remember that moment forever, his arms raised in not triumph but relief. We all moved on in that instant, the weight of that record and what it means shifting onto a new level, not as heavy and not as prominent.

You were watching history and that is special no matter who's making it.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Kendall Update

Being as the Cubs are in Houston and I'm watching the Astros play, I'll update for each of his at-bats. His last trip to Houston saw him playing left field and hitting a home run. Let's hope that doesn't happen tonight.
This is not Chris Burke playing second. This is Craig Biggio. Eighth error of the season for the oft-benched on the road Not-So-Killer B.
Kendall vs. Wandy Rodriguez
Top 2nd: takes a ball (1-0), takes a strike (1-1), takes a ball (2-1), foul (2-2), foul (2-2), foul (2-2), takes a ball (3-2), popped out foul (catcher).
Top 4th: takes a strike (0-1), takes a ball (1-1), takes a ball (2-1), takes a ball (3-1), takes a ball (4-0) walk.
Top 7th: takes a strike (0-1), takes a ball (1-1), takes a ball (2-1), takes a ball (3-1), takes a strike (3-2), pop out (shortstop).
Kendall vs. Chad Qualls
Top 8th: Strikeout.

Then there was a passed ball which was scored as a wild pitch.


...Did I just hear that right?

Dusty Baker said something along the lines of, "The Cardinals haven't run a lot this season. That's surprising. They don't have a lot of speed, but they don't have a lot of steals."

Don't you mean, "Tony La Russa's the manager, he's known for sending runners all the time and they haven't run a lot, that's fucking surprising." He talks like they SHOULD have a lot of speed with a lack of speed. Use your conjunctions, yo.

And also, it's official: players don't take new photos when they're traded. Now, this is common sense, right, but I see some photos and think, "well maybe that's a new photo."

However, Morgan Ensberg looks like his bear self in his SD cap. Astros Spring Training 2007 FTW!

Yadier Molina just about stole a base. Well, he stole second and advanced to third, but the official scorer has scored it as a wild pitch and a throwing error on the catcher.

I'll go on record saying you don't need speed to steal. Carlos Lee, Not A Deer himself, is second in steals this season with 7 for the Astros, just behind Injured Phenom with Legs for Miles Hunter Pence and just ahead of Lead-off Man When Biggio Isn't Playing Chris Burke.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The DL, part two + #755

Here's a list of the players on my teams who have visited the DL:

Bobby Kielty
Mark Kotsay
Esteban Loaiza
Dan Johnson
Rich Harden (2)
Mike Piazza
Milton Bradley (4+)
Bobby Crosby
Eric Chavez
Justin Duchscherer
Huston Street
Hunter Pence
Chris Sampson
Adam Everett

To this I say, RIDICULOUS! The only impact injuries on this list are Piazza, Crosby, Pence and Everett.


Although we had a party going on in my house last night, I managed to videotape #755 on my "Let's Watch History!" tape (Biggio's 3,000th, Federer's 5th Wimbeldon), and I hope to be able to tape #756. Screw the steroids, this is still history.