Archive for September, 2008

Damn You, Law of Averages!!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , on September 18, 2008 by Cabeza De Vaca

Goodbye six game winning streak, hello four game losing streak. A .600 winning percentage ain’t bad, but it’s sure not what it looked like we had going before Ike washed all our mojo away. Goodbye .305 team batting average, hello .092 team batting average. Goodbye 32 1/3 scoreless innings, hello four run first. Wait, back up, we’re hitting .092??!! Over four games??!! Okay, things will get better over the remaining games. Things CAN’T stay like this.

Chances are, we aren’t going to make the playoffs, but heck, is this a team that deserves to go to the playoffs? We’ll finish with a winning record, which is pretty darn impressive for a team that had to trot Runelvys Hernandez onto the bump more than once. Honestly, if this team does regain the magic to make the playoffs, I’ll be overwhelmed, overjoyed, and also a bit worried about the validation that would provide to the tactics of Ed Wade and Drayton McLane (more on that next time).

The law of averages catches up to a team like this, to guys like Brian Moehler, Randy Wolf, Darin Erstad and Geoff Blum. It was fun while it lasted, but now it’s time to salute a group that didn’t quit after being in last place at the All Star break. These guys are winners.

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R.I.P. Astros

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2008 by Astropolithecus

Time of Death, Sept. 17th 9:22 Central time.  They held out longer than we thought. Some fun memories, here’s to next year. The good news, if the Astros make the playoffs, no one can beat a team of spirits, because they’re dead.

I hate baseball. Anyone seen when the first college basketball rankings come out?

Berkmaniac

 

I hate baseball.

Split Personality

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , on September 18, 2008 by beckeesh

Y’all, we’re done.

I don’t have to check ESPN’s playoff percentage points to tell you that.  If you’ve watched us play at ALL in the last three days, then you know.

Hey, it’s not our year.  We didn’t think it would be. It’s not like we got our hopes up.  It’s not like it was thrilling to sweep the Cubs at Wrigley.  It’s not like we got caught up in the excitement of appearing on Baseball Tonight before the 25 minute mark.  It’s not like we were bidding on Cooperstown Collection ‘Stros jerseys on ebay so that we could wear clean gear for every day of the playoff push…

Of course we didn’t and we weren’t and so we aren’t surprised, are we?

We’re the disastros.  We do this.

So turn off your TV.  Kaz Matsui will NOT save us from our current 9-2 deficit against the Fish.  And Ty Wigginton looks just like he used to, only he swings worse.  And Carlos isn’t around.

Wait – It’s 10-2 now, and the Marlins have the bases loaded?

Oh, OK, I turned the TV back on. Maybe I like watching Kaz strike out!  Maybe Wigginton’s swing is just the least bit alluring!

Ooh, and maybe the Mets, Phillies, and Brewers will all lose tonight.  Then we’ll only be three games back still, right?  Three games back with eleven to play.  That’s doable, right?

Oh dang, grand slam Cantu.

Wait – he’s on my fantasy team!

And Go ‘Stros!

Fish and Shits/Radio Spot Re-Mix

Posted in Houston Astros, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2008 by Astropolithecus

 

OOOOOKKKKAAAYYYY!!! Berkmaniac here. So what the hell is going on?  I couldn’t tell you. I’m still set pretty firm in my mindset from my last post, but this Marlins loss has me reeling (hah!).  And the Astros are floundering in South Florida, even with a Bulldog on the mound. How in the holy crap did we get so cold so fast?

Wicked embarrassing, but we still have a chance to get out of it.  I honestly never thought we’d sweep in Florida, but I also thought we’d take two of three from the Cubs, not lose two nasty jokes up in Wisconsin. 

We can still be okay. Remember, the Mets were farther up at this time against the Phillies last year. But now? Now it’s do or die in this fish fry. If we don’t take this series, then we need as much luck for us as we’ve just had against us to stumble into the postseason. We need 12 out of 13, 11 MINIMUM to have a shot.  And to tackle these game fish, we need to hit, we need to drop triples into their “Bermuda Triangle”. Maybe actually wake up. I think we need a bigger boat. 

    NOTE:   If you’re someone who hates saying “we” with our sports teams and only wants to hear “the team” or “the Astros”, then I can’t help you. I do believe we can all say “we” if we’ve been suffering fans our entire lives. No, I don’t think we have ANY effect on the game outcomes (unless a ball comes into the stands- See Berkman almost breaking Gagne’s saves streak for details) I just like to feel involved. I think I and my father’s wallet have earned it.

Radio Spot Re-Mix 

So, being a man of my word occasionally,  on my walk to work I called into the local weekday A.M. show Monday morning, the “Waddle and Silvy” show on ESPN 1000, and I got through! I told the engineer/screener my spiel and he dug it.

When I got on, Silvy said “Stephen in Chicago, what’s goin’ on?” or something close, and I’ll try to repeat, for our three readers, what I said verbatim.  “Hey guys, I’ve been an Astros fan five year, I’ve been an Astros fan all my life, and I’ve lived here in Chicago five years (I was a little nervous) and I just wanted to let you know there will be no whining and complaining from our fan base, we got beat fair and square, Zambrano threw great, we’re moving on, and we’ll see you guys in the playoffs.”  I tried to stay brief to be clear and purposeful, I hate rambling radio call ins, but I may have been too brief.  This is basically a Cubs sports show, but I think the hosts dug it. It’s hard to hear the immediate response from them, ’cause your radio has to be turned down, But I did hear Silvy say, “I like that attitude” and Tom Waddle say ” Sorry , Stephen, I don’t think that’s gonna happen”, so I guess the call went pretty well.  I thought about plugging the blog, but I would have been laughed off the airwaves. I think I made my point. Now let the Astros prove it.

Final Note: The Sega game Triple Play, which I referenced in my last blog, has a menu after the cheap ’94 credits finish. The first selection option is “Resume Season”. I’d like to officially select that option for our Astros RIGHT NOW. Maybe they thought we hit ‘start’ instead of ‘C’.

Shame on You

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , on September 16, 2008 by beckeesh

… Drayton McLane

You sold us out.  Without your stamp of approval, this either wouldn’t have happened, or it would’ve happened under serious and unified protest.

… Bud Selig

Obviously, we did not play two “home” games in Milwaukee, nor did we play two games at a “neutral” site.  We played two games in a roofed stadium full of 23,000 Cubs bleacher bums.  That’s more bleacher bums than fit at Wrigley, making it a worse venue for us than the one on Clark Street.

… Aramis Ramirez

Wow, I really didn’t know you had this in you: “If they cry about it, that’s the wrong thing to do because you’ve still got to play the game,” he said. “You’ve got to go out there and try to win ballgames. It doesn’t matter where you play or what situation you’re in. We’re on the road, too. Even though we had a lot of Cubs fans, we weren’t playing at Wrigley Field.” 

So, you’re betting you won’t face Oswalt in October?

“Off the Ledge, Tex.”

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , on September 15, 2008 by Astropolithecus

 

    Alright, everybody back away from the hurricane shattered open window.  We got no-hit. Zambrano was aces.  Pence couldn’t drop a line drive into the gap. Big Whoop. As losses go, this was one of the least stressful I’ve ever had to deal with as a fan. Seriously.

    First, it was clear that Zambrano was sick after the second inning.  Not sick in the head, per usual, but dirty bomb filthy.  Second, the Astros had experienced an atomic storm all their own, before they even faced the baby blue bull.  Their freakin’ victory today was actually flying out of Houston.  I bet it felt like The Twilight Zone as they looked down upon burning refineries on their way to play a game at “Wrigley North”. Dudes came out of the clubhouse like a limp pickle. Of course they did. I’ve never felt more calm.  Our starter and line up were flat distracted. Duh! They’re just guys dealing with extraordinary shit. None of them currently have power, and they won’t know what’s going to happen to their families in person because they are on the road for another week. That’ll take your mind off the game for a night.

No excuses. ‘Stros didn’t execute. Couldn’t catch up with the heater.  So what? We gained a half game! Two out! We’re two out! Bet that’s the first no-hitter that accomplished that!   

Got a feelin’ the Stros have a few more axes to grind tomorrow. Bet they’re refocused now. Maybe Lilly will be in the path of his own storm.  Our boys don’t get mad, they get even, a la Brad Ausmus vs. Kyle Farnsworth , a la Berkman unloading on Springer. A la Oswalt.   I predict an Astros win tomorrow. 1:05 Central.  Bring it on. 

I did hear Theriot’s basement flooded because of those little rainy storms here.  Boy, I don’t know how those Cubs can suit up every day.

Fans, no big deal. We weren’t winning this game. Period.  We just lost on a historic night.

Still don’t feel consoled? The whole country knows we got a raw deal, and they know the Astros are handling it with grace.  Cubs fans probably feel a little defensive about this Zam no-no, because of the surrounding situations.  That can’t be comfortable.  But the Houston Astros coming through a post-hurricane no hitter to reach the playoffs?! That would be one of the best baseball stories of all time. And I’ve got a feeling it will be.

STILL don’t feel better? Here are some actual Astros players from a 1994 Sega Genesis game lineup:

     {-Brian Hunter, Derek Bell, Derrick May, Rick Gutierrez, Anthony Young, Jeff Tobaka, and Mike Simms-}

Glad you’re not watching that team? Me too!!!

Remember, we, in recent history to be fair, have always played like Biggio and Bagwell. Class and talent gold standards. The Cubs? Their recent stars are Sosa , sorry, and Soriano, a man who once didn’t take the field cause he DIDN’T LIKE his position. Awww.  Their only real class acts are Lee and Theriot. Let them have a deserved walk in the sun. The Zambino machine was a stud.

I’M the one who lives in Chicago, and will have to deal with this garbage all day tomorrow.  Don’t bother me.  Think I’ll wear my Astros cap at work. 

STILL DON’T FEEL BETTER?!

 Texas made it through the hurricane, and it wasn’t as hideous as was feared. A Katrina hasn’t developed. Texas can rebuild, with a mighty effort, quickly.  And maybe they can watch the good guys from Houston win it all while they do so. It’s possible. Feel better.

Complete Bull

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2008 by beckeesh

Bud Selig’s office, in conjunction with Drayton McLane, have moved two of our three scheduled games against the Cubs to Wrigley North, er, Miller Park.  According to Uncle Drayton, this is being done out of respect for Houston fans who are undergoing hardship in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

Just goes to show you, rich people rarely know what the rest of us want.

We want to WIN.

We want the opportunity to brave flooded streets and fork over $6.50 a beer to cheer for our team.  “Go ‘Stros!” we’d shout in one of the only places in town with A/C.

But no, the team is fleeing the scene. Oops, I mean, escaping town.  Oops, I mean, leaving a disaster zone in a slightly hurried way.

Lance, la Guagua, Roy-O and co. are headed north to play a “home” game in front of 30,000 Cubs fans.   Oh, and plenty of Brewers fans.  (Which side will they be on?) 

Meanwhile, back in Houston, ‘Stros fans will, if they’re lucky, tune in the radio to hear Brett Dolan’s play by play.  (I’ll save further comment on that for another post.)

Since I’m not in Houston, I’ll be watching via satellite, saving choice and important words for our owner, who better be sitting front row center.

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Update:  If you want to get even angrier, or more depressed, please visit the Cubs and Brewers mlb message boards.  Those witty Cubs fans are promising to teach those horrible Brewers fans the words to that absolutely awful song, “Go Cubs, Go.” 

This reminds me, since we are the home team, will “Deep in the Heart of Texas” be sung during the seventh inning stretch?  Yes, imagine how ridiculous it would be.  Yes, imagine how utterly ridiculous it will be to see the Astros wearing white jerseys beneath a sea of blue.