Author Archive

Oy Pain. Berkmaniacs are Beaten in Spirit.

Posted in Astros rivals, Ex-Astros, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2011 by Astropolithecus

In Pumorian. We weep.

It seems like our former guy, the man I loved so much to watch in the box, the man who could never really come through in the last few years for Houston, would rather pour it on now, and it seems spiteful, it seems so obvious to any Astros fan. Let Blue Jay, Brewer, or Marlins’ fans awe in Berkman’s massive one man slaughter  of the starred ones on Thursday night, we know better, Houston fans. This was the only outcome. Poetic justice and revenge play out with melancholy redundancy against our squad. The bigger the ex-player, the bigger the beating. I called this very heinous Berkman beat down to my father via e-mail in March. Should have spent the week in Vegas.

But the truth is that Lance was only going to succeed somewhere else. He had battled under too many injuries and expectations for too long in Texas, with a team “sort of” built around him, and glory fading from him in every at bat. Not to his fault, he gave everything, but  we all knew he’d never be the same in Houston, there was too much history. It was like when we went to the World Series, Berkman and the other boys of summer left us at the altar, and instead of worshipping them as our heroes, we felt embarrassed, hung out to dry by our listless ‘Stros in the biggest spotlight. This isn’t actually true, our guys played hard in that four game sweep, but after that, the fan base was stung, and the team was dismantled, forever rustling Berkman’s feathers because, let’s face it, all his buddies either retired or were traded away.

The Puma’s renaissance in St. Louis comes with fresh perspective, patience, and protection in the line up. We should only wish him the best, always, even if he enjoyed pummeling his former team a little bit too much this series.

After all, we have a new, hungry squad, out from under the Berkman and Oswalt shadow, and playing like a group that wants a taste of victory, even if their taste buds have been fried by one of the foulest flavored bullpens Houston has ever had. (I hope only so far: Really, your name is ABAD? Even that joke is too easy to hit.)  Bourn, Pence, and Wallace could not be themselves if old Puma was still holding court in H-town.

So breathe out Houston diehards, be glad you survived the inevitable with one win, and know that it’s possible, if Fat Elvis keeps playing like this, we’ll see his happy ass in Cooperstown. And he wouldn’t be caught dead there in Cardinal red, no matter what anyone says.

May Lance Hit This Well Against The Cubs,


The Brewers Don’t Have Stars on Thars

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2011 by Astropolithecus

Okay , Houston happies, I officially hate Miller Park. It’s like a satire of Minute Maid Park. “If Houston was good, they would play here..”

Also, always, ALWAYS, Houston seems lost here. “Where are we?” they utter as they stumble around, “Oh, this isn’t our park, oh, but it was our park against the Cubs once, we got no hits, oh no, now we’re scared and confused…”  and then they wander about the field until they lose, like loveable penguins that forgot which way to go on the ice, and then fall over.

Miller Park is a crap hole, it’s dumb and I hate it. Waaah.

How does Houston respond to their first series win, their first back to back wins?  They give up 23 runs the next two games. Atta boy, fellas, that’ll strike the fear of god into our road opponents.

We can still win the series, though. And Michael Bourn is on a tear. Our offense overall is looking okay. All is not lost.

The ‘Stros just always lose at Miller Park. And Citifield. And every park in California. But they haven’t lost in Montreal in years.

I miss the Expos. Sigh. I’m gonna go watch the 12-2 Cub beat down highlights now.



All Houston Astros Fans, I Need Your Help!!! (or, “Politics at the Park”, or “Any Dems on the Diamond?!!”)

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2011 by Astropolithecus

Hey Ho Houston Happies,

I’ve got something on my squeaky mind right now, and I need some help. Maybe Beckeesh, maybe Nick, our other authors can help, but anyone’s help is gratefully appreciated.

Okay, here it is, don’t flinch: Astros politics. I hate mixing politics and sports, except to say I can’t think of a greater bipartisan venue than our american past-time.   Who cares who Hunter Pence voted for when he’s screaming his way around the bases for a game ending RBI double? One of my favorite things about baseball is the ability to leave it all on the field, no matter our wildly different views on national issues.  BUT – BUT  BUUTTTTT– I’m weary of the assumption of many affiliated with the Astros organization that every fan is a staunch republican by default.  I’m not here to espouse any political viewpoints, but I do cringe when the Astros always acknowledge G. Bush 1 and his wife as if they are english royalty. I mean, granted, in Texas they pretty much are, but Houston is a diverse city, giving it a diverse fan base of Latinos and many others not generally associated with the white-collar oil syndicate. Not to bash the rich white Houstonians too much, I mean they are very important to the Astros existence, whether we like it or not, but many people, especially in Houston, have not forgotten Barbara Bush’s idiotic “sleepover” comments to the stranded victims of Katrina in the Superdome, and I, for one, am not ready to knight her grand dame of my favorite ballclub. At all. period.   ZZ Top is a much better option for Astros Ambassadors in my opinion. And I’m too polite to even mention the Enron fiasco (oh, whoops!).

GOP in the Good Seats

"Barb's hot, could you close the roof?"

Again, I’m not saying it’s not exciting to acknowledge a former president’s presence at the ballgame, it is, but I had to sit through Milo Hamilton’s long-winded praise for the Republican party, for G.W., and his dad, and some major figure associated with them as a speech writer (sorry, I forget the name right now, please feel free to help me out), this was DURING A BROADCAST, and it pisses me off!! I’d like to know what’s going on on the field occasionally, Milo.  I mean, Hamilton, legendary as he is, has already become hard to listen to, between his confusion of play on the field and his persistent capitalism with every breath (that criticism is for another post however), and I don’t want to know his damn political views. It really turned me off, and I bet it chapped other Astros fan asses as well. I mean, republicans are why we have the Rangers, right? Or is that just me?

So, between that, Berkman’s unabashed conservative views in years past, and the fishy political leanings of “Faith and Family Night”, I send out a plea to the other sides. I bet the Astros clubhouse, with their  inner diversity, is amicably divided, and I’d like our fan base to create  the same amicable division. Please let us know, through careful research or hear say or straight up gossip, which Astros/prominent Astros fans are democrats. Or independents. Who in the clubhouse or in the broadcast crew supports current  President Obama? I’d like to even up the playing field. I want to see the “blue”, or the “green”, or hell, the “yellow”  side of the Astros organization. It’s only fair to know, or to speculate on.  Please fill the comment section with your thoughts on this!

Then we can go back discussing, as one, how our squad keeps blowing late leads.


Wilton Wilts Comeback Hopes.

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2011 by Astropolithecus

You know, for a guy that is constantly praised for his great stuff and his former consistently great performance by the Astros radio crew, I myself am beginning to wonder. He’s got excellent stuff sometimes, and I like him, but good God, I’ve rarely seen a reliever prop open a door like he did tonight. When your own error is the icing on a three run gimme cake for the Cubs, that is a terrible outing. Still, I say we give “Lopey” a few more starts to work out of it before we start the fan panic.  After all, Lyon is throwing much better now that his hideous opening day is more in the  rearview mirror.

Here is Zambrano’s take on the subject:


Thanks Z, I couldn’t agree more. Derrek Lee sends his regards.

So Astros fans, we are an awful 3-9 to begin this season, and the worst part is I doubt very many of us are surprised. It’s embarrassing, especially with Berkman and Oswalt currently succeeding elsewhere, and even Pirates fans eyeing us with pity.

I will say this, though. And I mean it with that squirrelly instinct that rises up in me from time to time (an instinct I often laugh off and doubt but usually ends up being right): the Astros have looked pretty good in their nine losses. Sure, certain parts of the squad have played horrendously, and at inopportune moments, and our bullpen worries me more than it has in a long time, but we are in all of these games.

Our two comebacks against the Cubs fell short, but there we were, actually battling and playing with spirit. The team even seems confident.  I have a feeling that if a few breaks tip our way, we may start playing more consistently, we may get hot, and float right around .500 until the all-star break, which for Houston would be solid progress.

The Padres, hitting poorly, stroll into town tomorrow night. They always seem to beat the pants off of us, but if we can take three of four, we might see a young and dismissed squad hit a hot streak.

We’re a few bad innings from being 6-6, and that, believe it or avoid it, is good news.


From Feisty Fish to Whiny Bears.

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2011 by Astropolithecus

Hey, nice win Houston. Way to clamp down for that 2nd win. It was a good win, although I’d like to see the Astros slogan change from “See if we can avoid the sweep” to “.500 is a thousand to us”.

Major positive from the Astros 7-1 win: Doubles!!! Showing some gap power. Very cool to see some balls drilled high and hard and not just high.

Major positive 2: Downs, Quintero, and Sanchez, oh my! These guys are playing their Texas Pecans off! I love it! Seriously, Q can be a Yadier M. type player if he can keep hitting like this.  No more going for three though please, unless the ball is stuck in the scoreboard.

Super Negative 1: we “jumped” to 2-7. If we can’t one year play better early, we’ll never compete, not even in the drunk tortoise race that will make up the NL Central this year.

Super Negative 2: CITIBANK ON MY HIGHLIGHTS!!!!!!!!! If I have to hear the “you got a weather balloon with points” techno rap one more time, I will buy a weather balloon with my CHASE points and hang myself with it. Holy hell!! Before every freaking highlight!? “weather balloon with points. Yeah, I did.”  Well, Citibank, you put it out there, so I’ll tell you. That is one of the stupidest ads I’ve ever seen. It’s embarrassing faux hip, it doesn’t explain anything, it has nothing to do with baseball or sports, and no one who needs a weather balloon will ever buy it with Citibank points. I’d rather watch Nomar step out of the batter’s box a hundred times (two at-bats) than ever, EVER open a Citibank account. And – for SSHHAMMME –  before every damn highlight!? We can put up with a few product placements now and then but- BUT- it’s becoming a trial and boredom to watch video of our favorite sport on your website for one simple reason – you’re greedier than sin. Quit acting like the National Coalition of Avon Ladies and give us some room to breathe between ads and “deals”.

How about an ad every five highlights and it can be twenty seconds? Whaddaya say, a compromise?

MAJOR POSSIBLE FUTURE HIGHLIGHT: We sweep the Cubs in Houston to go to 5-7. Bourn steals 7 bags, Johnson bangs up the out-of-town scoreboard, Downs hits a walk-off jack, and Q. picks off Soriano at third to win game 3.   Oh wait, Soriano doesn’t bother to step off the bag…someone else then.

Look out for Aramis the Ex-Pirate. Dude is swinging molten lumber.

Searching for Artifacts of Great Seasons Past,


Wow, It’s an Astros Jungle out there.

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2011 by Astropolithecus

Okay, I admit first that Houston is playing hideous “monkey escapes the zoo” baseball. That is the form of baseball in which, much like a chimp breaking out of its cage, a team beginning the season doesn’t run free or gain any ground but instead freaks out, looks ridiculous, is completely wild, and swings at everything. Everyone is embarrassed for the escaped ape, they feel bad for it, and it ends up covered in its own poo before being sedated.

But before tranquilizing these young Astros and putting them back into their cage until 2012, I’d like to grant this HAPP-less young squad a caveat. They are certainly playing poorly, but they are also experiencing hilariously bad luck. Five errors, Scorched line drives caught by the suddenly brilliant Phillips, and smarmy little droopy bloops falling all over the field for the Reds and Phillies. Also, the strike zone, at least according to Gamecast, seemed all over the place. Who umpired home tonight, Frank Drebin?

And the best of all, at an incredibly crucial point in the game, Towles rares up on a pitch and is ready to fire a strike to third base when his arm catches the stalwartly motionless bat held like a true champion by Ramon Hernandez. Damn, Ramon, you’re a bona fide hero, standing there like a bump on a log. Almost as breathtaking as you’re opening day three run bomb. Next time I hope he throws it into the side of your helmet.

Yes, that is the right call, error on Towles, as all the Reds come around to score, but you know tonight, if that had been the Astros, there would have been a batter’s interference call, and the umps would have called every visiting player out for the next three innings. What the hell?! His arm hit the damn bat? I’ve never even seen that before. And when a red-hot team is given freakish momentum, they will dance on your grave. 12-4.

A painful way to start the season, facing the three toughest aces in baseball and then the team that tormented you all last year in their house. Still, you should be able to win one in each series. We’ll be very lucky to win tomorrow.

I like to think some demons have been exorcised early, and that we’ll start to play some real baseball coming up shortly. I also like to believe I might win the lottery every week.

Still Houston, let’s try to prove all the doubters wrong instead of backing them up so assertively.

At least bite the zookeeper a few times before he shoves you back in your enclosure. We, the fans, have earned a little fight.

Going Bananas Early,

Berkmaniac (soon changing his moniker)

P.S. Bright spot of the post – We have an excellent manager. It may not seem so at the moment, but he is a strong leader and the Astros are lucky to have him.

It’s Official Astros Fans: Never Gonna Happen 2010

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2010 by Astropolithecus


Though our fair broadcasters on both radio and television might gloss over  a very ugly season by not saying anything very negative or critical, I want to make an announcement. Houston is done as of today, June 19th. This is from an eternal Astros optimist.

We are a crap team this year, and for the first time since I can remember I’m questioning the effort team wide, which bothers me deeply. Oswalt wants to leave, and rightly so.

I say blow it up and start all over.  Youth movement in Houston helmed by new hitting coach Bagwell is about the best we can hope for in the next two years.   Buckle down, ladies and gentlemen, judging by the listless nature of this mediocre squad, your fandom will be tested Pittsburgh Pirates style until the blessed day in early October when this train wreck(Wooo!Wooo! my ass) is over.

I knew the playoffs would be a miracle, but I never imagined what I’ve been watching these last 3 months. Only up from here, I hope.

Onward and Upward,


Armando Call-a-robbed-a

Posted in Ump Dump., Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2010 by Astropolithecus

I would just like this to be his new nickname. Armando Callarobbeda. The Perfect Shame. Isn’t this some how better than a perfect game, as a painful as it is?

In a gesture of karma,  Joyce’s car was found stripped as he headed out of the stadium. Of course, it happened in the bottom of the first.

Detroit baby! !

Callarobbeda’s car was stripped out of sympathy.

Detroit baby!

Existentialists all agree, if you look carefully at the replay in super HD slo-mo, you’ll see Joyce distracted on the call by the sudden vicious recognition of urban plight.

Detroit baby!Oh, JACKSON!

Finally, I’d like  to point out that the guy from American Chopper shouldn’t be making calls in the first place.  Go work on your Hog!

Armando. Callarobbeda.

You heard it here first.


Say There, Need A Tonic What Ails Your Rubber Arm?

Posted in Astros rivals, Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by Astropolithecus


Okay ladies and germs, now listen good and listen fast and listen with your wallets out, no seriously folks I’m only gonna say it three or four hundred more times, no now I’m absolutely serious, so listen tight, peel your ears proper and lean close to my friendly lips whilst I reveal to you this fine evening the most locked down, whizbang, firecracker, hardsmack, sharp as diamond can’t miss cure for  all your pitching troubles.

Your team struggling? Right at .500? WAYYYYY BEELLOOOOWW .500? Not a problem here! Got a wily veteran losing his stuff?A young gun with a herky jerky throwing motion? Wild man who can’t find the plate?  Mental case?  Just your standard ace in need of a real confidence booster?  Heck be burned I’ve got The SOLUTION!

Why bottled and glittering right here on my state of the art sanitized portable laboratory table I’ve got two ounces of the best kept secret in all of stickball! See now, just three drops of WADE HOUSTON’S HITTING SAUCE, and those pitiful pitchers will perk up like hounds at a hotdog stand!

This sauce is a scientific miracle for revolutionary relief. Drawn from the center of each Houston Astros game used baseball bat, this cold, syrupy, flavorless goo is sure to wipe out any lineup!

Simply sneak into your visiting clubhouse, flick three drops onto any bat of your choosing, even pour it on their fancy catered spread, and watch the futile unfold!

I promise your pitcher has never had it so hunky dory! He’ll think he’s Cy Young reincarnated!

I have clients in San Francisco that swear by the stuff. Trust me!

You’ll see more first pitch swinging, pop up lifting, caught looking, ground outing, double play inducing goodness than you can shake a stick at. Or shake a stick at and miss for that matter! No seriously folks, I tell you with WADE HOUSTON’S HITTING SAUCE your paralyzed grandmother could pitch a three hit complete game shutout backwards against the New York Yankees!

Facing a patient hitter? Not anymore!

In town against a team with thunder rolling in the middle of the lineup? More like refreshing spring showers for your starting staff!

Worried about an overworked bullpen? Ha! Tuck those late inning babies tight at 9:30 sharp, because they won’t be needed this series!

And all after only ONE application of WADE HOUSTON’S HITTING SAUCE!

It’s just one thin dime, one tenth of a dollar for 15 drops of my most efficient elixir!

Here now, all of you step right up and make me the richest man this side of the Mississippi! And I thank you dearly for your business!

******side effects may include harmless infield singles and long home-run distance foul balls: Do not be alarmed*******


Never, under any circumstances, open a bottle inside your own clubhouse!!!

Put on a Braves face.

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , on May 1, 2010 by Astropolithecus


I don’t know if this Houston squad can survive another eight game losing skid.  More injuries, more errors, more guys left on base, and less homers than Kelly Johnson by himself.

The Braves are currently eating us alive, and as an Astros fan I’m embarrassed and worried.  Embarrassed because we might not even be in the fight when June rolls around, and worried because I don’t see things getting a lot better over the next few years.

Where did our franchise go wrong? Something smacks hideous when our only World Series appearance featured two steroid monkeys on the mound.

I hate being a hater, but these scrappy guys are a thin losing streak away from being permanently on the scrap heap this season, and I’m afraid we’ll ship Oswalt and Berkman shortly thereafter. Couldn’t blame them if they wanted to leave at this point.

Here’s to hoping they pull off  the miracle run. I’d love to eat these pessimistic words in a few months.

Onwards and Upwards,