Archive for astros

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,

Astropolithecus

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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:

Anger-managed.

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.

Astropolithecus

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 MLB.com – 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,

Astropolithecus

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

Folks,

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,

Berkmaniac

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

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

Try a bit of WADE HOUSTON’S HITTING SAUCE!

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*******

********************WARNING*****************************

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

So…Okay.

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by Astropolithecus

Guys and girls, brave Astros fans, I think it’s time for Sean Berry to go.

This hideous performance by the offense is not his fault, the guys just look awful in all facets, and that’s no more Berry’s problem than it is my problem, but he still has to go.

The facts remain that this offense, who I truly believe is better than they have almost ever appeared, has underachieved under Berry for a while.

Never have they hit on all cylinders together at the same time, and the hitting coach has to be the scapegoat for that.

I say all this with the caveat that I really like Sean Berry as a former player and coach.  Unfortunately, he has to go.

At the very least, fresh blood would stir up the dugout.

Hopefully, he could sign somewhere his style translates better.

Maybe the shame alone of getting a guy fired would improve the offense.

These are sad times, and I don’t say that just based off of this 0-8 start. Since the end of last year, our boys have looked lost.

Stay loyal dear fans, and stay patient.

Good Night and Good Luck, We May Need a Ton of It,

Berkmaniac