Archive for berkman

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

Advertisements

Astros Opening Day Line-up?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by Cabeza De Vaca

Was Friday’s victory over the Phillies a glimpse into what we’ll see come opening day? Cooper fielded this starting line-up:

1. Kaz Matsui (S)
2. Ivan Rodriguez (R)
3. Lance Berkman (S)
4. Carlos Lee (R)
5. Miguel Tejada (R)
6. Hunter Pence (R)
7. Geoff Blum (S)
8. Michael Bourn (L)

Starting Pitcher: Roy Oswalt

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this batting order, so I hope it’s not set in stone. In particular, I’d really like to see Hunter Pence batting 2nd. He’s had trouble with breaking pitches, and hitting in front of Berkman should increase the amount of fastballs he gets, particularly if a speedy Matsui or Bourn is aboard. Plus, Pence is faster on the basepaths than Pudge.

The top of the order isn’t all about speed, though, it’s about on-base percentage.  I know, Pence doesn’t often see ball four, but Pudge is known for never taking walks. In his career, Pudge has struck out three times as often as he has walked. In 2007, Pudge had only a .294 OBP, walking only nine times the whole season. Last year he picked up the pace, with twenty-three bases on balls. Pudge has a .339 career OBP, mostly from his career .301 batting avg. Pence’s career on-base? .336! 

A young guy and an old guy with virtually identical on-base percentages. One on the rise, the other declining. Both righties. One with above average speed, the other with above average speed… for a catcher.

Coop, you’ve gotta bat Pence 2nd and Pudge 6th.

Also, I know this is super-trendy and all, but I’d like to see Bourn batting 9th, with the pitcher in the 8 hole. What’s the point of having Bourn’s speed in front of the pitcher’s spot? A pitcher should be capable of laying a decent enough bunt down for Blum to advance.  I’d much rather take advantage of Michael Bourn’s occasional hit or walk after the pitcher made the final out in the previous inning. It’s like keeping him as the lead-off man, but without having to see him bat so many times. Also, Matsui’s career numbers are much better in the 2nd spot in the order. So, maybe that could be a collateral benefit.

All I ask is for Cooper to put together a batting order that makes sense from day one and stick to it.  No tinkering day to day, with Tejada batting second sometimes, and Bourn leading off every once in a while.  Ol’ Scrap Iron Phil drove us nuts with that; we don’t need more of it.  This line up has people that can hit, and I just hope we fans get to see it have a chance to come together the way it should, even if it struggles at first.