Well here we go, some of the more memorable single takes from the TalkZone’s first year. At the bottom of the list, we also identify the 1998 TalkZone MVP, so you might be interested in checking out who’ll be hoisting the coveted Golden Scott Award aloft in victorious fashion…
BEST “IF I WAS THE GM” DIALOGUE OF THE YEAR
Billy, Prince Of Heck, Michael N.
The stats started flying in March when Billy’s musings on being GM and what he would do led to a heated discussion about the 12-man Padres deal in 1994 and whether or not Caminiti was a better hitter because he got off the sauce or because he got out of the Astrodome. As usual, no verdict.
BEST SINGLE TRADE SUGGESTION OF THE YEAR
Of all the thousands of trade musings witnessed on the TalkZone this season, Bert W no doubt struck a chord with everyone when suggesting this genius move…
“I’d like to see what we could get in a package deal–Clark, Scanlan and Orbit, for anybody with 4 limbs and a pair of cleats.”
MOST UNCANNY NAILED PREDICTION OF THE SEASON
After the Stros got dusted 2 straight by the Rockies at Coors, and were about to head into Cleveland for 3 against the defending AL champs, Tom S stated the following….
“I say we lose tonight, because the pitching matchup is horrible (their best pitcher against our worst). Then we come back and whup up on Gooden and Nagy to take the series 2-1.”
Game 1: Indians 4, Astros 2 (W-Colon, L-Schourek)
Game 2: Astros 9, Indians 5 (Gooden, no-decision)
Game 3: Astros 12, Indians 3 (L-Nagy, with 8 ER in 5-1/3 innings)
MOST NEGATIVITY FROM A SINGLE INDIVIDUAL
Without a doubt. With a consistent, dark perspective reminiscent of early Prince of Heck takes, PYRO is always there to flame the ‘Stros whenever they lose two in a row and especially when it’s against scrub competition. This leads us directly to our next award…
BEST USE OF THE TERM “CANDY-ASS”
After becoming sick of PYRO’s day-long rant when the Stros dropped 2 straight against the miserable Reds, Andyzipp launched the following shot across the bow…
“Luckily, I’ve only had to hear your candy-ass whining 6 times this year.” (refering to the fact that PYRO appears whenever the Astros lose two or more games in a row)
SOB STORY OF THE YEAR
After Billy brought up Michael N’s stellar career as tee-ball pitcher, the former all-star came to grips with his dark past…
“It was a sad, tragic day when I got banned for altering the tee prior to the big series in 73. Was never allowed to pitch again. A little boy’s dream shattered in one fateful, mistaken moment…”
MOST EMPHATIC SLAM OF A VILLAIN WITHOUT THE USE OF CRASS LANGUAGE
Mejias went off after being called out by YANKEE FAN on why Mejias seemed hell bent to run him out of the TalkZone when he was obviously such a tolerable non-Astros fan…
“This is an Astro message board, not an American league yankee lovin one… You are just using it (Talk Zone) as a means to brown nose some of the best fans in baseball and to every now and then get your two cents in about your “AWESOME” team. You just want attention and can’t get it on any of your bandwagon Yankee pages.”
Mejias’ blistering commentary notwithstanding, YANKEE FAN gets our vote for this one. Yeah, YANKEE FAN busted in here and started cracking on us, the Astros, the National League, and anything else that came to mind. This caused one of the greatest collective meltdowns by attendees that had ever been witnessed on the Zone since CHOPPER showed up in here during the 1997 playoffs and actually had the mysterious and rarely-seen Talk Zone Overlord ready to pull the plug. Unlike that backwards representative from the ATL, YANKEE FAN has demonstrated a level of baseball knowledge far beyond that of the average crasher, and has since revealed an interest in the Astros that actually borders on fandom. In return, we have stated in all our wisdom that the Yankees are indeed an above-average ballclub.
HONORABLE MENTION: Morpheus
The only good that came from the brutal war between the Zone regulars and the invading Cub fans in early June was the seemingly-reasonable Morpheus, who sought refuge from the candy-ass posts and tired nostalgia of the Cubs official website message board – and to talk serious baseball with a crowd that has never failed to deliver the goods.
NOTE: Of course, this is not an open invitation to opposing fans – this place isn’t for everyone. ALL opposing teams are fiercely hated at Kev & Scott’s Astros Connection. Additionally, all opposing fan nominees had to demonstrate a superhuman ability to withstand verbal assaults from Minor Opinions contributor and TalkZone bouncer Michael N to even be considered for this award.
MOST RIDICULOUS TIME OF DAY THAT A MESSAGE WAS POSTED
4:07 a.m. on a Saturday. This is even worse than some of Billy’s early posts. And we thought you people were just screwing around with this site on company time…
MELTDOWN OF THE YEAR
J-Man went gangsta on John.Jakubik when John correctly stated that gold Astros jerseys would indeed be hideous after J-Man brought up the idea in the first place…
“You must be some kind of asshole! Dont EVER! give me a response like that again or you’ll be sorry. I have ways.”
OUR FAVORITE BOSS
Let’s face it, anyone who has to supervise PYRO has to get some props. By providing plenty of latitude (and access) for one of the Zone’s darkest nay-sayers, BaddKarma had a lot of us wanting to quit and go work over there. However, after a particularly long tirade, BaddKarma eventually had to put the clamps on PYRO after demands were made to have the afternoon off to play golf.
OUR FAVORITE LAWYER
Who says lawyers are good for nothing? JB gained immediate “Official Kev & Scott Rules Of Baseball Interpreter” status when attempting to explain to Michael N exactly why Sean Bergman was charged with a run when the only runner he allowed on base in a particular inning was out at the plate during a game in Cincinnati, and why that rule was not interpreted correctly by the scorekeeper. We will definitely be consulting with JB when we assemble our extensive white paper on why the DH should be banned forever, before sending it along to the MLB executive committee.
MOST OBSCURE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW REFERENCE OF THE YEAR
After a lengthy 8-person tirade against the ATL and Chipper “Slacker” Jones that wound up with Pam admitting that her 11-year-old was indeed a Slacker Jones fan…
“Like Barney on the Andy Griffith Show used to say, “First sign of a child going wrong… ya gotta nip it in the bud… nip it!
MOST INCREDIBLE DAVE CLARK SARCASM
During the height of the TZ confusion resulting from Dierker insisting on playing Dave Clark as much as possible, Andyzipp launched this bit of titanic sarcasm in response to JJW’s defense of the oft-disappointing outfielder, and a dialect was born…
“Dave Clark is the greatest player in the History of Baseball. There has never been another human being, athlete or otherwise, as great as Dave Clark. Dave Clark is the way, the means and the light of the world. If I were a woman or in possession of an unoccupied womb, I would gladly bear Dave Clark’s children, in the hopes of producing a race of superhuman baseball players.
Dave Clark is so dear to the game that all teams should change their names to the Dave Clarks. For example, the Houston Dave Clarks lead the Chicago Dave Clarks by 5 games. In fact, baseball itself should change it’s name to Clarkball. The American League will be known as the Clark League and the senior circuit will be known affectionately as Dave. Of course, in the day-to-day operations of the game, this wouldn’t have a great enough effect. So from now on, 1st base shall be known as 1st Dave, followed by 2nd Dave, 3rd Dave and HomeClark. Singles, Doubles and Triples will remain the correct terms, but after each hit, the broadcasters must explain with emotion how much better Dave Clark would have hit the ball. Homeruns from now on will be known as Daveruns…no other slang terms will be authorized, as they are viewed as a disrespectful statement to Dave Clark.
All other players with the last name Clark will be given the choice of either changing their names to play Clarkball or writing a 5,000 word essay on the virtues of Dave Clark and hitting a Line Clark out of the BallClark… Clarkball will be played year round, except for Davegiving Day and Clarkmas, replacing all other organized sports. The word good will no longer be used in the English language and will be replaced by Dave. Outstanding will be replaced by Clark. There will be no other choices. Also, all songs written from here on out will be written about and in honor of Dave Clark. Especially love songs. The work love should also be replaced when used in instances of extreme emotion with the singular term, DaveClark. Except for country music, which will no longer be written. It does not please Dave Clark. Any use of the name Dave Clark must be capitalized. And used only when necessary. And you must have express written consent from Major League Clarkball, the Houston Dave Clarks and Dave Clark, personally.”
MOST SOLID DEFENSE OF AN OPINION
Prince of Heck
One for all the youngsters out there. Prince of Heck provided a crystal clear summation of his cleanup hitter philosophy when Astrobuddy was wondering why Derek Bell, Wade Boggs and Tony Gwynn never hit cleanup…
“The mental makeup of a line drive hitter just does not fit the cleanup hitter’s bill. They have to adapt their mental approach according to their physical abilities. Line drivers mainly look to make contact and get on base. If they are able to drive runners in, that’s a plus. A cleanup (hitter) not only should have the mental makeup to handle the pressure of knocking in runners on a regular basis, but should have the physical talent to do so.”
BEST ONE-LINER OF THE YEAR
In reference to Kevin blasting the Reds organization and Marge Schott, right after the eccentric owner wiped out and broke her hip…
“Marge the lunatic – I’m sure that the screws in her hip are loose.”
MOST BIZARRE SUBJECT LINE ANALOGY
Astros Rock, Andyzipp, Queen B, Dan Mc, dwalt
A strange phenomenon of message boards is the subject line analogy. This happens when you have a whole conversation going on just in the subject line that sometimes serves as an analogy for what these people are talking about, sometimes it serves as a unique insight to what kind of screwed-up folks visit this site.
The most whack instance of this we can think of was when the above-mentioned Zone-dwellers were debating the loyalty of Astros fans and how the team stacks up against the hated ATL. However, the subject lines, which would’ve made a fine script for use by Taco Bell’s marketing department, read something like this…
“Are there any takers for the new revolution?”
“Are you talking about the Gorditas?”
“Let’s go eat one now!”
For the record, Kev & Scott are also big fans of the Taco Bell Gordita, especially as part of Value Combo #8, but have come to the conclusion that not only do you people spend too much time here – you obviously watch too damn much TV.
MOST RIDICULOUS TAKE OF THE YEAR
During a conversation about the Astros cleanup-hitting situation, Andyzipp busted out and said that Sean Berry…
“is better than any cleanup hitter we’ve had since Franklin Stubbs.”
No further commentary is necessary.
BEST ADVICE FOR DIERKER
Mad As Hell
During the height of the Dave Clark madness, and after Mike Magnante had blown yet another lead, Mad As Hell let loose with this perfectly simple and deadly accurate perspective…
“Hey Larry, this isn’t the YMCA… not every kid should play.”
MOST ACCURATE ASSESSMENT OF THE TALK ZONE
Dan Mc summed up why the TZ is often misunderstood with this take, one that Prince of Heck would support, we’re sure.
“The problem with some folks is that they equate constructive comments with disdain and slam. If people want nothing but cheerleading for the Astros then you should probably go elsewhere. I think that most people on this site are beyond the myopic Astros rule, your team sucks -type attitude.”
We agree. However, the Astros rule and the Cubs suck.
SHOWDOWN OF THE YEAR
Michael N., Prince of Heck (numerous instances)
There have been quite a few good arguments and brawls in here, usually when we attract the attention of other teams’ fans. Who can forget the ill-mannered, all-caps-using CHOPPER from the ATL camp, the east-coast swagger of YANKEES FAN, and the Jekyll-and-Hyde demeanor of The Cubs Fan. But when it comes to sheer power debate, two Astros fans leave the rest on the sidelines – TalkZone legends Michael N. and Prince of Heck.
The classic bouts between these two often span days at a time. Regardless of the topic, TZ attendance goes through the roof whenever they square off. Stubborn and unrelenting, a negotiated truce is often the only way to stop the extreme sarcasm and flow of obscure stats.
TAKE OF THE YEAR
After the Astros ripped ex-teammate and traitor Darryl Kile in a Sunday game, his first appearance in the Dome since being traded to Colorado, and fluke 1997 MVP Larry Walker crying about how he can’t ever see the ball in the Dome…
“The Astros can take Kile out for dinner on Saturday and then feed him his lunch on Sunday. Unfortunately, his teammate Walker provided the whine.”
1998 TALK ZONE MVP
Prince of Heck
Call him negative, call him a realist, call him rude, but make sure you call him KING OF THE ZONE. Prince of Heck’s pro-pitching, grammar-correcting, ignorance-slamming, anti-platooning, fire-breathing takes have wreaked havoc on many a Zone-dweller. He brings the mad game every day without fail, and has established the standard… we’re not yet sure if this is good or not.
Once believed to be a bitter, pessimistic destroyer of fan morale, the mysterious Heck has proven instrumental in the continuing education (for better or worse) of less experienced Zone-dwellers through his strong positions on: Dierker’s constant screwing around with the lineup, why pitching is ALWAYS the key to success, and why platooning the cleanup hitter is the stupidest thing a person can do, among may others.
From the systematic dismantling of other people’s takes to the epic standoffs with fellow TZ legend Michael N, watching PoH make a point is like watching Tom Glavine carve up the Astros – you might hate it, but its gonna happen and you can’t do a damn thing about it. In recent days though, PoH has even exhibited a sense of humor, through riot-inciting subject lines like “TRADE BAGWELL!” and bizarre references to the Smurfs. Reign on, Heck – and don’t ever change.