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Messages - Kent's Moustache

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Talk Zone / Belisle
« on: July 12, 2009, 09:45:01 pm »
MLB Transactions page shows that the Rockies called up Belisle, apparently in conjunction with Embree's broken leg and trip to the DL:

Talk Zone / Re: Astros claim Chris Coste
« on: July 10, 2009, 08:47:29 pm »
Chris Coste?  Can he ride...ride like the wind.  Ride like the wind?

Maybe he got caught between the moon and New York City.

Talk Zone / Re: Roy on the trading block
« on: July 07, 2009, 02:07:28 pm »

Is he a rancher?

I think that only works for Panamanian ranchers.  And New Englanders who hunt.

Talk Zone / Former Astros farmhand Brooks Conrad
« on: July 06, 2009, 01:59:28 pm »
...made a triumphant debut with the Braves this weekend:

Good for him.

Talk Zone / Re: hey, LSU
« on: July 05, 2009, 08:47:23 pm »
Clark, Tucker, Wood, and probably Belt are gone, right?

Yep, and 3B Torres.

There are some really intriguing freshman (if they don't sign) coming down the pipe in '09-'10, especially OFs Williams and Walla and LHP/1B Cain.

Talk Zone / Re: infielder German Duran
« on: July 05, 2009, 08:38:17 pm »
I was on-hand to see Duran win the HR Derby at the Texas League All-Star Game in Corpus in '07.  For a relatively small guy, he's got a lot of pop.  Plate discipline and pitch recognition apparently proved to be problems, however, during his stints in the Show and in the PCL.

A nice pickup, nonetheless, IMO.

Talk Zone / Re: Ryan on CC
« on: April 06, 2009, 10:17:19 am »
WFW, and you and i both know what is the basis for your attitude.

This ad hominem crap is just weak.  And your trademark "WFW" bounces in the dirt when you use it to avoid addressing the issue at hand.  Either argue the point or don't.

After you get a chance to see Oklahoma at the Dell Diamond this season, let us know what you think about, e.g., Redhawk starters Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland.

Talk Zone / Re: Ryan on CC
« on: April 06, 2009, 08:24:26 am »
bitterness does not become you. time to move on.

i'll give up my season ticket when that happens.

My comment wasn't fueled by anything approaching "bitterness," nor do I feel any "bitterness" towards anyone in Round Rock.  That organization is still one of the classiest and best run in all of minor league baseball.  Unfortunately, however, Reid & Co. don't have any control over the player-personnel who fill their uniforms.

If you can't concede the inarguable difference in talent levels between, say, the Oklahoma and RR rosters or the Frisco and CC rosters, then we just can't have an intelligent discussion on this subject.  The results on the diamonds will speak for themselves.

Talk Zone / Re: Ryan on CC
« on: April 05, 2009, 12:25:32 am »
It is wishful thinking. Ryan is the president of the Rangers. Austin will be watching Rangers up-and-comers soon.

Well, that'll make Round Rock a more enjoyable team to watch.

Talk Zone / Re: We are being taunted
« on: August 11, 2008, 04:29:08 pm »
We want pravata on that wall, we need him on that wall

You believe that, don't you, Danny? That I'm here to help you in any way I can?

Talk Zone / Re: In case anyone cares...
« on: August 11, 2008, 04:17:17 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: In case anyone cares...
« on: August 11, 2008, 04:00:59 pm »
Without any of the resulting home runs.

So, he's the Amarillo version of Dunn.

Steady winds, but much less rain.

Talk Zone / Re: And the 'Most Loyal Fans in Baseball' are...
« on: August 10, 2008, 06:01:53 pm »
So if you keep showing up year after year by the millions for a shitty team with no pitching, you win an award?  Stay classy, DFW.

You could sweeten a pitcher of iced tea with that irony right there.

Beer and Queso / Re: Cheeleaders breaking stereotypes
« on: August 08, 2008, 02:37:11 pm »
Which comes in handy when they get stuck in an elevator.

The fact that they are milkmen?  Or the fact that they can yell?

Beer and Queso / Re: Go for the Gusto
« on: August 04, 2008, 06:07:58 pm »
It's good... if you like Old Milwaukee filtered through a bum's ass crack and then left to warm in the sun for several hours.

Beer and Queso / Re: The Dark Knight - Spoilers!
« on: July 26, 2008, 06:12:49 pm »
I thought that Bruce Wayne was performed and written fabulously, but was generally bored by Batman in this movie (comparatively speaking, the rest of the movie was absolutely riveting and the Batman bits were just good).

I know I'm probably supposed to appreciate each character independently of the other, but Bale's turn as Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho" enhances his performance as Bruce Wayne, IMO.  I kept waiting for Batman to get angry and kill someone for having a better business card than he.

Talk Zone / Re: Unsurprising Joe Morgan story
« on: July 25, 2008, 12:58:26 pm »
I wouldn't have wished another knee injury on Morgan, but wouldn't it have been great if Parker had caught him square in the larynx and done irreparable damage?  Or, perhaps a catastrophic tongue injury?

Talk Zone / Re: One injustice, somewhat remedied:
« on: July 22, 2008, 01:36:49 pm »
Maybe I'm crazy, but D.D. Lewis was no slouch out there. I would not even begin to lump him in with Killebrew.

I'm not saying that Lewis was bad, but watch some game film of the 2001 Big 12 title game for a primer on how not to play "Mike" LB.  CU's very good OL exposed his fundamental shortcomings (e.g., taking false steps, playing with his shoulders perpendicular to the LoS, over-pursuing and not playing inside-out) all day long, and Chris Brown ran wild, accordingly.

As Longhorn fans, we tend to over-remember Simms' mistakes and the roughing-the-punter penalty on Geiggar, but under-remember how poorly our defense played against the run and how Barnett all but let us back into the game with that moronic fake punt call that Rod Babers returned for a pick-six.

As for Lewis' pro career, it's noteworthy to me that he has made a career in the League as an outside LB, which plays to his strengths (his natural athletic ability) rather than his weaknesses (his fundamentals).

Talk Zone / Re: ok, folks
« on: July 22, 2008, 01:28:18 pm »
If the team is legitimately going to pursue the "pitching & defense" strategy, then why would Lee be untouchable?

Talk Zone / Re: One injustice, somewhat remedied:
« on: July 22, 2008, 10:00:57 am »
changed your tune, eh? now it is the kids who do not want the tradition. yesterday you were asserting that Your Hero was maintaining the tradition. you're just one more sycophant at the feet of the best PR guy since Clinton.

I didn't change dick.  Unless you're suggesting that Mack force a Rod Muckelroy or a Sergio Kindle to wear #60, then how can it possibly be Mack's fault that only a couple of our recent LBs have worn #60?

Furthermore, as a UT football fan, I'm sure you've noticed that our LB play hasn't exactly been stellar during the Mack Brown era.  In fact, one could very reasonably argue that our LBs have been the defense's weak link over the course of the past several seasons.  Did you really want to see Mack putting, e.g., D.D. Lewis, Aaron Harris, or Robert Killebrew in #60?

IMO, Renfro and Johnson wore #60 because they earned it.  Frankly, no one other than those two has earned that right in the last decade.  I'd love to see a Muckelroy or Norton or Robinson earn that right in the near future.

Talk Zone / Re: One injustice, somewhat remedied:
« on: July 21, 2008, 11:05:25 pm »
do not lecture me about being a Longhorn fan, and at least learn what the tradition was. Derrick Johnson's number was 11, and his wearing #60 was a PR deal, not something awarded to him to wear for the entire season. now please tell me Dusty Renfro wore #60 because of the tradition of wearing it all season it in the footsteps of Nobis.

I'm well aware that Renfro and Johnson wore #60 only for select games.

Have you stopped to consider, Jim, that young, badass LBs in the 21st Century don't want to wear the #60 for an entire season?  Or, any number higher than #49, for that matter?  Take a look around college football and count the number of LBs whom you see sporting "old school" LB numbers in the 50s and 60s.

Times have changed.  These kids didn't grow up watching Nobis and Butkus.  They grew up idolizing the Miami and Florida State LBs of the 1990s, whose jersey numbers mostly coincided with backs and kickers, not OLs.  Look at the numbers that Texas' best LBs in recent seasons have chosen for themselves.  #11.  #2.  #38.

But, no, it's all Mack's fault, right?  Spare me the "lecturing" crap.  In the words of the master, WFW.

Talk Zone / Re: Q update
« on: July 21, 2008, 02:19:13 pm »
Given that Salty and Ramirez have both been projected as "maybe we'll move him to 1b", and Teagarden's shoulder injury made his throwing a question mark, I'm going to say no.

I'll agree that Salty and Ramirez are hitters first and backstops second (perhaps, a distant second).  However, both Laird and Teagarden seem cut more from the Ausmus cloth, in terms of their ability to handle a staff and their work behind the plate.

Teagarden had a bum shoulder in the past, but he threw out the only attempted base-stealer he's seen in the Show thus far, and his shoulder is apparently healthy enough to earn him a spot on the Olympic team.

Talk Zone / Re: One injustice, somewhat remedied:
« on: July 21, 2008, 02:14:47 pm »
His Excellency Coach Brown did not honor that tradition. i read the list, and Moreland's not on it. baffling.

UT finally retired my number, and it is about time. when you see that 23 on the wall, think of me.

Wrong again.  Derrick Johnson and Dusty Renfro have both worn #60 during Mack's tenure.

"I'm excited that a player in 2004 cares enough about tradition that he called Tommy Nobis and asked permission to wear No. 60," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "Derrick said he wanted to wear it for all the great defensive players in the history of Texas. For a guy with No. 11 jerseys all over the stadium, that's a great message."

I don't understand the need among a certain faction of "old school" Texas fans to demonize Brown, particularly in light of the way in which he has encouraged reconnecting to our traditions--including bringing Coach Royal meaningfully back into the program--and fielded consistent winners.  It was a long time between 1970 and 2005.

Talk Zone / Re: Q update
« on: July 21, 2008, 01:47:49 pm »
After acquiring Miguel Tejada this year, the Astros talking to Pudge would not surprise me one bit.

That's what happens when your front office is more concerned with the PR splash of its transactions than their baseball soundness...

Talk Zone / Re: Oswalt to the DL
« on: July 21, 2008, 11:01:55 am »
Maybe Ed Wade just REALLY wants to see what Jack Cassel can do.

Or, maybe, after his celebrated ass-whipping at the hands of Chacon, Wade is spoiling for a chance to redeem himself in the Astros' dining room/mixed martial arts league.

Talk Zone / Re: Q update
« on: July 21, 2008, 10:58:49 am »
The Rangers currently have a glut of relatively young catchers (Laird, Salty, Ramirez, and Teagarden).

Anyone interested in casting for one of those fish?

Talk Zone / Re: Speaking of Benito Santiago...
« on: July 18, 2008, 10:41:41 am »
Tekulve and O. Nixon

I never regarded Otis Nixon as being particularly ugly.  I just always wondered how he managed, physically, to pair the face of a 70-something chain smoker with the body of an athletic 30-something OF.

Talk Zone / Re: Speaking of Benito Santiago...
« on: July 17, 2008, 02:38:02 pm »

A familiar face... unfortunately...

Beer and Queso / Re: alabama or bust
« on: July 17, 2008, 02:32:22 pm »
FloraBama is located between Gulf Shores and Perdido.  It used to be in a somewhat isolated spot back when I went there in college, but I hear there's been a lot of development around it now.  It's an institution, worth checking out at least once.

Sea-n-Suds was a good spot for fried food and cold beer.  There also used to be a bar called the Pink Pony Pub, I believe, that had fun live music.

Talk Zone / Re: Caption Contest
« on: July 16, 2008, 01:10:49 pm »
I swear, I was THEES close to landing the role of Sky in the "Mamma Mia" movie...

Talk Zone / Re: Looking ahead.
« on: July 15, 2008, 09:31:33 am »
So let's say you make a run at Garland and Sheets, and add them to Oswalt and Hernandez. 

Is starting pitching really your problem at that point?

Maybe tap the brake a little on Garland.  If he were pitching for any team lesser than the Angels, his name would sound a lot more like Gil Meche.

Talk Zone / Re: All-Star lineups
« on: July 14, 2008, 01:26:29 pm »
It's a night game, so I hope he remembers to take his sunglasses.

[golf clap]

Beer and Queso / Re: Applebee's
« on: July 03, 2008, 05:06:00 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: Chacon Suspended
« on: June 26, 2008, 12:02:05 am »
I find it difficult to believe that you think anyone is arguing that Chacon should have assaulted him.

...particularly considering that my last post expressly stated:

I'm not saying that Chacon should escape punishment.  If he's man enough to put Wade down, then he ought to be man enough to accept the consequences.

IMO, any grown man who thinks that he ought to be permitted to verbally and profanely abuse another grown man without any expectation of violent ramification is both (a) naive, and (b) in need of an important life-lesson.

I refrain from verbally abusing my family members, my subordinates at work, and other people whom I encounter because it's the right thing to do.  For people who lack such self-imposed moral tethers, however, the law of the jungle can come in downright handy.

Game Zone 2008 Archive / Re: 6-25-08 Rangers v. Astros
« on: June 25, 2008, 11:53:32 pm »
Max to the Max. 2-run home run.

Interesting note on Rangers rookie Max Ramirez--he was called up during a Texas League game between the Frisco RoughRiders and your own Corpus Christi Hooks last Friday night.

Ramirez hit a bomb off Hooks starter Bogusevic in his second AB of the game (and what turned out to be his last minor league AB) and was lifted from the game shortly thereafter, apparently just after Rangers catcher Gerald Laird suffered his hamstring injury.

Talk Zone / Re: Chacon Suspended
« on: June 25, 2008, 11:42:49 pm »

And an even larger problem in our society is too many grown men among us think they are justified to commit physical violence because they feel they've been "dissed".

Which of our posited "problems" would you say is a bigger concern in, e.g., River Oaks vs. the Fifth Ward?

We're not talking about bangers putting caps in asses because someone was from the wrong 'hood.  We're talking about two professionals who occupy the highest tax bracket.

I'm not saying that Chacon should escape punishment.  If he's man enough to put Wade down, then he ought to be man enough to accept the consequences.

Talk Zone / Re: Chacon Suspended
« on: June 25, 2008, 11:28:04 pm »
No, the bully is the young, strong guy who choked the skinny old man, threw him to the ground, and jumped on top of him. Wade's behavior, in my mind, isn't even up for discussion.

One of the larger problems in our society, IMO, is the fact that too many grown men among us think that they can say whatever they please to another grown man without any ramifications.  Some folks apparently have to learn that lesson the hard way.

I'd like to think that getting manhandled by Chacon would teach Wade the lesson, but I don't know if you can teach an old Philly pawn shop dealer new tricks.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Round Rock Express
« on: June 24, 2008, 10:04:58 pm »
Newhan has been promoted to the bigs.  I wonder who they willpromote from CC?

Is Val Majewski good enough to go to AAA or will they promote one of the erstwhile regulars (Hart/Iorg/Einertson)?

I'm leaning toward the new guy (or maybe another dose of Richard Paz) as the most likely.

Hart is hurt.  Irog and Einertson don't need to be anywhere near AAA pitching.  They're both already struggling mightily against the AA variety.

Talk Zone / Re: Just Wait for the Movie
« on: June 22, 2008, 09:55:40 am »
well said. i dont see no tombstone yet

Cue Pinwheel in 3... 2... 1...

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Chris Johnson
« on: June 22, 2008, 09:54:08 am »

What is your impression of Bogusevic? Another wasted 1st rounder?

I haven't seen enough of Bogusevic to justify any sweeping pronouncements.  From what I've seen, however, he works behind in the count too much and up in the zone too much.  Not a good combination.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Chris Johnson
« on: June 22, 2008, 09:51:02 am »
How did he look around the bag otherwise?

He really wasn't challenged much at third during the game I saw, other than on the hot-shot on which he was injured.  He attacked that ball well, squared up and stayed down on it, but it took a nasty hop when it got to the dirt and caught him on the chin.  To Johnson's credit, he still tracked the ball down and prevented any extra bases even after getting drilled.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Chris Johnson
« on: June 21, 2008, 01:16:49 am »
Johnson may have to miss a few games, after taking a hot grounder off the chin tonight in Frisco.

He'll undoubtedly need some stitches to close the wound, but, thankfully, there doesn't appear to be any structural damage to his jaw or chin.  If that ball had hit him in the mouth... yikes.

Talk Zone / Re: Mariners fire manager, hire Riggleman
« on: June 19, 2008, 01:25:14 pm »
I don't think you can put that on the manager.

Omar Minaya strongly disagrees... especially at about 3:00am.

Talk Zone / Re: Milton Bradley
« on: June 12, 2008, 05:24:21 pm »

True enough.

After perambulating around the story a bit more, it appears some or a lot of this may end up blowing back on Lefebvre after all, so I am happy about that.

And whoever said they were glad MB is a Ranger, maybe we won't be so glad in a couple of weeks.  Bradley is having a really good year (on the field, anyway.)

Damn straight.  Bradley ranks among the AL leaders in nearly every positive offensive category right now.

I've heard Hamilton, Young, and Kinsler all interviewed about Bradley in recent days.  All three of them called Bradley a great teammate.

Beer and Queso / Re: John Adams
« on: June 12, 2008, 09:42:33 am »
There are many outstanding scenes in the series, but my favorite thus far is Adams' presentation/meeting with George III.  Highly entertaining.

That was a powerful scene.

I also thought that David Morse did a subtle and nicely understated turn as George Washington.

I'm still pissed at Deadwood's passing.  Criminal.

As am I.  Maybe this will help stem your frustration:

Talk Zone / Re: Disgusted in Seattle
« on: June 05, 2008, 10:03:54 pm »
Basically it was the entire season's worth of losing, now being the worse team in the MLB after expectation were that the acquisition of Bedard would make them the AL West favorite.  It all came to a head last night, so Bavasi (GM) ordered all the players to sit in their cubicles and face the media like men.  All of them complied except for Richie Sexson, who basically said "screw you".  While this was happening, McLaren was melting down in the press room with his post game comments.  And to top it off, the team president (don't remember his name) went off on the players and managers/coaches.

Tough times in Seattle.

Sexson ought to shut his mouth and thank his lucky stars that he still draws a paycheck from the Mariners.  And, an embarrassingly oversized one, at that.

Beer and Queso / Re: youtube music
« on: June 04, 2008, 10:30:50 am »
My second favorite Indian pop star, behind only:

Talk Zone / Re: What's best for J.R. ?
« on: May 28, 2008, 06:21:32 pm »
Separated at birth:  Sapp and Phil Krundle.

Jan Wolfhouse: So yeah, I heard you got fired from the brewery?

Phil "Landfill" Krundle:  God damn brewery! You know that brewery makes 10,000 bottles of beer a day. I drink 45 of them, and I'm the asshole!

Talk Zone / Re: What's best for J.R. ?
« on: May 28, 2008, 02:48:20 pm »
According to - FA catchers this offseason:

Rod Barajas (33)
Michael Barrett (32)
Johnny Estrada (33)
Jason Kendall (35) - club option for '09; vests with 110 games played in '08
Paul Lo Duca (37)
Miguel Olivo (30) - $2.7MM club option for '09 with a $0.1MM buyout
Ivan Rodriguez (37)
David Ross (32)
Jason Varitek (37)
Gregg Zaun (38)

That, folks, is not a good list.

Olivo is quietly having a strong offensive season.  I can't comment knowledgeably on his defensive skills.

Talk Zone / Re: Photoshop
« on: May 28, 2008, 10:59:37 am »
I guess there's no Hippocratic oath in IT, despite this twat having the outward appearance of a hippo.

I laughed.  And, I still don't understand what either has to do with a horse...

Beer and Queso / Re: Books
« on: May 19, 2008, 02:28:14 pm »
Tipping Point


If you liked "The Tipping Point," then you should also check out Gladwell's "Blink."

I'm finishing "The Judas Field," a historical fiction Civil War novel by Howard Bahr, and I'm about to start "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife," a military strategy commentary by Army counterinsurgency expert Colonel John Nagl.

I don't know about y'all, but I typically like to alternate between fiction and non-fiction to keep things fresh.

Beer and Queso / Re: World's worst beers
« on: May 15, 2008, 08:01:09 am »
This guy went to too much effort, it's way easier than this to find bad beer; even world's worst.  What kind of worst beer list doesnt include Dixie?

Agreed.  Dixie would be second worst on my list, behind Killian's Irish Red.  As if the Irish needed more reason for self-loathing...

Not playing Scott Derry anymore should improve the Texas defense...

I disagree.  Derry was one of our two most consistently effective LBs last season, second only to Muckelroy.  It was a damned shame that they played the same position ("Will").

Derry didn't have the athleticism of a Muckelroy or a Kindle, but he was usually in the right place at the right time, which is more than can be said for most of our other LBs.  If I'd been coaching our defense, then we'd have started Muckelroy ("Will"), Norton ("Mike"), and Derry ("Sam"), with Kindle and Bobino seeing substantial backup time (until Kindle got back from suspension and proved he was ready to supplant Derry).

Killebrew, on the other hand, was an abomination to the game of football.  I might even suggest burning the #40 jersey and withholding its assignment to another player for several years, in order to let the curse wither and die.


This year they clearly do not have a good shot of winning a national title. They are extremely inexperienced at too many positions. I think winning 9 games will be a good season for them with their schedule of conference games.

I'm more optimistic about this season than most, if for no other reason than our OL and LB corps should be significantly better than last season.

That OL is still a little young, but they've got a load of talent and got a chance to play together as the season concluded.  What they did to A.State's defense in the Holiday Bowl was beautiful.

The LB corps has been the defense's weakness since Derrick Johnson graduated.  They should experience some addition-by-subtraction at the position, with some of the vets leaving and some of the younger and more talented players finally getting their shot.

The secondary and interior DL remain big question marks, though.

That was the best offensive line I've ever seen in terms of size, talent and the manner in which it played as a unit.  They didn't just create lanes for running backs and THE PLAYER; they created freaking thoroughfares.  A freelancing Young was what that team needed to win the title, but it was one special team, no doubt.  They treated the football field like an office, and business was DAMNED good.....God damnit!

Exactly.  When fans lay credit for the title at Vince's feet, they inherently disrespect the Herculean efforts of other great players, e.g., that badass OL (five of whom are playing in the NFL); TE Thomas (Patriots); WR Sweed (Steelers); RBs Young (Broncos) and Charles (Chiefs); DTs Wright (Dolphins) and Okam (Texans); DEs Crowder (Broncos) and Robison (Vikings); and DBs Huff (Thorpe, Raiders), Griffin (Vikings), Ross (Thorpe, Giants), Brown (49ers) and Griffin (Titans).  And, those are just the NFL players from that team besides Vince.

Football is a far more team-oriented game than baseball.  Having played it myself until the NCAA wouldn't let me anymore, I therefore scoff when I hear anyone pretend to credit one player for a football team's success.

Vince was, no doubt, the most dynamic player and leader on the '05 team.  We would almost undoubtedly not have won the national title without him.  But, we would almost undoubtedly not have won that same national title if, e.g., Mike Griffin doesn't make that INT in the Trojans endzone, or if our stellar OL hadn't dominated USC up front for most of the game, or if David Thomas hadn't caught 10 passes, or if Ramonce Taylor hadn't busted his long TD run, or if Frank Okam hadn't sacked Leinart, or if Brian Robison and other defensive teammates hadn't stuffed LenDale White on 4th-and-2.

In my estimation, people like Jim R, who would tell you that Vince deserves the credit for the national title instead of Mack Brown--as if "instead," as opposed to "along with," were even logical or necessary--simply have a bone to pick with Brown.  I'll bet that Jim will admit as much.  Why, I suppose, is the real question.

exactly. the UT media machine would have you believe that UT did nothing between Royal and Brown. one of my pet peeves is the stuff on the Jumbrotron, and most all of the football media guide, is nothing but "The Mack Brown Era."


They show President Nixon "awarding" Coach Royal and the boys the national championship following the epic 1969 game in Fayetteville during the warm-ups for every game.  I've also seen them show Street-to-Peschel from that same game and Brown-to-Lewis (i.e., "Roll Left") from the 1997 Big 12 title game.

Brown has done a fine job of re-connecting to the Longhorn tradition--particularly involving Coach Royal--after Mackovic did his damnedest to sever those ties to the past (not to mention to Texas high school football coaches).

Shock the Nation tour?  One fumble away from the NC in 83?  Steelers Roll Left, aka I Have Gigantic Testicles?  Back-to-Back Bowl Coalition appearances?

Well, let's talk about how those turned out.

Shock the Nation?  A fine regular season, to be sure, but that Cotton Bowl loss to Miami is one of the most embarrassing losses in school history.

1983?  A magical regular season followed by bitter disappointment in the Cotton Bowl.

Roll Left?  A ballsy play-call and a great win.  Followed by a merciless beat-down by Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl.

Back-to-back appearances in "Coalition" bowls?  Better stated, back-to-back ass-whippings by Va. Tech and Penn State in the Sugar and Fiesta, respectively.

I never said that nothing good happened between Coaches Royal and Brown, but there was damn sure something significant missing between 1970 and 2005.

i will never, ever forget it. folks who think Mack Brown invented football at UT have no idea.

Who are those people?

I encounter a lot more Longhorn fans who willfully ignore facts and football logic in order to convince themselves that Mack Brown deserves no credit for the team's renaissance since 1998, including the 2005 national championship.

I don't think that Mack Brown invented UT football, but there wasn't much to celebrate between Coach Royal and Brown.

Beer and Queso / Dean/Flair 2008
« on: May 08, 2008, 03:36:30 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: Shutout for Volquez
« on: May 07, 2008, 09:32:33 pm »
The Rangers gave Volquez the Halladay treatment last season, busting him all the way back down to High-A Bakersfield to rebuild his mental approach and his confidence.  He dominated his way back up the ladder, from the Cali League to the Texas League to the PCL.  Still, I don't think anyone--probably not even the Reds--envisioned the kind of success he's experienced in MLB thus far in '08.

On the trade, I have to agree with Jacksonian.  Win-win.  Hamilton has been, by a mile, the best player on the Rangers team this season, earning AL player of the month for April and playing a nice defensive CF as well.

Talk Zone / Re: I dare you...
« on: May 07, 2008, 09:27:37 pm »
"I used to be afraid, but I'm not afraid of dying now, if that's what you want to know," he said. "Because life ain't about how many breaths you take. It's what you do with those breaths."

Wisdom beyond his years...

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Round Rock Express
« on: May 05, 2008, 06:20:41 pm »
well, maybe, but there are lots of other types of hitters on that team, and they are hitting .195 also.

As always, Jim, I'm interested to hear your thoughts based on your first-hand observations of the Express.  It seems to me that Ramirez, Abercrombie, Diaz, Niekro, Saccommano, etc. all fall (perhaps to slightly varying degrees) into the category of hitter that I described above.  Gorneault and House have certainly shown an increased aptitude for plate discipline and contact, but even Gorneault appears to be slipping back into the pack as of late.   Whom do you see in Round Rock who actually brings a calculated approach to the plate?  House? Newhan?

I've heard various front office types preach patience, plate discipline, OBP, strike zone judgment, etc. as the organization's model hitting approach for years, but I've almost never seen it manifested in the personnel whom they actually choose to put on the field.  But, again, I'm biased in this conversation...

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Round Rock Express
« on: May 05, 2008, 02:56:41 pm »
i watched all 10 innings today, during which the Exopress blasted out 2 hits. that offense is worse than anemic.

And, predictably so.  When you compile a lineup which consists almost exclusively of the same kind of hitter--i.e., RH, big swinging, low-BA, low-OBP, high-K, low pitches/AB hitters--why should you expect a different result?

I don't pretend to be unbiased in this discussion, but the lack of consistent offense at Round Rock is a direct product of the organization's "calculated" personnel decisions.  What's ironic is that the only two guys hitting on the Express team (Sacc and House) are two of the only holdovers from the Purpura regime.

I'm sure that Reid Ryan loves fielding a team that wins at a .330 clip and contains neither "prospects" nor fan favorites.

Talk Zone / Re: Dear Ryan Perriloux:
« on: May 02, 2008, 06:34:29 pm »
If Perrilloux ends up playing at Grambling or Southern next fall, then I'm going to get to collect on a number of side-bets laid back in the spring of 2005.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Round Rock Express
« on: May 02, 2008, 02:59:00 pm »
That list says that Klassen went on the DL on 4/29. I missed that; what happened to him?

I have no personal knowledge about Klassen's injury.  However, I have heard it described as a serious (i.e., potentially season-ending) elbow injury.  But, I hope I'm hearing bad or premature information and that Danny is not seriously injured.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Round Rock Express
« on: May 01, 2008, 11:39:50 pm »
Word out of Round Rock is that there are going to be some interesting names on the waiver wire tomorrow... reportedly, some of Wade's off-season minor league FA signees to be released... not sure if it's because of contractual out-clauses (i.e., May 1st), performance, or both.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Round Rock Express
« on: April 29, 2008, 09:41:00 am »
Not to change the subject, but I heard from Brian Gordon's dad that he signed with the Rangers.

Not only did Gordon sign with the Rangers, but he made his Frisco debut by shoving it up Corpus' ass to save the Frisco win on Saturday night.  Good for him.

"So, if she weighs the same as a duck..."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Round Rock Express
« on: April 21, 2008, 12:48:06 pm »
On paper, this team isn't hitting worth a damn.  Among the regulars, only Gorneault and Diaz are hitting above .250 (and Diaz is all Punch-and-Judy, with a pedestrian .300 slugging %).  Niekro and Abercrombie are well south of .200.

From those who actually get to see the Express play, what in the wide, wide world of sports is going on?

Talk Zone / Re: UT Baseball
« on: April 21, 2008, 12:43:05 pm »
i have no knowledge about him and do not remember any controversy at all. in fact, he brought several good players with him. besides, what is a Div 1 pitching coach supposed to do? it seems to me that every once in awhile, players should be accountable for poor performance.

I don't disagree about accountability, but I'm also hearing some devoted fans--not Internet idiots, but loyalists and long-time season ticket holders--calling for people like Ted Silva and Scott Forbes as potential replacements.

Talk Zone / Re: UT Baseball
« on: April 21, 2008, 08:39:50 am »
Both are great coaches.

Jim, what's your opinion on pitching coach Skip Johnson?

His was a controversial hire when Augie tabbed him to make the jump from Navarro JC, and the pitching this season hasn't done anything to quiit his critics.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Round Rock Express
« on: April 17, 2008, 05:41:10 pm »
Individual Stats (Batting)
Player                 POS  G  AB  R  H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  TB  BB  SO  SB  CS  OBP  SLG  AVG  OPS  E   
Reggie Abercrombie OF 12  49  8  8   1    0   4     5   21   4   22   7    0  .226  .429 .163 .655  1

I don't recall ever seeing a line quite like this.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Corpus Christi Hooks
« on: April 17, 2008, 05:27:35 pm »
I would love to, but not doing that stuff here. Just see what happens

Of course not.  Big hat, no cattle.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Corpus Christi Hooks
« on: April 16, 2008, 04:38:11 pm »
We will see at the end of the year if I was right about some guys and if I was wrong

You told us that McKeller is going to be a multimillion dollar pitcher in the Show.

I don't wish anything but success for Ryan, but I'll take some side action if you're offering.

Talk Zone / Re: Al Reyes knows how to party
« on: April 11, 2008, 02:43:42 pm »
Don't tase me, hermano!

Talk Zone / Re: Humberto
« on: April 10, 2008, 12:03:25 am »

And to consider House an option at catcher in Houston is really a stretch.

I don't disagree with your sentiment, but the fact that he starts at catcher nearly everyday in RR suggests that someone in the Astros front office considers House to be an option at catcher.

Talk Zone / Re: Puma's pop
« on: April 10, 2008, 12:00:32 am »
Looks like he's dropped about 39 pounds.

In the genre of blindness-related 80s music lyrics and music videos, Lionel Richie singing "Is it me you're looking for?" to a blind girl perplexes me only slightly less than Ronnie Milsap singing "There's a stranger in my house, somebody here that I can't see."

But, I digress...

Talk Zone / Re: Humberto
« on: April 09, 2008, 09:38:04 pm »
Brownie reports that Q will report to RR.

So, the RR roster now includes four catchers: House, Johnson, Paul, and Q.

I can't decide if Wade and Bennett are really into stockpiling or just really indecisive.

Talk Zone / Re: Doug Davis
« on: April 09, 2008, 05:16:16 pm »
Ballsy outing last night...

Talk Zone / Re: Puma's pop
« on: April 09, 2008, 05:13:45 pm »
I much prefer the blind Lance Berkman sculpting a bust of Don Baylor in red clay...but that's just me.

You mean like the scene from "Ghost," with Baylor gently caressing Berkman from behind while Berkman works at the potter's wheel?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: C Josh Paul - Signed
« on: April 07, 2008, 03:21:50 pm »
So, who gets bumped at RR?  Josh Johnson?

Talk Zone / Re: Zambrano goes bananas
« on: April 02, 2008, 06:02:31 pm »
Either that, or he's still on Barrett's cycle.

[golf clap]

Talk Zone / Re: Off (Astros) Topic - Rangers Send Salty down...
« on: March 27, 2008, 12:34:01 am »
Story here.

ETA: Kam Loe too.

Makes sense.  If Salty's not going to be starting for the Rangers at C, 1B, or DH, then he needs to keep getting his ABs and working on his catching defense for Oklahoma City.

Round Rock fans will get a number of opportunities to see him play.

Talk Zone / Re: Blum injured in ST game vs. Marlins
« on: March 24, 2008, 06:10:03 pm »
The Ham Fighters to change to Anal Fissure Fighters.

There's a joke in there that also includes the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and/or the Fukuoka Soft Bank Hawks, but I can't seem to put my finger on it... the joke, I mean.

Talk Zone / Re: Blum injured in ST game vs. Marlins
« on: March 24, 2008, 06:06:31 pm »
Me, I thought "are there any cultures in which hemorrhoids are held in high regard?"

Wherever the manufacturer of Preparation H employs the most workers...

Talk Zone / Re: Patterson released by Nats
« on: March 24, 2008, 01:38:13 pm »
The Astros' questionable rotation is far, far superior to that collection of crap.  Kevin Millwood, #1, or Roy Oswalt?

This is the fallacy that prompted my previous post.  It appears that many Astros fans are content to roll out a dominant ace and a series of huge question marks thereafter, which makes absolutely no sense.  Roy is as good as there is in baseball, but he's only going to factor into approximately 30 games in '08.

Those other 130 or so games are going to be, in large part, in the hands of Backe, Woody, Wandy, and God knows who else.  How anyone can pretend to have more confidence in the Astros projected rotation than the Rangers' in '08 is absolutely beyond me.

I'm not "touchy" about anything.  I just don't have much patience for self-delusion.

Talk Zone / Re: Patterson released by Nats
« on: March 24, 2008, 10:49:19 am »
Well, if anyone's more desperate for pitching, it's got to be the stRangers...

A dumbass comment.

First, the Astros gave Chan Ho Park a test drive in AAA last season.  Chan.  Ho.  Out of the Park.

Second, the Rangers rotation to open the season is Millwood, Padilla, Jennings, Gabbard, and Mendoza.  They've also got McCarthy on the DL and a host of very good prospects in the upper levels of their farm (e.g., Hurley and Harrison).  As an Astros fan and casual Rangers observer, I'd sacrifice a Clark to the BBGs to have the Rangers "desperate" pitching situation.

Talk Zone / Re: Astros interested in Cleveland pitching?
« on: March 19, 2008, 11:22:11 pm »
whats the word on Laffey?

also sowers just reminds me of Kirk Saarloos so id pass on him.

Big difference between Sowers and Saarloos, beginning with the fact that Sowers is a southpaw.

Talk Zone / Re: McLemore outrighted to AAA
« on: March 19, 2008, 11:18:42 pm »
He trashed his shoulder a couple of years ago and has never really recovered.  The Astros dictated that he play everyday at 3B for a stretch last summer, and he literally could not do it due to pain in the shoulder.  I have nit heard anything on it since that experiement was abandoned last year, but I would be surprised if he spends more than spot duty at 1B.  my guess on the lineup:

1B: Niekro
2B: Garcia
SS: Manzella
3B: Klassen
LF: Gorneault
CF: Ramirez
RF: Diaz
DH: Cruz/Abernathy (if they are at AAA) or Self
1B/3B/DH backup:  Sacomanno
IF/OF backup: Newhan
C: somebody we don't know about yet
backup C: Santangelo

Notably, Newhan and Self are the only LH bats on that list.

P.S.  That OF may set a RR record for strikeouts.

Talk Zone / Re: Astros interested in Cleveland pitching?
« on: March 18, 2008, 12:11:45 am »
The article implied that they're going with Lee as their 5th starter, thus the other two guys are available/ being scouted. Wasn't Sowers a pretty hyoed prospect at one point?

Yes, at Vanderbilt, Sowers flat-out dominated the SEC.  I don't recall where in the 1st Round he went, but I know he was a 1st Rounder.  He cruised through the Indians' farm system with success at essentially all levels, but has struggled in the Show.

Talk Zone / Re: Never, ever, sleep on a flight again (non-bb)
« on: March 17, 2008, 10:08:08 am »
Shouldn't she be suing the man who spoodged in her hair?  If he'd barfed on her, instead of jizzed, are AA liable for that too?

In her lawsuit, the jury will be permitted to consider the culpability of the "assailant" along with the alleged cuplability of AA (i.e., even if a jury were to determine that AA was negligent, then they jury will still be asked to apportion responsibility between AA and the "assailant" in percentages that sum to 100%).

Assuming that AA's lawyers tend to their business, anyway.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Minor league signings
« on: March 17, 2008, 10:02:58 am »
Whoa!  Flores to miss '08?  I must have missed that.  Details?

Torn ACL.  From what I understand, suffered in an off-season training accident.  I believe he underwent reconstructive surgery in around January, but I'm not 100% sure about that.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Minor league signings
« on: March 16, 2008, 04:27:18 pm »
concerning Jarred Ball... He signed with the Astros on December 13, 2007.  The same day that Patton was traded.  Patton and Ball were high school teammates.  My source, who wishes to remain anonymous, didn't know why the transaction didn't make it to our other similar sources.  He'll be at Corpus or Round Rock to start the season.

With Flores sidelined for the entire '08 season, Ball appears poised to join Iorg, Eintertson, Caraballo, and Torbert in the OF at Corpus.

Talk Zone / Re: Marlins pitcher Logan Kensing
« on: March 15, 2008, 12:38:44 am »
And, of course, some animals are armed (I like how the article tries to draw a distinction between "food" and "divers" in the water).

"Contrary to what most people say, the most dangerous animal in the world is not the lion or the tiger or even the elephant. It's a shark riding on an elephant's back, just trampling and eating everything they see."

--Jack Handy

Talk Zone / Re: Marlins pitcher Logan Kensing
« on: March 12, 2008, 06:23:39 pm »
The comparison to Michael Vick and the dogfighting ring are absolutely asinine.

If what Kensing is doing is legal (and it appears to be) then who the hell are these "activists" to (a) tell the Marlins what they should (b) force Kensing to do during the off-season and with his own property?

It must be entertaining to dwell in a leftist fantasy world.

Talk Zone / Re: Cheo, Jr.?
« on: March 06, 2008, 03:26:26 pm »
Just how sold are the Astro's on Abercrombie is what it boils down to. He is going to be 27 this season and hasn't shown anything at all in 146 MLB games batting .208 with no other glaring strengths. Does he really earn a slot on the 25?

The question about Abercrombie would seem to be--is he a Charlton Jimerson redux, or something more.

Talk Zone / Re: Shiner '98
« on: March 06, 2008, 11:14:55 am »
Point of clarification--is Shiner '98 the same as the Shiner Bohemian Black Lager?

I had some of the Bohemian Black Lager recently and enjoyed it immensely.

Talk Zone / Re: Wow. Morgan, just wow.
« on: March 05, 2008, 03:41:41 pm »
Ensberg had a number of problems that can be categorized under "not swinging the bat".  One, the most obvious, was literally not swinging.  The second, which happened even more often, was a tentative swing where he would try to catch the ball on his bat.  Might have been due to hesitation or perhaps injury.  These guided swings resulted in weak contact and popups or rollers.

Correct.  All of which are the product of over-thinking, rather than simply adopting an approach and reacting accordingly at the plate.

We've discussed these issues ad nauseam.  There's no need to have this same, tired discussion every time Ensberg's name gets mentioned with a new team.  At some point, it becomes petty and spiteful.

That is my point.

Talk Zone / Re: Wow. Morgan, just wow.
« on: March 05, 2008, 08:43:51 am »
Then again, Ensberg understands why he now has the opportunity to work with the Yankees' hitting coach, while an Astros he says,

"I know I played poorly and wish I had played better."

Whether he played well ('05) or not so much ('06-'07), Ensberg has always been a class act...

...and undeserving of a thread laced with potshots from a bunch of people who celebrated an '05 NL title and World Series appearance thanks in large part to his work during the regular season.

Completely underrated movie.

Wadsworth: Professor Plum, you were once a professor of psychiatry, specializing in helping paranoid and homicidal lunatics suffering from delusions of grandeur.

Prof. Plum: Yes, but now I work for the United Nations.

Wadsworth: So, your work has not changed.

Talk Zone / Re: Hunter meets a glass door - There Will Be Blood
« on: February 20, 2008, 05:27:46 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: Did I miss this about Towles?
« on: February 14, 2008, 05:45:20 pm »
"Blessed are the cheesemakers?"

Talk Zone / Re: So long to the good guys...
« on: February 14, 2008, 01:36:29 pm »
And that's just off the top of my head.


And I haven't been drinking.

Not so much.

Talk Zone / Re: Benson completes deal with Phillies
« on: February 14, 2008, 09:45:08 am »
Do you think the Bensons' bedroom has an on-deck circle?

Talk Zone / Re: In for a rude awakening
« on: February 13, 2008, 10:47:15 pm »
Wait until Melvin sees how much Big League Chew that Burke can stuff into his mouth at one time...

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Minor league signings
« on: February 13, 2008, 10:43:08 pm »
I agree ... Unless a lot of the FA's have out-clauses for not making the MLB roster, I expect it's bye bye Beau.

At the very least, Torbert would be a good backup OF in Corpus.  He's a solid player and good team guy, in the mold of a Barry Wesson.

The guy who, IMO, is in more jeopardy in the OF is Frankie Caraballo.  Also a good guy, but there are already enough big-swingers and high-Ks corner OFs in the system above and below Caraballo.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Minor league signings
« on: February 13, 2008, 10:40:27 pm »
I agree.  The RR IF now looks (to me) like:

Klassen/Cosby, Manzella, Garcia, Saccomanno/Self

I thought Self might end up in the OF, but with Gorneault/Ramirez/Diaz apparently set there, I figure he will be an extra OF, backup 1B and/or DH ... unless he signs in Japan (rumored somewhere as a possibility) or gets sent back to CC.  Klassen can be the uber-utility (2B/SS/3B/LF) which seems likely.  Then there is still Tomas Perez, Richard Paz, David Newhan and JR House to consider.  Some of those guys will be gone regardless of Manzella's assignment.  If they think Manzella can handle AAA, though, they will gladly increase the number of FA cuts.

Don't forget about FA signee Lance Neikro in the RR IF, too.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Bennett on 7 who could wear the Star
« on: February 13, 2008, 07:46:56 am »
I'll never get the time back and I'll have nightmarish flashbacks on that one for a long time.

Like watching "Titanic"...

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Minor league signings
« on: February 13, 2008, 07:41:57 am »
Not speaking from any position of superior knowledge, but I had taken it for granted that the left side of the RR IF was going to be Cosby and Klassen.  If Manzella plays SS, then one of those two FAs is sitting.

Talk Zone / Re: What's this I hear about Shawn Chacon?
« on: February 11, 2008, 01:24:31 pm »
I'm not interested in the source at all. Specious, uncredited rumors are the oxygen that combines with the gasoline of porn to drive the internal combustion engine that we call the internets. All of us here? We are the spark plugs dutifully igniting that combustion. Limey, we need 500cc of topless Scarlett Johansson to go with this Chacon story, stat.


Classy, as always.

It'll be interesting to see if people in the '08 Astros clubhouse respond to adversity as graciously.

Talk Zone / Re: Odd? Bad?
« on: February 09, 2008, 05:36:25 pm »
I think what I'm worried about is that the show will just be two or three guys trying to kill a few hours on the radio without having anything interesting to say.

Anyone laying odds?

Talk Zone / Re: NYCU: Ryan pres
« on: February 07, 2008, 06:02:47 pm »
Rangers fan site's perspective on the Ryan hire:

For those who don't know him, Jamey Newberg was a walk-on baseball player under Coach Gus at Texas and is a practicing attorney in Dallas.

So, he's basically the Rangers' version of JimR.  Only, younger and with fewer f-bombs.

Talk Zone / Re: Look out, Roger
« on: February 06, 2008, 10:58:39 pm »
Sen. Joseph Biden: And she still didn't go out with you? [ Thomas nods no ] Now, Judge Thomas, there have been charges by Professor Hill that you talked casually with her about graphic scenes in porno movies. Is that true?

Judge Clarence Thomas: Yes, it is.

Sen. Joseph Biden: And.. did that work? Did it break the ice?

Judge Clarence Thomas: No, Senator, it actually offended her.

[ the committee is surprised the tactic didn't work ]

Sen. Howell Heflin: Uh.. what porno movie did you talk about?

Judge Clarence Thomas: Well.. I mainly spoke about a favorite of mine, called "The Hind-Lick Manuever".

Sen. Howell Heflin: That's a good movie, Judge! But do you think hard-core porno is the way to go? Because I feel women prefer softer porn.

Sen. Joseph Biden: Senator Thurmond?

Sen. Strom Thurmond: I agree with Senator Heflin. Yeah, that's right! The women like something with more stories and costumes, that'll transport 'em to another place and time. That's right! Women don't like close-ups of oversized genitalia! That's just never gonna turn 'em on!

Talk Zone / Re: NYCU: Ryan pres
« on: February 06, 2008, 04:31:24 pm »
Jim -- I think this is at least as much a symptom as it is a disease.  If after eight years of watching Astros minor leaguers, the average Express fan has not been co-opted as an Astros fan, then management (both Astros and Express) has really screwed the pooch. 

They should make a bigger deal about Astros players and scores at Express games and in Express radio broadcasts (and for Hooks as well).

They should figure out how to get Astros radio broadcast locally ... if all it takes is money, then sponsor the broadcasts!

They should also bring back the exhibition appearances both between Express & Hooks and between the Astros and their affiliates.

I'll go watch the Express (at least some of the time) regardless of affiliation, because I just like to watch minor league baseball.  But I will go a lot more often if they stay with the Astros, and it would be a lot easier in general to keep attendance up if they actually tried to emphasize the tie-in.

The situation is not likely to improve in '08, with a Round Rock roster loaded with minor league FAs, 30-something mercenaries, and few future Astros, but largely bereft of home-grown Astros talent.

Talk Zone / Re: NYCU: Ryan pres
« on: February 06, 2008, 01:21:52 pm »
The Ryan/Sanders minor league ownership group runs a top notch organization.  Reid Ryan is very impressive as the Chief Operations guy... extremely impressive.  The Houston Astros would be foolish to treat this group, especially Reid Ryan, with any sort of stand offish behavior or unwanted step-child attitude.

Spot. On.

For the past couple decades, the team's public image and clubhouse culture have been defined by Alvin's favorite son and blue collar stalwarts like Biggio and Bagwell.  In '08, it's a Philly pawn shop dealer and his patchy East Coast mentality.

Talk Zone / Re: denying work visas
« on: February 05, 2008, 09:51:55 am »
Mary Kate Olsen

Talk Zone / Re: Astros scouting Colon
« on: February 04, 2008, 11:47:26 pm »
'Tis no man.  'Tis a remorseless eating machine.
   -- Captain McAlister (The Simpsons)

Talk Zone / Re: Astros scouting Colon
« on: February 04, 2008, 11:46:37 am »
A poor substitute at best. Zeke (God bless him) is in a league by himself - he's Etchebarren ugly.

I once saw him scare four balls right out of the Ballpark at Arlington in 1 1/3 innings back in the summer of 2005.

Talk Zone / Re: "clark"
« on: January 31, 2008, 01:45:44 pm »
That sucks. I was going to request an upgrade to "Puro Macho"

Over Macho Grande?

Talk Zone / Re: Richard Hidalgo building his own ballpark
« on: January 29, 2008, 06:06:07 pm »
Presumably, he'll outlaw breaking pitches in his park, right?

Roy's changeup is right out.

The NY-Penn League begins play that same week.  Let the kids play & rotate the teams every year.

The Oneonta club in the NYPL (the Tigers' Short-A affiliate) is located just down the road from Cooperstown.  And, the field in Oneonta, though nestled scenically in the foothills between the Adirondacks and the Catskills, is a pile of dinosaur bones.  Oneonta ought to clamor to "host" any games they can in Cooperstown.

Talk Zone / Re: Minor league organization rankings
« on: January 29, 2008, 12:55:58 pm »
Would it be fair to say that the Rangers improved their minor league system at the expense of their major league team, while the Astros did the opposite?

Yes, I'd say that's fair.  Although, the gamble seems a little more leveraged in the Astros' situation.

The Rangers dealt MLB veterans for two handfuls of strong prospects, but also dealt one of their own top-notch pitching prospects (Volquez) for an immediately impactful MLB OF (Hamilton).  If they don't contend for the '08 AL West title, then they've got a load of kids whom they can either audition in the Show or trade for needs.

The Astros, on the other hand, now have a farm system that resembles the Yankees' barren fields.  If they don't win now, then the only hope for the foreseeable future is throwing cash at FAs and waiting for the '08 Draft and beyond to yield MLB dividends (by development or trade).  Which is a long wait.

I'm not a Rangers fan, but, living in Dallas, I digest a lot of their organizational information (particularly from Jamey Newberg, whose Newberg Report rivals OWA as a source of quality information).  Their MLB and farm situations were absolutely deplorable from about '02-'06.  In the Show, they had a lineup full of boppers, a pathetic rotation, and a shaky pen.  On the farm, they developed almost no homegrown pitching.  Sound eerily familiar?

Talk Zone / Re: Minor league organization rankings
« on: January 29, 2008, 12:21:01 pm »
So much for my crappy attempt at obscure humor.

I'm picking up what you're laying down.

Talk Zone / Re: Another outfielder
« on: January 29, 2008, 12:01:26 pm »
Newhan brings a proven LH bat.

A quick review of the Astros' AAA and AA rosters reveals that LH bats are a rare commodity.

Talk Zone / Re: Minor league organization rankings
« on: January 29, 2008, 11:57:36 am »
It's worth noting, though, that the Rangers' rapid ascent was fueled in large part by a number of upper echelon prospects acquired in last season's trade deadline deals.  Teixeira and Gagne netted them prized prospects like Andrus, Beltre, Harrison, and Feliz (not to mention useful young big leaguers like Gabbard and Murphy).

The Rangers are dealing pricey veterans for valuable prospects.  The Astros seem to be doing the opposite.

Talk Zone / Re: Another outfielder
« on: January 28, 2008, 04:15:30 pm »
Any word on whether Newhan or any of this off-season's other veteran FA signees (Cruz, Jr., Diaz, Gorneault) has an out-clause in his contract that permits him to opt for FA if he's not added to the 25-man roster by a certain date?

Alright, which one of our regular posters is playing a prank by masquerading as ranger0251?

Seriously, I think we've seen every cliche in the book exhibited in less than 15 posts.  Management knows less about baseball than me.  Check.  You mean regular posters don't know more than me just because you have more posts here than me.  Check.  Cheetos, wives, lives.  Check.  Annoying and cute "text messaging" lingo.  Check.

This has all the makings of a wonderfully ironic prank.  Or, a sincere moron.  Only time will tell.

Here is BA TOP 30 and I have to say it is looking mighty weak

1  JR Towles
2 Felipe Paulino
3 Juan Gutierezz
4 Michael Bourn
5 Bud Norris
6 Brad James
7 Chad Reinke
8 Eli Iorg
9 Josh Flores
10 Mitch Einerston
11 Collin Dellome
12 Sergio Perez
13 Chris Johnson
14 Samuel Gervacio
15 Tommy Manzella
16 paul Estrada
17 Max Sapp
18 Jordan Parraz
19 Brian Bogusevic
20 Yordany Ramirez
21 Wesley Wright
22 Devon torrence
23 lou Santangelo
24 Mark Mclemore
25 Robert Bono
26 Koby Clemens
27 Josh Muecke
28 Jonny Ash
29 Matt Cusick
30 Jimmy Van Ostrand

Doesn't #20 seem low for Yordany Ramirez, in light of the praise that Wade & Co. heaped on him when they gave him a major league contract last fall?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Minor league signings
« on: January 26, 2008, 04:22:54 pm »
The Round Rock lineup is really up in the air, in light of all the minor league FA signings:

Cruz, Jr.

Especially considering the players already in the organization vying for time in Round Rock:


Clark and Jackson are going to have some difficult decisions to make.

Talk Zone / Re: 5 signed w/ ST invitations
« on: January 10, 2008, 06:28:10 pm »
Humberto is on the 40-man roster.  I assume he'll be the starter in Round Rock, to be called up if Towles or Ausmus gets hurt.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Quintero is out of options.  Meaning that he'll have to clear waivers if he doesn't break camp on the 25-man active roster.  I'm not sure, however, whether Quintero yet has the right to decline an assignment to Round Rock and opt for free agency if he were to slide through waivers.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Minor league signings
« on: January 05, 2008, 02:01:20 pm »
uh yeah

Seems like I read somewhere a while back that Cody Ransom signed with the Yankees.

Talk Zone / Re: Your Holiday Movie Minute (non-bb, of course)
« on: January 03, 2008, 12:58:02 pm »
I'm sorry to overreact to your post, Joey, but I didn't read what loganck wrote the same way you did. It stands to reason that if you've got kids who, when the arrive in your class, have a reading level that lags far behind their grade level, then you've got to find things for them to read that are aimed at much younger audiences, which could be less interesting as well as frustrating and humiliating, or you've got to take the steps to teach them the reading skills that for whatever reason they didn't learn before. Blaming loganck for not miraculously closing an achievement gap that existed long before the students came into his classroom is unreasonable, IMO.

Well said.

Talk Zone / Re: TZ New Years Preditiocn Talk Zone Style
« on: January 01, 2008, 08:49:12 am »
Mr. T aint got no time fo thuh jibba jabba.

...or airplane travel, apparently.

Talk Zone / Re: Erstad a 'Stro
« on: December 28, 2007, 10:27:35 pm »
The Return of the Good guys


The Arrival of Some Guys who we hope are Good

Rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?

Talk Zone / Re: Erstad a 'Stro
« on: December 28, 2007, 12:51:32 am »
My personal favorite "fun fact" about Erstad: aside from being a baseball All-American at the University of Nebraska, he was also a letter-winning punter on the Huskers' 1994 national championship football team.

Talk Zone / Re: Erstad a 'Stro
« on: December 28, 2007, 12:10:52 am »
It seems the Astros have higher expectations for Ramirez than 9th inning defensive replacement, that's a role Cruz or Abercrombie should be able to fill.

Exactly.  Sticking Ramirez on the bench in Houston amounts to short-circuiting his development.

Wade didn't sign Ramirez for the short-term.

Talk Zone / Re: Erstad a 'Stro
« on: December 27, 2007, 09:28:59 pm »
Wade didn't sign Yordany Ramirez to sit him on the bench in Houston.

He'll be getting much-needed ABs in Round Rock for the foreseeable future.

Talk Zone / Re: Movie Day(non bb)
« on: December 21, 2007, 03:57:44 pm »
Any Patrick Swayze film, except for "Dirty Dancing."

If you're feeling patriotic, go with "Red Dawn."  If you're in a festive mood, then go with "Road House."  If you're feeling like a Kentucky hillbilly trying to avenge his brother's death at the hands of Chicago mobsters, then go with "Next of Kin."

You really can't go wrong with Swayze.

Talk Zone / Re: ESPN rumor mill says......
« on: December 19, 2007, 08:01:44 pm »
Silicone is a performance-enhancing drug?

Yes, but only for straight men and lipstick lesbians.

Talk Zone / Re: No support for Berkman's open piehole
« on: December 19, 2007, 02:22:03 pm »
JDJOs going to milk this for all it's worth.

Insert yourself into the "story" much, do you, JdJO?  What a narcissistic prick.

Talk Zone / Re: No support for Berkman's open piehole
« on: December 19, 2007, 01:05:06 pm »
The way you describe Mendoza's stuff sounds very much like Brad James.

In terms of both his physical presence, his stuff, and his approach, I would compare Mendoza to former Astros farmhand and Dodgers RHP D.J. Houlton.  Except Mendoza has a real fastball.

Talk Zone / Re: No support for Berkman's open piehole
« on: December 19, 2007, 11:26:46 am »
Hurley, yes.  I have my doubts about Diamond long-term.  I don't know much about Mendoza.  But Paulino is every bit as good as Volquez.

Just picking nits.

I agree on Diamond.  However, to whom would you compare him in the Astros' system?  In terms of projection, I might say Bogusevic (other than the RHP vs. LHP distinction).  In terms of development, I might say James.  He certainly still has a lot to prove.

Mendoza cut a buzz-saw through the Texas League in '07.  I saw him pitch several times.  His fastball isn't overpowering (89-92mph), but his command is excellent, he's got a very good sinker, and he induces lots of ground balls.  He got a spot-start with the Rangers in September and acquitted himself well.  Unless his wheels come off, the Rangers probably see him as back-of-the-rotation starter in the not-too-distant future.  It's nice to be able to grow those at home.

Volquez and Paulino are certainly comparable, in that both sling filth like Larry Flynt, but both are also inconsistent.  In '07, after the Rangers gave Volquez the "Halladay" treatment--i.e., busted him back down to High-A ball and then made him work his way back up the ladder--he responded by dominating at each level back up to AAA.  Volquez will likely be in the middle of the Rangers' rotation in April.

No matter how you slice it, in the wake of the departures of Hirsh, Bucholz, Patton, and Albers, the Astros' farm is depleted as hell of young starting pitching.  Wade would offer a kidney (not his own, mind you) to get Hurley or Volquez.

Talk Zone / Re: No support for Berkman's open piehole
« on: December 19, 2007, 09:23:58 am »
There's only two teams in Texas and the Rangers have no pitching that the Astros need so just make the best of it.

Don't kid yourself.  The Rangers' top pitching prospects--Volquez, Hurley, Mendoza, Diamond--are head-and-shoulders better and light-years ahead of anyone on the Astros' farm.

Talk Zone / Re: Richard Justice is a horrible, horrible reporter.
« on: December 17, 2007, 08:30:21 am »
IMO, the "Pinwheel" nickname doesn't do him justice (no pun intended).

I move for a more appropriate nickname, such as "Little Dickie" Justice.  Something that truly captures his irrelevant and irritating place in the pantheon of modern sports journalism.

Talk Zone / Re: In better news...
« on: December 12, 2007, 11:05:12 pm »
"Well, if you'll excuse us, we're off to go beat a couple of bludgers."

"Ah, going to play some quidditch?"


"Derka, derka... Mohammed jihad."

Talk Zone / 40-Man implications from the Tejada trade
« on: December 12, 2007, 05:37:37 pm »
Aside from the merits of the trade itself (which has been hashed and re-hashed to the tune of 20 pages and counting), the Tejada deal also has the effect of opening three spots on the 40-man roster, i.e., four players gone (Scott, Patton, Albers, and Sarfate) minus one player back (Tejada) equals three open roster spots.

Any ideas as to what the front office does with those spots?  FA pitching?

Talk Zone / Re: NYCU
« on: December 08, 2007, 12:17:21 am »
Get that man a Little Debbie.

I'm told that they're much more plentiful in central and east Texas these days, following the departure of a certain head coach from a certain agricultural and mechanical university.  Tee-hee.

Talk Zone / Re: Talk about going to la-la land....come if you dare...
« on: December 07, 2007, 11:18:00 am »
Wow, if I'm Sabean, I don't do that deal.  They are too far off.  Rios isn't going to push them into contention in the west. 

Sabean is the same man who gave Armando Benitez a 3-year/$21 million contract.

Logic does not constrain him.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Brooks Conrad to Oakland
« on: December 05, 2007, 08:57:46 pm »
Yes, Conrad is going to major league ST with the A's.

Talk Zone / Re: mets have a new switch hitter
« on: December 05, 2007, 11:24:37 am »
"I'm Kieth Hernandez" is creative enough.

Better, I suppose, than "I'm Steve Garvey."

Talk Zone / Re: Tigers' lineup
« on: December 05, 2007, 11:19:09 am »
Maybe Scott (the Tigers' interest in Luke has been well-reported) and Burke (Polanco ain't getting any younger) for one of the Tigers "extraneous" SPs?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Brooks Conrad to Oakland
« on: December 05, 2007, 09:07:52 am »
Not sure, VB.  I'll see what I can find out.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Devon Torrence Football Update
« on: December 05, 2007, 09:06:53 am »
Chad Jones is an absolute stud on the gridiron.  I can't ever recall a true freshman making the kind of impact at safety that he has for LSU this season.  Looks like he made the right choice.

Talk Zone / Re: Tigers' lineup
« on: December 05, 2007, 08:29:11 am »
Damn the lineup.  Their rotation is sick:


(With Miner and Durbin in the can)

Talk Zone / Re: mets have a new switch hitter
« on: December 05, 2007, 08:25:30 am »
Could be a creative pick-up line?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Brooks Conrad to Oakland
« on: December 04, 2007, 09:08:55 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: Winter Meetings
« on: December 04, 2007, 08:46:19 am »
That probably has nothing to do with Bourn (who has Abercrombie as his backup now and Josh Flores coming up to AAA to get seasoning in case they need him).  Erstad, if the Astros made contact, is probably a left handed bat off the bench that they'd love to have to hedge on using Blum exclusively in that position.  Erstad would have Palmeiro's job of being the ready to hit at a moments notice veteran guy who hasn't played in two weeks.

I'd be shocked if Flores started the season at Round Rock or even sees time there in '08.  He's talented, but he appears to need at least one full season at Corpus.

Talk Zone / Re: Matsui reported to be Astro
« on: November 30, 2007, 10:53:16 am »
Speed isn't about stolen bases.  Remember, pitching, speed, defense and the offense will work out.  Matsui at second helps make the pitching better.  Speed on the base paths doesn't necessarily mean stolen bases.  He could go 1st to home on a Pence double.

Understood and agreed.  Matsui has scored 212 runs in 375 career games.  Not bad at all.

If he's capable of maintaining that kind of production, at 32 and with a bad back, then the signing makes more sense.

Talk Zone / Re: Matsui reported to be Astro
« on: November 30, 2007, 10:46:01 am »
re speed. i am not talking about SBs, although i like them. i am talking about going first to third on a single and scoring from second on EVERY base hit.

chill a bit. you're starting to sound like Dobro talking about Lidge.

No sweat.  I'm not wailing or gnashing my teeth or rending my garments or anything like that.  I'm just questioning a proposition that a lot of folks seem to be taking for granted.

Honestly, the Matsui deal does bothers me, though, for larger reasons.  It signals, IMO, more of an East Coast, high-payroll attitude towards roster management.  Heretofore, I've liked all of Wade's moves, getting a young OF in Bourn and solid veterans Blum and Brocail to fill specific supporting roles.  However, the (potential) Matsui signing smacks of a Minaya-type move, i.e., plug a hole with an expensive but questionable "name" and then simply cut bait if the experiment fails.  That's a regular occurrence in the roster-churning and cash-burning baseball solar system of New York.  Is it a good idea, however, in Houston?

If Matsui signs and plays in Houston anywhere near his '07 performance in Colorado, then I'll politely eat my small helping of crow (washed down with a Miller High Life, a "good, solid beer at a tasty price").  Living in Dallas, however, I regularly hear people say about a pricey but risky FA, "Let's wait and see how he pans out," but I've almost never seen those hopes come to fruition (see, e.g., Park, Chan Ho).

Talk Zone / Re: Matsui reported to be Astro
« on: November 30, 2007, 10:30:52 am »
Precisely why building a team should never be looked at as a singular proposition.  If anyone did look at a signing or trade with the singular impact isn't really looking at the team concept.  Winning is the objective and winning is directly a result of team, not singular performance.  Singular performance feeds into team, but within the team concept.  That is why the argument against AE not being A-Rod has never been understood by me.  Within the team concept, AE is a great player and contributes highly to winning.  That guys like Ensberg, Lane, Wilson, Huff and others *failed* to perform their role within the team concept should never be AE fault.

However fans readily blamed AE and continue to do so today.  Perplexing actually.  I had a huge argument with my brother-in-law over Thanksgiving and it was over AE.  He regurgitated every faux thinking about AE to me and it was really a huge surprise to me that a guy who actually played ball and has a great understanding of baseball.  It is surprising to say the least.

I certainly agree with the larger concept, Noe.

On the other hand, each transaction is a singular proposition.  I'm not talking about grading Wade's job performance as Astros GM.  I'm simply talking about whether signing Matsui for the reported terms and writing his name in the #2 hole (in ink) is a sound decision, in light of whatever other options the Astros have at 2B (e.g., Burke, Loretta, Blum, Conrad, Ransom, etc.).

Thus far, posters here have claimed that Matsui:

 (1) is a significant upgrade defensively at 2B over Biggio/Burke.  I can't disagree.

 (2) "handles the bat well."  Me, I don't see that .272/.325/.387 (career figures) qualifies as handling the bat relatively well (particularly for a multi-million dollar veteran FA).  Perhaps others disagree.

 (3) brings speed to the lineup.  He's stolen 62 bases in 365 games over 4 seasons.  Is that a base-stealing threat?  I'll grant you, his 87% base-stealing percentage is impressive.

 (4) brings playoff experience to the roster.  Matsui's only playoff experience was with the '07 Rockies.  So, he knows what it means to win the NL in dramatic comeback fashion and then get swept in the World Series.  Seems to me that the Astros (including the dreaded Burke) already have a quantum of that kind of experience.

Talk Zone / Re: Matsui reported to be Astro
« on: November 30, 2007, 09:53:10 am »
if wade's doing anything the opposite of something the mets did then count me as a believer.

That's just it.  It's not the "opposite of something" that Minaya would do.  It's exactly what Minaya did when he initially signed Matsui.  Then, a mere two seasons later, Minaya ate an expensive crap sandwich and shipped Matsui off to Colorado.

The Mets can and will pay for such crap sandwiches.  Is Uncle Drayton prepared to do the same?

P.S.  I'm all for trading a package of Burke/Scott/whomever for pitching.  Right now, the rotation and the 'pen present much more pressing needs than 2B.  I'm talking solely about the prudence of committing 3 years, $15 million, and the #2 spot in the lineup to Matsui.

Talk Zone / Re: Matsui reported to be Astro
« on: November 30, 2007, 08:03:55 am »
I'm not comparing Burke to Matsui to the jukebox at Kay's Lounge, but some of y'all are drinking some strong Kool-Aid when it comes to Matsui.

The Mets ran him out of town during the middle of an NL East pennant race in 2006, in favor of two rookies.

Talk Zone / Re: Round Rock Express
« on: November 28, 2007, 01:43:34 pm »
No, the Round Rock Clarks will face off against the Clarks of many other towns in thrilling matches of Clarkball.

Note that even Jim will capitalize when Dave Clark is involved.

Damn... and I was just getting comfortable with the term honkball.

Talk Zone / Re: Matsui
« on: November 21, 2007, 10:42:27 am »

You serious? I think Kaz can manage to hit over the Mendoza line while bringing more speed and better base stealing instincts. Atleast push the defense case in Burke's favor if you're gonna try and knock Kaz.

Am I reading the TZ or listening to sports talk radio?

Ask the steM and their God-forsaken fans about Matsui.  They jettisoned him in favor of a couple of rookies at 2B (Hernandez and Keppinger) while competing for the East title in '06.

Talk Zone / Re: Matsui
« on: November 20, 2007, 09:51:58 am »
Tap the brake on Matsui.

Sure, he had a respectable '07 campaign, but he was awful with the steM for several years prior.

Talk Zone / Re: Legal Question: Calling all Lawyers (non-BB)
« on: November 07, 2007, 03:00:57 pm »
To answer your question more directly than our sarcastic friends, no.

Your question reminds me, though, of an interesting question posed by Professor Lino Graglia in my Con Law II class.  Does it make any sense, in our modern American society, that the word "discriminate" should have a connotation that is much more negative that its plain, dictionary meaning?  We all "discriminate" every day, from choosing our breakfast cereal; to selecting what tie goes with what shirt; to hiring, promoting, demoting, and firing employees; to picking the right canteloupe at the grocery store; to ordering a beer at the bar; etc.

"Discrimination" is not evil.  It's a common fact of life.  The real evil is "wrongful discrimination."  In your case, no one has successfully argued that it's "wrong" to discriminate against a double-income married couple when assigning cost values to group health insurance premiums.  However, if you want to pay me $250/hour, with a $50,000 retainer, to pursue that case for you, then I'll give it a rip.  ;D

Talk Zone / Re: Benson is available
« on: November 05, 2007, 08:19:53 am »
Shaune was/is a whore, but she wasn't that kind of whore.  It's like saying Janet Reno and Alyssa Milano are both women.  It's accurate, but then again, it ain't accurate.


Talk Zone / Re: Wallace leaves
« on: October 29, 2007, 05:52:07 pm »
I remember stumbling across a Rusty Kuntz baseball card when I was in the sixth grade. It was a life altering moment when I proudly displayed it to my mom, unintentionally mispronouncing his name.

It would have been an ass-altering moment at my house, baseball card be damned.  :o

Talk Zone / Re: Kay's Lounge
« on: October 23, 2007, 03:12:31 pm »
Man, if only we had some kind of system where you could, you know, economically support things you liked (like dogs on patios) and not support things you don't like (like dogs on patios).  And then some places could make money by letting you have dogs on their patios.  And then others could, you know, make money by not letting you have dogs on your patio.  If ONLY we had a system like that.  Man, then life would be good.

I laughed.

Talk Zone / Re: Dog breeds (non BB)
« on: October 22, 2007, 05:47:21 pm »
One of the funniest memories from my childhood was my 18lb. Maine Coon cat chasing down a boxer in our yard, jumping on it's back and biting the back of it's neck as it tried to run for it's life while yelping all the way.

My buddy sitting next to me says, "Cool, your cat chases dogs..."

Fluffy was bad ass...

That's why I deliberately used the phrase "average cat."

A Maine coon is not an average cat.  It's a cross between a steroid-using  barncat and a raccoon that is good at both the striking and grappling aspects of mixed martial arts.  I've been trying to talk my wife into letting me trade in one of her wimpy housecats for a Maine coon for years.

Talk Zone / Re: Dog breeds (non BB)
« on: October 22, 2007, 07:34:47 am »
I'm a fan of boxers which, if you are familiar with the breed, I'd say is a fair comparison to the Dobermann, minus the slobber/drool issues of the boxer.

Agreed.  We have two boxers.  They are fun, goofy dogs.

I loathe yippee dogs....

Double agreed.  I have no time for any dog that can't hold its own with the average cat.

Talk Zone / Re: Munson a Brewer
« on: October 19, 2007, 12:09:41 am »
he made himself into a decent catcher with hard work in RR.

I was unclear.  By "catching issues aside," I didn't mean to impugn Munson's work behind the plate.

Rather, I was trying to point out that his loss would affect the Astros other than just defensively.

Talk Zone / Re: if you were thinking you wouldn't have thought that!
« on: October 19, 2007, 12:06:22 am »
Hillman was considered by most to have been the front-runner for the Rangers' job opening last off-season, before Hicks and Daniels decided on Ron Washington instead.

Talk Zone / Re: Beer
« on: October 19, 2007, 12:04:11 am »
"You know that brewery makes 10,000 bottles of beer a day. I drink 45 of them, and I'm the asshole!"
 -- Phil Krundle


"I wish it were winter so we could freeze it into ice blocks and skate on it and melt it in the spring time and drink it!"
--Barry Badrinath

Talk Zone / Re: Kay's Lounge
« on: October 18, 2007, 11:59:09 pm »
Kay's is greatness.  A law school buddy of mine lives around the corner on South, so we often walk to Kay's and stumble back when I'm visiting Houston.

I'm a little disappointed to hear about the addition of the liquor, though.  I love bourbon as much as the next Southern sot, but the beer-only nuance was part of the Kay's ambiance, along with the Texas table and the jukebox.

Talk Zone / Re: Munson a Brewer
« on: October 17, 2007, 11:57:02 pm »
Aside from the catching issues, Munson was an experienced LH bat off the bench.

If Lamb goes elsewhere in FA, then LH sticks will be in short supply.  What is OP now, like 40?

P.S.  I tried for more trite acronyms in this post but was SOL.

Talk Zone / Re: Coaching Changes
« on: October 01, 2007, 01:04:04 am »

I have to think Clark gets the RR gig. He let it be known he was ready to move up after three years in CC.


"Hey, Hermione?  Wanna see the Phoenix rise again?"

"No, thanks, Ron; I'm looking for something that might last a little longer this time!"

{EDIT for emphasis added}

Talk Zone / Re: Lane to the Padres
« on: September 25, 2007, 08:46:41 am »

Well there was that too. Thank you Jason.

Padres becoming a dumping ground.

...except that they're only three games back in the West and tied for the wild card lead.

That was right up there with Mr. Carlson diddling Dudley as far as formative television goes.

I've never been comfortable in a bike shop, or playing "Tarzan" with an older man, ever since...

Talk Zone / Re: Drunk Thread
« on: September 19, 2007, 05:27:20 pm »
You've overestimated Zwolle. They haven't yet figured out how to open the box. They poke a hole in it.

What kind of wine goes best with tamales?

Talk Zone / Re: News flash
« on: September 18, 2007, 08:37:25 am »
This story has made me uncomfortable in a number of ways.  Have you ever heard of fiber?  They sell it in convenient little pills now! 

More than a little ironic, coming from Slow Poke Rodriquez.

I've never seen more shopping carts loaded down almost exclusively with cheap beer and raw meat since the last time I ventured over to the Fiesta supermarket at I-35 and 32nd Street.  No me gusta.

Talk Zone / Re: News flash
« on: September 17, 2007, 10:07:19 pm »
You know, I've been searching for a website where I can talk about my favorite baseball team AND my favorite bowel movements.

Honey, park the RV: I'M HOME!

Also, it's worth searching YouTube for Patton Oswalt's standup routine about the Famous Bowels.  It's almost as much fun as Jim Gaffigan's riff on Hot Pockets.

If we're going to rip the Clarks who swing and miss, then we should praise the ones who make solid contact.

Atta' boy, GBB.

Talk Zone / Re: Ryan Braun's actions last night
« on: September 06, 2007, 04:28:58 pm »
When they did the review of the game right before the Luke Scott homerun, right after Braun's showboat act, Jimmy D said "that's going to cost him sometime in his next at bat".  He meant retaliation of course and I figure it's probably going through the minds of a few pitchers on the Astros.  They play again in Houston on the 17th and I wouldn't be surprised the kid is hit in the small of the back for that little show.

That's the way that it's supposed to be handled.

From what I have seen and heard:

 1. Better-than-average to good agility behind the plate.

 2. Average to better-than-average arm.

 3. Still needs to work on handling pitchers, calling pitches, and mental approach to defense.

All in all, not bad, considering he's a 23-year-old catcher finishing his fourth season of pro ball.

Talk Zone / Re: Lamb to get less playing time
« on: September 02, 2007, 06:45:19 pm »
In terms of playing multiple positions, yeah. But Wigginton more or less played every day, and in fact has basically been a full-time player his whole career, whereas Lamb only had that role his first season with Texas. I'll be interested to see how Lamb does next year, wherever he ends up.

If D-Rays CF Rocco Baldelli hadn't taken his annual trip to the 60-day DL, then I'm not sure that would've been the case.  Otherwise, though, I agree with your point.

Talk Zone / Re: Lamb to get less playing time
« on: August 31, 2007, 05:18:24 pm »
I'll be interested to see if the new GM considers Wigginton the Astros 3b for 2008.

Good point... because it seemed as though the D-Rays considered Wigginton to be the RH version of how the Astros regarded Lamb at the beginning of '07.  Very "Groundhog Day"-ish.

Talk Zone / Re: Lamb to get less playing time
« on: August 30, 2007, 08:27:20 am »
Doesn't less playing time for Lamb make it more likely that Elias eventually rates him as a Type B free agent, rather than a Type A free agent, for the purposes of draft pick compensation (assuming the Astros offer Lamb arbitration and he declines)?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Hawaiian Winter League
« on: August 28, 2007, 07:18:04 pm »
thanks for helping me make my point.

Thank god for the internet and message boards. Hall monitors and pussy's can become such tough guys.

You're welcome to roll up and call me a "hall monitor" or a "pussy" to my face anytime you're feeling sporty, PE.

BTW, it's "pussies," not "pussy's."  I don't tolerate poor grammar when it comes to female-genitalia-related slurs.

Talk Zone / Re: Ryan-Sanders
« on: August 28, 2007, 07:12:26 pm »
If Drayton was willing to sell, I wonder if the Nolan-Sanders group has the juice to buy the Astros or if they would even have any interest. Thoughts?

I can't speak for their "juice," but I can tell you from personal experience that they are the classiest group of baseball folks that I have ever had the privilege to encounter.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Hawaiian Winter League
« on: August 28, 2007, 02:21:23 pm »
Its amazing what a little bit of bed side manners could do for you.

Is tbone a doctor or something?

Talk Zone / Re: what's the big announcement in 30 minutes?
« on: August 27, 2007, 04:26:28 pm »
Holding back Pence when he was obviously ML ready was a mistake.

Having a kid play a month of AAA ball before promoting him to the big club is hardly "holding him back."  Arguable points can be made about Lane, Burke, Jennings, etc., but this contention about Pence is simply asinine.

Also, I'm getting tired of hearing some "fans" run down Ensberg.  If you've got great memories and/or a bunch of Astros NL Champs or World Series gear from '05, then you have them in large part because of Ensberg.

Talk Zone / Re: classless MFers
« on: August 27, 2007, 04:16:52 pm »
It's perfectly acceptable to boo Pupura.  He sits and does nothing all day to improve the team. The farm system is dry and it doesn't help when he can't figure out a way to get our top draft picks signed. What the hell is the point of drafting people you don't plan on getting signed. If it is one person your not able to come to terms with then it is *somewhat* understandle but when it is multiple players unsigned something needs to be done. Also, when the hell else are you suppose to express your displeasure. Pupura sucks- plain and simple, he screwed us in multiple ways and quite frankly the bottom line= wins. Do you think fans and NY would be okay with the piece of shit effort Tim Pupura put up on a day to day basis? Do you think that would fly in Boston or Chicago? No- and they sure as hell would let it be known. You can't win with gutless people like Tim Pupura at the helm- and the booing of him in front of a sell out crowd honoring Jeff Bagwell might have just pushed Drayton to give him a swift kick in the ass. He probably already had his mind made up that he was going to cut him and scraps loose but I think the fans assisted his decision over the course of the past couple months.

He certainly posted this tantrum on the appropriate Thread...

Talk Zone / Re: So you're frustrated with the Astros?
« on: August 22, 2007, 11:30:42 pm »
My favorite part was when the Rangers called Angelos a dirty pirate hooker, and told him to go back to his home on Whore Island.

I will punch you in the ovaries... right in the baby-maker.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 1, 2 Punch (out)
« on: August 21, 2007, 06:49:40 pm »
Jimerson put up some impressive numbers for the Mariners' AA West Tennessee team this season, but has struggled since being promoted to AAA Tacoma:

The strikeouts, however, remain a constant.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: When to give up switch hitting?
« on: August 17, 2007, 10:15:04 am »
I'm talking about the ability to hit equally well from both sides.  Lance Berkman learned to switch hit, but he doesn't hit the same from both sides.  I don't see the benefit in guys like Berkman and Chipper Jones doing it, when they aren't the same hitter from both sides.  Opposing teams use it against them.

You mean, in the same way that they often vary their starters between RHPs and LHPs?

Crafty bastards...

Talk Zone / Re: New Pittsburgh Mascot (non-BB)
« on: August 09, 2007, 01:28:58 pm »
Is it just me, or does he have the body of a small child attached to his right elbow?

Talk Zone / Re: Jason Lane
« on: August 09, 2007, 12:03:35 pm »
Had no expectation nor interest that you would.   Whether you agree is also irrelevant.   The Astros reasoning is clear.

Nice work.

"I know nussing!"


Talk Zone / Re: Jason Lane
« on: August 09, 2007, 11:59:17 am »
25 man roster?
Starting the clock on his MLB playing career?

Theoretically, those are plausible reasons.  But Anderson is 25-years-old.

Talk Zone / Re: Jason Lane
« on: August 09, 2007, 11:56:00 am »
"(General manager Tim Purpura) and I talked about it a little bit," Astros farm director Ricky Bennett said of moving Anderson up. "But we think Jason's a better fit at this time, primarily because of his experience at this level."

You'll pardon me if I don't find that explanation particularly satisfying.

Notwithstanding Anderson's relatively lackluster season at Round Rock (in his first taste of AAA), I have a hard time agreeing that his lack of experience at the Major League level is a good reason not to give him a tryout on a team that's 12 games under .500.  His performance at Round Rock may be, but that's a wholly separate concern.

Talk Zone / Re: Jason Lane
« on: August 09, 2007, 11:36:00 am »
who do you want in CF?

I'm not advocating for anyone else.  I'm just surprised to see grown men rending their garments because someone has the unmitigated gall to ask "why?"

Talk Zone / Re: Jason Lane
« on: August 09, 2007, 10:52:57 am »
Wow... 51-63 makes for some defensive mf'ers.

Talk Zone / Re: BBQ Joints (Non-BB)
« on: August 09, 2007, 10:41:04 am »
Schoepf's in Belton is a great little stop-off for brisket.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Just a bit outside...
« on: August 07, 2007, 02:13:12 pm »
"It's why baseball is so difficult. I'm struggling, and it's tough when you're standing up there and can't trust anything. The organization preaches that I have to trust my stuff, so I can't be thinking about mechanical issues on the mound. Hopefully, I can get back on track."

Reminds me of my golf game...

Talk Zone / Re: Good FT. Worth article slamming Tex/boras
« on: August 03, 2007, 05:40:47 pm »
When a player hires Boras, they know what they are getting.  They don't go with him unless their sole goal is the largest contract possible.  Teams shouldn't be worried about Scott Boras.  They should be worried about the players that hire him.

Agreed... Boras is the Uber-Douche, but Teixeira has proven himself quite the douche-bag, as well.

Talk Zone / Re: Matching Game (Friday, non-bb? Maybe. Maybe not.)
« on: August 03, 2007, 04:58:54 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: Today's DQ Moment
« on: August 02, 2007, 04:45:14 pm »
Fatigued groin?

Talk Zone / Re: Noé, why are there wars?
« on: August 02, 2007, 04:44:03 pm »
because you touch yourself at night

No, that's why God kills kittens.

Talk Zone / Re: I'm kind of surprised Tex didn't get dusted
« on: August 02, 2007, 02:39:20 pm »

OK- I've seen plenty of incidents stem from shit like that.  Specifically, when I was growing up a stolen base late up 5 or 6 runs almost always resulted in someone getting plunked.

Still happens... earlier this season, Corpus had a near dust-up with an opponent because the opposing pitcher plunked a batter after a Corpus baserunner stole 2nd with a sizable lead in the later innings.

When the incident was described to me, none of the Corpus guys appeared angry with the opposing pitcher.  Rather, they questioned their own teammate for taking the base in that situation.

Talk Zone / Re: September
« on: August 02, 2007, 01:55:39 pm »
Will it chew up one of the option years?

Yes... although, if the player was on the 40-man roster in Spring Training, then the club has already exercised his option for this season (by sending him to the minors when the season started), such that there is no additional penalty for calling him up in September.  See, e.g., Charlton Jimerson, 2004-2006.

Talk Zone / Re: godamn it, purpura!!!!!
« on: August 01, 2007, 09:18:30 am »
I never claimed to know who the Astros were offered for Lamb and Loretta.  Likewise, I never said that not trading them was "dumb and wrong."  Surely, you don't need a straw man, since your arguments are so compelling.

Let's revisit the initial post on this thread, since so many of you seem to have forgotten.

the fucking devil rays turned wheeler around for... oh, wait - never mind....

btw (in anticipation of the coming tidal wave of LCD): luis castillo netted a AA prospect and a hi-A prospect; kenny lofton netted a lo-A prospect; eric gagne netted two marginal prospects and a 17-year old; and octavio dotel netted a recently demoted triple A prospect.

really, only san diego struck gold, turning linebrink into two really good prospects, both of whom are a year or two away at least.

wiggington for wheeler and holding onto lamb and loretta in lieu of dumping them for marginal and/or low-level prospects doesn't look all that awful in that context, if it really looks awful in any context.

The premise is almost entirely disingenuous.  Let's review:

 (a) For starters, I'll agree that the Twins didn't get much for Castillo.  Does anyone honestly believe, however, that either Lamb or Loretta are anywhere comparable, offensively, to Castillo?  Of course not.

 (b) The Rangers got catching prospect Max Ramirez for Lofton.  For those of you scoring at home, Ramirez is as good a catching prospect as there is on the Astros' entire farm, excepting maybe Towles.

 (c) The claim that Gagne fetched only "two marginal prospects and a 17-year-old" is laughable.  Kason Gabbard will slide right into the Rangers rotation.  Who here would rather have Wandy than Gabbard?  David Murphy is a questionable CF prospect for an organization looking for CF options.  Sound familiar?  And, Engel Beltre is just a 17-year-old.  Right.

 (d) For Dotel, the Braves got Kyle Davies, whom the poster identified as a "recently demoted AAA prospect."  So, are we pretending that Davies is not at least as good a pitching prospect as anyone currently in Round Rock or Corpus?

 (e) The Padres turned Linebrink into Will Inman, Steve Garrison, and Joe Thatcher.  That's a AAA pitcher, a AA pitcher, and a High-A pitcher.  All for one aging middle reliever.

Despite all the above-listed consideration flying around at the deadline, I guess that no one was willing to deal fairly with the Astros' front office.

Whatever gets you by.

Talk Zone / Re: godamn it, purpura!!!!!
« on: July 31, 2007, 11:31:17 pm »
Who were the Astros offered for Lamb/Loretta/Jennings?   Surely you know that much, if you are going to whine about them not being traded, right?

Suck it, Trebek.

The initial post on this thread lauded the Astros for not making any deals and scoffed at deals made by other teams.  That seems awfully cavalier for an organization that's 14 games under .500 and with not much hope for short-term help from within its own minor league ranks.

Talk Zone / Re: godamn it, purpura!!!!!
« on: July 31, 2007, 11:13:04 pm »
I really don't see how Houston is supposed to be better for finishing the season with Lamb and Loretta in Astros uniforms.  So, they both walk this off-season, leaving the Astros with nothing to show for them except the '07 team photo, and that's somehow a good thing?

Meanwhile, the Rangers take two guys whom they likewise knew would walk at the first opportunity--Tex and Gagne--and turn them (along with throw-in Mahay) into Saltalamacchia, Gabbard, Murphy, and three other prospects, and somebody around here has the gall to poo-poo those deals?

Sorry, but that batch of Kool-Aid is too strong for me to drink.

Talk Zone / Re: Count out another suitor for Loretta
« on: July 30, 2007, 02:43:00 pm »
"The team could use Nick Punto and Jeff Cirillo at second and acquire another third baseman — possibly Morgan Ensberg, whom was designated for assignment Sunday by the Astros."

Noteworthy, for both its content and its flagrant misuse of the word "whom."

Talk Zone / Re: Widespread Panic
« on: July 30, 2007, 09:49:09 am »
I'm just glad that it's not a music thread.

Having attended some of both in recent years, I would much rather attend an '07 Astros game than a Widespread concert.  A Jennings 11-run-1st-Inning is still more tolerable than one of WS's never-ending riffs.

Talk Zone / Re: How do you nominate for POTW?
« on: July 30, 2007, 09:37:35 am »
Witness the violence inherent in the system.

I noticed a while back that Tim Raines is playing RR.  Can anyone offer a breakdown on him?  It looks like Houston picked him up as a minor league FA but I'm not sure.  I'll keep looking but any insight is appreciated.

Yep, the Astros signed Raines as a minor league FA this off-season.

Raines started the season at Corpus Christi and was promoted to Round Rock at about the same time that the Astros called Hunter Pence up to Houston.  He was serving mainly as the Express' fourth OF until Pence's injury resulted in Jason Lane being recalled by Houston, which has created more playing time for Raines.

Ironically, Raines has hit better as a part-time player at Round Rock (.327/.365/.478) than he did as an everyday starter at Corpus (.244/.319/.329).

Talk Zone / Re: Ensberg DFA'd
« on: July 29, 2007, 10:32:03 pm »
The thing I will always remember about Ensberg is that in the most successful season in franchise history, he finished as high in MVP voting as Biggio ever did.


Morgan's production over the past couple seasons is what it is.

However, the Astros absolutely do not make the playoffs in 2005 without him.  He carried the offense for stretches of the season, particularly while Berkman's knee was still gimpy.

IMHO, Ensberg deserves the NL Championship ring that those guys wear as much as any other Astro.  For that alone, he deserves a lasting quantum of respect from Astros fans.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Max Sapp
« on: July 27, 2007, 02:25:12 pm »
Haven't had a first hand report of him since late May.  At that time it was estimated he was closer to 240 than the listed 220 on his 6'2" frame.  In terms of performance, he had a bad June (.211) after a hot May (.337).  So far for July he is hitting .244 and has hit his first two homers of the season.  For a 19 year old in the South Atlantic League, he is not doing too badly.

Overall his stats are:

.257 BA, 22 doubles, 2 hr, 30 RBI's, he strikes out about one every 4.5 at bats. He has had 15 passed balls behind the plate. 

I am sure he is on the Astros' weight watcher list.

You'd be amazed how many of these kids (in all organizations, not just the Astros) eschew any kind of legitimate regimen of conditioning, strength training, nutrition, etc.

As a former college athlete, I just assumed that most guys who get paid to play baseball and whose ultimate goal is the Show would commit themselves to refining their physiques and their conditioning.  I've come to realize, however, that most don't.  Sounds like Sapp is no exception.

Talk Zone / Re: Brewers get Linebrink
« on: July 26, 2007, 11:09:13 am »
Lidge is a fan favorite again? Damn. It is hard to keep up.

"Any way the wind blows... nothing really matters, to me."

Is the organization waiting on anything in particular to release Chan Ho Suck?

[rimshot] You mean, Chan Ho "Leaving the" Park? [/rimshot]

Thank you, thank you... I'll be here all week.  Try the potato salad, it's great.

Talk Zone / Re: Olney: Padres and Yankees interested in Loretta
« on: July 24, 2007, 08:11:00 am »
I'll give you a nerf dart gun and 2 strawberry pop-tarts for him. Those are the only things of real value currently on my desk that I can part with, but I'll sweeten the offer if you can wait until I get home.

PS - Does he do yardwork?

Frosted or regular?

Talk Zone / Re: Mike Coolbaugh
« on: July 23, 2007, 11:18:28 pm »
I have a question, if someone were to jump in front of your vehicle and you kill them with your car its unintentional in this case wouldnt it be just that for the guy who fouled the ball off? what kind of legal ramifications are on the way for him?

Aside from being wholly insensitive and inappropriate, this is an egregious misstatement of the law.

It pains me to think that I draw people like you on my jury panels.

Talk Zone / Re: Mike Coolbaugh
« on: July 23, 2007, 11:34:29 am »
I heard the news this morning.  I was shocked when they said "Mike Coolbaugh".  When he was with the Zephyrs/Express AAA club, he was very fun to watch hit a baseball.  He had a nice compact swing.  Lightning quick.  I never understood why he wasn't a major leaguer playing a reserve role for someone.  He looked like a man who could help a club with his bat.

You and me both... Mike had outstanding pop throughout his career and also played a solid 3B.  I always thought that he could serve some big club well in the role of a RH Mike Lamb-type player.

Talk Zone / Mike Coolbaugh
« on: July 22, 2007, 11:42:06 pm »
Many of you (especially those in Austin and Round Rock) are probably familiar with Mike Coolbaugh, the former Express and Zephyrs 3B who also saw big league time with the Brewers and Cardinals.  More recently, Mike assumed the position of hitting coach with the Rockies' AA affiliate in Tulsa just a few weeks ago.

I've just received the horrific news that Mike was apparently struck in the head by a foul ball while coaching 1st Base for Tulsa tonight in a game in Little Rock.  He reportedly never regained consciousness and passed away shortly thereafter.

Mike was 35-years-old.  He is survived by a wife and two small sons, who reside in his hometown of San Antonio.  Mike was a great ballplayer and a great guy.

I anticipate that the Ryan-Sanders group will do something to honor Mike's memory, and I understand that some of Mike's former teammates currently with the Express and the Hooks will be doing the same.

Our prayers go out for his family in this time of tragedy.

EVen if you're not hungry, Huey's is good.  To the Memphis familiar, we're talking late 70's/early 80's here, but my buddies and I used to hang out at Murphy's Oyster Bar in mid-town--they had no oysters!  There was a place called J-Wags that was casual on the ID thing, so it was popular with a few of us high schoolers--drinking age was 18 until about '82, I think.  By the mid/late 80's, though, J-Wags had somehow morphed into a speakasy gay bar....a tragedy.  I say speakeasy, because to be flamboyantly gay in Memphis in the 80's was to invite the law and kids with steel pipes out for a quick kill.  Jimmy Wagner, who died in the early 70's, I believe, would not have appreciated the change.  Almost forgot the P&H across the street from Murphy's to round out our non-Overton Square mid-town options.  There were a couple of good spots over by Southwestern at Memphis--now known as Rhodes College), but I can't remember them.

Over by Memphis State--yeah, I know they've changed THAT name, too--there was the Bull Shot, which had good steaks, believe it or not, but great Tiger High Eye Candy, including girls who wished they were still attending Tiger High.  The London Transport down the street was an amazingly hot spot for about two years, but the drinking age change killed it.  Keith Sykes and Robert Johnson used to pop in there to play unplugged, long before THAT was more common.

WHAT A PLAY AT THE MOUND BY WOODY IN THE 8th!!!  Ball coulda wrecked him....WRECKED HIM, SHIT, IT COULDA KILLED HIM.  GEEZ, the shot to right center to follow looked good off the bat, but Burke made it look routine.  Guess the hit looked at lot like my tee game....looks beautiful and pured off the box until you get out there and find that you're still 200 yards out on a 380 yard hole.

My two favorite Midtown dives are Old Zinnie's and Alex's.  The latter has an outstanding burger, called the "Rocky Burger" after the current owner (whose father, the original owner, named it after his adolescent son).  I say it's outstanding, but I've never actually had one while I was sober.  I'll be hitting both of those establishments this fall when I trek back to Memphis for my Rhodes 10-year reunion.

Also, if it's still in operation, Ernestine and Hazel's is a good late-night spot downtown, just a few blocks south of Beale Street on the riverfront.  The place was a whorehouse for a number of years in the early 20th Century, and the current club is named after its most prominent madames.

I went to school in Midtown Memphis, so I'm partial to the idiosynchratic little bars and restaurants there.  However, those aren't really suited for a one-night tourist visit.

While I agree that the Rendezvous' ribs aren't world-class, IMO, the overall experience there justifies a visit.  From the pitchers of Michelob to the sausage-and-cheese plates to the ribs, it's a good place to chow down and begin a fun evening.

Whoever mentioned Huey's was preaching the Gospel.  Great potato soup, good burgers and fries, a fairly decent beer and liquor selection, and a very cool atmosphere.  A good choice for lunch.

I miss that town.

Talk Zone / Re: 101 Simpsons Quotes
« on: July 21, 2007, 01:19:45 am »
Krusty: So he's proactive, huh?

Producer: Oh, God, yes. We're talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.

Writer: Excuse me, but proactive and paradigm? Aren't these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? [pause] Not that I'm accusing you of anything like that. [pause] I'm fired, aren't I?

Talk Zone / Re: 101 Simpsons Quotes
« on: July 19, 2007, 05:34:38 pm »
They omitted one of my all-time favorite Grandpa Simpson lines:

[In response to Bart's complaint that he got a spanking from former President Bush.]

Grandpa: "That's NOTHIN'! I was once spanked by Grover Cleveland on two non-consecutive occasions."

BTW, I was initially skeptical about the soon-to-be-released "Simpsons" movie, until I saw the trailer.  The "Spider Pig" bit alone makes me weep.

Talk Zone / Re: My day just got much better
« on: July 19, 2007, 03:40:59 pm »
It's a comfort to me, at least, that Spleen is out there on that wall while the rest of us sleep secure.

You believe that, don't you, Clark?  That I'm here to help you any way I can?

Talk Zone / Re: Texas LAW question (NON BB)
« on: July 18, 2007, 05:20:00 pm »
Being an unpatriotic, blind sheep on matters of front license plates, could you tell me if your personal redemption song has a verse about emancipating yourself from something a little more inspiring than the oppression of vehicular license display regulations? I mean, I'm on board with any good revolution, this one just lacks a little oomph in its current form.

No kidding.

I haven't been this underwhelmed by a revolutionary cause since Charles Guiteau assassinated President Garfield because of his proponency of civil service reform.  I say damn the civil service and those who would reform it.

Talk Zone / Re: My day just got much better
« on: July 18, 2007, 05:09:27 pm »
POTWA nominee right here.

I'm thinking POTYA.  You rarely see that level of wit, vulgarity, and sacrilege in one post.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Brad James
« on: July 18, 2007, 01:34:13 pm »
James is making his first AA start for the Hooks tonight, at home against Midland.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: BP Positional rankings: Catchers
« on: July 18, 2007, 01:20:27 pm »
IMHO, Towles is the best catching prospect to rise through the organization since John Buck.  That said, projecting him as the starter in '08 is frighteningly premature.

The "premature" analogy works well, though, since we're talking about BP, which leaves knowledgeable baseball readers as unsatisified as a Quick Draw McGraw in the bedroom.

Talk Zone / Re: More cold water from Footer
« on: July 17, 2007, 05:16:17 pm »
Fistings Milledge.

Sorry about that.

I laughed... and I accept your apology.

Talk Zone / Re: Pure Baseball (Non-Astros)
« on: July 17, 2007, 04:36:05 pm »
Funny "cut" story...

When I was a senior in HS, we returned nearly our entire starting lineup from our junior season, which was a very competitive team in a very competitive 5A district in north Louisiana.  Literally, our lineup was set before we had the first practice in February, with 9 seniors and a junior manning the various positions and the DH slot.  The only variation involved who was pitching in that particular game.

We also had a bench returning from the remaining seniors, juniors, and a couple of good sophomores who had shone on the JV team in the previous season.  The roster was totally and legitimately complete.  We weren't interested in offering opportunities to newcomers.  We were interested in winning the state title, (which means, of course, that we would have taken on any newcomers talented enough to get us closer to that goal, if there were any).

Nevertheless, enough parents raised a stink that our principal forced our head coach to hold a varsity "tryout" on a Saturday afternoon in late February.  Our coach was not a jackass.  In fact, he was a good baseball coach and a good man, but he had little patience for such nonsense.

Our coach ran the newbies through a variety of drills to test their defensive abilities and allowed them each a brief BP session.  He concluded the tryout by chalking a short line perpendicular to the LF line about 200 feet from home plate.  He then instructed each of the participants to crow-hop to the chalk line and make their best throw to our catcher who was stationed at the backstop.

Several kids made halfway decent throws which one-hopped or two-hopped to the plate.  None hit the catcher on the fly.  Our coach then instructed each of us--the five returning varsity OFs--to make our best throws.  Most of us hit the backstop hear the top of the fence, while our two big hoses cleared the backstop altogether.

Coach then thanked everyone for attending and announced that everyone who didn't at least hit the catcher on the fly was cordially invited to tryout the following season.  Not surprisingly, our coach had another meeting with the principal the next week, but he struck to his guns and our roster remained unaltered.

He made the right call.  We won more than 30 games that season, captured the district title, and lost a heart-breaker in extra innings in the 5A quarterfinals.

P.S.  I never played a day of "Select" league baseball in my life, nor did my younger brother, who far surpassed anything that I or most people have ever accomplished on the diamond.

Talk Zone / Re: My day just got much better
« on: July 17, 2007, 01:27:52 pm »
Women's sports.  Lesbians, at the very least, wanting to look at women all hot and sweaty rather than Ausmus in the same condition.  Shocking.

Your second point appears to explain BudGirl's obvious ire in response to my initial comment.

Talk Zone / Re: My day just got much better
« on: July 17, 2007, 12:24:57 pm »
I don't think I'm her type NTTAWRT.

Interesting... I would have guessed that a lesbian would have more appreciation for baseball and Brooks Robinson than the average female.

You learn something new everyday.

Talk Zone / Re: Pure Baseball (Non-Astros)
« on: July 17, 2007, 12:20:31 pm »

You weren't sponsored by the American Legion Post?

The Post sponsored the league, i.e., fields, umps, etc., but each team had its own sponsor(s) for uniforms, equipment, travel, etc.

Unfortunately for me, my Legion participation always got short-circuited by summer football practice and August two-a-days.  My Legion teammates gave me hell for bailing on them (sarcastically, of course, since I wasn't really that good), but I gave it back to them for being pussies and not playing football.

Talk Zone / Re: Pure Baseball (Non-Astros)
« on: July 17, 2007, 10:47:15 am »
American Legion ball was the show when I played in Louisiana.  As some mentioned, we grouped players from 1-2 high schools and played under the banner of cosmopolitan sponsors such as Moore's Tire & Service and Fertitta's Grocery.

In the past 10-20 years, the north Louisiana American Legion chapter has produced a number of names familiar to baseball fans, including Todd Walker, Jays closer B.J. Ryan, former Astro and current Hook Todd Self, and Twins pitcher Scott Baker.

As the presence of the aforementioned players suggests, the quality of play was always very high.

Talk Zone / Re: Jean-Jacques Taylor's resume for the chronicle.
« on: July 17, 2007, 09:06:45 am »
Taylor covers football for the DaMN and he has nothing else better to do right now.  Consider the source.

Richie's Dad is correct.  JJT actually does a pretty respectable job of covering the Cowboys and the NFL, but he's out of his element here (or in anything other than pro football or heartwarming puff pieces).

The day that the Morning News excised Kevin Blackistone and Gerry Fraley was a great day for the Dallas sports fan.  Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks has been that the Morning News has asked/allowed JJT to venture outside his comfort zone, with mostly regrettable results.

Talk Zone / Re: There's a little black spot in center field today...
« on: July 14, 2007, 01:29:44 am »

But according to Angel Pagan, it's just the same old thing as yesterday.

My all-time favorite Police track.  Well played, sir.

P.S.  F the Cuban haters.  Is he a douche?  Yes.  Does he pour his heart and his checkbook into improving his team?  You bet.  Name me an owner of a Houston sports franchise about whom the same can be said.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Towles takes on the world
« on: July 04, 2007, 07:58:31 am »
Santangelo is back from his 50-game suspension, so it'll be interesting to see what the organization does with him and Towles in Corpus.

Talk Zone / Re: Maybe Pence needs a new glove...
« on: July 03, 2007, 05:39:22 pm »
Speaking of CF candidates, how did Josh Anderson disappear from the radar so quickly?

Talk Zone / Re: FSN postgame
« on: July 03, 2007, 05:29:17 pm »
I thought that was an award for the sexiest vegetable?

Pickled tomato.

Talk Zone / Re: Ouch
« on: July 02, 2007, 05:14:57 pm »
Another Astros-related cup check moment...

Talk Zone / Re: In other news...
« on: July 02, 2007, 04:16:03 pm »
Just because you give the man $20 doesn't mean he's a doctor.

Mooooon River...

Talk Zone / Re: In other news...
« on: July 02, 2007, 03:26:50 pm »
Now that's what I call a major league cupcheck.

Cupcheck?  More like a prostate exam.

Talk Zone / Re: season issues "solved" by KIRK BOHLS in the statesman
« on: July 02, 2007, 03:18:36 pm »
he writes just to irritate readers, imo.

...i.e., the Robert Jensen school of journalistic thinking, only applied to sports... which is even worse.

Talk Zone / Re: In other news...
« on: July 02, 2007, 01:21:52 pm »
In other news...
anyone want to see how Cubs celebrate big home runs?

Sorry if Cabrera...

Wow... so, Ramirez hit a HR and then his unidentified Cubs teammate got to third base?

That's a difficult play to score.

Talk Zone / Re: From NYCU:
« on: July 02, 2007, 01:14:23 pm »
But, Noe, "news" is made up by the talking heads as opposed to speaking with the actual players, dontchaknow?

When the players won't speak to you because you're such a choad, what's a writer to do?

Talk Zone / Re: Why would Drayton do something different?
« on: July 01, 2007, 09:24:08 am »
"I think Hunter is pretty good in center, and I think Carlos is a decent left fielder. I think we have the makings of a good defense. We just need to get every in their natural positions where they're comfortable and let them play."

Yeesh... Someone give Lance another twinkie.  His blood sugar must be low.

Talk Zone / Re: season issues "solved" by KIRK BOHLS in the statesman
« on: June 30, 2007, 07:40:44 pm »
he is a self-described "close friend" of Justice. 'nuff said.

They must have met at a "Sports Journalists Who Loathe the Teams We're Assigned to Cover" club meeting.

Bohls is a douche-bag of the highest order.

Talk Zone / Re: Hunter Pence....
« on: June 30, 2007, 03:33:51 pm »
poor Hunter. good thing his Fan Club is monitoring.

Don't worry... the impending Spice Girls reunion will distract them soon.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Mid Season Promotions
« on: June 29, 2007, 04:31:05 pm »

Shows that Josh Miller and Chance Douglass got moved up to Round Rock to replace Albers/McLemore.

...and the glimmer of life recently seen in the Hooks' pitching staff is about to die...

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Mid Season Promotions
« on: June 29, 2007, 04:20:42 pm »
The AAA roster move to make room for Torbert:

Well, I understand that he took Sauerbeck's roster spot, but what the heck are the Express going to do with a roster that includes six OFs?

Talk Zone / Re: I don't see...
« on: June 28, 2007, 06:34:30 am »
When the Clark is dead, Spack will eat his spleen. Before he dies, Spack will put his posts under the knife so the Clark will see his threads wiped out forever...

Makes me laugh every time I encounter it.

Great movie, great line, great parody.

Talk Zone / Re: I don't see...
« on: June 27, 2007, 10:28:36 pm »
Jesus Christ...

OR maybe people here just ARE more enlightened than the Justice reading masses?

If not, then Spack ought to enter the OWA self-destruct sequence.

Talk Zone / Re: I don't see...
« on: June 27, 2007, 06:12:46 pm »

And that differs from the regulars here, how....?

The "difference" lies in the presumption that a poster knows more, or could accomplish more, than the front office, coaching staff, or players.

It's an embarrassing combination of ignorance and arrogance.  Only problem is, most of the perpetrators don't have the self-awareness to be embarrassed.  Do you?

Talk Zone / Re: I don't see...
« on: June 27, 2007, 06:03:14 pm »
you are full of shit, too.

why don't all you moaners and whiners and complainers get together and go to another site? this shit has got to stop or every damn thread will be locked eventually.

while you are at it, tell of of your exploits when you did npot "shrink in the clutch." i'll bet you were fucking great.

fucking internet losers sitting at a keyboard and anonymously crititicizing the efforts and the guts of major league ballplayers.

Posters like that are why I quit posting on UT football sites and why I enjoy reading and posting over here.  You could crash a server with the mindless rantings of the coulda-beens and never-weres who will line up to tell coaches and players how the cow ate the cabbage.

Apparently, though, they've found us.

It's floodin' down in Texas...

Talk Zone / Re: As of today...
« on: June 27, 2007, 01:33:11 pm »
That almost sounds like the A's "moneyball" draft.  I would hope we could do better than old Billy did.  That Catcher from Bama he was so hot about is still in AAA. 

Jeremy Brown... when, I saw him play for Midland against Round Rock a few seasons back, he wasn't even the best catcher on his own RockHound team (John Baker).

Talk Zone / Re: As of today...
« on: June 26, 2007, 10:31:06 am »
Perhaps it is time to take drastic measures.

Some of my HS baseball teammates used to screw around with that "delivery" in practice, but never actually tried it in a game for fear of the unholy retribution that would have assuredly flowed from our head coach shortly thereafter.

Talk Zone / Re: Salty
« on: June 25, 2007, 12:51:01 pm »
do the Braves ever trade a player who comes back to bite them? they are, imo, one of the shrewdest trading clubs in MLB. a frontline pitcher AND a proven MLB backup C for a prospect, albeit a good-looking prospect? isn't that a pretty damn high price?

The only one that comes to mind is Wainwright...

Talk Zone / Re: It's me! Every girl ever. (NBB)
« on: June 24, 2007, 03:18:43 pm »
Seems that his friend was attracting these pale skinned women who looked like they were one ounce away from being officially anorexia poster children.  When I say pale though, it doesn't do it justice.  They were hideously white, as in almost transparent.  They were later to be called goth girls I suppose, but these precursors were seriously ill looking women with nothing really interesting about them, in communication skills they were horrid and single minded and nothing about them spoke of "look at me, I'm attractive" at all.

See, e.g., Courtney Love, c.1995.

Talk Zone / Re: Sopranos (non-BB)
« on: June 23, 2007, 05:32:17 pm »
"That's true... I do talk about a lot of really hot women."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Mid Season Promotions
« on: June 22, 2007, 07:39:04 pm »
One other note on the Torbert move, it means he will not be able to play in the Texas League All Star game.  There must be something happening that couldn't wait until the 26th.

The Hooks' radio  broadcaster announced during tonight's game that the Astros will be allowing Torbert to return to Corpus on Tuesday in order to participate in the Texas League All-Star Game.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Mid Season Promotions
« on: June 22, 2007, 09:38:57 am »
Let's get moving:

Beau Torbert to AAA

Salem/Lex/Tri Cities

What's happening on the Round Rock roster to make room for Torbert?

The Express have already got five OFs (Lane, Rodriguez, Anderson, Raines, and Wesson).

Talk Zone / Re: Sopranos (non-BB)
« on: June 18, 2007, 07:30:30 am »
On the other hand, "Flight of the Conchords" gave me a few chuckles.

Talk Zone / Re: According to Justice
« on: June 17, 2007, 06:47:00 pm »

Irregardless, if you are making illusion to Dick Justice, I think that's just capitol.  Trying to illicit any useful information from either his blog nor his column is like squeezing blood out of a rock.  The Chronicle's principle sports columnist, and he cannot string two sentences together any more readible then if you got anyone off the streets.  We wait with baited breathe for something coherent from him.  He should not be allowed to commentate on baseball at all, until he gets himself orientated with reality.  Common sense alludes him.  He'll get his just deserts one day.

Well crafted.

Talk Zone / Re: Brawl at Wrigley
« on: June 16, 2007, 05:20:43 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: 2 examples of crazy (1 non BB)
« on: June 15, 2007, 05:45:56 pm »
Angels also interested in Tejada. A snippet about last year's trade deadline:

From what I can tell, Santana is a 3rd or 4th starter. ERA 4.28 or higher last three season. Aybar doesn't seem to be much of anything.

I'd be surprised if the Angels would still do that deal, in light of how well Cabrera is hitting this season.

Talk Zone / Re: Sopranos (non-BB)
« on: June 15, 2007, 05:34:25 pm »
I've always been a fan of the visceral, percussive opening, a la "Kashmir" or "When the Levee Breaks."

Talk Zone / Re: BFIBs
« on: June 14, 2007, 09:53:29 pm »
Just a shot in the dark, but perhaps Kevin grew up to be the dancing BFIB and his butt buddy went on to a career in religious talk show appearances.  Just trying to figure out what the second video has to do with the first.   Second video almost has to be fake, but if not, it is facinating in a train wreck kind of way.

I don't know either.  But, it was the first video linked to the right of the original video.

Talk Zone / Re: BFIBs
« on: June 14, 2007, 03:04:58 pm »
I was relatively unimpressed with the dancing Cardinals fan, but I did discover this interesting nugget:

Talk Zone / Re: Cubs learning what the entire Western world knew:
« on: June 14, 2007, 12:49:45 pm »
• On Aug. 27, Barrett caused both benches to empty by jawing at Oswalt when the pitcher batted in the second inning. Oswalt went on to beat the Cubs 15-7, snapping their five-game winning streak and cutting their lead over the Astros in the wild-card race to six games. The Astros ended up snatching the wild card from the Cubs, and the Barrett-Oswalt incident was seen as the spark that fueled them.

One of my favorite Astro moments (as in one-second-of-Astros-baseball) was the look on Roy's face when Barrett started jawing. 

It was that "I could kill you with my pinky fingernail, you swollen bitch, but if you want me to prove it to you in front of all these nice people, let's feel free to have a go at it, shall we, ol' chap" shit eating Mississippi grin.

Having lived the first 21 years of my life in or near that part of the world, I can assure you that no one--I mean, no one--in Mississippi uses the phrase "ol' chap."

In fact, Roy might throw at you for simply suggesting that his look connoted the phrase.

An acceptable replacement would be "sum'bitch," "possum's pecker," or anything else that Sheriff Buford T. Justice might have said in S and the B.

Talk Zone / Re: Rosenthal on the possibility of a Lidge trade
« on: June 14, 2007, 09:50:19 am »
Don't forget about the Indians.  They don't have a C, but they do have a 3B which the Astros obviously need.  Marte could fill in nicely at 3B and an OF.  They have plenty of OF to choose from.


Talk Zone / Re: Chris Sampson
« on: June 14, 2007, 08:17:42 am »
Alex Jones?  Is that you?

Black helicopters, man...

Talk Zone / Re: Cubs learning what the entire Western world knew:
« on: June 13, 2007, 11:26:29 pm »
Some might say that the BBGs have rendered an opinion about this Thread.

See, e.g., Wheeler vs. Sampson.

Talk Zone / Re: Astros sign Chan Ho Park to minor league deal
« on: June 12, 2007, 06:25:34 pm »
Seriously, this ranks just below "taking a belt-sander to your own nutsack" and just above "New Coke" on the spectrum of sound decision-making.

I live in Dallas.  I have seen what happens next.

Talk Zone / Re: Sopranos (non-BB)
« on: June 11, 2007, 01:12:41 pm »
McMurtry is a revisionist and mostly rejects anything good that came out of the Westward Expansion.  He was not happy that you or I came away from "Lonesome Dove" with sentimental feelings for Newt or Captain Call.  In "Laredo," he casually does away with Newt in a paragraph, but he takes his time in systematically rendering Call into a pathetic cripple.  It is entirely his right to have done so, but it also revealed the pompous ass that is Archer City's finest.

Last fall, I went back and read the entire saga, all four books, in story order (i.e., not the order in which McMurtry wrote them).  Interestingly, the exercise made me appreciate "Comanche Moon" even more and resent "Streets of Laredo" even less.

So, is this the furtherance of the McMurtry backfire?  Or, am I too much of a John Wayne-style jingo to appreciate the alleged contempt in McMurtry's characterization of his protagonists?

Talk Zone / Re: Quintero outrighted to RR, McLemore up
« on: June 11, 2007, 01:00:34 pm »
not just fans of the Astros--fans of the game of baseball. poster after poster just does not understand the importance of defense at C, SS and CF.

I blame ESPN, fantasy baseball, and "Moneyball."

It's much the same way that many football fans (and alleged "analysts") will rail endlessly about an offense's skill players, without so much as mentioning the quality of the OL.

If there ain't a marketable stat for it, then people who don't really understand the game will miss it.

Talk Zone / Re: Sopranos (non-BB)
« on: June 11, 2007, 11:01:00 am »
I've heard various commentaries this morning suggesting that Tony did get whacked and hearkening back to his conversation with Bobby in the boat about how (paraphrasing) you probably never see it coming and everything just goes to black.

Edit: Lurch beat me to the punch.  I'm thinking that Chase deliberately aimed for the kind ambiguity that is fodder for today's talk shows, water coolers, and message boards.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2007 Draft Thread
« on: June 08, 2007, 05:02:54 pm »
Catching you up:

Round 34:
Brian Wabick, RHP from Oakton CC in IL

Round 35:
Jordan Powell, RHP from Southern Illinois Univ at Carbondale

Round 36:
Albert Cartwright, CF from Polk CC in FL

Round 37:
Robert Leonhardt, RHP from Stephen F Austin St Univ

Round 38:
Robert Weinhardt, RHP from Oklahoma ST Univ.

What are the odds?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 2007 Draft Thread
« on: June 08, 2007, 01:32:23 am »
Nice little blurb on him from the Lamar University Baseball site:

He only had 8 SBs this past year, Lamar isn't a tiny school, so not sure how bad the pitching was he faced, but those numbers seem to indicate a decent hitter, with some gap ability at least.

Lamar is a member of the Southland Conference, which plays some fairly salty baseball for a "mid-major" conference. 

Other members of the conference are McNeese State (alums include Seattle 1B Ben Broussard and Express RHP Jared Gothreaux); Texas-Arlington (alums include Astros OF Hunter Pence and Giants OF Dan Ortmeier), Louisiana-Monroe (alums include Brewers RHP Ben Sheets and Hooks 1B Todd Self); Texas State; Sam Houston State; etc.

Talk Zone / Re: Stark's latest Astro-related tidbits
« on: June 07, 2007, 02:32:55 pm »
The buzz in Houston is that the Astros don't want to wait around until July to get in the trading mood because they're not interested in letting this season slip away.

Is there a 12-step program for baseball front offices?

Talk Zone / Re: Okay, you get a vote
« on: June 04, 2007, 04:55:45 pm »
Under the handle Joshua Dicks.

"We fought Indians, we fought outlaws, we fought dicks!

Remember when Richard Dicks tried to take over the town?"

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: ESPN rates 2002 draft
« on: June 04, 2007, 04:23:11 pm »
Astros: This draft appears to be the only one that has yet to produce a big leaguer. Second-rounder Talbot, traded to Tampa Bay for Aubrey Huff, should get there soon and should be good, but that's it. Grigsby's career stalled because he had emotional issues, but he was a huge gamble in the Tony Pluta/Robert Stiehl mold … and if you haven't heard of those two top Houston draft picks, that's all you need to know.


I can't figure out if I want to know where you're eating dinner.

The Krugerrands, I can envision.  It's the pouch that bucks me off the horse.

Talk Zone / Re: Question for all you lawyer types
« on: May 29, 2007, 01:34:48 pm »
Texas Dram Shop Law does allow the intoxicated driver, along with any third parties injured by the intoxicated driver, to recover from the serving establishment.

Also, Texas is a so-called "50+" state.  A plaintiff is barred from any recovery if the jury apportions 51% or more responsibility to the plaintiff.

For WuLawHorn and any other nerdy law sorts (like myself), the Texas Dram Shop Act is a hot topic of debate in the current legislative session in Austin, as lawmakers decide how to handle the controversial Duenez case, which permits the jury to consider the responsibility of the intoxicated driver separately from that of the serving establishment.  The plaintiff's bar would prefer, conversely, for the serving establishment to be, effectively, vicariously liable for the acts of the intoxicated driver.

Talk Zone / Re: Shiner 98
« on: May 29, 2007, 12:52:55 pm »
It's Pittsburg local.

Iron City tastes like Pittsburgh smells.

Talk Zone / Re: Chris Burke could take a lesson from MoBerg
« on: May 29, 2007, 12:49:59 pm »
that too, but he became a royal pain in the ass his last year in RR.

From what I know, these issues even pre-dated the '06 season.  I have it on good authority--and I'm sure that Jim's pal in the RR press box can confirm or deny--that Jimerson once received an edict from the highest-level in Round Rock to cut out the antics after his HRs and multiple "Golden Sombreros."  I have also been told that several Express teammates warned Jimerson that they would not leave the dugout to back him if he got drilled after pimping yet another HR.

Talk Zone / Re: Chris Burke could take a lesson from MoBerg
« on: May 29, 2007, 12:46:26 pm »
Yeah, those were media reports, I was talking about several folks who know and are not reporters.  What does your source say about Burke as a teammate?

Burke's got some hot dog in him, too.  Not an over-the-top, pimp-it-around-the-basepaths-after-a-HR type of hot dog (like the aforementioned former Express and Hook OF).  More like a pretty-boy, nothing-is-ever-my-fault kind of vibe.  I've never heard that Burke is a bad guy, per se.  Maybe that he's just not a "foxhole" type, like a Brooks Conrad.

Talk Zone / Re: Chris Burke could take a lesson from MoBerg
« on: May 29, 2007, 10:56:22 am »
Several folks I know who say he is a great clubhouse guy in *Houston*.  He may not be in Round Rock though.

I'm not disputing the sincerity of your sources, but I've also seen a lot of misleading reports about certain players' "make-up," "intangibles," or whatever over the years.

See, e.g., Jimerson, Charlton.

Talk Zone / Re: Chris Burke could take a lesson from MoBerg
« on: May 29, 2007, 10:51:42 am »
Luke Scott pretty much whined like Burke is doing when he got demoted.  But he never did it to the public media.  This smells of a public ploy on Burke's part (proabably agent fueled) to get his arse shipped out.

Not looking good for supposedly a very good guy in the clubhouse to act this way.

According to whom?

Talk Zone / Re: steM Need a RF
« on: May 27, 2007, 12:24:26 am »

(To answer the original question, not Duman's.)

Talk Zone / Re: Robinson Cano
« on: May 27, 2007, 12:22:21 am »
Your avator is from "Land of the Lost", and you're calling other people nerds?!?!

That is some sweet, sweet irony right there.

Talk Zone / Re: 2 Fer
« on: May 23, 2007, 10:20:31 pm »

Talk Zone / Re: Scratch one trade suggestion off of the list
« on: May 23, 2007, 02:18:25 pm »
I, for one, feel I have learned something today.

I also learned that the D-Rays' vice-president is actually named Rick Vaughn.

Man, you just can't make this stuff up.

Talk Zone / Re: Now here's a woman with her priorities right
« on: May 17, 2007, 12:14:28 pm »
i thought the same thing about the curtain call. a sane rookie would have refused to do it.

Pence's nickname in the minors was "Bam Bam."  Apparently, there are several layers to that onion.

"Gimme some sugar, baby."

Talk Zone / Re: Pence
« on: May 16, 2007, 01:34:19 pm »
Not that it's relevant to Pence or "Top Gun," but here's my vote for best 1980s soundtrack/montage anthem:

There was an OF for the indy league Fort Worth Cats who used to come to the plate to this song.  Brought tears to my eyes.

Talk Zone / Re: Pence
« on: May 16, 2007, 01:25:06 pm »
(cue homoerotic volleyball sequence)*


Backing that scene with Kenny Loggins' classic 1980s soundtrack anthem "Playing with the Boys" effectively turned the dial on the homoeroticism-amplifier to "11."

Talk Zone / Re: Burke to Minors
« on: May 12, 2007, 09:00:45 am »
Burke says he'll be playing second base.

"There's only one way to play the game and that's the right way," he says. Though he is frustrated and upset for this to happen at this time in his career. Understandable and accountable, for the most part.

If you want to see "mistreated," then take a look at Express 2B Brooks Conrad, who's going to have to now play somewhere else in the IF to accommodate Burke.

You'd be hard-pressed to find another player who's consistently produced at every level of the minors like Conrad, but still never seen the Show.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: CC Roster
« on: May 08, 2007, 12:42:05 pm »
Hard to get into a kid's head but my first thought was  He's 24, married last year and the org has spent high draft picks in the last two years on players for your position.  Fear of failing can make folks do things as much as more than the desire to succeed.

Well said.

Talk Zone / Re: Lance in the postgame
« on: May 08, 2007, 08:53:21 am »
Amen! I shake my head and wonder why folks choose to sit in the front row at a ball game and then let their toddler wander up and down the walk way.  At Greeneville's stadium the front row above/behind the dugouts are not protected.  People don't take the risk seriously and apparently can't read the signs either.

At a Corpus-Frisco game a few weekends back, I was sitting with my family directly behind the 1st Base dugout.  A group of women plopped down in front of us with several children, including some toddlers.  I could see the impending train-wreck, as the women paid no attention to the game and let the kids run wild in the row and the aisle.

Later in the game, a Frisco player skipped a hot foul ball off the top of the dugout and nailed their 2-year-old boy.  Thankfully, it caught him in the hip and butt instead of somewhere more vulnerable.  Based on what I saw afterwards, the mother and her hen-friends didn't take the appropriate lesson from the experience.

Talk Zone / Re: Well, well, well...seems NYC is DQ Country
« on: May 07, 2007, 03:32:34 pm »
Don't ask Satan to the prom and then get upset when he whips out his fire cock and butt rapes you.

Wow... that's an effective--and visceral--bit of advice.

If there was a Degenerate's Bible, then this would certainly be canonized in its Book of Proverbs.

Talk Zone / Re: Clemens to Lexington?
« on: May 07, 2007, 01:25:11 pm »
He probably wants to go there and work out with his son for awhile and then report to a field to play later on, probably a Yankee minor league team.

High A - Tampa
AA - Trenton
AAA - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

On a barely related note, I wonder if the SWB Yankees (formerly the Red Barons) ever run any Dunder Mifflin promotions.  Or, on the other hand, if Scranton locals resent their characterization in "The Office."

Talk Zone / Re: Maximizing Koby's Potential
« on: May 07, 2007, 01:20:21 pm »
He'd have taken the UT scholarship if he had any sense.

...where he'd be riding pine behind All-Big XII 3B Bradley Suttle.

I have nothing against Clemens the Younger, but his career to date is a lesson in the evils of nepotism.

Talk Zone / Re: Clemens to Lexington?
« on: May 06, 2007, 11:22:50 pm »
I heard this while driving around and listening to the Astros post game show.   I found this on the web:

He begins with a minor league contract, and the deal will allow him to earn about $18.5 million. Clemens will start his workouts in Lexington, Ky., where his son Koby is playing in the Houston Astros' farm system.

I can understand the owner of the Lexington ball club and the fans of the Legends wanting to see him, but isnt that pretty inappropriate?

Turn off the air raid sirens, friends.

Whoever mentioned Lexington appears to have been mistaken.

Talk Zone / Re: the various lineups
« on: May 06, 2007, 07:47:11 pm »
i think this is exactly right. he is a very intelligent, thoughtful guy--maybe too smart to be a good hitter b/c he thinks too much.

Known in some circles as the "Lenny Dykstra axiom" of baseball...

Talk Zone / Re: Joe Morgan is a douche
« on: May 01, 2007, 11:26:05 am »
Obama said that there are other types of violence apart from the physical violence at VT.  Such as "verbal violence", i.e. Imus.  He then went on to further stretch this bad metaphor to outsourcing and “the violence of children whose voices are not heard in communities that are ignored.”  Hoo boy...

Wow, they must be teaching a differeny definition of the word "violence" at Columbia and Harvard Law than what we simpletons learn out here on the frontier.

Or, maybe it's a Kenyan thing.

Talk Zone / Re: Friday Caption Contest
« on: April 27, 2007, 04:58:25 pm »
Invisible Man, Jr.

Ralph Ellison would be so proud...

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: CC Roster
« on: April 25, 2007, 10:21:30 pm »
Torbert started in the OF and hit 2-hole for Corpus tonight, debuted with 2-for-4 and 2 RBIs.

Talk Zone / Re: No East Coast Bias Here
« on: April 24, 2007, 12:44:06 am »
I like supporting local business and all, but if I can grab a CD at Best Buy in North Austin for $10, as opposed to driving down to Waterloo and getting it for $15, then I'm going to do it, and the long-time Austinites can get pissed off at me all they want. Now I'll be right there with them up in arms when the "Dallasification" gets so bad that I can't wear my flip flops and baseball hat into a bar without getting weird looks.

You must not be going to the right bars in Dallas.

Of course, if I had my druthers, I'd be frequenting the "right bars" in Austin, rather than the "right bars" in Dallas, myself.

Talk Zone / Re: Caption Competition: The Hits Keep Coming
« on: April 19, 2007, 08:49:45 am »
"Yes, that syphillis sore on your hip does bear a striking resemblance to Mickey Mantle's."

Talk Zone / Re: 3rd Base Coaching
« on: April 17, 2007, 08:55:42 am »
Borchard reportedly has a plus arm, too.

Anyone who watched Stanford football in the 90s would be inclined to agree, I think.

Talk Zone / Re: Jim R's coaching career
« on: April 11, 2007, 11:12:18 pm »

The guy who ran the marathon.  The original guy, the one who went from Athens to Marathon and then dropped dead.

He'd have to be right up there.

I'm thinking it was Phiddipides (sp?)...

Talk Zone / Re: screw it- I'm ready for Pence
« on: April 05, 2007, 01:01:19 pm »
No offense, but you are getting entirely too riled at this early stage of the season.   Give them some time before you decide the Astros 2007 Opening Day roster is in need of a major over-haul.

See, e.g., "Big Dick" Justice, circa May, 2005.

Talk Zone / Re: screw it- I'm ready for Pence
« on: April 04, 2007, 10:28:28 pm »
Please file Form 4868-PIP to extend your deadline for pissing in your pants past the 4/15 deadline.

Well played, sir.

Talk Zone / Re: Congratulations, ESPN
« on: April 01, 2007, 10:45:11 am »
My disgust with ESPN began with Buccigross and his snide jeers at Barry Melrose during hockey coverage. It just snowballed from there. Sportscenter is just a nauseating hour-long exercise in pretty boys with no take, and even less information, making poor attempts at sarcasm based-humor while they spin highlight reels of the same 3 teams in each sport. When they actually carried hockey I liked Melrose because, while he may be a fashion disaster, he still knows a lot about hockey and (I know that clearly this is not the case but) that should probably be a consideration in picking someone to cover that sport.  I also think John Saunders is great. The rest of them should probably be rounded up and dumped somewhere just beyond the continental shelf.

I can't respect any hockey broadcast or analyst crew that doesn't have at least one commentator with a healthy mullet a/k/a Hockey Hair a/k/a Canadian Waterfall.  Barry is the real deal.

FYI, the lineup above is, essentially, the Corpus lineup.

Garner worked out a deal with Leyland to play the Hooks against the Tigers in Lakeland today, so that the Astros could get to Round Rock for tonight's scheduled exhibition game against the Express.

There's an entertaining group of alcoholic professors/UT staffers(??) who regularly watch Astros games at The Posse East on the corner of 29th and Duval...

Any excuse to go to Posse East is a good one.  That place got me through law school... or lowered by GPA by a half-point, one of the two.  What was I saying?

Talk Zone / Re: Zeke Astacio is a Ranger...
« on: March 27, 2007, 11:22:49 am »
Are you saying Milo keeps the fans updated about the action on the field?  Are you saying Craig Way doesn't?
Good point, loganck.  It looks as though I dicked up the old SAT analogy format, there.

Edited, accordingly.

Talk Zone / Re: Zeke Astacio is a Ranger...
« on: March 27, 2007, 10:52:01 am »
I was at both games.  As Private Jerome said in Biloxi Blues, it was "Africa hot."

I'm sure I'll catch hell for this, but I'd take Lewin over Milo any day of the week.  In my opinion, Lewin is to Milo what Craig Way is to Dave South.  The former tell you what's actually happening in a game, while the latter prefer to tell the home team's fans what they want to hear.

Talk Zone / Re: Zeke Astacio is a Ranger...
« on: March 26, 2007, 11:05:23 pm »
I was in the stands in the Ballpark in Arlington on a blast-furnace-hot Saturday afternoon in May, 2005, when the Rangers hit 9 HRs (a Texas club record) against the Astros.  Astacio started the game and gave up, I believe, at least 5 of those dingers.

Nothing against Zeke, but it makes you wonder why a team would make a waiver claim on a guy whom they abused in record proportions.

Talk Zone / Re: Charlton Jimerson outrighted
« on: March 26, 2007, 11:01:53 pm »
It'll be interesting to see if Jimerson reports to Corpus.

Talk Zone / Re: RR Outfield
« on: March 21, 2007, 01:16:25 pm »

I really think he could be close to a Beltran type impact hitter if he could be like Beltran and hit .280-.290 in the Majors.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that Jimerson has ever hit better than .270 at AA or higher.  I do know, however, that he's consistently led the Texas and Pacific Coast Leagues in strikeouts (at about 150-160 per) for the past few seasons.  So, to expect, or even realistically hope for, the light-bulb to suddenly come on, in terms of plate discipline, pitch recognition, etc., seems somewhat silly to me.

As someone else mentioned, the organization had room in the upper minors to give Jimerson a chance for the past few years.  Now, however, with younger guys like Pence and Anderson coming up, he's not only a liability, but he's also blocking better prospects.

Talk Zone / Re: Wandy is in
« on: March 21, 2007, 01:06:04 pm »

Albers, 24, is greener than Sampson. Called up last year from Class AA Corpus Christi, he went 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in four games (two starts), but the Astros rave about his stuff.

"If I go to (Class AAA) Round Rock, it's not the end of the world," said Albers, who was a starter in the minors. "Obviously, I want to make the team, but I'm not too worried about it. You can't really think about that. You have to go out there and throw the ball."

Was I the only one amused to hear a 24-year-old say this?

Talk Zone / Re: Big Puma gloss
« on: March 19, 2007, 07:35:38 pm »


I believe his previous nickname was El Caballo.  While I think that's good for the newpapers/media, for the faithful, he shall only be known as Flapjack

i dunno,El Kabong has a certain panache too.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Quick Draw McGraw and Baba Looey are two of my all-time favorite cartoon characters.  Also the Deputy Dawg bunch.  I digress.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Mayo's predections of who is where
« on: March 19, 2007, 07:08:22 pm »
Not enough room in the Round Rock OF for Pence, Anderson, Rodriguez, and Jimerson.  However, Rodriguez won't be able to play the field until about May-June, so that may open up a spot, at least temporarily, for Jimerson (assuming he clears waivers).

On that note, the Round Rock offensive lineup ought to be fairly salty this season.  I don't know about the projected order (other than Anderson leading off), but Anderson, Rodriguez, Pence, Ransom, Klassen, Self, Conrad, and Munson is a pretty tough array of AAA hitters.

Talk Zone / Re: Caption this
« on: February 26, 2007, 08:25:44 pm »
David unveils its newest product line, Large Venezuelan Nuts.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Who's on the hot seat this year
« on: February 16, 2007, 10:00:36 pm »


If Jimerson doesn't make the 40-man, I think he is exposed to waivers, correct?  Just a though should one of the NRI make the 25-man.

Jimerson is out of options. So even if he were to somehow remain on the 40-man, for the Astros to be able to assign him to Round Rock out of spring training he'd still have to clear waivers.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the same holds true for Cs Humberto Quintero and Hector Gimenez, as well.

Talk Zone / Re: Senator Kerry gets involved in DirecTV-baseball situation
« on: February 08, 2007, 07:11:36 pm »
Now he can watch his favorite Red Sox player, "Manny Ortiz," play.

The people of Massachusetts should be ashamed for electing Kerry and Kennedy ("Mike McGwire and Sammy Sooser"), on baseball principle alone.

Talk Zone / Re: The Road to Omaha begins...
« on: February 06, 2007, 10:32:23 am »


Where was Aaron Luna playing and hitting in the lineup?

After being juggled between LF & 3B as a freshman, he's the full-time 2Bman this year.

He hit cleanup, Friday-Zornes-Luna-Savery is a very stout 2-5.

Thanks for the knowledge, Lefty.

I've been following Luna with interest ever since he was a two-sport star at Southlake-Carroll.

I wonder if Graham, Major, or now Bailiff have tried prying Luna away from Graham for football season.  The kid was a damned salty RB in high school.

Talk Zone / Re: The Road to Omaha begins...
« on: February 05, 2007, 05:51:21 pm »

Caught the Rice game on Saturday.  They look to have deep pitching, as usual (will be deeper if Savery's shoulder continues to shape up), and a better offense than last season.  

Looking forward to the College Classic.

Where was Aaron Luna playing and hitting in the lineup?

Talk Zone / Re: Hidalgo
« on: February 04, 2007, 06:16:19 pm »

No way Hidalgo will ride the pine this year. Trade Scott for a SP and stick that rocket arm and 25 HRs in RF. Your welcome!

At a 'Stros-Rangers game in Arlington in '05, I saw Hidalgo fall victim to the most dominant (if you're an Astros fan) or embarrassing (if you're a Rangers fan) strikeout that I've ever personally witnessed.  Not surprisingly, Roy was the death angel who delivered the misery.

Roy started him off with two fastballs, both in the mid-90s, that I'm fairly certain that Hidalgo never saw.  Then--and most Oswalt fans know where this is going--Roy came back with a 65 mph curve ball that bounced in front of home plate.  I think that Hidalgo actually swung at it twice, like in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Granted, Roy has made a lot of really good hitters look stupid during the course of his career.  Still, that's the best strikeout I've ever seen.

Talk Zone / Re: went to see V for Vendetta last night
« on: March 21, 2006, 12:25:47 am »

The movie ended too soon with her and him on a boat- follow the arc a little longer and she is going to tell him she hates the water and he needs to sell his boat.

I thought it ended too soon because I never got to see SJP's age-defying tits...

Talk Zone / Re: Jimerson?
« on: March 13, 2006, 01:37:48 pm »

Purpura said they want the hitters in the organization to improve their on-base percentage, which means see more pitches, work the count better and take walks, among other things.

"Simply put, though, we have to hit better situationally," he said. "We have to produce more runs."

...which makes the decision to DFA a high-OBP, high-BBs, high pitches/AB hitter like Todd Self all the more bewildering...

Talk Zone / Re: Rose Bowl Anticipation
« on: January 02, 2006, 01:31:04 am »


I haven't felt this way since the Astros were in the World Series. I fear a similar let down. Can someone pick me up? Do the Horns have a chance?

i'm not as excited about the game as i thought i'd be, and there's three words that explain why:  mack fucking brown.  the guy is still a shitty coach, as is his buddy greg "zone read" davis, and i'm apalled that anybody thinks this has changed.  mack brown to me represents, or more appropriately perhaps, is the ambassador of everything wrong with the football factory concept.  the guy is a politician at his most fundamental level, who suceeds at lying to boosters so that they'll give their money to the school (which, in a not-that-indirect way enables his multi-million dollar salary), and he suceeds at saying the right enough thing to young black and white kids and their middle-aged handlers that lets them know that they should spend their next 4-5 years getting paid to play football in Austin instead of Miami.

after ut got blown out by oklahoma two years ago i was listening to the postgame show on klbj.  On this show (the jeff ward/ ed clements one) tons of people were calling in saying "mack brown lied to us", implying that the sportsmanlike dominance which mack himself had implied (implying rather than actually stating being an old politician standby) was a fraud.  This overwhelming reaction was interesting to me because people weren't calling in saying "mack brown had the wrong game plan in place against quentin griffin" or "mack brown should have played vince young from the start of the game", but "mack brown lied to us."  People were hearing the calm, optimistic cadence in his pre and postgame voice, and then seeing his surly, frazzled sideline demeanor.  They were looking at a roster of the best players money can buy, then watching the game helplessly while those players appeared confused and underdeveloped at the tutelage of second-rate coaches.  People were starting to realize the lies, much like an electorate starts to realize a politician's perpetual lies while the economy is slumping, and now that the team is winning, conveniently in a year that oklahoma had a down year, people have conveniently forgotten.  "Live the dream", they write on their bumper stickers and office buildings.  Live the dream.  Lest we forget that the tour guide of our dream is the same piece of shit who played Chris Simms for two ears over the greatest quarterback ever to wear burnt orange, all because of a deal he made with his daddy.  Nepotism and cronyism-- another political standby.

Two signs from this past season that feed my ambivalent disdain:

1.  knocking colorado quarterback joel klatt unconscious on an all-out blitz (the third in that series) with the team already up by 50 or 60 points.  it was bad enough to run up the score against freaking louisiana lafayette a couple of weeks after hurricane katrina, but this was way worse.  to put aside basic sportsmanship ethics just to earn a couple of extra votes from some random ap voter is pretty lame.

2.  the cover-up of the whole cedric griffin/ramonce taylor situation.  issues like these are what make it most fundamentally difficult to get too emotionally invested in the football factory.  hey, i love my school too, and i like a good football game as much as anybody else, but i'm not going to pretend that these athleticly gifted brats are above the law or above the standards of the universtity.  i had a friend who got kicked out of ut for smoking a joint NEAR campus.  these guys don't even have to miss a practice.

I am truly amazed by the fact that another human being could expend so much time and effort for the purpose of confirming his own stupidity.

There are ass-clowns, there are no-talent ass-clowns, and there is Joey Trum.

Talk Zone / Re: How is this guy employed as a journalist?
« on: December 20, 2005, 12:08:50 pm »

I don't mind Ortiz, I kinda like Justice...

I was physically unable to read any further...

Talk Zone / Re: Jon Garland may be available via trade
« on: December 16, 2005, 12:34:57 pm »

Over the next several years look for the rotation to be built around Oswalt, Hirsh, Patton and Barthmaier...

I realize that we all have fun from time to time by projecting prospects into future lineups, but it seems like a helluva' leap to claim that the Astros are going to "build their rotation around" a AA pitcher and two kids who haven't played above High-A ball.

I'm not pissing on our prospects, but the Farm is littered with the tombstones of kids who excelled in A-ball but faded out in the higher levels against top-caliber competition.

Talk Zone / Re: Bradley to A's.........
« on: December 14, 2005, 12:10:32 am »

according to espnews. Zito not involved in deal

Any word on whether the Dodgers will be picking up the tab for Bradley's lithium prescriptions?

Talk Zone / Re: ESPN Rocket Rumor
« on: December 12, 2005, 01:26:57 pm »

Something about with that many different writers and the same info going around, they have to "invent" stuff to write about, otherwise there isn't anything new because someone else has already reported on it.

That's also likely a result of the fact that the players, coaches, and front office suits won't talk to them or offer them anything meaningful... because most baseball writers are self-absorbed pricks who never played baseball beyond Little League and with whom you wouldn't want to share a free cold beer.

And, I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that the foregoing applies equally as well to some of the Comical's writers as it does to their hack counterparts in New York and Boston.

Talk Zone / Re: Interesting surname (OT)
« on: December 11, 2005, 12:17:24 pm »

Don't ask how I wound up at this entry, but check the last paragraph.

I'm going to add "Professional Flatulist" to my resume and business cards.

Talk Zone / Re: Borezilla stupidity
« on: December 07, 2005, 12:46:23 pm »

I know it's the off-season, but do we really need to have an article picking apart Barzilla every time he shits out another screed?  Just post  ibid. next time and save us the time.

Unfortunately, it's become a kind of group ritual around here, like screaming "Whoop" or squeezing one's own balls at a college football game.

I'm not sure who's worse: the guy who publishes his own, really bad ideas, or the monkeys who rush to mock him for doing so?

P.S.  Love the Soda Popinski avatar, but let's be honest--the Sandman was the shit.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 40 man roster
« on: November 23, 2005, 01:35:34 pm »


Gothreaux had elbow surgery at the end of the season.  He probably won't be close to 100% until mid-late 2006.  Therefore, the Astros are willing to gamble that no other team is willing to burn a 25-man roster spot on Goat for the 2006 season.  If he were healthy, you can bet that Goat would still be on the 40-man.

I'm not well-versed on the details of the Rule V; could another team not select him, then stick him on the major league DL?

No, any player selected in the Rule 5 draft must remain on the selecting team's  25-man roster for the entirety of the following season.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: 40 man roster
« on: November 22, 2005, 11:57:30 am »

For this reason I ponder the removing of Gothreaux. Not that I think he is all that, but he has shown something previously, I guess he is not projecting well according to our scouts.

Gothreaux had elbow surgery at the end of the season.  He probably won't be close to 100% until mid-late 2006.  Therefore, the Astros are willing to gamble that no other team is willing to burn a 25-man roster spot on Goat for the 2006 season.  If he were healthy, you can bet that Goat would still be on the 40-man.

On the topic of Express personnel and the 40-man, I hope that some other team is prudent enough to select Brooks Conrad in the upcoming Rule 5 draft.  Althoug his batting average was down and his strikeouts up in '05, he nonetheless hit 19 HRs while playing very solid 2B in his first taste of AAA.  If the Astros can't or won't give him a shot, then, for his sake, I hope someone else does.

Talk Zone / Re: 40-man roster moves
« on: November 20, 2005, 07:39:02 pm »

Source told me this morning that Hirsh and Barthmaier will be added.  Also, Gothreaux will be removed as he has cleared waivers.  His injuries must be worse than I thought.

Gothreaux had elbow surgery a couple months back.

Talk Zone / Re: Maximus to Atl?
« on: November 17, 2005, 07:13:24 pm »



It's been discussed at length elsewhere on this forum- Burke doesn't have the skills, esp. the arm, to play major-league SS. To me, Everett's trade value vs. Replacement/ upgrade cost is not good. You ride him out, and hope he can hit .260 and take some more walks. He's already got plenty of power and speed for the glove.

I realize that.  That's why my comment included "Would the extra offense that Burke may provide be enough to make up for the extra outs the Astros' opponents might get by way of more errors, less range, and slower release/weaker arm".  My point was that thinking Burke would be a better option at SS than the current starter is pretty fucking stupid. I don't need to be convinced.

What's in the 'Stros head for shopping Everett (if they are)?  There's not any significant SS in the minor leagues is there?  There doesn't appear to be any Braves' minor leaguer who's ready to play.

The only SS on the Astros farm who appears anywhere close to being able to play in the Bigs is '05 Round Rock SS Danny Klassen.

From what I saw and read, Klassen was having a pretty strong year at Round Rock (his first with the Astros organization) until suffering a season-ending injury in July.  Klassen also turned 30 a couple months ago.

For those who saw more Express action than me this summer, do you think Klassen is a viable SS prospect for the Astros in '06?

Talk Zone / Re: Mike Burns claimed by the Reds
« on: November 17, 2005, 05:08:54 pm »

Every time the Astros let a player go, and the guy is picked up by another team, somebody pitches a fit.

Who the hell is "pitching a fit"?  The transactions have simply been noted and discussed.

Pardon me, Dick Cheney, if asking a question about the prudence of a handful of 40-man roster moves threatens the viability of your Administration.  Guess I ain't a "patriot," huh?

Talk Zone / Re: Mike Burns claimed by the Reds
« on: November 17, 2005, 05:02:35 pm »

What percentage of minor leaguers, from any team, do you believe, play in the majors for more than 3 years?

By "minor leaguers from any team," I'm not sure if you mean all of a club's farmhands for a given season (which would include draftees, FA signees, trade acquisitions, etc.) or some subset thereof.

I note the distinction, here, because, notably, Houlton, Burns, Self, and Conrad were all Astros draftees, from the 2000 and 2001 drafts.  Additionally, all played the first 4 seasons of their careers as Astros farmhands, all distinguished themselves as players in the lower levels of the system, and all have risen (past many higher-drafted teammates, I might add) at least as high as AAA.

In any event, I have not seen any statistics reflecting the figure you raise, but will speculate that the number is less than 10%, perhaps even less than 5%.

Talk Zone / Re: Mike Burns claimed by the Reds
« on: November 17, 2005, 02:56:57 pm »

Houlton was 6-9 with a 5.16 ERA. I'm not lamenting the loss.

That's somehow less preferable than the rookie numbers put up by Wandy and Zeke in their starts?


Yeah from what I've heard about him, Houlton is your basic righty junkballer.

Depends on how you define "basic righty junkballer."  If, by that term, you mean a pitcher who gets batters out without a 93+ mph fastball, then perhaps.

The point, however, is that Houlton showed a remarkable track record on the Astros' farm for getting batters out.  Now, he's pitching for the Dodgers, and the Astros have nothing to show for it.

Deciding that a player like Houlton, Burns, Self, etc. is replaceable is one thing; devoting years of money, energy, and roster spots to that player's development, only to let him get away for nothing, is a-whole-nother.

Talk Zone / Re: Mike Burns claimed by the Reds
« on: November 17, 2005, 01:31:01 pm »

Damn.  Burns and Self.  Gipson too, but not quite the head scratcher as the former.  Burns was solid with the Express.  Self really never got it back together after his cup of coffee, but looked to have a bright future.  Maybe an injury issue?  Someone please explain why these losses are good for the organization.

Don't forget the loss of RHP D.J. Houlton in the 2004 Rule V Draft to the Dodgers.  Didn't he win almost 10 games for LA in '05?

Also, don't be surprised if the Astros lose 2B Brooks Conrad in the 2005 Rule V Draft.

Talk Zone / Re: Maximus to Atl?
« on: November 16, 2005, 07:42:31 pm »

Did they propose the trade recently? For who? Furcal? That makes no kind of sense, he's an FA. Francouer?

No way in hell the Braves trade Francouer this offseason.  Not unless somebody drops the tailgate and rolls out a helluva' lot more than a defensive SS.

I'm always befuddled by suggestions that teams (other than Kansas City) might be willing to trade away high-profile, pre-arbitration talent.  Unless they know it's overvalued in the market.  See, e.g., Burke.

Is Francouer overvalued by the market?  Maybe.  If not, the Braves won't deal him.  If so, then why would the Astros want him?

Talk Zone / Re: Sportscenter's "Fake News Conferences"
« on: November 10, 2005, 03:13:56 pm »

Drew Rosenhaus is the third cousin of satan.

I'll tell you what would make for better TV than both a fake MLB news conference and poker:

A duel to the death between Drew Rosenhaus and Scott Boras, using only plastic sporks as weapons, after which the winner is savaged by wild dogs.

Talk Zone / Re: List of free agents
« on: October 31, 2005, 09:14:12 pm »

Some team, most likely LAA, will over pay for him and get screwed.

Riiiight... the Angels already have veteran Darren Erstad and uber-prospect Casey Kotchmann at 1B, but they're going to overpay for Konerko.

This ain't sports talk radio... people will let you know when your opinions are stupid.

Talk Zone / Re: Rocket's made up his mind
« on: October 31, 2005, 03:59:04 pm »
A curse on this Thread.

Talk Zone / Re: The Chronicle Picks Up the Story
« on: October 25, 2005, 04:45:47 pm »

The Link

Here's a more expansive article on the lovely weekend the Astros enjoyed in Chicago.  The players are saying all the right things, but being forced to play in the freezing rain while your friends and family are being physically and verbally and abused in the stands is fucked up by any sane person's standards.

ESPN article

I like Guillen's response...

Talk Zone / Re: Jesus Mary and Joseph
« on: October 24, 2005, 01:14:23 pm »

Possibly the only time Rowdy Roddy Piper has been refered to as a philosopher.

Perhaps, but I and others frequently cite the following line from that great 20th Century philosopher, Ric "The Nature Boy" Flair:

"To BE the man, you gotta' BEAT the man!  WHOO!"

Wisdom like Socrates.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: AFL note
« on: October 20, 2005, 10:49:48 pm »

unfortunately, Jimerson is all too consistent: KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

Jimerson is the kind of prospect--i.e., "toolsy" as hell, with little production to show for it--who makes the barzillas of the world think they're onto something.

Talk Zone / Re: Purpura, still working, PT. 2
« on: October 12, 2005, 11:35:10 am »
I believe that Lamb is the 3rd catcher.  He originally came up through the Rangers' farm system as a catcher.

Talk Zone / Re: Is baseball this unpopular?
« on: October 07, 2005, 12:39:56 pm »

Seriously, your man crush on the fattest centerfielder in baseball is great, but SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY.

"Fattest"? Or, "phattest"?

I think we all know where Stuart Scott stands on this debate...

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Minor MVPs in system
« on: October 03, 2005, 11:19:51 am »

The astros have named their system wide MVPs

The Link

Coolbaugh really earned a shot in the Bigs this season.  In an example of tragically bad luck, however, he broke his wrist on a HBP just days before Ensberg suffered his injury.

It's bewildering to realize that a guy like Coolbaugh has played that well for that long and never tasted the Show...

Talk Zone / Re: beer in a can
« on: October 02, 2005, 01:48:15 am »

There are times when beer must be in a can.  When tubing.  At certain outdoor events.  Shoved up a dead chicken's ass before you put him on your smoker.

What beers are good in a can?

PBR, man.  PBR...



I wonder when was the last time the Astros had a 2B prospect hit 20+ HRs in a season at the AAA or AA level.

Keith Ginter did (ahem) muscle out 26 dingers for RR in 2000.

Thanks for the response to my "wonderment," Greg D.

And, on Ginter, point (ahem) well-taken.


I think it's telling that Conrad has not yet been added to the 40-man. His offensive work this season certainly hasn't helped his cause.

Brooks went big fly twice tonight, his 16th and 17th HRs of the season for Round Rock.  I believe he also hit a couple during his brief demotion to Corpus Christi (corresponding with Burke's brief demotion to Round Rock).

I think even Brooks would admit that his batting is not where he wants it to be, but approaching 20 HRs in his first taste of AAA certainly ain't piss-poor.  I wonder when was the last time the Astros had a 2B prospect hit 20+ HRs in a season at the AAA or AA level.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: On Lindblom
« on: August 08, 2005, 03:06:38 pm »

I wouldn't think Tennessee is excited about him playing more ball either.

Not a big deal, really... my brother and I both played Legion ball with a number of guys who played at name, D-1 baseball programs (e.g., LSU, Okie State, Alabama, etc.).

I never recall any of them mentioning or even hinting that Bertman, Ward, Wells, etc. had any problem with their playing Legion ball, nor have I ever heard or read of any college coach publically discouraging Legion ball.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Danny Klassen
« on: August 02, 2005, 07:32:48 pm »
Elbow injury, from what I hear...

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Nieve promoted
« on: June 22, 2005, 05:05:58 pm »
McLemore has always had great stuff.  His Achilles heel, however, is control.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Burke to RR, what next?
« on: May 09, 2005, 06:39:13 pm »

As for Todd Self helping the 'stros, I think that would be rushing things quite a bit.

VB, out of curiosity, what do you mean here?  As you appear to be a regular spectator of Express games, I'm interested to know your first-hand observations.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Burke to RR, what next?
« on: May 09, 2005, 04:14:43 pm »

IMO, that's good news for all. For Burke, it means the Astros still consider him a second baseman, even if he is dealt. For Conrad, it means the Astros think enough of him that they want him to play everyday at second. I'm sure he's not happy being sent down, but his bat will certainly help Corpus score some runs.

Agreed.  Plus, Conrad's arrival in Corpus should provide that team with some sorely needed leadership, as well.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Burke to RR, what next?
« on: May 09, 2005, 03:15:24 pm »

Burke was sent down, but has yet to actually appear.  Does RR need to make a move, or was there an extra slot on the roster?

With Burke's option to Round Rock, the Astros also sent Brooks Conrad down to Corpus Christi.


And where is Burke likely to play when he does show up for duty?  The infield looks solid (Rivera/Huffman, Conrad, Coolbaugh/Klassen, Whiteman/Klassen).  Huffman and Whiteman are both struggling, but even if Whiteman is sent back to AA (which seems to me to be unlikely) I doubt if Burke's future is at SS.  The outfield (Scott, Gipson, Wesson, Self) is already crowded.  Self is leading the league in hitting; Scott needs to play; Gipson & Wesson are both contributing mightily to the offense.  So does Burke end up playing CF for a while waiting for a trade?

I was wondering when someone might take notice of this fact.  If middle-of-the-lineup offense and OF defense are problems for the Astros, then there is someone on the farm who might be able to help.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Kyle Logan & Mike Hill
« on: April 13, 2005, 02:35:05 pm »
It is my understanding that the Astros released Kyle Logan on the weekend of the exhibition game against the Express.  I don't know any details about the move, though.

It is also my understanding that Mike Hill suffered a freak injury while working out this off-season and is continuing to rehab at Extended.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Anthony Acevedo
« on: April 12, 2005, 02:57:39 pm »
On the same topic, it's also my understanding that OF Anthony Acevedo also retired during or at the conclusion of Spring Training this year, primarily because of a lingering knee problem (that cost him most of last season).

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Jon Topolski
« on: April 12, 2005, 02:51:10 pm »
Topper was apparently slated for an assignment to AA Corpus Christi, as a 5th OF and part-time 1B.

As Noe said, he likely read the handwriting on the wall and elected to pursue other career options.  He's a good dude, and I wish him the best.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Jon Topolski
« on: April 12, 2005, 11:46:58 am »
jent, it's my understanding that Topolski retired at the conclusion of Spring Training.


Scott Coolbaugh is no longer a major leaguer. Mike Coolbaugh, his brother got reassigned yesterday by the Astros.

Good catch, Noe.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Scott Coolbaugh managed a Texas league team last season, perhaps the El Paso Diablos...

My bad, Noe.

I perceived, apparently incorrectly, that your liner about "arrogance" was intended with considerably less levity than my tongue-in-cheek "faith-based" comment.  I stand corrected.

My comment about "Moneyball" was in follow-up to the discussion about "projection" vs. "performance" in terms of player evaluation, which I understood to be one of the book's central themes.

Don't get me wrong--I'm neither a Beane nor James disciple, and I certainly do not worship at the altar of sabermetrics.  "Moneyball" did, however, make me question the way I thought about front office baseball, from both a macro (team payroll, lineup, etc.) to a micro (individual player evaluation) perspective.  Specifically, it also led me to believe that an individual scout's, cross-checker's, scouting director, or GM's opinion of a player is always subject to question.


If this is in response to my earlier answer to your question then you need to reread the answer. Yes I did say what the club does however when you read the second sentence you see I give an example that answered your question. Pitch vs. track record? Pitch and track record over track record is the more complete answer.

I didn't infer said proposition from your initial response.

I do think it a reasonable proposition, although I'm not sure if Goat vs. Burns/Houlton is a solid example.


Funny, until I started posting here, I never realized that this is a faith-based Board. Kidding.


Until you started posting here, we never realized how arrogant fans can really get about knowing more than the organization. Kidding.

Wow.  If I am the most "arrogant" thing that this Board has seen regarding the organization's decision-making, then OWA has truly had a charmed existence.

I'm intrigued, though, about the Board's definition of "arrogance."  Personally, I had not previously considered that raising an honest question about whether "projection" vs. "performance" was the truest measure of player evaluation constitutes arrogance.  Of course, I also never considered "whatever the organization believes is correct" to be a fulfilling answer to that question.  It's an answer alright, in an Orwellian or Aggie sort of way, but not a very fulfilling one.

This discussion does, however, help me further understand why so many baseball professionals and afficionados rushed to denounce "Moneyball" without actually having read it or considered the validity of its hypotheses.


At the end of the day, which is more important: a pitch that looks like it can major league hitters out, or a proven track record of getting hitters out?


The actions of the parent club. The Astros chose to include Gothreaux on the 40-man with a special note about his slider and not Burns and Houlton despite their good work.

Funny, until I started posting here, I never realized that this is a faith-based Board.  Kidding.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Gothreaux as well.  His slider, when it's on, can be baffling.  Also, he can warm the fastball up to 92-93 mph on occasion.  However, he also has a penchant for giving up the long ball.

I suppose this is yet another case of "projection" vs. "performance"...

I understand where you're coming from, Jacksonian, but at the same time, in 2004, I saw Burns get out 2005 major leaguers, e.g., Anaheim corner IFs Casey Kotchman and Dallas McPherson.

At the end of the day, which is more important: a pitch that looks like it can major league hitters out, or a proven track record of getting hitters out?

Don't get your panties in a wad, Joey, about the "amateur observations" comment, as I certainly did not mean anything pejorative or personal about you by the comment.  Your observations--just like mine and all the other posters on this Board--are "amateur" because we are neither professional baseball scouts, nor professional baseball players.

And, I also did not mean to imply that your opinions, derived from your personal observations at Round Rock games, are meritless.  My point was that an "amateur's" observations at a relatively limited number of games, ABs, etc., is less indicative of a player's abilities than his proven track record over a number of ABs, games, seasons, etc.

For example, at a Round Rock game, you might have seen Charlton Jimerson drive a titanic blast over the Dodge sign in left field and believe that you were looking at te next Carlos Beltran.  However, if you attended a number of Round Rock games, you would also discern that he strikes out about once every three ABs, and approximately five times more than he walks.

Nevertheless, as I posed to Jim R on the TZ Board, I am very interested in hearing your comparisons, from attending several seasons of Round Rock games, of various prospects, such as Ginter vs. Burke vs. Conrad at 2B.


The AL Central is not a very strong division. Most of those teams would be in the middle to lower part of the division in the AL East or West. Minnesota plays the most sound baseball in the AL Central and because of that they come out on top more often than not. But if you compare division crowns with other divisions, including the NL Central, you're comparing apples with grapefruits and it is a straw man argument at best.

Tap the brakes there, Noe.  The NL Central is not the rampaging beast that you make it out to be.

Before the Cards were swept 4-0 by the BoSox last fall, the last NL Central team to even play in the World Series was the 1990 Reds.  During that same span, the AL Central put three teams in the Series (Indians twice, Twins once).

Doesn't look like a "straw man" to me...


Because the Twins bascially have no choice but fill most of thier postions with younger players, due to the low payroll that the team must run on.

Right.  So, they lack the money to make big-time moves like re-signing Carlos Beltran, Jeff Kent, or Wade Miller.


How do the Twins know more about pennants than the Astros? Please explain further, as I must be missing something.

I suppose, in the interest of syntactic correctness, that I should have used the phrase "division crowns" instead of "pennants."

From 2002-2004, the Twins have won the AL Central division crown every season, thus made the playoffs every season, and advanced to the ALCS once.

During that same span, the Astros have never won the NL Central, made the playoffs as a wild-card team once, and advanced to the NLCS once.

Why is is that teams like Minnesota, Oakland, and, most recently, the resurging Indians CAN be competitive while also keeping their payroll down by playing capable and inexpensive youngsters?  Because they're not afraid to try.


You've made a big reach with your statement about the Astros. Upper minor league guys who perform well also have other things that prevent them from being given a chance beyond just strict reluctance to give them a chance. If anything, the opportunities afforded Lance Berkman, Colin Porter, Barry Wesson, Jason Lane, Eric Bruntlett, Jason Alfaro, Alan Zinter, Morgan Ensberg, Carlos Hernandez, Roy Oswalt, Tim Redding, Adam Everett, Richard Hidalgo, Daryle Ward and Mitch Melusky shows that the Astros are not reluctant to give kids a chance to play.

I'm not sure that some of your examples do not support my argument, Noe, instead of yours.  Porter and Alfaro signed with other teams in the past few seasons because they could not break through, for one reason or another, with the Astros.  Wesson only recently returned to the Astros from such an adventure.  And, Lane is a sad example of what happens when a front office will not play or trade a dynamic young player.


But realistically speaking, if a Jeff Bagwell is entrenched at first base, there is not much a Royce Huffman can do to pry the opportunity loose, except what he's trying now (a switch to another position). Same with Whiteman, who is a shortstop, but Adam Everett has that job locked up. And so on.

I can't argue with you here.  The rub, as far as I'm concerned, on this point is, when do you cut bait with an aging starter (e.g., Bagwell) or an under-performing starter so that you can fish with a talented youngster?


To imply that Chris Burke starting at 2B will be anything but a hole on this pennant-contending team is wishful thinking at best. Kent at 2B is almost certain to drive in around 100 runs, while Biggio at 2B is almost certain to get on base 35% of the time leading off. If Chris Burke puts up either of these numbers this season, it would be in the top 1/2 of 1% of all rookie seasons in the history of baseball.

My first response, here, is that calling the '05 Astros a "pennant-contending team" may also be "wishful thinking at best."  Apparently, you and I differ in our opinion of how the loss of Beltran, Kent, and Miller will affect the '05 team.

Second, Burke's OBP at AAA New Orleans last season was nearly .400, and his career OPB is, I believe, well over the .350 threshold you cite.  While I certainly agree that his minor league numbers do not necessarily translate to the Bigs, they are, nonetheless, the best predictor available.  I find it somewhat puzzling that some posters would value their own amateur observations of a player, regarding a relatively limited sample, over the entirety of that player's career.

Third, your post seems to indicate a reluctance to play a rookie at 2B (e.g., "top 1/2 of 1% of all rookie seasons in baseball history").  Why, then, are teams like the Twins unafraid to throw rookies like Lew Ford, Justin Morneau, Terry Tiffee, Joe Mauer, etc. into the lineup during their own pennant-chase seasons?  And, frankly, the Twins know a lot more about pennants in recent seasons than do the Astros, with a fraction of the payroll.

Real, Joey.

Regarding Taveras, I'm as baffled as you with respect to the complaints about his slugging.  Taveras is a legit threat to turn every single into a double or triple with his base-stealing abilities.  Commentators like Sickel don't seem to understand that a CF like Carlos Beltran is the exception, not the rule.  Also, I find the pejorative reference to Juan Pierre ("at best") highly amusing.

I will agree, however, that Taveras needs to work on his K/BB and OBP to maximize his leadoff performance.

Regarding players like Conrad vs. players like Einertson, your point is also well-taken.  The funniest part is, the commentators at BA and other rags make the same mistakes every season, by over-hyping youngsters who put up big numbers at lower levelas and under-rating older players who perform well at higher levels.

A great example of this phenomenon is the Lexington Legends OF trio of 2001.  Topolski, Hill, and Rosamond all put up tremendous numbers at Low-A Lexington that season.  Subsequently, the commentators and scouts and what-not went wild over them.  Unfortunately for those guys and the Astros, however, none of the three has ever been able to sustain that kind of success at AA or higher.  In '04, Topolski was a back-up in Round Rock, Hill bounced between Round Rock and New Orleans (without much success at either), and Rosamond (a former 1st Rounder) was released outright, first by Houston and later by the Rockies, too.  I'm not knocking any of these guys personally, as I know at least a couple of them to be really good guys.  However, the point remains that performance at lower levels does not necessarily project to performamce at higher levels or the Majors.

Conversely, and perversely, the Astros seem unwilling to afford opportunities to guys who HAVE performed well at higher levels, e.g., Burke, Huffman, Conrad, Self, Whiteman, etc.  Perhaps they rely too much on the opinions of commentators like Sickel and the BA bunch, or the "projections" of scouts, in this respect.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Josh Anderson and Scott Robinson
« on: February 16, 2005, 12:00:07 pm »

Anderson seemed a bit overwhelmed during his short stint in AA at the end of '04, so I'd be willing to bet that he at least starts the '05 season at Salem

Robinson's numbers at Lexington last season were fairly unimpressive and don't really warrant a promotion to Salem, but I bet he ends up there anyway.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Re: Round Rock v. Corpus Christi rosters
« on: February 14, 2005, 05:46:08 pm »
RR: Taveras, Scott, Hill, Hubbard

CC: Jimerson, Rodriguez, A.Acevedo

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Round Rock v. Corpus Christi rosters
« on: February 14, 2005, 04:08:00 pm »
It seems to me that there are a lot of questions, going into Spring Training '05, regarding the relative make-up of the Astros' AAA and AA farm teams.

In particular, I'm wondering which guys from last season's Zephyrs team will get a shot at The Show in '05, as well as which players from last year's Express squad will get promoted to play... in Round Rock again.

As for the former, it's probably a given that Burke will spend a significant amount of time in Houston in '05.  But what about a solid contributor like Royce Huffman?  Or, perhaps Tommy Whiteman?

As for the latter, it seems that there are a number of pitchers (e.g., Astacio, Burns, Gothreaux) and position players (e.g., Conrad, Scott, Self, Taveras) who are old enough for, and who put up numbers worthy of, a promotion to AAA.  Also, I am interested to see whether the organization sends some players back to AA to recover from injuries (e.g., Rodriguez) or to work on particular parts of their games (e.g., Gimenez, Jimerson).


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