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Topics - Mike S.

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Talk Zone / my father
« on: January 22, 2018, 07:16:45 pm »
Today marked the tenth anniversary of his passing.  Dad was the reason why I'm an Astros fan.  Growing up in Tucson, probably nothing was more sacred in our house than the University of Texas, the Houston Oilers, and the Houston Astros.  The former was his alma mater (class of 1960), and he taught both my brother and me "Hook 'em, Horns" before either of us could walk.  The latter two are because my father went to UH in the late 60's for a degree in Journalism.  He once told me that some of the happiest times of his life were abusing his press credentials so he could get into the Astrodome to watch the Oilers and Astros play while drinking a cold beer with his colleagues.

Although I only post on social media infrequently, every year I write something in memory of my father on this anniversary.  If you'll forgive the intrusion, I wanted to post those thoughts here as well.  It's as much due to the content of what I wrote as it is to my feelings for the people here.  I've been coming to OWA since the days of Kevin and Scott and the (in)famous Astros Connection.  Despite not knowing any of you personally, I've also come to think of all of you as some sort of oddly extended family.  You're the folks who know what it is to love the Astros the way I do and I can honestly say that my life is far better because of the tenor of this place.

"The Astros won the World Series, Dad.  Wish to hell you were there to see it with me.  One of my earliest memories is you and I in the kitchen of the old house watching the Phillies win the 1980 World Series on that portable black & white television set with the crap 6” screen.  You were standing next to me, furiously chomping one of your cigars Mom would soon make you give up.  Only later did I understand your anger.  The Phillies miraculously came back to beat Nolan Ryan and the Astros in Game 5 of the NLCS, thereby preventing the team you loved from going to its first World Series.  Six years later, watching on an only slightly better color television set we had to endure the exquisite hell of the 1986 NLCS against the goddamn New York Mets.  There’s a special circle of hell for Fred Brocklander, a lifelong Mets’ fan whose ridiculously dodgy calls in Game 5 (Craig Reynolds is still safe at first base) and Game 6 (Ray Knight is still out on strikes) gave New York the pennant.  I’ll never forget, though, how calmly you assured me that the Astros would be back to finish what they started.  You believed it would happen.  Therefore, I believed it too.  Neither of us could know it would take thirty years and a seemingly never-ending litany of postseason losses.  We at least finally made it to a game in the Astrodome.  Sadly, the Astros no longer wore their rainbow uniforms.  However, Brian Williams took the mound that day, and the boys had the decency to beat the Reds 6-5.  A few years later, you would casually let slip that you readily abused your press pass to the Dome while you finished your Journalism degree in the late 60’s.  Maybe that’s when I finally understood what the Astros meant.  They were more than a team you taught me to love.  They were a connection to a part of your life when I wasn’t yet a possibility, a time made real for me by something we shared.  Maybe that’s when I finally began to appreciate you for the man you were.  The Astros won the World Series, Dad.  Wish to hell you were there to see it with me.

Richard Allen Schieffer: January 23, 1938 – January 22, 2007"

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Connor MacDonald
« on: July 25, 2012, 07:27:57 pm »
Per Tags, Astros just signed him: (16 year old first baseman from Australia)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / long toss article
« on: May 08, 2012, 01:00:13 am »
As Noe might say, innuresting...

Have no idea where the Astros as an organization land on this issue (others would know far better than me).  I do remember, however, that a few years ago the Orioles implemented a plan limiting pitchers to a specific number of pitches/innings per outing regardless of the quality of said outing (i.e. potential no-no).  Wonder whether that's still in effect and, if so, how Bundy's regimen fits in. Would've also liked to see comments from proponents of the limited long toss, but I doubt the point of the article was to provide a truly balanced commentary.

ETA: Am the only one who finds it ironical that Brady Anderson is Baltimore's strength and conditioning coach?

Beer and Queso / car accident question
« on: June 22, 2011, 12:24:25 am »
Was recently in a car accident and it now looks like my car will be totaled out.  This being my first time with something like this, I thought I'd turn to the place where I've found all manner of advice and insight on things other than baseball. Any suggestions or guidance are obviously greatly appreciated.

Talk Zone / Angels release Scott Kazmir
« on: June 16, 2011, 01:10:40 am »
Let the wild ass speculation about the Astros signing a local kid commence.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / gammons has something to say
« on: May 28, 2009, 11:27:00 pm »
Apparently, Drayton is a cheap bastard.

In Houston, Astros fans must realize that owner Drayton McLane cares more about Selig's favor than his fans. He forces his scouting people to adhere to "slot." Hence, in 2005, they were not allowed to draft Michael Bowden or go $30,000 above slot for Josh Lindblom, and today Bowden and Lindblom would be Houston's Nos. 3-4 starters. No wonder the Astros are such a dysfunctional team.

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