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Topics - das

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Game Zone 2019 / Astros @ Angels, September 26th 2019
« on: September 26, 2019, 09:07:45 pm »
Doors are closing on the plane in 5 minutes. Hoping to hear Miley’s first batter.

Game Zone 2019 / ASTROS @ ATHLETICS, AUGUST 16, 2019
« on: August 16, 2019, 09:04:13 pm »
Let’s get this party started!

Game Zone 2019 / Astros @ Mariners, 04june19
« on: June 04, 2019, 09:22:44 pm »
Miley looks sharp so far.

No hits, no runs for the Astros at the top of the inning.

Talk Zone / Last nite
« on: April 30, 2019, 10:33:28 am »
What a horrific showing by the offense.  The chatter in the GameZone was spot on.  Altuve and White are deep, dark black holes in the lineup right now and the approaches we saw last night made pedestrian Odorizzi look like Cy Young.  If I were Hinch, I'd levy a $100 fine to any player for the next One (1) game that does not take the Mike Schmidt approach of watching pitch 1, no matter what, so they can see how the ball is coming out of the pitchers hand and see what he's throwing.  Clearly, I'm not Hinch tho...

Verlander was classy as always, tipping his cap and making no excuses.  The fact that there was "chatter" in the clubhouse about the check swing call in the 3rd kills me.  The only reasonable chatter should have been about the awful approaches the hitters were taking against an ok pitcher.  With the express intent of changing things.

"Twins third baseman Ehire Adrianza led off the third inning with a homer on a 3-2 pitch -- one pitch after Verlander nearly got Adrianza to strike out on a 2-2 check swing -- to back seven scoreless innings from Odorizzi in Minnesota’s 1-0 win over the Astros at Target Field.  The check swing to Adrianza that third-base umpire Doug Eddings called a ball was a topic of conversation in the Astros' clubhouse after the game."

Talk Zone / Another good twitter feed to read
« on: March 29, 2019, 12:34:14 pm »
Not as good as Pitching Ninja (yet) but interesting for sure.  It's from the head of MLB Baseball R&D.  Lots of Astros info in the feed from yesterday.  Statcast-generated views of things.  I especially like to see the field positioning diagrams as plays (like a rundown) develops.

Talk Zone / It’s Opening Day!!!!
« on: March 28, 2019, 06:33:01 am »
T-Minus 8 hours until The Void is over.

How will you be watching/listening to the Astros today? 

I’ll be at an airport watching on then dark for probably innings 2-6 while in the air then back online as soon as the plane touches down. I’ll likely actually pay for inflight WiFi so I can follow aLong in the GZ during those middle innings.

Game Zone 2018 / Astros at O's, 9/27/18
« on: September 27, 2018, 09:04:52 am »
Weekend part of the series will be beautiful in Baltimore.  Highs in the low to mid 70's and low humidity.  Heavy rain Thursday night and Friday morning should finish by 8 or 9am Friday morning, giving the field plenty of time to dry out.

Tonight's game will be close as the heavier rains will pick up sometime after 8pm.  I hope they get Cole out of there quickly if the rains start to fall.

Talk Zone / Loved the Astros fans presence at Fenway last night.
« on: September 08, 2018, 09:20:16 am »
There may have been more at Fenway last night than at MMPUS during some of the lean year games.

Sawx fans reactions are great. “It’s like an invasion!”

Talk Zone / Stassi framing
« on: July 12, 2018, 11:29:30 am »
While this series of pitches are focused on McCullers deuce from last week, I really enjoyed watching how Stassi frames each pitch, especially on the down/outside to lefties.

Talk Zone / Checking in at the halfway point.
« on: June 28, 2018, 08:11:35 am »
I continue to be very impressed with how this front office and manager construct the team, fills holes that emerge during the course of the season and react to personnel as they go through the ups and downs of a long season.

Not being from Houston, it's interesting to see how the team is perceived outside of the Texas area.  Here's an example:

Last years' team was a sight to behold.  This team, relative to the rest of MLB, seems to be just as good or better here at the halfway point:

Wins: T-1st
Run Diff:  1st

ERA:  1st
BP ERA: 2nd
SO:  1st
WHIP:  1st
BAA:  1st

Average:  T-1st
RBI:  1st
Runs:  1st
OBP:  T-1st
SLG:  3rd
Hits:  2nd
OPS:  3rd
K's:  4th

FPCT:  T-1st
Runs Saved:  5th

All points to a well run, well constructed, well managed, well playing team.  Last year was so very fun.  This year is proving to be just as fun to watch but for quite different reasons.

Talk Zone / Exposing the Craft
« on: June 21, 2018, 01:54:11 pm »
I find it interesting to read articles with heavy quotes from elite players exposing their craft because its infinitely fascinating to me to try to understand the dynamics they discuss and then watch for them in upcoming games.  Makes me appreciate the game that much more.  I always wonder what the risk is to so clearly laying out part of your game plan.  Take this article for instance.  I would think this gives a roadmap to better success against JV and Cole:

Maybe their elite "hoppy" 4-seamers are just so hard to hit that it does not matter if the batter knows it's coming.  Alternately, maybe these guys know what they are doing and will load up the next game with 2-seamers down in the zone.

In a somewhat related vein, I wonder if pitchers take stuff they (maybe) read out in the public domain and apply it to their craft.  I found this in-depth look at the decreasingly effective Keuchel slider to be informative and interesting.

I also thought it was very interesting that the very next game after this article was published, his slider was MUCH sharper and effective.  I'll be watching Keuchel's start tomorrow night very closely to see if there is a trend here.

Talk Zone / “Special”
« on: May 26, 2018, 06:46:26 am »
Cracks me up how every post game interview the last two games has Astros players inserting “that’s why this team is special (or similar)” in response to Clevinger saying “they’re not that special” last week.

Gonzalez and Altuve yesterday, Bregman and Morton Thursday.

Talk Zone / Couple of Astros pitching articles:
« on: May 25, 2018, 12:22:51 pm »
I really like this comment about the value of analytics:  It will be interesting to see how long the Astros can hang onto their value-extracting competitive advantage. They’ve already created tens of millions of surplus dollars in added performance value and won a World Series title.

This was funny:  It’s like the Astros were a dumb thought experiment somebody came up with after too many edibles. “What if Stephen Strasburg were a robot and could pitch every inning, man? That’d freak people OUT.”

Talk Zone / Ohtani has NH thru 4, 0 BB, 7 K’s.
« on: April 08, 2018, 04:26:54 pm »

Talk Zone / OMG Altuve
« on: February 17, 2018, 12:28:44 pm »
So, some talking heads have ranked Altuve behind Trout as the top player in MLB.  Fine.  Take a look at this clip from 1:50 to 2:10 as Altuve jumps on first pitches to a .449 average.  Say what you will about Trout (who is in deed incredible) but the diversity of pitches that Altuve jumps on is amazing from FB's to curves to sliders.  Just amazing to watch in rapid succession.

Talk Zone / 2017/18 Void Offseason Moves
« on: November 25, 2017, 09:05:17 am »
Perez and Deetz placed on 40-man to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.

Talk Zone / Astros Wins
« on: November 07, 2017, 04:39:04 pm »
There's lots of baseball metrics out there.  Since wins are the most important metric, I thought I'd take a look at the magical run the Astros went on in September and October, once the team was at (largely) full strength again.

The Astros, and their 101 wins this season, won at a .623 clip this year.  Second only to the 102 win (.630 winning percentage) 1998 team.  They were an incredible +.700 for the first two months leading up to their disastrous, injury-plagued summer.  Once the team recovered, they resumed their +.700 pace in September, logging a .724 winning percentage for the month against mediocre opponents that were a combined 541-593 (.477) for the year.

Then it gets interesting.  Their opponents for the playoffs won and won often on the year, leading to a combined 288-198 record for a .592 winning percentage.  I find it fascinating that this team played to a .611 winning percentage against the cream of the crop, the best of the best in the playoffs.    That's the same as a 99 win season.  Against the best baseball has to offer for the entire month of October.  Just an incredible, magical run.

Talk Zone / Giles
« on: October 14, 2017, 01:36:36 pm »
Man, he loves that slider. 4 of his 5 outs last night were on punch outs using the slider. It sure sets up well when the batters are looking for the 100mph heat. I get the sense that he knows the bottom will drop out but that he’s not sure if it will tail in or out. If he could control that, he’d be nearly unhittable.

Beer and Queso / TS (now Hurricane) Harvey
« on: August 24, 2017, 06:59:16 am »
For those of you in Texas, please keep an eye on Harvey.  Two main concerns:  1) as the storm approaches the coast, the steering currents that move a storm around will collapse so, once the storm moves inland, it could sit-and-spin or meander around for multiple days.  This is a classic signature for a significant flooding event in your area.  And, 2) the storm has been in hostile development environments for it's entire lifecycle so far.  That is about to change and, for the next 36-48 hours, the storm has the potential to rapidly intensify.  Waters are warm, upper level outflow is significantly improving and the forward motion is perfect to negate upwelling.  The current forecast pegs the storm at 80-ish mph at landfall but, rapid intensification cycles are the least understood period of development for tropical systems.  Forecasters are getting good at seeing the conditions for RI development but why one storm responds and another does not is still unknown as is the amount of intensification during the RI phase.  So, this one bears watching.

Hit me with questions throughout the day if you have them...

Beer and Queso / It's going to rain...
« on: June 20, 2017, 06:54:26 pm »
Here's some links to the visible images coming off of the new GOES-16 satellite that was launched last fall an is in a pre-operational testing state.  The images are of such high quality (and large) that they are broken into quadrants for the developing Tropical Depression 3 (soon to be Tropical Storm Cindy).  The images are at 0.5km resolution and are taken every minute.  For reference, the current Goes-W and GOES-E satellites take scans every 15 minutes at 1.0km resolution and will be put in rapid-scan mode for critical events only (scans every 3-4 minutes) since it stresses the supporting infrastructure.  Here's the links, they should shift with the storm motion as it progresses to the NW:

MDS 2 Sector 1 (upper left) Band 2 (0.64 µm, 0.5 km)

MDS 2 Sector 1 (upper right) Band 2 (0.64 µm, 0.5 km)

MDS 2 Sector 1 (center) Band 2 (0.64 µm, 0.5 km)

MDS 2 Sector 1 (lower left) Band 2 (0.64 µm, 0.5 km)

MDS 2 Sector 1 (lower right) Band 2 (0.64 µm, 0.5 km)

Talk Zone / High cheese HR
« on: May 09, 2017, 08:55:42 am »
Remember that super high, outside FB Gattis (pulled!) for a HR in Cleveland in '15?  Trumbo hit one that was 3" higher than that yesterday.  Amazing.

The link to the Gattis HR is there at the bottom.  I could watch that one over and over.  Even in slo-mo, it launches like a scalded cat off of his bat.  There's also a link to a similar shot by Pence in there that gets out to opposite field center.  OMG.

Talk Zone / I am so excited I can't even sit still.
« on: April 03, 2017, 07:58:19 am »
 8 PM (for me) can't get here fast enough. I don't remember being this excited for the start of a season in the last 15 years.  I am jealous of all of you that are getting together today complements of BudGirls hard work. Hopefully I will be able to attend another sometime soon.  Do whatever is necessary to bring home a win this evening!

Transcript is in the link. They really like the Astros work to restock the farm.

Talk Zone / Bagwell in the HOF
« on: January 18, 2017, 05:45:04 am »
[omg][/omg]. (Since we can't post pics)

Talk Zone / The Void sucks.
« on: October 02, 2016, 07:49:13 pm »
That's all.

Talk Zone / 13 Game Stretch
« on: September 06, 2016, 09:17:17 am »
I was doing some thinking about this current stretch against first place teams, wondering what should be considered success. I'd guess 6-7 or 7-6 or greater leading up to the last couple of weeks' play against sub-.500 teams.  What say 'ye?

I have to admit, Keuchel going on the shelf probably changes that calculus a bit.

Talk Zone / First week thoughts
« on: April 11, 2016, 11:48:47 am »
First week thoughts.  Small sample size, yadda yadda, I know.  These are just random thoughts from a casual observer.
Starting Pitching:  7.53 ERA.  That’s tough to see in black and white.  Well, Keuchel’s control problems are surprising but I am not yet concerned.  Cold air seems to be the common denominator and the amount of time he spent scuffing up the ball in the first two games suggests he did not have a good grip in either game.  Maybe he needs to do a little “Moises Alou-ing” to fix things up.  McHugh is a concern, especially with his interesting spring and, especially, the last game of the spring.  He’s shown to be smart, effective and, especially adept at making adjustments evidenced by his second half the last two years but I’ve kept wondering when the League would catch up to him.  Smart pitchers are constantly tweaking as the league adjusts but if those pitching tweaks take him out of his sweet spot regarding capabilities, it could be a tough year.  I’m not ready to christen him the next incarnation of Lima Time but it’s something I’ll be looking for over his next few starts.  In my first look at him this season, Fister looks like a real pitcher.  He looks like he knows what he’s doing out there and, as he distances himself from the shoulder problems from last year and gets into the groove of the season, I’m expecting good things from him.  Likewise, as Feldman settles in, I expect some of the same as well.  Hope he can stay healthy for most or all of the season.  Fiers pitched about like I expected.  He’s got the tools but uneven performances were a part of his history that I am hoping Strom, Castro and the analytics team can help iron out over time.  That said, I am glad to hear that McCullers’ rehab is going well.  It’ll be good to have him back.

Relief Pitching:  6.65 ERA.  Not much better than the SP’s although Gregerson has been excellent in his limited opportunities and Devenski looked great n his one appearance.  Giles looks like he’s trying hard to impress, hopefully that calms down a bit and he pitches to his strengths.  We don’t need a Gas Can 2.0.  Right now, the decision to insert Gregerson into the closer slot looks genius.

Batting:  Tyler White is a revelation.  In my week of watching, it is not clear to me that there is a pitch that he can’t handle.  He’s a real joy to watch each and every at bat.  I see what I think is a hole in his swing (looks like a shallow “U” instead of a straight line thru the strike zone) but it does not appear to be affecting anything.  Again, I’m a casual observer so maybe I’m seeing something that’s not there.  Hope he keeps up the excellent approaches each AB.  On thing that struck me this week is just how fast the ball comes off the bat of Correa, Tucker and Rasmus.  Even White and Altuve to an extent. Tucker is an extra base machine.  He hits the ball so hard that it’s on the way to the wall unless someone can get in front of it.  Fun to watch.  Correa sure looks mature up there.  It will be interesting to see how he matures this year now that the book is out on him and pitchers are trying to adjust.  Castro looks lost at the plate as does Gomez but to a lesser extent.  Hopefully it’s just first week settling in.

Baserunning:  This was the most aggravating part of the week for me.  The SB’s are great for moving into scoring position and pressuring the pitcher and infielders.  Even a CS is fine as that is a part of an aggressive team on the base paths but the baserunning blunders are a killer.  I’m looking at you, Altuve.  Get caught stealing second.  That’s fine.  Don’t get caught leaning the wrong way or counting dandelions just off the dirt.  Bleh.

Defense:  Castro looks much improved behind the dish.  Good to see him throw out some baserunners.  Likewise, the OF D looks as good as advertised.  Throws to 1B from third, short and 2B have been sometimes erratic but White (and Gonzalez on the first day) have done a good job digging stuff out of the dirt or applying swing tags when they are pulled off the base.  Every time I see that though, I think the rotator cuff is in serious peril. 

Regarding AL Player of the Week, Tyler White is a clear frontrunner for position players and appears to have had a superior week to all AL pitchers.  I hope he gets the accolade. 

RK   Player   Team   Pos   G   AB   R   H   2B   3B   HR   RBI▼   BB   SO   SB   CS   AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS
1    Donaldson, J
TOR   3B   7   29   8   9   1   0   4   9   2   11   0   0   .310   .355   .759   1.113
1    White, T
HOU   1B   6   18   3   10   2   0   3   9   2   4   0   0   .556   .591   1.167   1.758
3    Castro, S
NYY   2B   5   20   3   9   2   0   2   8   1   2   0   0   .450   .476   .850   1.326
3    Holt, B
BOS   LF   4   17   4   7   2   0   2   8   1   4   0   0   .412   .444   .882   1.327
5    Cano, R
SEA   2B   6   25   4   6   1   0   4   7   2   5   0   0   .240   .296   .760   1.056

RK   Player   Team   W   L   ERA▲   G   GS   SV   SVO   IP   H   R   ER   HR   BB   SO   AVG   WHIP
1    Estrada, M
TOR   1   0   0.00   1   1   0   0   7.0   5   0   0   0   2   8   .200   1.00
1    Kennedy, I
KC   1   0   0.00   1   1   0   0   6.2   5   0   0   0   1   7   .208   0.90
1    Latos, M
CWS   1   0   0.00   1   1   0   0   6.0   1   0   0   0   1   2   .050   0.33
1    Zimmermann, J
DET   1   0   0.00   1   1   0   0   7.0   2   0   0   0   3   3   .095   0.71
5    Hernandez, F
SEA   0   1   0.69   2   2   0   0   13.0   4   3   1   0   7   16   .089   0.85

Talk Zone / In-game dynamic; Astros-Angels
« on: July 31, 2015, 09:14:34 am »
After watching all three games, I thought it interesting the interactions between both teams during the series. Lots of friendly banter and pats on the back at the plate, on the bases, after a hard slide, etc...  I don't remember ever seeing it to this degree.  Did I imagine that?

Talk Zone / Nice article on pitch framing from last year
« on: May 13, 2014, 10:12:54 am »

Talk Zone / Lincecum, 2 years, $35M???
« on: October 23, 2013, 06:50:06 am »
What in the world?  What are the Giants seeing that I'm not? His velocity remains down. He did a good job transitioning from a thrower to a picture this year but he sure didn't turn into Greg Maddux. $17 million a year, I just don't see it.

Beer and Queso / Texas weather next week
« on: December 18, 2012, 11:52:28 am »
Keep your eyes peeled. Rare central Texas December snowstorm potential. More details as events unfold.

Beer and Queso / So, I have a torn labrum.
« on: July 05, 2012, 01:04:42 pm »
Anyone that has gone through the procedure and recovery care to let me know what to expect?  I have a flouroscopic MRI this week then the arthroscopic procedure another 10 days later.

Talk Zone / Small article on Maxwell in the local rag
« on: June 21, 2012, 01:58:24 pm »

Talk Zone / This team is fun to watch.
« on: May 06, 2012, 09:38:19 am »
I said it before when they were losing by a run or two each night and I'll say it again now. It's an absolute pleasure watching a team with a plan (and largely execute that plan) in the box and on the mound each game. It's almost as if it's a whole new team. Oh, wait...

Talk Zone / C'mon Snyder
« on: May 02, 2012, 09:43:54 am »
That's not Astros baseball.  Bagwell must have been throwing stuff at the TV.

Nice moonshot and all but I'm surprised he was not eating dirt the next at bat.  Vid at 40 seconds shows him pulling a Puljos admiring his shot.

Talk Zone / Wanna TwitterBomb or Cyberstalk your favorite Astro?
« on: April 30, 2012, 03:10:36 pm »
Compliments of our hometown favorite, Ms. Footer

@cjastros23                    Chris Johnson
@brianbogusevic             Brian Bogusevic
@budnorris20                  Bud Norris
@downstown16               Matt Downs
@JordanSchafer               Jordan Schafer
@jordanlyles41                Jordan Lyles
@JDMartinez14                J.D Martinez
@J_Castro15                    Jason Castro
@lucasharrell34                Lucas Harrell
@Carlos45Lee                  Carlos Lee
@realweswright               Wesley Wright

Talk Zone / Game should resume within the hour
« on: September 18, 2011, 04:10:56 pm »
Didn't see GZ open for the game. Dry slot is rotating in shortly so the game should start up again within the hour if the Wrigley crew did not botch it and leave the tarps off too long.

Beer and Queso / So close....
« on: September 03, 2011, 08:16:42 pm »
I really feel for you guys.  It must be tough seeing the massive rain shield of TS Lee pirouetting just off to the east.  This is a tough loop to watch (time sensitive):
Typically, the rain shield for landfalling tropical storms constrict during the night as the diurnal minimum deepening takes place but, so far, there is no evidence of that as the rain line has moved west a good 40 miles in the last  hour.  I hope it continues for you guys.


Beer and Queso / Wednesday morning beer thread
« on: August 31, 2011, 07:03:39 am »
My favorite ale has finally made it to Maryland.  Had the first one last night.  That is all.


Talk Zone / Jeepers, what is the average age of todays lineup?
« on: August 14, 2011, 04:25:22 pm »
Shuck, CF
Altuve, 2B
Martinez, LF
Lee, Ca, 1B   
Bogusevic, RF
Paredes, 3B
Sanchez, Ag, SS
Corporan, C
Lyles, P

This sure is exciting although Lee wrecks the curve.  Would be even moreso if they can bang out a win or two.

Talk Zone / Hope Week
« on: July 20, 2011, 07:54:32 am »
Excellent.  Every player, and the manager, participates.

It may be largely contrived but that's some good community outreach and marketing right there.

Talk Zone / Time for a bullpen adjustment?
« on: May 04, 2011, 04:51:35 pm »
That was horrible to watch. Lyon looked scared even before he threw his first pitch. Scared nibblers are excrebable entertainment.

Beer and Queso / trusted proxy server?
« on: March 31, 2011, 11:30:29 am »
I'm looking for one (or two) that are reliable and don't introduce so much latency that streaming becomes unusable.  PM is fine.  Thanks in advance to anyone that responds.

Beer and Queso / WFW
« on: March 16, 2011, 01:14:23 pm »
I chuckle every time I go get a document off of our network printer here at work.


Beer and Queso / Kosher food in Houston
« on: March 04, 2011, 08:26:13 am »
I have a consertive jewish friend (really, not me) that is coming to H-town in April and knows nothing about the town.  He and I were chatting about food and he wondered what his options were.  Any suggestions from the Jewish contigent on the board?  He's also going to to the Pads day game on the 17th.

Beer and Queso / Igor images
« on: September 14, 2010, 07:54:53 am »
Thought some of you might find these interesting.

The MODIS Terra imager passed directly over H.Igor yesterday, right as it was peaking with 150mph winds.  This sensor captures full color visible images at 250m resolution.  Click and wait (the image is a bit over 7mb):

Equally interesting but for different reasons, the GOES-15 post-launch test continues with test results being posted to the Proving Grounds.  As a part of the test series, the Lockheed Martin engineers occasionally will kick on the sensor's full image capture capability to perform calibration and stress tests.  They did so yesterday and have posted the results.  Here's something called a Super Rapid Scan loop of Igor.  Resolution is at 1km and images were captured every 55 seconds instead of the normal 5 or 15 minute interval.  You can see the image capture rate drop from 5 minutes to 55 seconds as they initiate SRS operations.  Careful before you click, the loop is 38.5mb.

Beer and Queso / Friday beer thread
« on: September 03, 2010, 10:29:01 am »
I had the Sierra Nevada Tumber autum brown ale last night.  Very good and reminiscant of my favorite beer (which I can't get here on the east coast), Fat Tire.  It's nice and rich with a roasted nutty taste and a delightful rich, slightly bitter finish.  Not bad for a brewery that tends to cater to more commercial tastes.

Talk Zone / I am so ashamed.
« on: July 10, 2010, 08:36:04 pm »
At the Nats - Giants game. The wave has just made it's third pass around the stadium.

Talk Zone / Lee considering retiring at the end of '12.
« on: May 07, 2010, 07:08:10 am »

He misses time with his family.

Article talks about Berkman reiterating his trade consideration also.

Beer and Queso / Chili Recipe
« on: May 04, 2010, 11:18:57 am »
So, after reading about the various takes on chili recipes in the Twinkie Day 2010 thread ( back in the middle of April, it got me thinking.  Apparently, my recipe breaks all sorts of understood, written and unwritten rules but, as evidenced by me never having to throw any out, it seems to be at least somewhat liked by a reasonably large cross section of people.  My recipe has an odd genesis and has developed over time into the “kitchen sink” conglomeration that it is.  It started out as a vegan recipe when my wife went thru a phase some years back and has morphed into what it is as she reintroduced meat back into her diet.  Say what you will about vegan cooking, it really stretches you as you have to find many new and interesting ways to accommodate the stunning lack of taste in soy and wheat-based products.  So, here it is:

-   1 large green pepper, chopped large
-   1 large onion, chopped large
-   2 packages 8oz. sliced baby portabella mushrooms
-   4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
-   1 can red kidney beans, with sauce
-   1 can black beans, with sauce
-   1 can white kidney beans, with sauce
-   2 lbs coarse ground chili beef (or cubed steak, depending on mood)
-   1 can Hormel hot chili, no beans
-   1 can Bushes chili starter
-   2 cans diced tomatoes w/ green chilis
-   6oz sliced jalapenos, with juice
-   12oz beer, darker is better
-   2 Tbsp Chili pepper powder
-   1 Tbsp salt (add more later to taste)
-   1 Tbsp onion powder
-   1 Tbsp cumin
-   1 Tbsp paprika
-   1 Tsp Red Pepper (more or less to taste)
-   1 Tsp oregano
-   1 Tbsp garlic powder
-   1 Tbsp Masa flour (more or less for desired thickness)

Lightly brown peppers, garlic and onions in a tsp of butter or olive oil.  Add 2 lb of ground or cubed beef and brown. Do not drain fat.  Add the following and stir: chili powder, salt onion powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, cumin.  Do not add Red Pepper and Masa Flour yet.  Stir in beans, mushrooms, Hormel chili, Bush’s chili starter and diced tomatoes. Cover and simmer 30 min or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Lightly mix beer, masa flour and red pepper, stir into chili and simmer another 15 to 20 minutes then remove from heat.  The longer it sits, the better it is.

I’ll usually make some jasmine rice, elbow macaroni and get a big bag of Fritos Scoops then have bowls of shredded cheddar, sour crème and fresh, chopped onions so the gang can doctor and top theirs however they want (or not).  Makes a bunch.

This said, I’ve become intrigued by some of the simpler suggestions in that other thread as I sense that they may be more true to the original concept of chili.  To this end, I wanted to open up this thread to get some recipes from the group that I could try on occasion.  Chili is an example of the perfect type of food for a house like mine with sometimes large groups of foster kids from many socio-economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.  It is nearly universally liked, is easy to make en masse and keeps well for leftovers.  If you have a recipe that you like and are willing to share, I am all ears.

First pitch here in DC would be good to watch today.

Beer and Queso / Unprecedented Houston snow
« on: December 04, 2009, 07:04:39 am »
Just for perspective:




JAN 12 1912 0.1 INCHES
JAN 7 1913 TRACE

JAN 11 1918 0.2 INCHES
JAN 2 1919 TRACE

DEC 19 1924 TRACE
DEC 28 1925 0.4 INCHES

JAN 5 1947 TRACE
JAN 23 1948 TRACE
JAN 29 1949 TRACE
JAN 30 1949 2.6 INCHES

FEB 12 1960 3.0 INCHES
JAN 25 1961 TRACE
JAN 9 1962 TRACE


Good luck with the storm today.  I hope it verifies and gets everyone in the Christmas mood.  And that the massive population that drives rear-wheel drive pickup trucks stay off the road.

Talk Zone / No need to watch the game tonight.
« on: September 28, 2009, 06:44:29 am »
I'll be in Philly to see the game, compliments of "Houston".  I'm looking forward to seeing the kids play and Tejada finish out the greatest Houston SS offensive showing since Dickie Thon in '83.

Talk Zone / Norris Performance
« on: August 03, 2009, 05:06:08 am »
Well, I have to say that I am impressed.  This was the first time that I've been able to see him pitch.  Along with being impressed with his command and ability to execute a pitching plan, I came away with the thought that, if Rodriguez and Oswalt can come back in the next week or so, this team may have a chance. 

This said and typical of a new pitcher, it was clear that the Cards were not real sure about his arsenal.  But, Norris looked very good out there.

Beer and Queso / Texas Hurricane Guide
« on: July 31, 2009, 10:33:03 am »
Here's some light but good reading from my friends in the NWS Southern Region Headquarters.

Talk Zone / Erstad in at 1B tonight.
« on: July 17, 2009, 08:35:57 pm »
I wonder how Berkman's leg is doing.  No gamezone today?

Talk Zone / So, I met Denny Walling yesterday...
« on: July 13, 2009, 10:55:33 am »
He's a roving instructor for the O's.  Last night was Faith Night at the (Frederick, MD) Keys stadium.  The Associate Pastor at my church is the team chaplain, played shortstop in A ball and MC'ed the pre-game activities.  A couple of the players and Walling gave their testimonies.  Just prior, I had been chatting with my pastor when he mentioned the speaking lineup.  When he mentioned "a coach named Denny Walling", to his surprise, I got all animated, blathering about "Good Wood Walling" and '86.  It was pretty funny and for good measure, embarassing to my wife.  My pastor dragged Walling over and introduced us.  He's a very nice guy, was slightly amused at the obvious excitement I showed and patiently withstood my fuzzy recollections and recounts of his exploits from 20 years ago.  He said no while nodding his head yes when I asked him if he "absolutely hated" the Mets (which was funny because he has coached for them) and chuckled when I said I forgave him for going to play with the Cardinals in '88 and vigorously defended himslef with an emphatic "I was traded!!!".  Good times.

Talk Zone / Blurry line between work/home and SnS.
« on: June 03, 2009, 08:58:43 am »
So, I'm working on this really big bid for the Corporation and the proposal manager's last name is Cabrera.  Every time she sends a note to the group, I giggle.

TZ lexicon has been creeping into my daily work and home vocabulary for the last couple of years.  It makes for some strange discussion to try to explain what a "Lackey Bushneck" is when you toss out that phrase in a business meeting or reference the "Worrell Button" in in response to a chatty wife or daughter.

Talk Zone / Berkman
« on: May 08, 2009, 11:14:34 am »
I did not see the game last night.  Did he look as lost as his line suggests? 

Does one get a Golden Sombrero for 4 K's if they had 5 AB's?

Talk Zone / Oswalt starting day game in DC on Tuesday!
« on: May 03, 2009, 04:44:41 pm »

Talk Zone / So, I'm going to the Cards / Nats game tonight.
« on: April 30, 2009, 11:15:31 am »
I'll be sitting right over the Visitor dugout in the 1st row.  In preparation last night, I had a massive bowl of disgusting canned chili with beans, a cucumber salad, some bad beer and a double-heaping of Metamucil® in 4% whole milk.  Despite all laws of gastrointestinal physics, I am holding this mass of stewage in through the day and for the duration of the game.  I figure, the only thing better than farting on Cardinals jerseys is farting on Cardinals jerseys with actual Cardinals ballplayers in said jerseys.

Assuming that my anal bellowing will illicit the desired response of getting some number of players to peek over the dugout to locate the source of the stench, I need to arm myself with some snappy comments to fire off at the appropriate time.  Help a brotha out, if you will.  They don't necessarily have to be aroma-related.  I'll start the bidding with:

1. We've already heard from one a$$hole, go sit down!

Talk Zone / Lambchops
« on: March 18, 2009, 01:12:34 pm »
Just because I have not seen it mentioned anywhere else, those lambchop sideburns sported by Berkman are absolutely hideous.  Worst facial hair since Obadiah Bagwell.

Talk Zone / Thanks, Pravata, for your beagle-esque work.
« on: November 26, 2008, 08:45:41 pm »
I have no need to search out info on the Astros, you sniff it out, tenaciously grab onto anything of worth and present it to us in an easily digestible format.  We appreciate what you do.

Talk Zone / Benefit auction for Ricky Stone
« on: November 26, 2008, 02:39:02 pm »

Stone and his family have quite a challange ahead of them.  Dude was a total workhorse and the consumate professional for the Astros in '02 and '03.

Auction runs through Sunday.

Beer and Queso / a quick note...
« on: October 23, 2008, 07:02:56 pm »
Wolavers Pumpkin Ale is the worst thing in the history of bad things.  It's just disgusting and I think less of myself and my ability to make well-reasoned decisions for having had one this evening.  That's all. 

Beer and Queso / TS Marco
« on: October 07, 2008, 09:24:11 am »
Thought I'd pop in and point those interested to a curious weather anamoly.  Tropical Storm Marco, in the far southern Bay of Campeche may well be the smallest tropical storm in recorded history.  It's wind maxima radius (basically the eye) is 3 miles and tropical storm force winds extend out only 10miles from the center.  That's less than a typical bow echo line of thunderstorms down there in Texas.  Basically, this thing is only 2x larger than a supercell thunderstorm and the "eye" is only 4x bigger than a large tornado.  The satellite presentation of the storm is that of a small cluster of thunderstorms.

Only peering into the storm with microwaves (and other remote sensing instruments) reveals a typical warm-core tropical system structure.  Micro-storms like this historically have caused some serious localized damage.  Because they are so small (and are moving relatively small amounts of air around) they can spin up and down very quickly.  It's a good thing this particular storm will run ashore in the next 6 or 8 hours.

Talk Zone / Any word on the game tomorrow?
« on: September 13, 2008, 07:48:49 pm »
Astros site said a decision would be made this afternoon.

Talk Zone / i hate that there is no game tonight.
« on: September 12, 2008, 06:38:02 pm »
Stoopid Ike. Y'all take care down there tonight.

Talk Zone / Gustav (non-bb)
« on: August 30, 2008, 08:07:06 pm »
<<edited for extraneous information>>
Hi gang.  Been chatting with a few of you over the last 5 days but though I'd poke my head in here to give my $0.02 on Gustav.  As advertised, this is a serious storm and those of you along the north Gulf coast and inland along the north and NW coast should be very careful and listen to your emergency management authorities.  My time is very tight so all I'm going to do is paste an internal discussion to some of our business unit owners that gives some particulars and tools to check so you can make some good decisions.  Read from the bottom up.  I won't be able to respond to a barrage of PM's or e-mails but if you live right along the LA coast and need some insight beyond what the info below or your emergency management authorities provide, drop a note to my personal e-mail account and I may be able to respond.  [email protected].  Do not send notes to my work account, please.  Take care, my friends.

Afternoon, all.  In response to highly favorable environmental conditions and in line with forecast reasoning, Gustav has continued to rapidly intensify and is now a strong Category 4 storm with 150mph winds and a forward speed of 15mph.  Its interaction with Punta del Este today and the west Cuban coast will likely have little effect on the storm and it is anticipated to strengthen a bit as it moves into the southern Gulf tonight.  The two outlier computer models have come in line with the overall model suite and continue to forecast a major hurricane making landfall on the central Louisiana coast mid-day Monday.  Preparations to protect personal property and company assets in the region should be rushed to completion.  A hurricane watch has been posted for the entire coast of Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain a full day earlier than normal as a reflection of the potential gravity of the situation.  Storms of this strength tend to fluctuate in intensity due to something called eye wall replacement cycles so please do not interpret a drop in wind speed as a degradation in the strength of the storm.  It will likely fluctuate between 140mph and 160+mph as it traverses the Gulf with an insignificant dip in wind speed a few hours before landfall as it crosses the relatively cooler waters of the north Gulf.  While the storm is forecast to arrive around noon on Monday, the Louisiana coast will begin to feel the affects long before this, likely in the very early morning hours of Monday.  Please use the links below in the original e-mail for detailed landfall data.

Please keep in mind that Gustav is a very large storm, with hurricane force winds extending up to 70 miles from the center and tropical force winds extending up to 125 miles from the center.  This means that it is likely that there will be tropical storm force winds and effects along a 250 mile coastal swath as the storm comes ashore so it is important not to focus too much on the exact landfall location.  Typical media and government outlets have not yet published this information but expected storm surge to the east of the eye of the storm may be on the order of 18 to 23 feet above normal.  I don’t have access to the tide charts for eastern Louisiana but the landfall timing, in concert with high and low tide, will play a critical role in the effects of this surge in low lying places like New Orleans.  The Regional Office on Poydras Street is 45 miles north of the Gulf and is 3ft. above sea level but is also only 5 miles south of Lake Pontchartrain and protected from levies that are in various states of repair after Katrina.

For those on the ground, please follow the instructions of your local emergency management authorities going forward.  If the storm continues to evolve as forecast, I would expect they will be issuing evacuation orders sometime tomorrow.  That means work to protect company, client and personal assets should be performed now.

Please reach out to Charlotte on her cell to see if she needs any instruction on how to down her equipment, should that become necessary.



From: Shive, David

As an FYI, now is probably the time to begin preparing for the eventual landfall of Hurricane Gustav on the north Gulf Coast during the holiday Monday.  Latest model trends have it coming ashore around noon and will likely do so as a major hurricane (120+mph).  The model suite has consistently targeted the central Louisiana coast for the last 6 model runs (36 hours).  It should be noted that specific forecasts greater than 72 hours often have a margin of error of 300+ miles (in each direction) but the models continue to narrow to the central Louisiana coast.  This would place New Orleans on the right entrance region of the storm where storm surge and winds are the greatest.  Let me make this clear:  there are no guarantees that this will happen but, as sensor owners and technology managers of significant, client and government-facing platforms, now is the time to prepare and set your sensors on autopilot.  One other note, there is a strong subtropical ridge building to the north of the storm.  This has the tendency to slow the forward progression of storms.  This is germane to this particular storm as it will likely slow to a crawl after landfall and dump heavy, flooding rains in east Texas or north Louisiana, similar to what Fay did in Florida last week.  This means that our sensors will likely need to run in automated mode for a long duration.  We need to be able to transmit IR, WV, Vis and MW data up/down as long into the event as possible.

If your offsite backup tapes are greater than 7 days old or are housed within 100mi. of your New Orleans office (or Global Hydrology facility for you, Don), now is the time to make sure a fresh set moves to a safe location.  Additionally, you should leave enough time in your holiday weekend schedule to travel to your site to proactively down your non-critical systems and communications equipment since 1) power can surge and brownout and 2) be out in excess of your UPS runtime capabilities during a weather event like this.  Please remember to leave your upload platforms up so that they can transmit research data as long into the storm as possible.  This schedule, if it becomes necessary, should anticipate any evacuation orders that might come from your local authorities and should be made in concert with your client management.  Please remember that any manual downing of your equipment should be preceded by a call to the NOC so that they can silence the many alarms they will receive and so that we don't fill satellite DASD with unnecessary alert data.

Going forward, your primary source of information for this event should be your local EMA via the media outlets.  This is a very well analyzed and advertised storm so the local emergency management authorities will be very communicative via the media.  Heed their warnings and instructions, do not endanger yourselves or your staff unnecessarily.  That said, here are some reliable tools that may help you make good decisions regarding your programs:

NHC 5-day warning graph:
This tool is updated every 3 hours and represents the interpretation of the full suite of global computer models with significant forecaster input included.
Storm Surge probablity:
Updated every 6 hours.  I dont like the current plot, please check back tomorrow.  I'm guessing 18'+ east of the center.

New Orleans, LA local NWS office:
Very good source of warning info and hyper-local weather data.

New Orleans radar:
Not showing anything now, of course, but useful to see when the rains will start as a storm approaches.

Hi-res GOES-12 satellite loop, centered on New Orleans:
Change the “zoom=1” to “zoom=4” for more of a bird’s eye view.

Internal NWS forecaster discussion:
This is the internal discussion that the New Orleans meteorologist have amongst themselves.  It’s produced every 4 or 5 hours.  You can glean their thinking, often hours before they issue statements to the public.  It’s a tough read if you are not one of our meteorologist, feel free to drop me a note if you have questions about their acronyms.

I’ll send out additional info if things change or as events warrant.  Please feel free to drop me a note of give me a call on my cell if you have questions or need anything.

The New Orleans office is the only PSS office that is preliminarily vulnerable and it is only marginally so as it has weathered other similar storms well in the past.  You guys will have a much better read on other company and client sites in the region.  Please feel free to send this and additional communiqués to those site managers.

For those curious, here is where the storm is now.

Punta del Este Radar:

Radar monitoring timeline is:  Punta del Este, then Casablanca then Key West.  Radar silence then until the long range sensors in New Orleans start to light up.  If I have time, I'll drop you an intermediary space-based rain-rate microwave pass tomorrow evening.

Satellite Loop:

Our CMO friends in Cuba are in for a rough evening.

Talk Zone / Mechanics question.
« on: August 25, 2008, 10:27:08 am »
So, after some of my church league softball games, a few of us hang around and try to strike each other out.  It's a lot of fun but we had better be wearing our helmets when we step in.  I get on the mound with my awesome 4 pitch repertoire:  4-seam FB, 2-seam FB, curve and changeup.  All got markedly better (well, 65mph FB became a 68mph FB) after reading JimR’s tutorial and I started each by reaching way back at the start of my delivery.  Except, something funny happens with the curve.  If I short-arm the curve, it maintains a decent downward bite.  If I “long-arm” the curve, it flattens out to a more sweeping break from like 2-to-7 and, more importantly, pops something in my upper back.  Three times in the last 3 months and it hurts to move my neck for a couple of days.  Right side (I’m right handed) between my spine and edge of the shoulder blade.  What am I doing wrong?

Talk Zone / Anybody going to be on Corpus tonight?
« on: May 22, 2008, 11:07:12 am »
Not me, driv3e from Maryland is a bit long.  First hand account of Wandy would be nice.

Talk Zone / Paulino throwing and Randolph gone.
« on: May 08, 2008, 06:33:30 am »
Good to hear about Paulino.  I hope they are careful with him.

Why ship Randolph out?  Arms are at a premium now.  How'd he look down in RR?

Talk Zone / Berkman gets props for big week.
« on: April 28, 2008, 02:18:42 pm »

Nicely done.  Power numbers are a scootch different than this time last year.

Talk Zone / Cool, Wiggy does not go to the DL.
« on: April 10, 2008, 04:00:44 pm »
It look like the report came back well.

It will be good to have he and Matsui in the lineup next week.

Talk Zone / I'm blind without my back issues of NYCU.
« on: April 07, 2008, 01:57:24 pm »
When is Matsui going on rehab again?

Talk Zone / You gotta play the games...
« on: April 07, 2008, 07:38:33 am »
Interesting first week.

Team Batting:  Average        SLG            OBP            Runs        Hits        Walks       K's
                     .218 (15th)   .385 (12th)  .275 (15th)  25 (10th)  51 (8th)  18 (11th)  39 (10th)
...but the runs, hits, walks are misleading as the Astros are one of only three teams to play 7 games for the week.  All but one ahead of them played 5 or 6.  Hunter be hackin'.  No walks on the week.

Team Pitching:  ERA            SO          BB          Saves
                     4.50 (11th)   40 (8th)  17 (4th)   1 (T6-13)
Team ERA for all pitchers not named Roy, 4.11   I like that walks number.  Looks like they've been listening to Cooper and pounding the strikezone.  Likely even better results when Matsui brings his range back to 2B.

Talk Zone / so, I'm sitting here watching the game...
« on: March 06, 2008, 01:59:43 pm »
...on my "lunch break".  Passed ball, Berkman at the plate and he just stands there.  Isn't he supposed to back off the plate and give Towels barrelling down the 3rd base line an up or down signal?  Or do those rules not apply in spring training?

Talk Zone / Astros lock up Villarreal for two years
« on: December 28, 2007, 01:41:30 pm »
...with a club option for a 3rd year at $2mil.

Wade does not seem to be focusing on just next year, that's for sure.

Talk Zone / Richard Justice is a horrible, horrible reporter.
« on: December 17, 2007, 08:10:14 am »
...or columnist or whatever they call themselves these days.  That is all.

Talk Zone / So, just how massive will that first collision in Right CF be?
« on: November 08, 2007, 06:47:41 am »
They'll be picking up body parts for hours.

Talk Zone / OWA Official Song
« on: October 24, 2007, 12:12:18 pm »
I was driving home late last night and popped on the radio.  Local station has Weezel on, the legendary DJ from the old HFS here in DC.  As he's chatting, I pick up the Blackberry and logon to the TZ.  Right as it loads up, Weezel spins up "Road to Nowhere" by the Talking Heads and in that one, divine moment, the official BFT/OWA/TZ song is codified, at least in my mind.

What would your pick for the official TZ song?

Talk Zone / Good and what tha'?
« on: September 05, 2007, 12:56:42 pm »

Thanks to Pravata's google, I now know how Coop feels about Luuuuuuuke.  Good.  I think he's a hitter that can flourish and can see him manning RF as long as his hitting justifies his position.

Burke mystifies me.  How he can utter, "I like to think I've shown some things in my first three years to prove that I can play" in a public forum is amazing.  He's been handed a bunch of different jobs in his 3 years (reserve/bench player, starting CF, he has been remarkebly consistant and has largely failed in each.  Why would anyone assume that if handed the full-time 2B job, he's going to miraculously do anything different?

Talk Zone / Ugh, what a way to roll into the Nats series.
« on: July 16, 2007, 07:22:44 am »
Just like last year.  This team really is quite bad, not just playing bad.  Loosing 2 of 3 to this horrible Nats team will be just awful.  Wednesday day game will be fun regardless.  Shedding the suit and getting the hard-to-hide sunburn will be difficult to explain come Thrusday morning at work.  I'll take my chances...

Talk Zone / Houston Chronical
« on: July 03, 2007, 10:20:48 am »
I don't usually weigh in on Houston sportswriter bashing because 1) I don't live there and 2) it's just not that interesting to me.  I thought this was too compelling to pass on though:
If the sports writing there is considered so bad and generally revilled, does the Chronical really think that offshore outsourced writing is the way to go?  There is just so much wrong with that "article", it's embarassing.

Talk Zone / I want this guy as bench coach of the Astros.
« on: June 05, 2007, 01:02:30 pm »
Mississippi Braves manager Phillip Wellman:

The video is priceless.

Talk Zone / scoring question
« on: May 30, 2007, 09:02:33 am »
Why does Lidge get the blown save on the sac fly last night instead of White?  Those weren't his runners.  Lidge did a good job in a tough situation.

Talk Zone / molassas
« on: May 15, 2007, 07:57:44 pm »
On that first Bonds DP, was he running that slow because he is hurt?  Even with degernative knees, I can't see jogging to 1B in that situation.

Talk Zone / I wish they would quit this crap...
« on: May 04, 2007, 08:04:22 am »
"Luke Scott, who hit a two-run double to put the Astros ahead to stay in the eighth, celebrates with Carlos Lee after the final out." <<stoopid butt-bumping pic>>

Act like you are two games below .500 because, well, you are.

Talk Zone / Bully! Bully!
« on: April 26, 2007, 04:34:26 am »
Boy, 10 innings of crying, Bully! Bully! can leave a man hoarse.  I can barely speak this morning.  The bullpen did a fantastic job last night.  It could really be a force and strength on this team if the offense will let that be germaine.

Where, oh where has my little offense gone?
Oh where, oh where can it be?
With it's bats cut short
And it's approach cut long,
Oh where, oh where can it be?

Talk Zone / too funny
« on: April 20, 2007, 05:51:33 pm »
My new batle cry from the 7th innin on is "Bully! Bully!".  Thanks Ty in Tampa.

Talk Zone / With apologies to the rest of the game recap writers...
« on: April 14, 2007, 09:41:27 am »
Today's game recap is far and away the best I have read since OWA was created. To the puzzlement of those gassing up their cars around me, I laughed out loud three times while reading it on the Crackberry and came away with better insight into the nuances of this particular game than I ever would reading some other mass-market online recap.   Thanks, Pravata.

Talk Zone / Why the game was lost, Part II.
« on: April 04, 2007, 10:45:17 am »
No need to tip the cap this time. According to Snell, he wasn't that dominant.  "Let's just say they just helped me out a lot, them swinging at bad pitches," he said. "When they got 0-2, or I'd throw a pitch in the dirt or throw a slider and got them out."

That's disturbing and oh so very familiar.

Talk Zone / alarming stat
« on: March 09, 2007, 01:31:20 pm »
I know these are only spring numbers but can you believe Pence has only one walk all spring?

 Player G AB R H  2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO OBP  SLG   AVG   
 Pence  8 13 5 10 3  1  2   6  21 1  1 .800 1.615 .769

How can he hope to make the team with so little patience at the plate?

Talk Zone / Wow.
« on: January 26, 2007, 11:20:41 am »

Everett, 29, hit .239 with six home runs and a career-high 59 RBIs over 150 games in 2006. He posted career-high totals with 28 doubles, six triples and 34 walks.  His .990 fielding percentage ranked fourth all-time for a National League shortstop in a single season .  

The Link

What an amazing accomplishment.  This even when he takes so many (calculated) risks moving to his right to make up for Biggio.

Talk Zone / Bagwell hitters camp.
« on: January 25, 2007, 09:26:43 am »
Why in the world is Koby Clemens going?

Talk Zone / Scraped out of NYCU...
« on: December 14, 2006, 11:00:16 am »
'Jennings is a pitcher who induces a lot of ground balls and excels with a good defense behind him. ...

"One of the things that Phil and I really like about him is he's a sinkerballer," Purpura said.'

So, How has Jennings faired with a mediocre defense behind him?  Biggio at 2nd, Lamb platooning at 3rd, and, of course, the current outfield configuration.  Thoughts?

Talk Zone / Hey Admins...
« on: December 12, 2006, 10:13:37 am »
Since the world revolves around JimR and he has been "vocal" about the need for a spell checker for the TZ for so long, I thought I would make a suggestion. For those that use IE (6 or 7), there is a great Microsoft-approved spell-checking add-in that checks and allows you to edit misspelled words on web page form fields.  I installed it and it works  great  in the TZ.  Just like the spell checker in MS Office products.  If you like, give it a look-see.
The Link

Talk Zone / They are warming up!
« on: September 28, 2006, 05:03:44 pm »
It's 4pm.  Light showers with a moderate batch rolling thru in about 5 minutes but only for 10 minutes.  There will likely be a good 1 or 1-1/2 hours of drizzle or dryness before the next batch of spotty showers roll through.

LETS PLAY BALL!  Well, 5 inings anyways...

Talk Zone / standings question
« on: September 28, 2006, 10:28:30 am »
If the Astros are 1/2 game out after Sunday, the Cards do *not* have to go to SF to play, right?  They win the division because they are ahead, right?

Talk Zone / So, about the weather in Pittsburgh...
« on: September 28, 2006, 09:30:57 am »
...I wonder if they wait and push it to a night game.  Rains are just about to start in earnest and will likely last through mid-afternoon.  Starts to get spotty after 3 or 4pm as the cold air moves in on gusty NW winds.  Raw evening on tap but could be playable if they 1) are willing to wait out occasional showers this evening and 2) they keep the tarp on  real tight  today.

Radar Loop: The Link

Hourly Meteogram:  The Link

Talk Zone / What a dork.
« on: September 27, 2006, 02:05:11 pm »

"I'll just take it as any other start," said Chacon. "It's the last one of the season, and you want to leave a good taste in your mouth. But it's not life or death."

The Link
Tell you what.  Let me pitch in the bigs for half of your salary and I'll passionately care about every single pitch I throw for as long as I am up in the bigs.

Talk Zone / Springer hits 93mph?
« on: September 26, 2006, 10:23:41 pm »
color me surprised.  7th inning vs. the roots.

Talk Zone / This is fun.
« on: September 26, 2006, 10:02:38 pm »
I can't think of a better week of Astros baseball in my 27 years of watching/listening.

Pettitte has really settled down.

Talk Zone / Listened to the game on XM last night.
« on: September 10, 2006, 01:33:21 pm »
Boy, Ucker has the personality of a dead stump.  His stories remind me of Scully (good, insightful, pertinant) and his voice is pleasing but has all the engaging qualities of drying paint.  I thought these guys were supposed to be able to transcend a blowout.

Talk Zone / Thanks, Gerry.
« on: August 30, 2006, 12:09:25 pm »
...and Tim and Drayton...

Yet another year of meaningful Astros baseball in September.  It's been a good decade.

Talk Zone / Keep an eye on Ernesto late next week (non-bb)
« on: August 26, 2006, 10:44:34 am »
It's very early but the upper atmosphere looks to be well primed for rapid strengthing in the Gulf.  Please don't go on vacation without a weather radio from the North Gulf Coast around the horn to Brownsville.  More granular froecasts will be available in around 36 hours.

Talk Zone / Boy, the NL sure stinks this year.
« on: August 19, 2006, 10:14:06 am »
That's all.

Talk Zone / Is Ausmus the all time grand slam leader for the Astros?
« on: August 06, 2006, 10:12:33 am »
Just wondering.

Talk Zone / Shut up and pitch, Roy.
« on: August 01, 2006, 02:48:38 pm »
You big baby.

That's all.

Talk Zone / $5 for a Tejada sammich, that's no deal.
« on: July 31, 2006, 09:01:02 am »
A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

Talk Zone / NYCU
« on: July 20, 2006, 01:33:13 pm »
About this weekend in New York

Game called on account of hurricane?
The Link

Not likely.  The two models (GFS, GFDL) that bring the storm onshore or near the coast are the outliers and trustworthy guidance has the system remaining offshore with the significant weather to the NE of the center position even further out to sea.  The UKMET has been junk lately (sorry Limey).  Also, the system will be far to the NE approaching Nova Scotia as an extra-tropical system by the time the game starts tomorrow.  If the storm had any influence at all at that distance, it would have NYC in the diffluence zone which yeilds clear, dry weather (the calm before and after "the" storm) so any weather issues would be associated with a cold front approaching from the NW.  Afternoon and evening boomers are likely for all three days as the front hangs up just to the south and they will be slow movers with heavy rain.  Effects on the games will be dependent upon which cloud is over the stadium at the time.  Roughly 50% areal coverage at precip peak each afternoon and evening.

Talk Zone / Lame showing by astros slugger at ASG HR Derby
« on: July 12, 2006, 09:23:17 am »
The Link

Just pitiful.

Talk Zone / Garner on proper baseball...
« on: June 30, 2006, 03:52:11 pm »
"I don't think there's a rivalry there. You don't play them enough. It's hard for new rivalries to erupt because you've legislated the fighting out, the beanballs out," Garner said. "You can't have a genuine hate for people if you can't knock somebody down, really do some damage that way. It's going to be extremely difficult to create a genuine rivalry today.

"Plus, individuals look at other individual players differently today," Garner continued. "You don't have that sense of team pride to the extent that you used to -- 'Nobody going to beat me. By golly I'm going to tear somebody's head off if you do.' You just don't have that anymore."

The Link

While he is talking about the Rangers / Astros series, I think there's lots-o-nuggets in there about how old scrap iron would like "the game" to be played.

Talk Zone / awesome 8th inning.
« on: June 14, 2006, 11:27:15 pm »
don't know how the game will turn out but that was great to watch.

Talk Zone / Why Nieve instead of Oswalt today?
« on: June 04, 2006, 04:51:09 pm »

Talk Zone / Oswalt Longevity
« on: June 02, 2006, 01:34:27 pm »
So, how does this comment jive with Oswalts previous statements that he will hang up the spikes after 2011 (was that the year)?  Thanks, Pravata, fro the link in NYCU.

"Oswalt said in his last three starts he has worked on a split-finger pitch - Clemens' signature pitch - because he has seen what it has done to prolong the future Hall of Famers' dominance."

Talk Zone / Astros data question
« on: June 01, 2006, 04:09:34 pm »
Anyone know how would I find out how many games (and maybe which ones) Clemens left last year after have given up zero runs?

Talk Zone / gallo?
« on: May 31, 2006, 07:21:48 pm »
Stuck in a meeting posting on my blackberry; did I hear right?  Gallo was used and lost the game????

Talk Zone / Well, that was a sad, sorry game.
« on: May 25, 2006, 05:50:21 pm »
Not really but taken in with the last two combined, it made for some middlin' entertainment.  Pettitte was awful.  I was really wishing that the other half of his alter ego would show up.  The 'Stros made a game of it but the 7th inning rally fizzled and that was that.

Offense woke up a bit with the revised lineup.  Hope Berkman is ok.

Talk Zone / Thoughts from last night (game#3)
« on: May 25, 2006, 10:50:54 am »
- JimR is right.  These winnable games that slip away are worse than blowouts.  Hard to shake them off the next day.

- Oswalts brusback on the 1st hitter was a thing of beauty.  He let the Nats know who was in control of the dish and they never recovered.

- Taveras is a machine at the plate.  There is no difference whatsoever in his approach on a night that yeilds a 3x5 night or a 0x5 night.  Choppers or flairs to 3rd or short are the result all the time, some get through, some don't.  He seems to have lost his strikezone management discipline that he had earlier this year.  He hacks at everything.

- Speaking of hacking, Wilson (and Lane for that matter) is in serious trouble.   Everyone knows he will swing at junk so he is not getting anything to hit.  Same for Lane.  Pitchers are not throwing anything that resembles a strike knowing that they will hack at slop out of the zone and get themselves out.  Fascinating from an analytical standpoint but not very fun to watch.

- Whole bottom half of the lineup is a black hole.  But you guys already know that.

- Poster known around here as "Houston" is still one of the nicest guys I know.  This does not stop him from running some pretty serious smack with 70 year old grandmothers, even when the Astros are on the ropes.  Oh, and, I was able to snap a pic of him wearing my daughters Strawberry Shortcake cap.  Bidding starts at $10,000.

- I'll jump into the fray re: Lidge.  He has become a stuff non-truster of the highest order.  1st 4-5 pitches, upper 90's heat and a wicked slider.  A true thing of beauty.  Then he bounces that 54' slider and it's over.  3rd base coach for the Nats jogs in to chat with his #7 hitter hack (Jackson?) and Lidge proceeds to serve up a steady diet of 89mph fastballs.  He tried maybe one more slider (which he also bounced) and was visibly shaken.  Call it "tipping", call it "having the book" on a pitcher, call it "flying open" (didn't see this), Lidge has a marble or two loose upstairs or is hurt.

- Oswalt balked.  Everyone knew it, even him.  Tough way to give up an ER.

- Berkman was positively statuesque on the Ward Single.  I think I saw a pigeon fly off of his head as Heavy D approached the bag.  Sure Ward tatooed the ball but it could not have been more than 5' from where Berkman was standing.

- Ward has gone from reviled tub-o-goo to local fan favorite in two short games.

The team is clearly struggling.  I would expect some big lineup changes shortly.  Off to today's game in a few hours...

Talk Zone / thoughts from tonight.
« on: May 23, 2006, 11:51:31 pm »
- Heavy D's yack was titanic.  Everyone know it was coming.  Two long dives to the track in deep center feild preceeded.
- Springer had nothing.  Straight and slow.
- Nieve did not deserve that loss.  The ump was giving the outside corner all night and not high/in.  Nieve worked that low/away spot well all night.
- Lots of Astros fans in attendence.  Maybe 3K of the 23K there.
- Good game until the 8th but the Astros offence looks anemic.
- Much anticipation in the stands about Roy tomorrow night.
- No Springer one section over but I did sit next to Soriano's agent.  Says "the wife made him go back to the park the next day and report to work".  Too funny.

Talk Zone / Can't even imagine Pravata's take in NYCU...
« on: May 22, 2006, 01:30:10 pm »
Pure tripe.  I never even considered this possibility:
"Something is just not right about Clemens. The productive arm at the age of 43 is odd enough to raise eyebrows and suspicious thoughts around the baseball world."
The Link

...and, this guy is an unmitigated doofus.  No wonder you houstonites rale (sp? How do you spell that anyways?) on the guy all the time.
The Link

Talk Zone / Berkman
« on: May 22, 2006, 11:13:22 am »
Out of "Wild Pitches on the MLB website:
The Link

 The thing that makes me the happiest...
 ...I really enjoy playing baseball, but I also enjoy when you don't have the pressure of performance hanging over your head. The offseason is fun for me because it's a lot more relaxing; a lot less stressful...

Those that think Berkman is an airhead and does not take the game seriously because of his relaxed demeanor appear not to have an accurate take on the man.  I've been in a competitive environment before and there is nothing more maddening than being teamed with someone that does not care, even if they are good.  Plus, those that don't care don't usually stress out about their performance.

 When I'm done with baseball...
 I plan on being a dad and maybe a high school coach somewhere.

That's good stuff right there.

Talk Zone / DC Area Astros fans...
« on: May 22, 2006, 09:58:23 am »
I have a free ticket to the Wednesday evening game.  The upside is it's live Astros baseball here in town.  The downside is the seat is next to me.  The up, upside is my beautiful wife and 6-year old daughter are on the other side.  Sec. 436, Row 7, Seats 3-6.  As usual when giving away tickets here at OWA, first come, first served but I reserve the right to quash your hopes because:
1) you are ugly
2) I don't like you
3) you're from Virginia
4) you preface your request with, "if you can just..."
5) das indifference or whim

For those that lose out on the ensuing stampede in the race to sit next to me, I can probably score 2  very nice seats up behind home plate (Sec. 314, Row 6, Seats 9&10) for the same game for face value ($68 for both).  Sorry, my orange-clad rear will be in these seats the other games so don't go askin'...

Talk Zone / Question for the old timers...
« on: May 18, 2006, 11:37:31 am »
What is the worst 3-game series loss ever suffered by the franchise?  By memory, I can't think of one worse than 34-5 since '79 when I first started following the team.

Talk Zone / We're ("we" used correctly) are very fortunate.
« on: May 13, 2006, 10:09:27 am »
As I was watching Nieve struggle with his command a bit but pitch well on velocity and guile last night, I thought about the young talent that has come through the farm system over the last 10 years, including the current crop.  I can't think of another organization that has the same track record of continued excellence.  Some stay, some go, some flame out but the organization has produced high numbers of quality pitchers that actually succeed for a very long time.  They are the anti-Cubs.

Talk Zone / So, what is different?
« on: May 10, 2006, 03:31:23 pm »
...with Pettitte between this year and last year?  I have not been able to watch any of his games yet this year.  Walks are up a bit (relative to last year) and hits are way up.  Heavy cutter not sinking?  Are those hits in the air instead of drubbing through the infield?

Talk Zone / Props to the Brewers
« on: May 02, 2006, 08:28:17 am »
Pic and relay from Jenkins to Weeks to Hall at 3rd to nab Biggio stretching his dub to 3 in the 8th was a thing of beauty.  Good, solid baseball right there.

Talk Zone / this guy writes like an 8th grader.
« on: February 15, 2006, 09:46:21 am »
But, apparantly, you guys already know that.

This comment made me shake my head. "General manager Tim Purpura offered Brad Lidge, Willy Taveras and Adam Everett for Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada, according to the Washington Post."
The Link

God forbid...  Could you imagine what a colossal blunder that would have been?  Not that I trust any such thing was said in anything other than a speculation column.

Talk Zone / article (by Footer) on Taveras.
« on: January 27, 2006, 05:01:38 pm »

Talk Zone / So, can Roger sign with Corpus before May 1st?
« on: December 20, 2005, 02:41:23 pm »
... or are they considered the "Astros"?

"Even coming back in May to pitch at home, go on a couple rehab starts in April and May, to go and pitch with (his son Koby, a Houston prospect), that could be fun," Clemens said."

The Link

Talk Zone / Any G2 from Astroline last night?
« on: November 29, 2005, 03:10:23 pm »
..or did Milo do all the talking?

Talk Zone / It's time to open up a can of orange whoopass on the !*% Sox
« on: October 26, 2005, 12:58:07 pm »
In less than 8 hours, baseball players from Houston will join fans from around the world and will launch the largest comback in this history of the World Series.

World Series Champs -- those words should have new meaning for all of us today.

We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore.

We will be united in the common interest of Astros Championship Baseball

Perhaps it is fate that today the team is down 0-3, and will once again be fighting for their lives, not from blown calls, open lids, or east-coast baseball persecution -- but from annihilation.

They're fighting for their right to play on, to exist.

And should they win the day, the 26th of October will no longer be known as the day the enemy took home the trophy, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:

The Astros will not go quietly into the night!

They will not vanish without a fight!

They are going to play on!

They are going to survive!

Today, we celebrate the Houston Astros Baseball!

Talk Zone / For those that fly DC to Houston...
« on: October 24, 2005, 10:56:51 am »
...regularly, what is the least expensive flight and to which Houston airport do you fly in/out?  Thanks in advance...

Talk Zone / Good, quality win.
« on: October 20, 2005, 12:53:29 am »
Boy the team looked great.  Not a single hint of dented confidence.  Solid, solid win tonight.  Congrats to the boys and all you nuts that never lost faith.  And even to those that wavered.

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