Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rhymes with. . . .

Albert Pujols doesn't look quite as
intimidating from this angle, does he?

Anyway, what a weekend.

I can't believe that the freakin' Astros have won seven games in a row.

Nor can I believe that the Cardinals have LOST seven games in a row.

While I guess I am starting to have a flicker of interest again in the possibility of post-season play (although I've been trying really hard to suffocate that flicker), I am also torn by a sentiment of, frankly, irritation.

The Astros don't DESERVE to be in the playoffs.

I'm loving the great play right now, but wondering where the hell this effort has been all season? Grrr.


FABULOUS weekend. Starting Friday, when my BBF Max and I took in the game from the bullpen seats. Great view of Biggio's walkoff RBI single, as well as the post-game fireworks. Saturday, visited with some friends early in the day, then met up with redbirdbrain for that evening's game. (Aside--she is the most petite thing ever! I'm 5'2", 115 lbs., and I felt positively Brobdignagian around her!) Anyway, I don't know about her, but I had a great time--of course, the 'Stros won. . . .

We hung around downtown after the game, hitting various drinking establishments (surprise!). Her "St. Louis--A Drinking Town with a Baseball Problem" T-shirt attracted a lot of attention, as did the simple fact of an Astros' fan and a Cardinals' fan bandying about together. Then Sunday, we got up and had brunch at one of my favorite little places (the Empire Cafe) before heading to the Museum District to take in the Cockrell Butterfly Center and the Botanical Gardens. Then, back to downtown to grab some grub at Cabo's before heading to MMP. I probably wasn't the best hostess this day, as I had a splitting headache for most of it, but it was gone by the time we went to the game. And what a wonderful evening! Sitting in the Crawford Boxes, great weather, roof open, Rocket on the mound, stellar company--the only thing better would have been not having to work the next morning! As it was, I felt compelled to start my drive home around the middle of the sixth (after all, I do have a job in which alertness and vigilance are key to safety. . .), which unfortunately sentenced my guest to an early exit as well. Bummer.

Anyway, already looking forward to next year, which may involve a trip to Shea/Yankee Stadium/Wrigley/who knows what. Yay!

Monday, September 25, 2006


Actually, not really an update so much, as a promise of an update to come. I don't have time to blog this evening, as I am still catching up on things from the weekend away, but I'll be able to post something probably Wednesday. So for now, suffice it to say that it was a fabulous weekend--great baseball and great company!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


This is the weekend that redbirdbrain is coming to visit! While I'm not all that optimistic about the outcome of the games this weekend from an Astros' fan point of view, at least my guest will get to see her favorite pitcher on Saturday night. And Sunday, we'll be in the Crawford Boxes. She's hoping to catch a home run, so here's hoping the Astros' bats are hot--hee! (Actually, I think I'm going to buy a throw-down baseball, because if she catches a Cardinals' HR, I know that she won't be throwing it back, despite the protestations of 40,000-plus fans. A throw-down [hey! Good pun! Unintentional!] could save both of us a bit of grief.)

Updates to follow after the weekend (and she's threatening to provide video evidence--scary!). . . .

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Say goodnight, Gracie

So. . . last night Clemens does not look like he is really ready to come back from his groin injury (I'm telling you--groin-conditioning coach! That's the ticket!). He gives up a grannie to Pat Burrell, and although he guts it out for another few innings, the Astros lose to the Phillies 4-3.

I hate it. We lost to the wife-beater. I was hoping for some kind of leveling of the karma for that one (although granted, it wasn't one of the Astros' wives that he is accused of hitting).

And then today, we lose to the kid with the Bert-and-Ernie eyebrows. Who, to me, looks remarkably like a taller, gawkier David Wright.

Anyway. The Astros must now win 10 of the last 15 games just to break even on the season. I don't think they can do it.

I hope they come back next year with some attitude. This team's theme is "the good guys," and it seems to be pretty valid. Certainly they haven't had any players in the headlines for being in trouble with the law or anything. The last guy who played here who seemed to be a bit of an ass was Jeff Kent. I was glad when he left; I didn't like his abruptness or his 70's porno mustache, either.

I sure would love to have him back now.

I want guys on this team who want to WIN. I want guys who not only play as hard as they can every game (kudos to Biggio) but who also want what's best for the team and don't focus on personal achievements (jeers to Biggio). I don't want to watch a bunch of spoiled millionaires who can't be bothered to care about their job. If I approached my job with the attitude of some of these guys, I probably wouldn't have one. Take the two nicest guys on the team, for example--Morgan Ensberg and Lance Berkman. I vacillate between feeling sorry for them and being very annoyed by them. I think that Ensberg really feels the pain of his failures (thus my sympathy), but dude: you make over 3 million dollars a year. I think you can afford a psychiatrist. I know that your near-death experience makes you very laid back when it comes to things that don't really matter, like baseball. But dude. Baseball is your JOB and you get paid very, very handsomely for it. The fans would probably prefer that you care a bit more. See a shrink, deal with some of your issues. Accept help when it's offered by others. Do something in this offseason. Of all the people on the team that have disappointed this year, you are the one I would like to see return next year. But not if things don't change.

And Berkman. Lance Berkman is someone whom I have always admired for his spiritual faith and his openness about it. I wish I felt as comfortable discussing my beliefs as he seems to. But sometimes I almost wonder if it's an excuse for him. He feels that through his faith in God, he knows that his playing baseball won't matter to anyone in 100 years. His spirituality sets his priorities, as it should. But dude. The Bible also says that to whom much is given, much is expected, and if we are faithful in small matters we will be trusted with larger things. Don't you think God expects you to maximize the gifts and potential that He gave you? And He certainly gave you many gifts; dude, you are the most incredible natural hitter I've ever seen. Would it kill you to show up on time at the park, maybe work out a little bit to avoid some of the injuries you've had lately (groin-conditioning coach, I'm telling you!), maybe have a WORK ETHIC? I love the jokes and sense of humor (another gift), but I would love it even more if you seemed to apply yourself a bit. But again, I do feel sorry for you, because you have to carry the team by yourself. It's a lot of pressure, I know.

Okay, enough baseball. I have begun my own personal segue into the offseason, making plans to go to some concerts, heading to the Honduras in February, and taking Latin dance lessons. Yes, that's right. Latin dance is great exercise, I came to find out. I know now how J-Lo got her booty, 'cause mine was so sore after the first class that I'm pretty sure it was swollen. (And all we did was merengue!) One of the surgeons I work with keeps "mis-hearing" my discussions--he's certain I'm taking a lap dancing class. When I try to correct him, he just says, "Hey, call it whatever ethnicity you want to. Just let me know when you're going to practice."

Oh, the harrassment!

But on the bright side, at least we're not talking about this dismal baseball season anymore. . . .

Goodnight, Gracie.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When it rains. . . .

Andy Pettitte left in the third with a strained left elbow flexor (so far sounds muscular, not a reinjury of the surgically repaired ligament). Roy Oswalt is still feeling the after-effects of his bruised wrist. Adam Everett was scratched from tonight's start just before game time due to a strained groin. Roger Clemens is still day-to-day, although he is slated to start Friday (strained groin also). Lance Berkman seems to be healthy at the moment, but he was out a few weeks ago with a strained groin. Jeez.

So, I did at least come up with something the Astros need for next year.

A groin-conditioning coach.

"Apathy" and "pathetic" have the same root word

Wow, I just looked back over this blog--not a whole lot of entries over the last few months. I've had, what, four since July? I didn't do an exact count but that's got to be close.

And I'm only blogging now because what I really should be doing is working out, and this is total avoidance behavior.

My whole perspective on baseball right now is very, "whatever." I was looking at the Wild Card standings, and with 19 games to go, the Astros' E number is 16. So at this rate, they'll still draw it out until the last week (being mathematically eliminated, that is). And amazingly, no one in the NL actually HAS been eliminated yet, while three teams in the AL have (because overall the NL sucks, of course). I've always thought that the NL played an intellectually superior game to that of the AL, but sometimes, I have my weak moments and I think, oh yeah baby, I want a DH--more power.

But maybe that's just a symptom of being an Astros' fan.

Lots of Astros' blogs and message boards have started discussing what to do for next year. I have to say that, scarily, I don't even care enough at this point to have an opinion.

My pathetic team has inculcated that much apathy in me.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Just, gray.

That pretty much sums up a lot here in Texas right now. The skies outside. The Astros' playoff hopes. My mood.

Attended all three games of the Mets' series this weekend. The Astros played fairly well, despite a few defensive errors and the usual sporadic offense. And although we threw our fourth and fifth starters at them, the Mets didn't run away with either of the first two games (a relief for certain). So, good baseball and good company at all three events, and a sweet win on Sunday with Roy O on the mound.

I've decided Willy Taveras is Little Puma (a reference, of course, to Berkman's nickname). I had great fun, after a couple of beers (malted courage, don't you know), yelling to Willy T, "¡Está puma pequeño! ¡Te quiero! ¡Tirá la aquí!" " It certainly made those around me, who understood Spanish, snicker. But what exactly they were laughing at, I'm not sure. . . .

Other parts of the weekend were not so amusing. The fans around me, when Beltran got hurt Saturday night, showed no class whatsoever. One guy yelled, "Hey! It's nothing $118 million won't fix!" (Okay, that one made me chuckle a little.) But other fans kept yelling stuff like, "Get up you big crybaby! You're holding up the game!" And the constant booing was really getting old by the end of the weekend. I'm sure Beltran is glad he left.

I can understand, with that sort of heckling, why players never look into the stands. And I was reminded, after reading this story about Morgan Ensberg, why he isn't very friendly (he and several other players, minor leaguers at the time, were held at gunpoint by two assailants in Florida, and would probably have been killed if not for their own quick thinking and police intervention). But still sometimes I wonder, would it hurt these guys so much to acknowledge the fans a little? Especially, you know, in non-game situations? My friend Olga took her 6-year-old daughter to get Chris Burke's autograph at a Shadow Creek Ranch function. She said he was just rude, and seemed completely annoyed to even be there. (This didn't surprise me, as he comes across as very arrogant--in my opinion--in interviews.) It seems the fans are invisible at best and an irritation otherwise. It makes me question my fandom, to tell the truth.

To top it off, my car was burglarized Saturday night. The thief smashed the right side rear window and took the Aveda foot lotion I had just bought, as well as a new flat iron that my hair stylist talked me into buying. Finally, he/she rifled through my work backpack and stole my checkbook and my Social Security card. Needless to say, I spent a great deal of time Sunday morning trying to alert all the necessary agencies. Now I just have to wait to see if some f***er with straight hair and soft feet tries to steal my identity. Nice. (Advisory: this happened at the Magnolia Hotel. I was parked in the garage behind the hotel, which is where they recommend patrons to park. I didn't use the valet, but even if I had, the hotel stated that they wouldn't have been responsible. That's fine, I understand that. But when I apprised the hotel of the incident, the clerk at the front desk was so imperious that she might as well have said, "Oh. Well, f*** you." I will not be going back there.)

I think I'm ready for the season to be over.