Sunday, July 29, 2007


Dan Wheeler, my favorite middle reliever (I've had a soft spot for him ever since he plunked Derrek Lee back in 2004--it was Wheeler's first appearance as an Astro and I thought he really had balls) was traded to Tampa Bay for Ty Wigginton. Wheeler always seemed like such a nice guy, and did well. Recently though, he was caught on camera pushing Chris Sampson in the dugout. Uncle Drayton doesn't like that kind of publicity. The trade rumors had indicated that either Wheeler or Chad Qualls would be moved (and I do NOT like Qualls, I think he's an asshole). Unfortunately, Wheeler was caught in an unhappy and weak moment, and it's hard not to believe that the incident didn't influence who went. I'll miss him, and I hope he does well with his new team. His father-in-law is the game announcer for the Devil Rays, and he originally came up through their system, so he's basically going home. I hope he flourishes.

Morgan Ensberg, who was my favorite player in 2005, was designated for assignment. In his case, this may just mean being released, à la Preston Wilson last year. If anyone had wanted to trade for him, they would have done so by now, I assume. (But maybe the Cards can pick him up too!)

That one hurts. I feel so badly for him. I always hoped he would return to the form that not only made me crush on him like crazy, but also as an observer, made me look forward to games and consecrated me as a baseball fan. He was a big part of that team in that crazy year that made the playoffs and the Series against the longest of odds, who had a chemistry and magic even when they lost (and they lost a lot!). That was the year that baseball became a revelation for me, when I finally GOT. IT.

Poor Mo. I would say I miss him already, but really, I've been missing him for a couple of years now.

Bueno suerte, Pretty Boy.

Monday, July 16, 2007


No lurkers.


Oh well.

The Astros got swept by the Cubs, making leah's comment prophetic, sort of. Although, it really probably didn't take much prescience to see that coming, the Astros' first-half-ending surge notwithstanding.

I spent the weekend in the Texas Hill Country, floating the Frio River. Toobing the river (yes, that's how you spell it) and drinking beer has a way of making baseball losses quite tolerable.

Good thing.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Lurkers unveil!

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I'm not a regular poster, and I don't follow a bunch of other blogs either. I'm probably not up on the latest blog etiquette, but I do recall other blogs having outing sessions for their lurkers. It may even be a specific time of year, this de-lurking time, but not being up on blogging etiquette, I'm not quite sure.

Anyway, I thought I'd give it a go. I don't think I actually have any lurkers at all, just a couple of NL Central sisters who are kind enough to stop by occasionally and say something nice. But we'll see.

I have a bit of an ulterior motive here as well. I have a pair of tickets for a game in September that I won't be using. I could give them away to one of my bosses, or a colleague. But I've given away lots of tickets over the last few years, and have essentially gotten nothing in return. (Actually, one of my bosses wrote me a thank-you note for his tickets--a thank-you note! And he's a guy!)

Or, I could try to sell them on StubHub, which I've done before. But, with the way the Astros are playing, plus with the fees that SH charges, I'd basically be giving them away anyway, plus I'd have to hassle with getting them shipped.

So, here's the deal. Lurkers, unveil. Comment on this post, tell me why you like the Astros and what, if anything, you like about my blog. My favorite response will be given two Club level tickets to the Astros/Pirates game on Saturday, September 15th (hint: sucking up probably helps). We'll leave the contest open until after the All-Star Break, so let's say July 14th. I'll announce the winner, if there is one,* on Monday July 16th.

Good luck!

*Meaning, if there are even any lurkers at all!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mr. 3000 +

I was torn about whether or not I should blog about Craig Biggio's latest and greatest achievement.

What could I possibly say, what accolades could I present, that hadn't already been stated?

And I'm an ambivalent fan, when it comes to Biggio. He and Bagwell were, and absolutely are, the face of the Astros. (Much as I admire their ability, Berkman and Oswalt will never become the icons that Bidge and Bags were. Pence has the potential, and I appreciate that Biggio has taken him under his wing.) I mean, if you're an Astros' fan, you almost have to be a fan of Biggio and Bagwell--it's the law or something.

But even while being a loyal 'Stros fan, something has always held me back from being a full-fledged Craig Biggio fan. Maybe his abrasiveness. Maybe how he always gives that practiced "That's baseball" line in post-game interviews. Maybe how he never stops to give autographs before a game, I don't know.

Reflecting on his many accomplishments this week though, I guess I turned a corner. It's not the 3004 career hits, the 658 career doubles, the 1822 runs. Awesome accomplishments, all of it, of course. But even Biggio himself would downplay the importance of numbers when one is paid to play a game.

But play he did. It's been repeated so often this week that it's already started to sound trite, but when you reflect on how #7 has comported himself for the last 20 years, I at least found lessons for myself. Have I given 100% every time I go to work?


Have I had 20 years of loyalty to one employer?


Have I worked hard to better my community in my off time?


He plays a game, but it's still a job.

And what a job he's done.

Mr. 3000 +, it's the "plus" that has made me a true fan. Congratulations, Mr. Biggio. You've more than earned it.