Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Go, Go Gators!!

Are We There Yet?

If there is one Houston sports franchise we can count on it’s the Astros, right? I don’t mean count on right away, of course. I mean count on, once July and August roll around and they look deader than the Hawks in October. These first couple of months will be fun because they will look so bad and so unlike a team capable of being .500 much less a playoff contender. I don’t know what exactly will happen, but it’s likely the offense will be missing first and then when it produces, the back end of the rotation will fail in spectacular fashion. Perhaps a key injury or two, perhaps the new radio crew won’t work out, perhaps Peanut Dude’s tosses will be just askew, perhaps Clemens will sign with the Cubs, or perhaps Junction Jack just won’t bring it like he used to. I don’t know how the Astros will lose at the start, all I know is they’ll be there winning at the end.

--Thank you Jeff Bagwell.

--Let’s take a look at some of USA Today SportsWeekly’s projected numbers for some of the boys. Lance Berkman is down for .306 with 26 HRs and 93 RBIs. Seems about right to me. It has Morgan Ensberg topping out at 29 bombs as opposed to his 36 last season. Because at the time this was written Jeff Bagwell was still a possibility SW has Preston Wilson hitting 19 HRs and 74 RBIs. I’m thinking Preston will make 30 easily. Everyone else’s numbers look nearly identical to their numbers from a year ago. On the pitching side Roy Oswalt is #1 with the comment being, “Cy Young, here he comes.” I don’t doubt that. It has him for 19 wins and a 2.68 ERA. I’ll take the 15 projected wins with a 3.32 ERA for Mr. Pettitte. Mr. Postseason, Brandon Backe, is down for just 9 wins and a 4.32 ERA. Yeah, they have him ranked lower than Ezequiel Astacio. Ouch.

--I think and hope it’s safe to say Taylor Bucholz has the 5th spot in the rotation sealed up. Taylor has a 1.96 ERA in his 23 innings. He’s given up 21 hits and just 4 walks without allowing one home run.

--These next numbers mean even less than the ones above, but just taking a look around the spring stats leaders. Philly’s Ryan Howard has 10 home runs, four more than anyone else. Ryan’s 18 strikeouts are tied for third most. The ‘Stros have three in the top eleven in that category with Charlton Jimerson, Preston Wilson and Eric Bruntlett. Cincy’s Edwin Encarnacion tops the RBI chart with 20 followed closely by Lance Niekro’s 18. Jason Lane is 12th in that category. Roy Oswalt and Brandon Backe are 5 and 7 in innings pitched. Backe is #1 by a wide, wide margin in homers allowed. He’s given up 11 in just 23.1 innings to help contribute to a 8.87 ERA. Randy Johnson leads is 4th in innings (24.1) and 1st in strikeouts (24). Now you know.

The Final Countdown...Doo-do-do-doo, doo-do-do-do-do....

George Mason?! Are you kidding me? Let’s learn more about this tradition rich basketball factory. Scratch “tradition rich,” GMU was founded in 1972. Actually put back in “tradition rich” now that I read about the Spirit Bench, which incoming freshmen sign at Orientation over the summer. Apparently during Family Weekend they get their pictures taken on the bench. Well, isn’t that special? They don’t have a football team so Homecoming happens on the basketball court. As for the man himself, George Mason was born in 1725 in Fairfax County, Virginia. Mason fought against the ratification of the Constitution because it lacked a Bill or Rights, which he authored for the state of Virginia years earlier. At the Constitutional Convention Mason proposed adding a Bill of Rights, but the offer was turned down by a vote of ten states to none. Basically the man, like apparently the basketball program, has long been overlooked and now you better recognize, George Mason. Respect, (Ali G. finger-snap).

Quick Hitters and Random Thoughts

--Are you ready for some football? Yes, even if it is the Redskins and Vikings. What a crappy first Monday Nighter. Two hours after that kicks the Chargers and Raiders get it on and that should be a fun one. Let the coach speak begin Joe Gibbs, “I'm not happy about opening up against a tough opponent like Minnesota.” Yeah, real tough. Good luck.

--The No Fun League is back in full effect. Oh wait, it’s not about fun, it’s about those celebrations making the game too long, at least that’s what the powers that be say. The competition committee doesn’t want the ball to be used as a prop anymore or players to go to the ground to celebrate or the celebrations to take too long or excessively. Chad Johnson says, “I don’t follow the rules anyway. I don’t think that affects what I do. I’m not going to get a penalty. I don’t use the ball for a prop.” Uh, you do, Chad, but that’s all right.

--DrudgeReport headline of the day…”Sharon Stone advocates oral sex.” That’s funny because her movies both blow and suck.

--If there is one human being I feel will never, ever make me laugh it would have to be Larry the Cable Guy. I’d rather go down a slide of razor blades into a tub of rubbing alcohol than see one minute of that “movie.” Thankfully it didn't open up at #1 over the weekend. It ended up in 7th.

--Why do people follow “needless to say” with words?

--Askmen.com has six ways to tell your girlfriend to drop some weight before people start asking her when the baby is due. The highlights, “I don’t like the way that outfit looks on you.” I cannot support this line enough especially if you tape the exchange and let me watch her reaction. How about, “I have a new female trainer at the gym.” Great advice. My favorite for the end, “Let’s help each other lose a few pounds?” These are fantastic suggestions. Why not something less subtle like staring at her stomach and saying loudly, “Why is there no food in the fridge?” or maybe let her know that in Sopranos term she’s looking more like Johnny Sack’s wife Jenny and less like Meadow.

--FHM released its top 10 of the 100 women on its Sexiest Women list. At number 1 we find the lovely and talented Scarlett Johansson.

Angelina Jolie follows her. My personal #1 is 3rd here, Miss Jessica Alba. Jessica Simpson and Keira Knightley round out the top 5.

Halle Berry at 6 with Jenny McCarthy at 7 for some unknown reason. Maria Sharapova at 8 is a stretch. Carmen Electra is 9. Teri Hatcher is a very undeserving 10. Unfortunately I can’t go into much more detail because evidently Teri’s lawyers have my Diatribes bookmarked. Sensitive much?

--Because some of you love your dogs more than your children (just a joke, mom) there is K9waterco.com to fill all of your doggie bottled water needs. It offers such flavors as Gutter/beef, Puddle/liver, and Hose/lamb, but sorry they’re out of Toilet/chicken. A 12-pack of these vitamin packed drinks will run you about $20.

--Apparently our local PBS station broadcasts the British version of The Office. I caught it on Saturday and holy crap it’s hilarious. Since I started watching our version the British one is the Bizarro Office. You can’t go wrong with either version.

--There’s a lot of crap on VH-1, but there’s also quality programming like Web Junk. Last Sunday afternoon on VH-1 Classic a man got to pick an entire hour’s worth of videos because he donated $35,000 during a relief drive for Katrina victims. So what sorts of wondrous videos did he fill 60 minutes with? Well, just one video. Nena’s “99 Luftballons.” Love that song, particularly its masterful use in Grosse Point Blank.

--Fez was on Howard Stern recently and talked about some of the ladies in his life. Fez gave Jennifer Love Hewitt an 8 on a bedroom scale of 1-10. He said Ashlee Simpson was loud and Lindsey Lohan was one of the best girls he’s ever had. Life is unfair.

--If you’re keeping track…Chef did, in fact (at least for right now), not have a stroke back in January and his decision was not made by his freak Scientology friends.

--My new favorite Daily Show contributor…Demetri Martin.

--Hot 97’s DJ Envy talked to MTV and rated Terrell Owens’ rap among other athletes. Envy said, “it was better than Deion and Lakers star Kobe Bryant's efforts but not quite as good as Shaquille O'Neal's hookup with the Notorious B.I.G. on "Still Can't Stop the Reign." C-Webb:
Success is nothing
unless you got someone to share it with.
Come home to hug and kiss
Trick u good
Buy a gift.
My love’s the bomb
Everyday will be like prom.

And I think I’ll stop there.
If you want to entertain yourself for an hour with samples from C-Webb’s 21 track wrapped up in the masterpiece known as Too Much Drama.

--I thought History of Violence was supposed to be good. It was not.

--John Claassen is suing e-Harmony, not because of their annoying television ads (their radio ones are excellent), but because they won’t let him join. Why? Well, Mr. Claassen is still considered married though he and his wife are legally separated. How funny for Mrs. Claassen to see her husband making national news trying to get a date.

Questions, comments or if you have a box a day orange tic-tac habit…

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