Friday, May 26, 2006

Paid In Full


The Nationals came into that series with a miserable 5-11 record at RFK and now it’s 8-12 because the Astros just plain sucked. Really no other way to say it. The starters didn’t throw shutouts, the offense still includes Jason Lane, the bullpen lost it, and Phil Garner continues to make baffling decisions. Howevah, Thursday’s game was about as entertaining a loss you’re going to have. What was your favorite part? Andy not getting past the fourth? Ryan Zimmerman’s web gem after web gem? Brad Ausmus getting doubled off first? Lance Berkman leaving with an injury that was apparently good enough for him to run the bases, but not come out for the next inning? Not scoring in a bases loaded, no-out situation? Losing when Preston goes 4-5? Losing when you steal seven bases? Losing when the other team pulls its catcher in the middle of the inning? Losing to a team whose manager cried, cried after the game? I think that’s my favorite. I’ve never seen a winning manager shed tears after a game in May. Crazy. You can’t lose three of four to one of the worst teams in the league when you’re trying to get some space between you and .500. Now it’s off to Pittsburgh for a 14-win Pirates team. If Houston drops this series before heading to St. Louis we got real problems. Hurry up and make up your freakin’ mind Roger.

--Thanks to Houston, Washington now has its second three-game winning streak of the season.

--It’s now 9 losses in Houston’s last 11 road games. Let’s run through the teams with fewer road wins that the Astros: Royals, Pirates. That didn’t take long.

--If you’re looking to Triple-A for help Jason Hirsh is 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA in his last five starts with Round Rock.

--Greg Maddux was 5-0 in April. He’s now 0-4 in May. Sounds very Astro-like.

--Wandy Rodriguez and Sean Marshall lead the Majors in walks this month with 17.

--Bad year and bad May for Dontrelle Willis who is 0-4 with a 7.11 ERA.

--Through Thursday the Astros are averaging 3.95 runs a game in May. That’s not great, but it’s a helluva lot better than the Cubs who are averaging 2.5 runs a game this month. Chicago has a whopping 12 home runs this month. Ryan Howard has 10 this month.

--My 8th overall fantasy selection, Carl Crawford, broke out big-time Wednesday at Toronto. He went 5 for 5 with 5 runs scored and 4 stolen bases. The last player with a 5-hit, 4-steal game was??? Elias says that it was none other than Rickey Henderson way back in ’88.

--Sticking with Devil Rays with Houston ties, Scott Kazmir is in line for the AL Pitcher of the Month. He’s 4-0 with an ERA of 0.65. Kazmir has 32 Ks in 27.2 innings.

--After blowing a 6-0 1st inning lead, including back-to-back-to-back HRs, on Thursday the Royals have now lost 13 straight. Before this streak Kansas City swept Cleveland. That’s good. Two double-digit losing streaks before the end of May is bad.

--Michael Barrett probably deserved at least 15 games instead of the 10-game suspension he received. But how does AJ Pierzynski even get fined? He did nothing except get punched for no good reason.


What a Game 1 between the Suns and Mavericks. If we’re very lucky they’ll all be that entertaining. Steve Nash has been good for most of the postseason, but he was great in that one. Ten points in the final 3:26 to go along with a ho-hum 16 assists, not bad. After going 0-8 this season in games decided by 3 points or less the Suns have now won their last two in that situation. Is anyone even watching the Heat/Pistons before there are two minutes left in the 4th quarter? Miami’s 17 points in the final 1:46 was five more than it scored in the entire 12 minutes of the first quarter.

--Larry Brown wants Patrick Ewing on his staff?! How are the Rockets supposed to survive that loss?

--Next year Amare Stoudamire will wear jersey # 1. Now you know…

--Why is Scottie Pippen employed?

--Nineteen years ago this Friday Larry Bird stole the inbounds pass and passed it over his shoulder to Dennis Johnson for a 108-107 win over the Pistons in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. There aren’t a lot of games better than that one was.

Quick Hitters and Random Thoughts

--The season finale of Lost was absolutely incredible. If you never watched this show then I highly, highly recommend you buy season one, watch it over the summer, then get ready for season two on DVD come early October. Best Damn Show Period.

--24 finally wrapped up and clearly the turning point in the entire season was when the President was revealed to be the bad guy. Since that point the show only got worse. Did the First Lady know going in that having relations with the President was only going to stall him one minute and not the ten Jack needed? Surely the President will pop up in a Viagra commercial. The guy needs some kind of help. I’m supposed to believe Jack is stupid enough to think his daughter called him on a landline?! Whatever. I like that Bauer is off to China I just don’t like how he got there.

--If you’re keeping track of former Texans (and who isn’t)…Dave Ragone landed in Cincy, Moran Norris in Frisco, and Junior Ioane with the New York football Giants.

--Entertainment Weekly ranked the 25 worst sequels ever made beginning at 25 with Matrix Reloaded. The rave scene alone guarantees this a spot on the list. At 24 we find The Next Karate Kid starring now two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank. Teen Wolf Too at 22. C’mon Jason Bateman owned that role although without Boof it really didn’t have a chance. At 16 we get Ocean’s Twelve and I completely agree. Even with Wilt, Ah-nuld, and Grace Jones Conan the Destroyer checks in at 14. The Phantom Menace at 12 although it clearly could be in the top 5. Jaws the Revenge at 10. If you don’t remember that’s the one with Michael Caine that takes place in the Bahamas.

If you still don’t remember congratulations for never wasting your time with that one. At 6 we finally get to Weekend at Bernie’s II. I think Bernie was still dead in that one, but I might be wrong. Batman (George Clooney) and Robin at 5. Blues Brothers 2000 at 4. EW puts Leprachaun: Back 2 Tha’ Hood at 3. That might be the best movie title of all-time. Number 2 is Caddyshack II, which I’ve erased from memory. And now your worst sequel of all-time is…pause for drumroll…ah, ah, ah, ah, Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive.
Never saw it and I’m guessing never will. I probably would have found room for Crow 2, 3, and 4, but that’s just me. Did you even know there was a Crow 4?! It came out last year and “starred” Tara Reid and Tito Ortiz among others.

--If you’re wondering what Borat has been up to lately…

--Your deserving Top Chef is Harold. Eat it Tiffani!

--A student at a school in Pennsylvania has been suspended three days because he violated the school’s drug awareness policy. How, you ask? Well, the kid was chewing on and gave his friend some Jolt gum, which has caffeine and ginseng. Caffeine is considered a stimulant much like everything in the soda machines. What a joke.

--Most votes for a U.S. presidential candidate- 54.5 million for Reagan in ’84. Total votes cast on American Idol’s season finale- 63 million.

--What do you do if there’s a helicopter hovering over your house and you think it’s gone on too long? If you’re Emarjorie Thompson in Orange County, Florida you shoot a bottle rocket at it. Yeah, she’s in jail. The chopper was looking for a stolen car.

--Apparently six or seven actors will portray Bob Dylan in his upcoming biopic. Heath Ledger, Richard Gere and Cate Blanchett will all be Bob at various times in his life. Cate Blanchett?!Evidently Dylan went through an androgynous phase, so uhhh, yeah Cate Blanchett will portray Bob Dylan.

--Your YouTube video of the week features Brazilian Ping Pong courtesy of Ronaldhino. Do yourself a favor and skip the first minute and a half of it unless you get giddy watching people put Nike soccer shoes on.

--HBO’s Baghdad ER is probably the goriest one-hour of television I’ve ever witnessed. Powerful stuff.

--Your teenage idiots/MySpace story of the week comes to us from New York. These two guys, 18 and 19, allegedly hacked into the site and stole some personal information from users. MySpace found out and then kicked them out. The extremely intelligent boys then threatened MySpace saying unless it paid them $150,000 it was going to distribute foolproof ways for people to hack into other people’s MySpace profiles. These idiots somehow thought they were going to get away with this and so they actually flew to Los Angeles to get paid. They did not get paid, but they did get arrested on extortion and illegal computer access charges. Congratulations.

--Congratulations to Team Shamrock for finally taking a match against Tito’s boys. Next week the Shamrock Royals will, no doubt, start on a new losing streak.

Questions, comments, or if you believe that cherry is the best popsicle flavor in the world…

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