Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Sun is Beating Down on My Baseball Hat...

Rock Bottom…Part 5

Well, it can’t get any worse after Sunday’s loss. Just ridiculous. This team has never been able to get all facets of the game working for any extended amount of time. Phil Garner was talking about it being win one, lose one, win one, lose one. Noooo…more like win one, lose two, win one, lose two. That’s how you fall below .500 and that’s why this team hasn’t won a series since before the break. So I roll out of bed Monday and hear Roy Oswalt is on the trading block and Drayton has ordered Brad Lidge be moved. Oh yeah, trading Roy makes a whole lotta sense. Trading him would indicate Charley Casserly’s ghost has somehow invaded Minute Maid and the exorcism of Timothy Purpura was going to have be performed. Trading Lidge would make more sense, but I still feel like he’s going to turn it around. I don’t know why, I just do. Even if this team added Miguel Tejada I didn’t think it would have enough to get the wild card. This team just doesn’t have “it.” They did last year and they did the year before, but this year, well, Brad Ausmus summed it up, “Until the people in uniform who take the field every day do something about it, you’d have to consider us a mediocre team at best.” And at worst, well, we saw their worst on Sunday. Or maybe the worst was on Monday when Roy Oswalt (the one guy not named Lance that should never, ever play anywhere, but here) heard the team might trade him away.

--According to Jayson Stark the Astros were thinking about dealing Roger Clemens so, you know, he could display his excellence on a team that’s worth a damn. The scariest thing Stark pointed out was that the Astros have a worse record since May 4th than…wait for it…the Royals. If Roger thinks he would’ve taken a PR hit here he’s wrong. Everyone wants to see him go out with an appearance in the World Series and that ain’t happening here and what is ain’t exactly clear.

--Thankfully July is in the books so let’s look at some of the numbers…Luke Scott led the way in average at .385. Mike Lamb at .333 . Lance Berkman was Lance Berkman hitting .329 with 6 HRs and 23 RBIs. Adam Everett hit a nice .272. The ugly…Chris Burke hit .227 with 18 strikeouts. Surprise, surprise only Preston Wilson struck out more (19) and he hit a miserable .209 with 1 whole homer. For some reason Preston played in more games than anyone else. Brad Ausmus and Eric Munson each hit .200. As for the pitchers, Mr. David Borkowski, (hey Phil, remember him???) didn’t allow a run in any of the four games he was fortunate enough to pitch in. Dan Wheeler’s ERA was a very strong 0.82. Fernando Nieve’s was 1.17 so a good thing he’s not here any longer. That one guy named Rocket was 2-2 with a 2.00 ERA. Russ Springer’s ERA was 2.31. Roy and Andy combined to go 5-5 with an ERA in the 3.00’s. Taylor Buchholz allowed 18 runs in his 25 innings. Lidge, Brandon Backe and Wandy Rodriguez all stank, but you knew that.

--When I came across this I almost fell out of my chair. David Ortiz went over the 100-RBI mark over the weekend. Over the last five seasons two other players have gone over 100 RBIs by the end of July. One is Carlos Delgado. The other is none other than your friendly neighborhood left fielder Preston Wilson. Another gem from the folks at Elias also dealing with Ortiz….Big Papi had his 11th walkoff hit since 2003 over the weekend. The last player to have 11 or more walkoff hits over a four-season span is none other than your friendly, bewildering neighborhood manager Phil Garner who did it with the ‘Stros in the early 80’s. Crazy, crazy. I wrote the above Monday before I watched the end of the Indians/Red Sox game. The only reason I was watching that was because it was in the 9th with Boston down 2, but with the chance of Big Papi coming up to the plate. He did and he went yard just like everyone knew he would. Unbelievable.

--Bobby Abreu goes to the Yankees in the midst of his longest homerless drought of his career. It’s been 132 at-bats since his last bomb. He has 14 home runs since his home run derby show (41) last year.

--Chase Utley’s streak is up to 32 games and he’s hitting .404 during it.

--Trades are a fact of sports and sometimes they separate Best Friends Forever like Phillies Arthur Rhodes and Cory Lidle. Let’s look at what Arthur had to say about missing his other half, "He is a scab. When he started, he would go 5 1/3 innings and (the bullpen) would have to win the game for him. The only thing Cory Lidle wants to do is fly around in his airplane and gamble. He doesn't have a work ethic. After every start, he didn't run or lift weights. He would sit in the clubhouse and eat ice cream." I miss you, too.

--Not that Tampa Bay doesn’t do things right, but Scott Kazmir didn’t know he was placed on the DL until he watched that mornings SportsCenter.

Quick Hitters and Random Thoughts

--The Main Event is well underway. In case you missed it...Norm McDonald was actually the chip leader at one early point. Then the man who made “crack whore” an endearing term was eliminated. Phil Helmuth was out in six hours when his ace-queen lost to pocket 7’s. Thankfully the annoying Tiffany Williamson is gone. Shannon Elizabeth, Brad Garrett and Ron Jeremy were also sent packing. Sammy Farha’s full house was busted in his first hour of play by four 6’s. Ain’t that a… Lennox Lewis may not be able to broadcast a fight worth a damn, but he is still playing after his first day. Doyle Brunson and Mike Matusow both out as well. Catch all the action when ESPN airs this in the fall…of 2007.
She's out too.

--I’m not down with Heath Ledger as The Joker or Ryan Phillipe as Two Face, but Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin is absolutely money.

--A UFC event in Texas early next year?! Make it happen!

--The line of the weekend came to us from Mel Gibson who was arrested for DUI Friday. At one point a female cop was staring at Melly Mel and he busted out, “What are you looking at sugar ti**?” You should probably read this…

--If you care Roy Jones Jr. won over the weekend against Prince Badi Ajamu. Stevie Johnston lost, but put up one helluva fight against Vivian Harris on Boxing After Dark.

--I don’t know if you saw former champ and Rocky V star Tommy Morrison on Outside the Lines last week, but Darren Daulton thinks Morrison is crazy. Tommyboy doesn’t think he’s HIV-positive anymore and that the boxing commission is responsible for the first original positive test years ago. Of course, it’s hard to take his conspiracy theory seriously when he’s wearing eye liner while sparring, but whatever. Oh yeah, he wants a piece of Mike Tyson. Good luck with that.

--It is about to be on! in Colby, Kansas. The federal government is sending its best endangerd black-footed ferrets to control the prairie dog population there. Bring it!

--First a tweak in June now a strained hamstring in their first practice for Steve Smith. A strained hamstring for Fred Taylor as well, but what’s new?

--Filmcritic.com came up with a list of the top 50 movie endings. Sixth Sense didn’t make the cut, but we’ll go through it anyway…At 50 we find The Blair Witch Project (bo-ring). The horrible History of Violence at 49. Batman Begins at 48 with Batty turning over the Joker card. At 41 is Say Anything where Lloyd and Diane wait for the ding on the airplane. Great scene.
Rocky should be higher than 37. A movie I need to revisit, A Clockwork Orange at 33. Real Genius at 25 with its popcorn ending. The Usual Suspects should be higher than 21. One of my all-time favorites Memento at 19.
Would’ve thought Planet of the Apes would be in the top 10 instead of 17. That’s preceded by the best of the Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back. Citizen Kane at 13. A deserving Night of the Living Dead at 7. Now your top five movie endings of all-time according to filmcritic.com…# 5 is rightly Bonnie and Clyde. I thought this would be # 1, but Casablanca at 4. 3rd is the excellent Chinatown.
Solid choice with Fight Club at # 2. At # 1 we find a movie I’ve never seen, Dr. Strangelove.

--Drudge Report headline I probably don’t want anymore information from than what’s in the title: Woman Dies During Basement Liposuction

--If you like pot and hot European females the first half of Hostel is for you. If you like gore, blood, and ridiculous decisions by the main character then the second half of Hostel is for you.

--The magic of YouTube has shown me Ian McShane/Al Swearengen was once upon a time on Dallas. It’s more weird hearing him string together three words without hearing an f-bomb or some variation than it is seeing him how he looked 20 some odd years ago.

--As you know The Colbert Report is pure gold. His Better Know a District segment is always strong, but never stronger than this one.

--Your intelligent home invader of the week comes to us from Los Angeles. This idiot broke into a home, tied a couple up and stole guns, money and jewelry. Then he went outside to steal a car. Only problem was the car was manual and he didn’t know how to handle a stick. So the good citizen went back inside the home and grabbed the keys to the couple’s BMW. That’s nice, but it was also a stick. He managed to get it out of the driveway before it stalled. Third stolen car the charm for the guy who got away. Seems like they should cover how to drive a manual in Car Theft 101.

--A Mr. Show movie?! Please let this happen.

Questions, comments or if you celebrate good things with a “Victory!”…

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