Tuesday, August 08, 2006

To Sweet To Be Sour, To Nice To Be Mean

Yeah, That’s About Right

A week ago the Astros looked like toast after that demoralizing loss to the Diamondbacks and not getting anything done at the trade deadline. Of course, a week later after a 4-2 road trip they’re just 3.5 games out of the wild card lead. Sure there are six teams for Houston to pass, but do any of them scare you? Like we’ve seen all year the National League is just plain bad. I mean the Astros are 5-5 in their last 10 games and over that span still managed to pick up 2 games on the Reds. Yeah, the Dodgers have won 10 straight, but that’s after a 1-13 stretch so they don’t exactly worry me. The Diamondbacks looked pretty bad this weekend. The Phillies don’t have the starting pitching to stay in the mix. The Rockies are 3 games below .500 and won’t finish more than a game over that mark. The Giants don’t have what it takes. The only one of these teams with solid and sometimes dominating starting pitching at the top of the rotation, a strong ‘pen (when Phil doesn’t screw it up), and Lance Berkman is the Astros. How ridiculous is that guy? In his four games since coming back he’s hitting .545 with 2 HRs and 4 RBIs. Stick his name, Carlos Beltran’s and Albert Pujols’ in a hat and pick the National League MVP. Aubrey Huff (.364), Willy Taveras (.407) and Luke Scott (.435) all wrecked over the trip as well. Huff could’ve hit .500 if he had gotten a break or two because he’s been smacking the ball, but right at people. Morgan has looked good since his return. Basically, what I’m saying is the Astros are no longer underachieving and that’s bad news for the National League.

--No doubt the highlight of the weekend was Brad Ausmus’ grand slam on Saturday. So now time to adjust the totals in our race…
Ausmus and Everett- 4 HRs
Carlos Zambrano- 4 HRs

--That slam was Ausmus’ lone hit on the trip. His 4 RBIs tied for the trip lead with that Berkman guy.

--How good did Fernando Nieve’s stuff look in his one inning of work on Saturday?

--The bullpen guys not named Lidge or Qualls didn’t allow a run on the trip.

--Chase Utley’s hitting streak is in the books and so is Vladimir Guerrero’s 44-game hitting streak against Walker, Texas Rangers. Hard for him to keep that going when Texas decides to walk in his first four plate appearances including three times intentionally.

--Todd Jones has had rough patches, but not in his last 19 outings for Detroit. Over that span he has 14 saves and a 0.99 ERA.
Not that they need him, but Detroit hinted it might bring up 6-6 lefty Andrew Miller who they drafted this year.

--The Cardinals now have two 8-game losing streaks and at the end of each one they still found themselves atop the Central. That’s something no other team has done in the game’s history.

--Chase Utley hit .405 during his 35-game hitting streak. Over that same stretch only one other guy had a better average (minimum 100 at-bats) and that would of course be Baltimore’s Nick Markakis who hit .422. Since July 1st though it’s Paul LoDuca’s .430 that tops the Majors.

--Randy Johnson has a current streak of 32 outs without a strikeout. Yeah, that’s the longest such streak for him.

--The Dodgers came out of the break and promptly went 1-13. Of course now they’ve won 10 straight and are tied for the wild card lead.

--The Twins are 3-11 vs. the Tigers this season including 0-7 at Comerica. Francisco Liriano’s ERA against everyone not named Detroit is 1.39. Against Detroit it’s 7.63.

When Wrestling Didn't Suck

Rivalfish.com busted out a list of the top 50 WWF (get the E out) rivalries of all-time. Some of the highlights…At 49 we find Andre the Giant vs. Jake the Snake’s snake, Damien. The 1-2-3 Kid vs. Razor Ramon at 44. Unfortunately I can’t think of The 1-2-3 Kid without thinking of his appearance on The Surreal Life when he tried to lure Chyna back to the dark side. Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger at 40. Geez, I figured
Iron Sheik vs. Hulk Hogan would be in the top 10 instead of 37. # 36 was one of my favorites with Macho Man matching up against George “The Animal” Steele. How do turnbuckles taste and what did he use to make his tongue green? HBK vs. Razor at 32. Their ladder match at WrestleMania X is a top fiver of all-time. At 25 HBK vs. Rocker buddy Marty Jannetty. Big John Studd vs. Andre the Giant at 21. For the incredible fallout alone HBK vs. The Hitman should be higher than 17. At 10 we find Demolition vs. Legion of Doom. Excellent. The Rowdy one against Superfly at 7. Macho vs. my favorite wrestler of all-time Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat at 6. A decent list ruined by his 5th rivalry of Owen Hart vs. Zip Cord/Gravity. Classy. Piper v. Hogan at 4. I guess for mic work alone we get Austin and Rock at 3. Undertaker and Mankind at 2. Has it really been 8 years since Mick took the bump from the top of the Hell in a Cell. #1 is Hulk vs. Andre the Giant.

Quick Hitters and Random Thoughts

--Was that the best episode of Entourage this season? Fantastic music, strippers, Vegas, two munchkins arguing over Sloane, Jager..excuse me Vodka, and Johnny Drama’s punch for all the heterosexual males out there who simply appreciate the hands of a male masseuse more than most other people. Sadly I think we only have three more episodes left this season.
What up now?

--One thing Entourage brought up that I had never heard of…this exchanging lists with your significant other with the names of all the people you’ve slept with. What the hell is that?

--Because we have nothing better to do than click on pictures of NBA players and their wives

--What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Saturday night for Ike Quartey. He and Vernon Forrest were in what was essentially a loser leaves town match and things looked about as in the bag as possible when Forrest suffered a point deduction late. Of course, this is boxing and the judges all gave the decision to Forrest. In short, Ike wuz robbed.

--Not a lot of movies force product placement more than The Island.

--Apparently the premise for the next Halloween from Rob Zombie is that David Loomis (son of Donald Pleasance’s character) picks up his dad’s work including all of his files except for one, which is for some guy named Michael Myers something or other. A mutilated body is found and for whatever reason people are quick to think Michael Myers is back.
Will the son get revenge? Will Jamie Lee Curtis come back in any capacity? Will Michael Myers kill whoever came up with Halloween 3: Season of the Witch? Will Busta Rhymes return in this one? Will I ever stop having nightmares about Michael Myers? So many questions. I loathe/love the original Halloween, but had no idea when the question came up on The World Series of Pop Culture about who the mask was of that Myers used. It’s a Willie (his non-friends call him William) Shatner’s Captain Kirk mask touched up some. That movie was shot in just 21 days. It cost just $300,000 to make and the actors used their own wardrobes.

--Now it’s time to play guess the whitest state in the country as judged by what percentage of its population is minority. Your first guess was Alaska and that’s wrong. Iowa? New Hampshire? No, it’s none other than the Pine Tree State, which I’m sure you knew is Maine. For whatever reason the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t have a category for Hispanics, which that cracker state has plenty of, but as for the other minorities…they account for 1 whole percent of Maine’s total population. That percentage has actually doubled since 2000.

--The Johnsonville World Brat Eating Championship was this weekend. Major surprise as Kobayashi won by downing 58 brats in 10 minutes. Defending champeen Sonya Thomas “only” ate 34. Joey Chestnut once again finished second to the Japanese Jabba with 45.

--Emmitt Smith on the next Dancing With The Stars?!
I guess Jerry just told Emmitt that there's no way he can be as bad as Evander was. Always nice to see legends sticking with one uniform.

--For reasons no one can fully understand Flavor of Love 2 came back on Sunday. Houston is actually represented and she’ll be known as H-Town. Sadly H-Town couldn’t get past the first round of clocks and her time was up. She did have tough competition from the likes of Payshantz, Buckwild, Eye-z, Deelishiz, Toastee and I’ll just stop there. If you like ‘em hoodratty, blubbery and/or with gap teeth these are the women for you and Flav. By the way, Mini-Me’s piss job on The Surreal Life has been topped. The behemoth known as Somethin’ actually ummm…dropped the kids off, but couldn’t make it to the pool, so she dropped them off on Flav’s floor. Then said "it could happen to anybody." Yeah, who hasn’t that happened to at one point or another?

--Far more entertaining is Celebrity Fit Club with such A-listers as Bone Crusher (highest weight I’ve ever seen at 424 pounds), Carnie Wilson, Tina Yothers (Family Ties), Ted Lange (Isaac), Nick Turturro (NYPD Blue and cousin is Janice from Sopranos ((she’ll be on by season six))), Angie Stone (singer), Vincent Pastore (Big you know what) and the lovely, now fat Erika Eleniak.
Your Erika Eleniak trivia: She was the little girl Elliott kissed in the classroom in E.T.

--As dedicated readers I’m sure you remember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about the problems New Braunfels is having with the wild and crazy tubers. The highlight being the city council banning “volume drinking devices” or as normal people say “beer bongs.” On Sunday the Chronicle had a story on the problem and it termed beer bongs as “homemade beer-chugging devices.” That’s not nearly as good as volume drinking devices. Let’s hear from intelligent 21-year-old Marine John Rossi on this issue as I’m sure his perspective will be wise, “I’m home on leave, and I can’t even have Jell-O shots or a beer bong. I have a beer bong in my car right now that I can’t use.” They call this America?!? The man has a beer bong in his car he can’t even use because of your strict, forbidding laws. Why bother making a volume drinking device if The Man ain’t gonna let you use it?

--If you want to waste some time shaking your head try judgeoj.com.

--Your dumbass of the week comes to us from New York. It’s there that 18-year-old Abdullah Date has had his share of run-ins with the police. Last month he was alleged to have thrown vials of crack from the window of his Brooklyn home. So Abdullah thought he’d write the cops an anonymous letter just to see how they were living. Abdullah used lots of cuss words that I dare not reprint. He also wrote, "Ha, Ha (you) thought it was anthrax. Catch me if you can. " Smartly Abdullah didn’t sign the letter…but did have a return address on the envelope. They can catch him.

--The two highlights for me this X Games were the 19 times Shaun White tried a 1080 on his skateboard. He failed each one, but failed 29 times last year so he failed less this year. In Moto X Freestyle (I think that’s what it’s called) Travis Pastrana busted out a double back flip and stuck it perfectly. How he didn’t get a perfect 100 is beyond me.

Questions, comments or if you’ve rediscovered Radiohead’s OK Computer…

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