Tag Archives: Astros

October Baseball

Like any consummate baseball fan, I’m super superstitious. Just like baseball players who jump over rather than stepping on the chalked baseline, won’t speak the words “no hitter” during a game that could potentially prove to be one, and Houston Astro’s pitcher Justin Verlander eating three crunchy taco supremes (no tomato), a cheesy gordita crunch and a Mexican pizza (no tomato) from Taco Bell before every start. Which seems strange, a guy who doesn’t want runs eating at Taco Bell.

 I haven’t written about baseball at all this season, so I’m nervous about doing it now, particularly with my Astros in the playoffs. But there are regular season rituals and playoff rituals. With that said, understand that until the Astros once again hoist that World Series trophy, I’ll be wearing my lucky pink socks inside out, only watching the games from my favorite chair with two table lamps on (even for day games), and, of course, not washing my favorite lucky Astros shirt. Small things, I know, but this is October baseball and every little bit matters.

If you doubt the strength of the baseball superstitions, check out Hall of Famer Craig Biggio’s batting helmet: he practically wore a hole in it from the millions of times he adjusted it exactly the same way every at bat. And it worked. Three thousand and sixty hits don’t lie. Even today’s team understands. When in September Josh Reddick hadn’t taken a pitch out of the park since the All-star break, he wore an injured George Springer’s pants to the plate. I’m not sure exactly how that conversation went, maybe, “Hey, I left my pants at home and since you’re not wearing those…” Whatever, he hit a homer in the next two games. Face it, Springer, you’re not getting your pants back.

Before Roger Clemens started a game, he had a trainer rub the hottest possible liniment on his testicles. Between Roger and the trainer, I’m not sure who had the worse end of that deal. But if that’s not gross enough, Moises Alou, who hit .355 with 30 HRs for the Astros in 2000, never wore batting gloves. Instead, to toughen up his hands, he urinated on them. Knowing this kind of stuff happens makes you seriously rethink asking for that autograph.

Now grab your cheesy gordita crunch, your lucky socks and GO ‘STROS!

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Baseball and Taco Hell

AR-309269980Anyone who knows me even casually knows I’m a fanatical baseball fan. So when the Astros are in the post-season, don’t bother me at game time unless there’s fire, homicide-level blood loss, or a minimum of two high-level FBI agents present. Unless you’re my dad.

Twenty minutes before the start of Game 2 of the ALCS, I’m at my dad’s house settling in for the first pitch when he tosses me the keys and says, “Run get us tacos.” Gasp! Wait! What?! Now??!! Okay, it’s his house and he is my dad. I’m going for tacos.

I hop in the Dadmobile and race to the neighborhood Taco Cabana. I hit the drive thru for four chicken tacos thinking I’m in good shape with 12 minutes until game time and only two cars ahead of me. Then I realize I’ve entered Taco Hell!!

It took only seconds to realize the car in front of me has ordered 25 different individual items all special ordered. Surely this is proof that evil is real and Satan is active in our world. Obviously, it can only be Satan, Prince of Darkness, driving the solitary car in front of me. I roll up the windows in order to scream in private.

It has gotten to the point that I could have driven myself to Mexico, executed a quickie divorce, found and married a Mexican national, had his mother make me tacos, and driven back. Faster. I was now missing the start of the game. Okay, forget the divorce part. I could drive to Mexico, become a naturalized citizen, learned to make authentic tacos myself, and driven back. Faster. This was killing me.

Just as I’m picking up my phone to call 911 to report a gas leak inside Taco Cabana that has killed all the employees because there has been no sign of life inside for at least 15 minutes, the window opens and Satan receives his massive bag of food. Of course, he’s paying in what must be ancient coins from Somalia’s Gubon Desert and how the heck do you make change for that? One final, cleansing scream before I pull forward.

By the time I got back, the Astros were down by 1. Yes, I won the War on Tacos, but the Astros lost the game and the next one and all the rest of the series. Somewhere Satan is laughing and my season is over. From this point forward, tacos will always taste like disappointing loss.

Thank you to the Houston Astros for a great season, Jose Altuve and the Daily Herald for the pic.

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When I’m the Commish

mlb-logoI love baseball, from t-ball to Little League to college ball to the pros. Of course, with the Houston Astros in the World Series (insert squeal of excitement here), lots of people are loving baseball. But I even love baseball when the Astros can’t buy a win against the Iowa School for the Blind’s practice team. It is only as a result of this deep abiding love that I point out that there are some glaring, fundamental problems going on in the sport, problems I will straighten out when I become the next Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Okay, blah blah that there’s not an opening right now, but I fully expect to get the call to the bullpen to take over when word of my sweeping reforms and improvements gets out.

First order of business will be making the pitchers in the American League bat. No more of this silly designated hitter ho-haw. There is no reason why the pitcher can’t step up to the plate and hack away like the rest of the team. If you don’t want to be embarrassed that you can’t hit, take lessons or look for another job. This is, after all, BASEball where the objective is to run the bases. It’s not PITCHball. I’m sorry, Carlos Beltran, it’s not that we don’t love you, Sweetie. Remember, you’ve got a fine career ahead of you in coaching.

Next up to bat will be a dress code. I’m not going to nit-pick the small things like whether the pants are worn down to the cleats or pulled up to the knees, but I think it’s important the players look professional on the field at all times. That means no more of that long hair everywhere. Cameron Maybin, this means you. You’re a great addition to the team, and we’d like to keep you. But there’s only a spot there for you because we got rid of Colby Rasmus this year, most likely because he wouldn’t get a good clarifying shampoo and a haircut. As commissioner, I say get a cut or get cut! If they aren’t going to let girls play, then the boys who do play can’t look like girls.

Now, if you need me, I’ll be here with my peanuts and cold beer waiting for the next first pitch and my call up to the top of the big leagues! Let’s play ball! AND GO ‘STROS!

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