Friday, November 03, 2006

Notes on watching the MLB/Japan All Star Series

Somehow my subscription works for the archived games of the MLB/Japan All Star Series. and I've started watching the first game and wanted to share some of the stuff that I saw since I know many folks don't give 2 shits about this series. But I really like international baseball. I watched as much of the World Baseball Classic as I could and it was really awesome to be introduced to another style of playing the game.

I've bitched about the deal before, but being able to watch these games is a welcome surprise. However, the first thing they showed was the ceremonial first pitch where some Japanese guy threw out the first pitch to Twins C Joe Mauer. The reason I don't know who it was is because the announcers didn't mention this and all of the writing onscreen is in Japanese. But it had to be someone of some importance because after Mauer signed the first pitch ball, the Japanese guy signed another ball for Mauer. Thanks for the details,

Can everyone read that gray line at the bottom? Fucking blackouts!

The next two things are apparently traditions in Japanese baseballs. First, as the defense takes the field, they each autograph a ball and throw it into the crowd. That is damn awesome, and everyone likes free shit. I'd like to see that at an MLB game. Next, the crowd calls out the names of the Japanese starters as they take the field. Kind of a roll call. Kind of cool.

Now I know this is a minor baseball thing and that very few people care, but I like it. But apparently this isn't too important in Japan either. There are a bunch of empty seats in the stadium.

The roster is full of All-Star players (but no Astros) and a few dim-star players (I'm looking at you Lyle Overbay!). Which leads me to the question, why is this not on TV? Not in prime time, but this has got to be better than the late night shit on Fox Sports, right?

Take a look at that lineup? Pretty nice, huh? Don't you want to watch that game against foreigners that play the game differently? Ok, maybe I'm the only one.

I've still got a World Series post brewing, but just haven't been able to sit down and write about Preston Wilson winning a World Series. I love David Eckstein and am elated that he won the MVP, but Preston's got a ring. I just can't find any other word to string together. It is incomprehensible to me. I cannot form complete sentences when i think about it. Preston? Uh, and a ring.... huh? well... it's just making me sad.

Let the Free Agency speculation begin!!!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Windmills Do Not Work That Way!

The Astros cannot "solve" their "problems" with a quick free agaent signing.

See Also: Toronto Bjays, Texas Wranglers, Chicago litte harmless cublings, and all the rest that I did not mention but would support my arguement. Support!

Just as windmills do NOT cool off the Earth, one grandiose slugger does not equal alls well. Nor does adding another "veteran" bat. See Preston K. Wilson, IV.

The Astros need to stick with what works. They got the arms. They got bats. Well, yeah, kind of. I spose.

They got the bats because Chris Burke is good for 500 ABs. Mike BLamb another 250-400. Biggio 300-400 probly. And of course Lance, Ausmus, Everett, Willy T, Luke Scott. Those five will be in the opening day lineup 2007. If not, well, I know absolutely nothing about anything that could possbily pertain to a baseball related topic. Not at all.

Carlos Lee would fit in very well in that Houston clubhouse.
Even though the White Sox gave up on him.
And the Brewers.
And now the Rangers.....

Soriano? No. Alex Rodriguez? not likely. Eric Chavez? Yes. (hey why not?)

For the first time, I see. I do see.

McLane has built a winning franchise.

Now the hard part: sustaining.

Trust? Who> Tim Purpura? Hunsicker? Someone.

Of course, the Astros can do it.

In 2007.

and now, the synopsis, but of course!!
(Well not yet)

go Al gore! we need to defend the planet against pollution.
and wizards!
blame the wizards!!


Friday, October 06, 2006


Apparently Google is buying the Über-popular video site YouTube. On TechEBlog they combined the logos to make GooTube, and I couldn't help but share. Good stuff!

"We need a name that's witty at first, but seems less funny everytime you hear it."

"How about the B-Sharps?"

Sure, I'll talk Astros baseball if I have to. Garner got an extension and Hickey's gone. Happy?

Watching the Yankees in the post-season makes me sick. I want them to lose so bad, but know they're a damn great team top to bottom and are as good as anyone. Tigers get a shot at a 2-1 lead tonight. Grrrr! Go, Tigres.

Cardinals/Mets in the NL. I'm actually rooting for the Mets though. David Wright helped me immensely in multiple fantasy leagues this season, despite his poor 2nd half.

Also, the A's surprised the hell outta me and took the first 2 at Minnesota. And appear to have game 3 wrapped up, 8-3 A's right now. The Twins had the best home record in baseball this year at 54-24, and their stadium is supposed to make for a freakish advantage, though I have never seen for myself.

Although I just read that they're getting a new stadium in 2010. So, I've still got a few years to get up to Minnesota, but it's really not a priority. Now spring trainings in Florida? That's got to happen sometime soon.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hello My Name Is Kyle


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

So It Goes

The Astros did not relinquish their grip on the 2006 season until the very last day of their regular season.
Not a bad way to go at all.
This image was called "Hope." I like it.

Onto the Press!!
Roy. ROY. ROYoung. This man could be on his third Cy Young Award already.
Yet here he is, on the brink of the honor due to him.
The best right-handed pitcher in the Majors right now. He dominates big games.

Lance Berkman. Can't make as strong of an arguement for his MVP campaign.
I never thought Ryan Howard should win it, basically leaving it between Lance and our super duper great buddy pal Albert "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! NOT HIM!!" Pujols.
Cards got the Central, give to Albie.

Alas, The 'Stache rides no more this year.

We here at AA hope to have ya back, next year, and the next 7 at least.
Managers used to stick and mold a team for years, and the team became what they wanted it to be and they played hard like the manager.
And The 'Stros always got a shot with The 'Stache.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Don't Worry Be Happy

Yes folks, this is not a time for anger and unhappiness. Instead, be happy and thankful for the ride that we've been taken on this year. And be thankful that the Astros provide mostly winning and exciting baseball-flavored entertainment to us fans. It has been a true joy to be a part of the craziness the past few years and I hope the organization knows it.

That's not to say there's nothing that needs changing or that I'm totally satisfied (will I ever be?), but when you consider poor, poor towns like Pittsburgh or Milwaukee or Tampa Bay or Chicago (North Side). At least we get a race and something to root for. Some hope. Some Lance and Roy, Clemens and Pettitte. And Lidge? C'mon Houston is home to baseball-gold these days, and it's fun.

Next year? It's on. We need a few moves (Crawford? Carlos? Woody?) and a few players to return (Roger? Andy? maybe Huff?). All under budget of course, Mr. McLane.

Ok, enough of the positive. Onto a taste of the negative. We've got a few months to point out each and every place where things went wrong this season. Tonight's topic... The bottom 3rd of the lineup.

Everett .239/.290/.642, 6 HR, 59 RBI, 52 runs
Ausmus .230/.308/.593, 2 HR, 39 RBI, 37 runs

Offensively? Bad. Just plain bad. However, Everett is one of the best defensive shortstops and it's an important position where you may have to take an offensive hit. A defensive stud at that position can be hard to find. But we've got one, he only committed 7 errors in 688 total chances all season and was part of 105 double plays. All amongst the tops in baseball. Luckily for him, he makes up with his glovework what he can't do with his bat.

Ausmus on the other hand is no longer such a defensive specialist. He did lead all catchers in field %, and had only 1 past ball all season, in 124 games started, which is pretty remarkable, but he was more middle of the road in both Stolen Bases Allowed and Caught Stealing. Point is, there are catchers of comparable defense that are better at the plate.
But I have a feeling that we're stuck with another year of Ausmus as the primary catcher. He's supposed to be great working with the pitchers and could be crucial to bringing Clemens back. So, maybe it's not as bad as I think, but I don't think I can stand another season of wishing the bottom 3rd of the lineup could do something with the bat.

JR House could maybe assume a backup role next season. For the Express and Hooks this year he hit a combined .345/.392/.913, 15 HR, 105 RBI and 83 runs. The Astros farm system seems to be as good as any, and I think it's time we see more of them in Houston. No need for the free agency catcher-version of the Preston K Wilson Experience in 2007. Dear God, please make it so.
I really wanted to get into the Preston Wilson Experiment, circa 2006, tonight, but I just can't take anymore.

Preston gets into the playoffs, but I'd bet they don't get past the David Wells and the stingy Padres. Padres had the lowest ERA in the NL at 3.87. Guess who was 2nd with 4.08?

Turning to the Cardinals for a second.
They lost nine of their last 12, almost blowing a seven-game lead. They finished 83-78, the worst record by an NL Central champion. The Central title was out there all season and no one wanted to beat the Cardinals. wtf? If the Astros could have won 2 or 3 of the 4-6 games that Lidge blew, they'd be playing tomorrow. Shoulda, coulda, woulda and so on. But now... Now it's time to put all your energies into rooting against the Cardinals and Yanks. I'm thinking Mets vs. Twins at the moment.

By the way, new Lost and South Park start Wednesday. So there are other things to be happy about too.

Also 2 great pitching matchups tomorrow, Johan vs. Zito and Chris "Cy" Carpenter vs. Jake Peavy.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Play In-Round One (The NLPI Series)

I want to see this smiley face for at least two more weeks.

There are few people who have the entire state of Texas' hatred.
Francisco Cabrera, welcome to the club.
You gave the St. Louis Cardinals a victory today after Ben Sheets and Jeff Cirillo had won the game for the Milwaukee Brewers.

They didn't want you in Arlington, Houston now wishes you nothing but scabs and influenza. Milwaukee may not be too fond of you anymore either.
So praps you lofted one right over the heart of the plate to Scott Spezio today.
After being up 1-2 in the count.

Break a slider! He already whiffed at one.

The 'Stache goes to Andy Pettitte in a must-win tonight in Atlanta.
The 'Stros know that nothing matters except winning tonight.

Then tomorrow. So long as St. Louis is playing in San Francisco or Houston on Monday, it's a victorious season.
These next two games at Atlanta are the play-in round of the NLDS.
The National League Play In Series if you will.
This is Round One. And it's a two-game series right now, so let's win out boys!