Monday, March 30, 2015

Funk & Wagner: The TalkZone Glossary

Posted by Andyzipp On March - 6 - 2008

We’re glad to be able to put the Glossary back into use.  As you can see, it’s been updated and amended since it was last in use.

If you think there are terms that we might have missed, (or anything you see that needs to be updated — who knew that Cletus was still in the league?) please feel free to suggest them in the TZ or by e-mailing .

Keep in mind the following…

1) Suggested terms should be in common usage to the conversations in the TZ.
2) Suggested terms should be TZ or Astros specific, i.e., difficult to impossible to translate a talk zone post without this term.
3) Additional terms and defintions will be added at the discretion of the administration.  In other words, you might have an idea. We reserve the right to think it sucks.

3rdinals: 1) St. Louis Cardinals. 2) Sarcastic name given to the Cardinals after St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa spent the vast majority of the 2004 off-season whining about how his team was overlooked and underrated. In a rare stroke of good fortune, LaRussa was right, as the Cards ran away with the Central Division Title in 2004. 3) See also Jakes, Co-ards.

AA: 1) group of beer-drinking, disorganized, Austin-based Zone-dwellers who regularly assemble to watch the Astros on TV, usually at The Tavern. Ballclub enjoys unusually high winning percentage whenever these freaks hook up. Battle cry – “you’re never too far… from 12th and Lamar”.

Adolf: 1) late ex-Reds owner Marge Schott, for insane, totalitarian management of team affairs.

Agent Jones: 1) ex-Astro and current Marlins P Todd Jones, in reference to strong belief of numerous Zone-dwellers that he was working as a double-agent when he suspiciously blew two 9th-inning save opportunities against the Astros on consecutive nights during 1998 season. Cover was effectively blown when free-swinging ex-Astros pinch-hitter J.R. Phillips drew a walk.

AIS: 1) acronym – “asses in seats” – generally used in attendance impact discussions (ex. “Signing Roger Clemens would have practically guaranteed AIS”). (also AIC – “asses in chairs”).

Angelos Fallacy: 1) a condition that exists whenever an owner begins throwing huge sums of cash around, usually towards veteran free agents or guys coming off career years, fully expecting the spree to result in a world championship, no matter how bad the team was the previous year.

Ankle-grabber: 1) 2) See Lackey.

Astro-Puff: 1) horrific afros sported by some Astros players during the 70s, such as the cloud-like hair of ex-Astros 2B Julio Gonzalez.

Astrokillah: 1) opposing player with a tendency to destroy the Astros regularly with his bat, glove or arm, even if he is ineffective against other teams. 2) The following current or ex-ballplayers: Kevin Brown, Francisco Cordova, Ron Gant, Tom Glavine, Ryan Klesko, Javy Lopez, Fernando Vina, Bill Russell, and any rookie pitcher making his first big league appearance.

Ausmusized: 1) the practice of trading a high priced veteran when the team has a cheaper, younger, and potentially just as good a player to fill the position.

B2B: 1) acronym meaning “back to back”, as in dingers…home runs, that is…two of ‘em…in a row.

B-Fat: 1) ex-Angels, Brewers, Rockies,Reds and Red Sox OF sluggard Dante Bichette. 2) See also Bionic Fat.

Bandwagon: 1) Atlanta Braves. 2) mindless collective group of idiots who jump from winning team to winning team, throwing their support to whoever gets the most coverage or has the best record. 3) media circus that often surrounds recently successful teams that had previously sucked.

Bandwagonner: 1) Atlanta Braves fan. 2) participant in a bandwagon. 3) new, ignorant fan who is unfortunate enough to begin following a club when a bandwagon situation is in effect. 4) fair-weather fan.

BFIB: 1) mocking reference to the self-love that the baseball fans of the St. Louis Cardinals practice.

BFT: 1) the late, great ASTROSCONNECTION.COM. 2) See also Big Freight Train, The.

Big Bopper, The: 1) popular nickname of ex-Astros 1B Glenn Davis, for consistent power-hitting ability. 2) ex-Astros 1B Lee May, for the same reason.

Big Freight Train, The: 1) nickname of Kev & Scott’s ASTROSCONNECTION.COM. From an e-mail received that likened this site to a “big freight train” compared to other fan sites. 2) See also BFT.

Big “O”, The: 1) Osceloa County Stadium. 2) Spring-training home of the Astros.

Big Phone, The: 1) SBC (nee Pac-Bell) Park in San Francisco.

Billy D: 1) ex-Astros 2B Bill Doran.
Bionic Fat: 1) ex-Angels, Brewers, Rockies,Reds and Red Sox OF sluggard Dante Bichette, for his unexplained ability to hit for average and power despite weighing 378 pounds. Infers that B-fat’s girth is in fact, bionic, which makes him better, stronger and faster, although you would never know it by watching him “play” the outfield. 2) See also B-Fat.

Bleach: 1) ex-Astros and Tigers C Mitch Meluskey, for blonde head and toxic demeanor. 2) See also F-Bomb.

Blowtorch: 1) web server. 2) transmitter of any type

Bluebonnet: 1) ex-Astros and current Dodgers 2b Jeff Kent mainly for laying this bit of mental terpitude on the masses: “For me, I’ve been around too long and I’ve seen the bluebonnets cover the prairies and I’ve seen the weeds grow on the hills, so you just try to keep your emotions in check and go with the flow…” 2) See also Pornstache

Blutarski Line, The: 1) a statistical average of 0.00.

BOB, The: 1) Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix.

Bonham Bullet, The: 1) ex-Astros P Danny Darwin. 2) See also Dr. Death.

Boom Boom: 1) journeyman IF Delino Deshields, for resemblance to Welcome Back Kotter’s Freddy “Boom Boom” Washington.

Brownie: 1) Astros television broadcaster Bill Brown. 2) See also Jeckyl and Hyde .

Brushback: 1) See Chin Music.

Bud Man, The: 1) late WGN/Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray, for his well-publicized enjoyment and regular consumption of Anheuser-Busch products.

C4: 1) ex-Astros and current White Sox OF/DH Carl Everett. 2) See also Demolition Man, The, Truth, The.

Cabrera a Brave: 1) phrase often used in response to a Talk Zone post that states the obvious or well-documented as if it were important breaking news. Inspired during an embarrassing display of ignorance during the 2000 offseason when numerous Talk Zone-dwellers, starved for any kind of roster activity, piled onto the news that former Astros reliever Jose Cabrera had been picked up by Atlanta and proceeded to announce it on the board for at least a week – confident that they were delivering some kind of groundbreaking scoop. No less than three dozen TZ-dwellers were implicated.

Candy-Ass: 1) term used to describe any WGN broadcast of a Chicago Cubs game. 2) TBS broadcaster Chip Caray. See also Cinderella.

Captain, The: 1) self-imposed nickname for over-the-hill Astros radio play-by-play announcer Milo Hamilton. Used sarcastically by everyone but Hamilton himself.

Cardiac Kids: 1) 1986 Houston Astros, for tendency to pull games out in their last at-bat, which resulted in giving loyal fans a serious heart condition. Revisited by 1998 ballclub, who converted 27 of their record 102 wins in their final at-bat.

Central Gardner: 1) ex-Astros and current Mets CF Carlos Beltran. 2) a centerfielder, from Spanish to English as envisioned by Babel Fish translation software. 3) See also Jugador of the Five Herramientos, The.

Cheese: 1) term for fastball, now nauseating because of overuse by the national media. 2) See also High Cheese, Gas, Smoke.

Cheo: 1) nickname of legendary ex-Astro OF and current 1B coach Jose Cruz. 2) See also CRUUUUUUUUUUUUUZ.

Chester Charge: 1) lima-bean shaped, hat-wearing, sword-waving, animated character that used to appear on The Scoreboard whenever an Astros rally was necessary. 2) See also Great Wall of Houston, The, Home Run Spectacular, The, Scoreboard, The.

Chin Music: 1) high, inside, intimidating pitch designed to brush back the hitter and re-establish the outside corner.

Chokers, The: 1) Atlanta Braves, for tendency to tank in playoffs throughout the 90s no matter how dominant they are in the regular season.

Chop-Tart: 1) typically, any under-age female fan of the Atlanta Braves, and/or especially Braves 3B/OF Chipper Jones. 2) See also Jonestown.

Cinderella: 1) TBS broadcaster Chip Caray, for chilly-spined, wishful, underdog gloss that makes listening to a baseball game unbearable. 2) term used rarely in baseball to describe a team that somehow manages to achieve despite being sub-par. 3) See also Candy-Ass.

Clark: 1) (also Clarkish, Clarkworthy, Dave, etc.) descriptive, sarcastic term coined by TZ legend Andyzipp in a now-famous take which serves to strongly emphasize any extraordinary, fantastic or above average feat. (ex. “Biggio stealing third in that situation was absolutely Clark.”) Sarcastic reference is to the horrible 1998 performance of ex-Astros OF/PH Dave Clark.

Cletus: 1) ex-Braves and current Blue Jays pseudo-closer Kerry Ligtenberg, for his stereotypical white-trash appearance which is made worse by the most hideous sideburns we have ever seen.

Co-ards: 1) St. Louis Cardinals. 2) sarcastic reference to the fact that the Cardinals count the 2001 Division title despite the indisputable fact that they entered the playoffs as the wildcard that year. 3) See also Jakes, 3rdinals.

Coif, The: 1) perfect hair of ex-Astros reliever Joe Sambito.

Coneheads: 1) late-80s Astros relievers Larry Andersen, Dave Smith and Charlie Kerfeld, for distracting habit of wearing “conehead” rubber masks (of Saturday Night Live fame) during games while hanging out in the bullpen or dugout.

Corky: 1) current Cubs OF Sammy Sosa. 2) reference to attempt to amp up his bat speed after a lengthy stay on the DL by using a corked bat and subsequently having it shatter, along with his reputation. 3) See also Sammy the Clown.

Costasizing: 1) pontificating on the meaningless.

Crib: 1) stadium, ballpark, your own home.

Crisco: 1) current Padres OF/1b Ryan Klesko for reasons which should be obvious. 2) See also Donut Truck.

Cro-Magnon: 1) retired journeyman reserve catcher/IF Jim Leyritz, for his uncanny resemblance to fossil man due to horribly overdeveloped forehead musculature.

CRUUUUUUUUUUUUUZ: 1) correct pronunciation for last name of legendary ex-Astros OF and current 1B coach Jose Cruz. 2) See also Cheo.

Crying Yard: 1) (also “to cry yard” – takeoff on the phrase “crying wolf”). Irritating practice by novice, incompetent or ESPN play-by-play broadcasters in which they begin screaming and hollering whenever a fly ball leaves the infield in expectation of it leaving the yard. Exemplified perfectly by late WGN/Cubs announcer Harry Caray, who began running his “it might be, it could be…” gloss on any fair ball hit by a Chicago batter. Tradition carried on proudly by grandson Chip in the TBS booth.

Demolition Man, The: 1) ex-Astros and current White Sox OF Carl Everett, because of the threat he poses to opposing pitchers and baserunners, but especially for the fact that he thinks most of the cribs in the NL should be blown to bits. 2) See also C4, Truth, The.

Denial League: 1) any organized softball/baseball initiative in which overweight, retread ex-jocks or no-talent scrubs participate. Characterized by knee injuries, massive beer consumption and postgame trips to the closest hot wing joint.

Dickities: 1) Cincinnati Reds. Nickname inspired by Grandpa Simpson, which was assigned by superstitious Zone-dwellers during the 1999 season due to apparent belief that if they actually used the name “Reds” in a post, Cincinnati would immediately blow past the Astros in the standings. Misunderstood by legions of idiot, Zone-dwelling Reds fans who were convinced it was either some kind of slam or part of the massive government “conspiracy” that kept them out of the playoffs that year.

Dinero: 1) overrated N.Y. Mets C/1B Mike Piazza, for the excessive greed exhibited by turning down an $80 million contract from Dodger management during the 1998 season, and general infatuation with $100 million contracts.

Doggie: 1) irritating nickname of ex-Astros and current Rangers OF Richard Hidalgo used by broadcaster Milo Hamilton.

Dogma: 1) the reasonless belief that Richard Hidalgo enjoys you barking at him.

Donut Truck: 1) current Padres OF Ryan Klesko, for his resemblance to a square, unwieldly vehicle when running the bases or chasing down a ball in left field. 2) See also Crisco.

Dr. Death: 1) ex-Astro P Danny Darwin, for his willingness to plunk any opposing player at any time, his tendency to be first player out of the dugout in any brawl, anywhere, regardless of the circumstances, and for generally being one of the toughest SOBs we have ever seen. 2) See also Bonham Bullet, The.

E7: 1) current Tigers OF/1B Dmitri Young, for his less than stunning defensive abilities when placed in left field.

EFUS, The: 1) Enron Field at Union Station. Acronym hastily adopted by Zone-dwellers who had grown accustomed to referring to the Ball Park at Union Station as “The BUS” before Enron Power swooped down and purchased the naming rights to the Stros’ new crib. It was just as hastily dropped after Enron sent the nation into a economic slump it has yet to fully recover from, necessitating the change of corporate sponsors to Minute Maid Foods (who knew they were headquartered in Houston?) as well as the change of nickname to MMPUS. 2) Additional baseball reference is to horrific overhand curveball of the same name. See also MMPUS

Eighth Wonder of the World: 1) Houston Astrodome.

El Burro: 1) ex-Astros and current Royals P Jose Lima, for own references to hideous 2000 campaign where he pitched “like an ugly jackass” and “stunk like a donkey”. 2) See also El Loco

El Jefe: 1) Kevin’s official title.

El Loco: 1) ex-Astros and current Royals P Jose Lima, for well-documented insanity. 2) See also El Burro

El Mecano: 1) term of endearment applied to Colt Stadium south of the border due to it’s resemblance to a giant erector set and the fact that it has been unassembled and reassembled at least three times. 2) See also Hell

El Pato: 1) ex-Astros and current A’s RP Octavio Dotel, because he waddles around like a duck. 2) Small, south Texas chain of breakfast taco establishments.

Error Miss: 1) current Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez, for his defensive prowess, or lack thereof.

Evil Empire, The: 1) New York Yankees.

Express, The: 1) ex-Astros, Mets, Angels and Rangers P Nolan Ryan, for his legendary, ungodly fastball. 2) See also Old Man, The

Exxon Valdes: 1) ex-Astros relief pitcher Marc Valdes, for multitude of disastrous late-inning appearances during 2000 season.

F-Bomb: 1) ex-Astros C Mitch Meluskey, for continuous stream of profanity which often lasted the entire game. 2) See also Bleach.

Fat Bastard: 1) ex-Astros, Cardinals, Angels P Kent Bottenfield, for reporting to 2001 training camp grossly overweight and resemblance to hilarious Austin Powers villain of the same name.

Fat Elvis: 1) Astros OF Lance Berkman’s nickname while he attended Rice University. 2) See also Maybelline, Twinkie.

Fat Pig, The: 1) name given to ESPN commentator Chris Berman only when he is calling baseball games, for his resemblance to a slobbish 70s lounge lizard, complete with hideous combover and pink blazer (called to attention only because of the way he butchers baseball play-by-play, and Kev & Scott’s adamant belief that he should stick with his strong suit, NFL coverage).

Fat Toad, The: 1) ex-Yankees, Expos and Rangers P Hideki Irabu, for obvious reasons.

Flag, The: 1) flagship station of the Astros radio network, currently KTRH 740 AM in Houston.

Flame: 1) to disagree vehemently. 2) to blast another Zone-dweller’s opinion through negative smack or profanity. 3) to blast a particular sports team or individual player.

Foamer Nights: 1) insanity once instituted at the Astrodome in the 60s in which free beer was served for a limited time whenever an Astro would go yard in a predetermined inning. The ensuing stampedes were probably inspiration for the annual Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show that is still held at the Dome.

FrankenBarry: 1) current Giants OF Barry Bonds for his ‘roid-induced resemblence to the bubble-headed breakfast cereal spokescharacter.

Frankenstein: 1) (also “Hunsicker’s Monster”) 1) a pitching staff so beset with injuries, retreads, and recovering surgery patients it appears to have been pieced together from the flesh of several corpses, 2) 2001 Astros.

Frontrunners: 1) a sub-race of bandwagonners, made up of kick-the-ankles-and-run-back-to-mommy opposing fans who won’t show their face on the board until after their team wins; 2) those idiots in general who suddenly become outspoken fans when “their” team starts winning; 3) Padres fans, for gutless smack running in the TalkZone long after the fact when the Padres somehow eliminated the Astros in the 1998 NLDS.

Gabe: 1) ex-Astros and Rockies C Tony Eusebio, whose inability to hold on to the ball on plays at the plate reminds one of ex-NFL quarterback and all-time fumble king, Roman Gabriel.

Game: 1) ability, skill at baseball (ex. “Dave Clark has absolutely no %$#*ing game!”).

Gas: 1) fastball. 2) See also Cheese, High Cheese, Smoke.

Gas Can: 1) ineffective relief pitcher. 2) ex-Astros and current Phillies RP Billy Wagner, for disturbing tendency in 1997 and 1998 seasons to ignite late-inning rallies by opposing teams and tempers of Kev & Scott by serving up titanic homeruns with the game on the line.

General Admission: 1) ridiculous character dreamed up by Astros PR department that served as poor replacement of Home Run Spectacular in Astrodome, hanging out in right-center and firing a cannon after every Astros home run. Routinely mocked by ESPN anchor Dan Patrick and hated by millions. Later given job as “engineer” for the inane MMPUS train.

Gerry The Hun: 1) Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker, for his unequalled ability to pillage other organizations for top pitchers and position players while providing very little to them in return.

Gestapo: 1) Major League Baseball Players Association, for doing everything possible to screw the small and middle-market teams by helping drive player salaries sky-high, especially through favorite tactic of leaning on free agents to sign with the highest bidder.

Gloss: 1) vocabulary and verbal style utilized by a particular individual or media entity. (ex. “I am ready for The Fat Pig to stop running his tired ‘back-back-back-back’ gloss on every $*ing fly ball.”) 2) FOX Sports, whose self-obsession with their own gloss has made their coverage nearly unbearable.

GNO: 1) (origin: “Girls Night Out”) – generally refers to the small group of female regulars in the TZ.

Going Yard: 1) hitting a home run. See Kev & Scott’s Home Run Slang Page for more examples.

Golden Ruhle, The: 1) ex-Astros pitcher and pitching coach Vern Ruhle. 2) See also Professor, The.

Gortex: 1) ex-Braves, Indians, Rangers reliver John Rocker, for either having special surgical implants that cause his neck to bulge violently and prevent him from being able to completely lower his arms, or for wearing a large gor-tex winter jacket under his uni. 2) See also Scooby-Doo, Trained Gorilla, The

Gravy Train: 1) the act of riding on someone else’s coattails. 2) freeloaders that capitalize financially on another’s success.

Great Wall of Houston, The: 1) affectionate nickname for the old Astrodome scoreboard. 2) See also Chester Charge, Home Run Spectacular, The, Scoreboard, The.

Grimace: 1) reitred journeyman OF Glenallen Hill, for resemblance to the large purple McDonald’s character.

Grocer, The: 1) Astros owner Drayton McLane, for holdings in the grocery industry where he made his fortune (also “The Baptist Grocer”). 2) See also Wallet, The.

Hack: 1) amateur poster in the TalkZone. 2) ignorant fool with no take. 3) ignorant sportswriter with no take. 2) See also Honk.

Hatcher’s Homer: 1) See Homer, The.

Heavy D: 1) ex-Astros and current Pirates OF/IF Daryle Ward.

Hell: 1) Colt Stadium, home field of the Houston Colt 45s, formerly located where the current north Astrodome parking lot is. Reference is to the unbelievable heat, misery and swarms of mosquitos endured by fans trying to watch outdoor baseball games in south Houston during mid-summer before the Dome was built. 2) See also El Mecano.

High Bar: 1) the home run line drawn on the outfield wall at Minute Maid Park, which was reset to an exciting and challenging new height after the debacle that was the 2000 season.

High Cheese: 1) high-velocity, rising fastball thrown up and out of the strike zone, often on a two-strike count. 2) See also Cheese, Gas, Smoke.

Hobbes: 1) Calvin’s stuffed tiger of comic strip fame, 2) any player that appears to do nothing when you watch him but who somehow does enough to start on the team by season’s end, 3) ex-Astros and current Mariners SS Ricky Gutierrez.

Hobbs: 1) current Astros prospect Luke Scott, for the prodigious Roy “The Natural” Hobbs blasts that occured as part of his ridiculous 2005 spring training run.

Home Run Spectacular, The: 1) greatest animated scoreboard display that has ever existed, or ever will again. Bombastic electronic display of charging bulls, shooting guns, baseballs, fireworks and other obnoxious racket that once extended across the entire back wall of the Astrodome beyond the outfield. Went off like a tremendous explosion following any Astros home run or victory. 2) See also Chester Charge, Great Wall of Houston, The, Scoreboard, The.

Homer: 1) Harry, Skip, and Chip Caray, for their epic poetry.

Homer, The: 1) originally, the dramatic, towering solo home run off the bat of ex-Astros OF Billy Hatcher on October 15, 1986, in the bottom of the 14th inning in game 6 of the 1986 NLCS against the Mets that glanced off the foul pole high in left to tie the game at 4. Enduring symbol of never-say-die attitude of 80s Astros playoff teams. No longer should be regarded by some Zone-dwellers as greatest moment in franchise history. Was last postseason sighting of Orange Whoopass until… 2)assigned an additional entry on October 18, 2004, when ex-Astros and current Dodgers 2b Jeff Kent hit the game-winning home run in the 5th game of the NLCS against the Cardinals to cap off the best night in Astros playoff history.

Homo-Erectus: 1) ex-Cubs/Cards/Twins IF and current Astros hitting coach Gary Gaetti, for his continued play despite his extreme age.

Honk: 1) idiot broadcast personality or sportswriter with no take. 2) See also Hack.

Huge: 1) good, impressive, worthy of respect. (ex. “That shot by Bagwell was huge.”)

IIRC: 1) acronym utilized by lazy zone-dwellers who need an out in case they are wrong when expressing an opinion as fact – “if I recall correctly”.

IMO: 1) acronym utilized by lazy Zone-dwellers – “in my opinion” (also IMHO: “in my humble opinion”)

Iron Nag, The: 1) ex-Orioles IF Cal Ripken, Jr., whose freakish resiliance and immunity to the DL kept him in the Orioles starting lineup for some 47 years.

Jack: 1) sum of money. 2) home run.

Jakes: 1)The St. Louis Cardinals. 2)On April 6, 2003 a game in St. Louis was called by the Cardinals, on account of injuries, being down 0-2 in the series, and Roy Oswalt scheduled to pitch. Although the official excuse was weather, it was never a factor for the game, which was called nearly 12 hours ahead of time. 3) See also Co-ards, 3rdinals.

Jalapeno Head: 1) (also “Halapeno Head”): Ex-Astros P and manager and current broadcaster Larry Dierker, because the arterioventricular mass removed from his brain in June 1999 was described by the surgeon doing the procedure as like a “really big jalapeno”.

Jeckyl and Hyde: 1) Astros television broadcaster Bill Brown for ever-shocking episodic metamorphosis from dulcet, rambling student of statistical analysis to full-blown Astros freak complete with gravelly yet high-pitched voice on exciting plays. “That’s right, JD, he’s from just up the road in Killeen, Texas–a ball low to make it one-and-one. He’s gone four for his last thirty-six–there’s a strike and it’s one-and-two–for just a .111 average, but he’s four for his last eleven with runners on second specifically OH MY that’s WAY BACK and it’s GONE! HOMERUN NUMBER THREE FOR BILLY McFEE!!!” 2) See also Brownie.

Jimmy D: 1) ex-Astros P, genius current broadcaster, and well-known comedian Jim Deshaies.

Jonestown: 1) the section of Minute Maid Park invariably filled with pre-pubescent female Atlanta Braves disciples screaming for Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones and only old enough to drink Kool-Aid. 2) See also Chop-Tart.

Jugador of the Five Herramientos, The: 1)ex-Astros and current NY Mets CF Carlos Beltran, and his status as a 5-tool player. 2) See also Central Gardner.

Junction Jack: 1) latest ridiculous and suspected pedophile mascot of the Houston Astros.

Juneberno: 1) Term made popular by ex-Astros, Cardinals, A’s pitcher and nut-job Joaquin Andujar when asked to explain his newfound success as a pitcher in the major leagues after a woeful couple of seasons of mediocrity. “There is one word in America that says it all, and that one word is, ‘juneberno.’” 2) Experienced a resurgence during the Jose Lima era in Houston.

Junk: 1) forkball, screwball, knuckleball. 2) anything thrown by ex-Astros reliever Mike Magnante.

Junkballer: 1) pitcher who makes his living by throwing junk.

Killer B’s: 1) tired Astros nickname overused by the national sports media. Originally refered to Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Derek Bell for being dangerous hitters and having last names beginning with a “B”. List was later expanded to include anyone with a “B” anywhere near their name, including Sean Berry, Tim Bogar, Bill Spiers, Brad Ausmus, Billy Wagner, Paul Bako, Lance Berkman, Geoff Blum, and Carlos Beltran. Was given a very unnecessary resurgence during the 2004 playoff run, culminating in grown men and women dressed as large honey bees and yellow jackets. See also Killer Breeze.

Killer Breeze 1)Sarcastic response to the remarkable ineptitude of the Astros offense in the 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2001 playoffs. 2)Being downwind of Tony Eusebio during a spring training workout.

Knots Landing: 1) a Braves-like decade-long run of successful seasons most notable for its failure to win it all with any regularity, a step below Dynasty — loosely associated with TBS stalwart Don Knotts, who accounts for a full third of their programming with Three’s Company, The Andy Griffith Show, and regular stints on The Scooby Doo Mysteries. 2) any clubhouse run by Bobby Valentine.

 La Mala: 1) ex-Astros and current Rangers OF Richard Hidalgo – “The Bad One”. Yes, we know it is the feminine term and that it should be “El Malo” – it’s a long story – ask for No?’s explanation.

Labia Tear: 1) Biologically impossible medical condition that current Astros 2b Craig Biggio believes he played through in 1999 and 2000.
Lackey: 1) Apparently, Zone-dwellers. 2) term regularly used to describe the media when inaccuracy or a hidden agenda is suspected. 3) anyone openly supportive of the Astros front office. 2) See also Ankle-grabber.

Lackey Chron: 1) Houston Chronicle, for alleged lackeyism.
Laredo: 1) extreme sidearm pitch by a righthander. 2) See also Port Arthur.

Launching Pad: 1) hitters’ park known for frequent, long home runs. 2) Coors Field. 3) late Atlanta/Fulton County Stadium.

Lefty’s Pub: 1) bar area in the left-field corner of Astrodome during final years, just behind the LF fence. Once a favorite hangout of many Zone-dwellers.

Legend: 1) One of eight Zone-dwellers (Prince of Heck-1997, Michael N.-1997, Andyzipp-1998, Ray K-1999, pravata-2001, Limey-2002, No?-2002, Hetero Doxy-2002) who have achieved fame via consistent delivery of incredibly strong takes or ungodly number of postings.

Little Joe: 1) ex-Astros, Reds, Giants, Phillies, and Oakland Hall-Of-Fame 2B Joe Morgan.

LOL: 1) acronym used by lazy Zone-dwellers – “laughing out loud”.

Lumber: 1) hitting game, especially with regard to power. 2) dangerous batters known for going yard. 3) baseball bat.

Maybelline: 1) current Astros OF Lance Berkman, for appearing to be wearing eyeliner at all times. See also Fat Elvis, Twinkie

Mexican Mullet, The: 1) ex-Astros and current Rockies 3B Vinny Castilla, for gleaming, streamlined and outdated mane that somehow reminds us of IROC Camaros, Budweiser and REO Speedwagon.

Minute Maid Park: 1)The home ball park of the Houston Astros, formerly known as Astros Field and Enron Field. 2) See also MMPUS, EFUS

Missing Link: 1) descriptive term given to players who bear a frightening resemblance to fossil man, or whose excessive stupidity is well-documented. 2) ex-Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, Padres and Dodgers C/IF Jim Leyritz. 3) ex-Astros, Phillies, Giants, Expos, Indians, Brewers, Angels, Yankees P Jeff Juden. 4) ex-Braves, Indians, Rangers, Devil Rays P John Rocker.

MMPUS: 1) acronym for Minute Maid Park at Union Station. 2) Replacement for the former nicknames AFUS, EFUS and BUS. 3) See also EFUS, Minute Maid Park.

Mr. Peabody: 1) Former pitcher and current ESPN broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe for constant insistence that baseball can only improve by stepping into his wayback machine and raising the mound to 1968 levels.

Murph, The: 1) San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. Reference is to stadium’s previous name of Jack Murphy Stadium, the memorial significance of which was erased in a classless move by greedy ownership as soon as a corporate sponsor entered the picture.

 Nails: 1) term used to describe a player’s toughness (i.e. “tough as nails”) and willingness to risk injury if it means scoring a run, getting to a ball, etc. (ex. “Ken Caminiti – that dude was nails.”)

Neck: as best we can tell, 1) any white male living in Houston, TX. 2) any white male who has ever voted Republican. 3) any white male who has ever thought of making money. 4) any white male period.

Necktown: 1) Houston, TX. Apparently due to ‘Neck activity and massive evil conspiracy by politicians and professional sports team owners to thwart minorities and liberals at every turn.

Nitro: 1) ex-Astros P Doug Henry, whose presence on the mound in early 1999 was usually a sign that the opposing team was about to have an offensive explosion.
NM: 1) (also “NT”): acronym – “no message”. Usually appears in subject line when no text is used in the body of the message. Irritating to some Zone-dwellers.

No-No: 1) no-hitter.

NTTAWWT: 1) Seinfeld-inspired acronym (“Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That”) that occasionally appears in TZ discussions, usually after some sort of wack personal experience or deviant behavior has been mentioned.

OBP: 1) on-base percentage. Calculated like this: hits + walks + hit by pitch divided by at-bats + hit by pitch + sacrifice flies.

Oh B.S.: 1) 2) See also OPS.

Old Man, The: 1) ex-Astros Hall-of-Fame P Nolan Ryan. 2) See also Express, The.

OPS: 1) on-base percentage + slugging percentage. Arguably the most important statistic in comparing the offensive production of players. 2) See also Oh B.S.

Orange Whoopass: 1) mythical source of power and karma derived from sacred, never-say-die 1980 and 1986 Astros teams. Generally evoked when the Astros rip another team, pitcher, etc. or when a Zone-dweller is stressing the need to do so. (ex. “It’s time to open up a can of orange whoopass on the &%#$ Braves.”) 2) current home of the TalkZone and archive of Kev & Scott’s materials.

Orbit: 1) ex-official mascot of the Astros. Big-headed green lunatic that rode a bicycle in the outfield between innings, started waves, and terrorized young fans. In 1995, joined the Expos’ Youppi as one of the few professional sports mascots in recent memory to be thrown out of a game. Was often brought up in the TZ during trade discussions.

Orbit Simmons: 1) nickname sometimes used in reference to the abrupt disappearance of Orbit’s huge gut between the 1993 and 1994 seasons.

Outlaw, The: 1) ex-Astros and current Indians P Scott Elarton, after Astros broadcaster Jimmy D pointed out in early 1999 that Elarton’s new beard caused him to resemble Clint Eastwood in “The Outlaw Josey Wales”.

Pig-Pen: 1) Astros’ IF/OF Craig Biggio, for resemblance to dirty “Peanuts” character, because of disheveled, filthy uniform after only one inning of play, especially the now-famous pine-tar spattered helmet that he refuses to replace or have cleaned.

Piss-Ant: 1) current Tigers 2B Fernando Vina, for his diminutive size and the Astros’ irritating inability to keep him contained offensively. Related references: Piss Ant II (ex-Braves 2B Quilvio Veras) and Piss Ant III (ex-Giants CF Marvin Benard).

Plumber, The: 1) current Yankees headcase P Kevin Brown, for beating the living hell out of a clubhouse toilet during 1999 Spring Training after he got his ass scalded when an unknown teammate flushed the thing while he was in the shower. 2) See also Witch, The.

PoH: 1) common abbreviation for Prince of Heck, TZ legend and noted demonic presence.

Ponche: 1) Spanish slang for strikeout. Popularized during Univision broadcasts of Astros/Red Sox exhibitions in the Dominican Republic during spring of 2000 as well in most meetings of AA.

PooHoles: 1) current Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols for no reason other than we still laugh at fart jokes.

Popes: 1) derogatory term coined by Zone-dweller Hetero Doxy to describe the TZ Legends or regulars who have a strong opinion on anything. (ex. “I am sure the popes in here have plenty of excuses for trading Bobby Abreu.”)

Pornstache: 1) ex-Astros and current Dodgers 2b Jeff Kent, to describe his suave use of facial hair that is popular in only in movies about the 70′s, porn from the 80′s and current day Canada. See also Bluebonnet

Port Arthur: 1) an extreme sidearm pitch, usually by a RHP. From the hitter’s perspective the pitcher’s hand looks like it is sweeping by way of 3B and that the ball is being released behind him. 2) See also Laredo.

Praise Baio: 1) Also “For the Love of Baio”. 2)Mystical powers called upon by TZers who believed that the BBGs were enamored with the miraculous staying power of the young actor. Including his denial that he was dead. Much like the Astros refusal to give in that they were dead in playoff asperations in 2004 after a horrible mid-season team slump.

Professor, The: 1) ex-Astros pitching coach Vern Ruhle, for his brilliant understanding of pitching mechanics. See also Golden Ruhle. 2) current Cubs P Greg Maddux, for idiotic glasses that he insisted on wearing before having corrective surgery in 1999.

Profundities: 1) TZ code for, well, large boobies. 2) See also Yvette.

Puddy: 1) ex-Padres, Cardinals, Diamondbacks pitcher Andy Benes, for resemblance to Elaine’s dimwit boyfriend David Puddy on Seinfeld.

Punked: 1) defeated, beaten convincingly. (ex. “The Astros punked the Cubs in their own crib.”)

Puppies of Chicago, The: 1) Chicago Cubs, as described by Babel Fish translation software. Formally known as The Club Of Baseball Of the Puppies De Chicago.

Racket, The: 1) current Astros P Roger Clemens, after having made the phenomenal demand to be paid $27 million for a single season in a renegotiated contract with Houston, drawing the ire of Gerry The Hun and anyone else with sense. 2) See also Rocket, The, Team Bastard.

Rainbow Gut: 1) descriptive term in reference to oft-ridiculed home uniform of Astros teams from late 70s to mid-80s, the broad horizontal striping of which perfectly defined the top of the Astros hitters’ strike zone for the opposing pitcher. Retired at the conclusion of the 1986 playoffs, an act vehemently opposed by Kevin, Scott and ex-Astros reliever Charlie Kerfeld.

Rake: 1) ability to hit very well, usually for power. (ex. “Moises Alou… that dude can &@!%ing rake!”)

Rake, The: 1) ex-Astro and current Devil Rays IF Julio Lugo, for hitting ability that is usually pointed out in response to knocks on his defense.

Record, The: 1) Scott’s hallowed record of 321 meatball sandwiches consumed during the 1998 regular season which surpassed the old record of 299 believed set by Babe Ruth in 1933.

Red Messiah, The: 1) Reds OF Ken Griffey, Jr., due to ridiculous wave of national media hype upon trade to Cincinnati that placed dude and the entire Reds gravy-train on the loftiest of pedestals. Also speaks to the immediate, unreasonable and wild expectations of Reds fans and media lackeys for the Cincinnati ballclub in 2000 by virtue of His mere presence.

Red Rooster, The: 1) ex-Astros 3B/1B Doug Rader.

Retread: 1) previously injured or retired player who has been picked up off the shelf and given new life by some myopic ballclub. 2) typically any veteran pitcher signed in the spring to bolster the Astros bullpen (ex. Sid Fernandez, Hippolito Pichardo, Dave Burba)

Rocket, The:current Astros P Roger Clemens after being forgiven for the Racket episode; Subsequently the second Astros pitcher to win the Cy Young award. 2) See also Racket, The, Team Bastard.

ROFL: 1) acronym used by lazy Zone-dwellers – “rolling on floor laughing”. Also ROFLMAO: “rolling on floor laughing my ass off”.

Ronald: 1) ex-A’s, Cardinals 1B Mark McGwire, for resemblance to Ronald McDonald.

Rukkakes:  1) The Colorado Rockies, who spent the entire 2006 season on their knees while the rest of the NL took turns to clusterspooge their faces.

Ryneberg: 1) overrated, ex-Cubs 2B Ryne Sandberg. Nickname inspired by classic mispronunciation of his name by late WGN broadcaster Harry Caray.

Sammy the Clown: 1) current Cubs OF Sammy Sosa, for the ridiculous rabbit-on-meth hopping he does whenever he makes contact with a baseball. 2) See also Corky.

Scooby-Doo: 1) ex-Braves, Indians, Rangers, Devil Rays RP John Rocker, for slack-jawed, googly-eyed resemblance to mystery-solving cartoon hound. 2) See also Gortex, Trained Gorilla, The .

Scoreboard, The: 1) term of distinction assigned to the old Astrodome scoreboard, as all others will forever pale in comparison. 2) See also Chester Charge, Great Wall of Houston, The, Home Run Spectacular, The.

Scotty’s No-Hitter: 1) dominant no-hitter thrown by ex-Astros P Mike Scott against San Francisco on September 25, 1986 in the Dome that clinched the NL West title. Only time in MLB history that a no-hitter was thrown to clinch a championship.

Scrap Iron: 1) ex-Astro 3B/coach and current manager Phil Garner, who was probably the biggest gamer and one of the toughest SOBs we have ever seen.

Scrubs: 1) sandlot term for ballplayers who suck. 2) reserve players on teams other than the Astros. 3) Chicago Cubs.

Sea Hag, The: 1) ex-Astros and current Yankees P Randy Johnson, for resemblance to evil villain of Popeye the Sailor Man.

Se?or Smoke: 1) late ex-Astros reliever Aurelio Lopez.

Shed, The: 1) overpriced and understocked gift shop in Union Station appendage of MMPUS. Known as a death knell, often marking the end of a players’ career in Houston within days of said player being scheduled for a promotional autograph signing event there.

Shiner: 1) Shiner Bock, a favorite beer of most Texas-based Zone-dwellers, and the subject of some of the longest discussion threads in TZ history.

Skyline Chili: 1)inedible garbage passed off on the dolts in Ohio as chili. 2) several sacrifices made by Zone Dwellers in the pursuit of the 2004 NL Pennant, sometimes substituted with James Coney Island’s locally available Chili Pasta, which is equally as hideous.

Slacker Jones: 1) Braves 3B/OF Chipper Jones, for uninspired “ole” waves at hard-hit grounders and general lackadaisical play in the field, particularly in 1997 playoffs against the Marlins.

Slappy: 1) line-drive hitter with little or no power. 2) Term used to describe such a team (ex. “The Mariners done gone slappy.”) 3) current Yankees IF Alex Rodriguez for his female-like attempt to slap away a ball on a tag play in the 2004 ALCS.

SLG: 1) slugging percentage.

Smack: 1) boastful, incendiary sports-related commentary meant to illustrate the dominance of one’s team or opinion, while simultaneously trashing the team or opinion of another. 2) anything appearing in the TalkZone.

Smoke: 1) fastball. 2) See also Cheese, Gas, High Cheese.

Snivelers: 1) truncation of Sniveling, Uptight Women.

Sniveling, Uptight Women: 1) ex-Braves and current Cubs P Greg Maddux and ex-Braves and current Mets P Tom Glavine, for pathetic whining over strike calls and field conditions during June 1999 series in the Astrodome, necessitating the need for the late ASTROSCONNECTION.COM to send a large box of pacifiers and rattles to the Braves dugout before the following night’s game. Unfortunately, co-conspirer Paul G apparently drank too much beer and could not find his way to the field.

Soupbone: 1) Large, heavy, calcium-encrusted object dropped on the heads of the unworthy.

Spack McGrimm: 1)former BFT columnist and current alter-ego of the mysterious entity known as the Talkzone Overlord, particurally when the TZOL wants to act like a confused, addled old man. 2) See also TZOL, Talkzone Overlord.

Spare: 1) reserve/bench player, usually bad. 2) See also Scrubs.

Speed Bag, The: 1) ex-White Sox, Mets, Yankees and Dodgers IF Robin Ventura, whose head resembled a speed bag after he came up on The Old Man in 1993 and got punched repeatedly in his grill.

SpongeTim SquareHead: (aka Sponge, SpongeTim) 1) current Astros P Tim Redding and the desperate hopes that he was going to learn about being a major league pitcher from the additions of Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite, most likely through osmosis. 2) See also Timmah.

Squatter: 1) Astros television broadcaster Bill Worrell, whose apparent claim to the job ahead of outstanding potential Hall of Famer Jim Deshaies is that he was there first. 2) See also That Pitch Right There.

SquibblerZone: 1) the area between home plate and third base which is cursed by the ghost of Larry Squibbler’s dead marmot. For further enlightenment, see the 02-03 Waldo Awards which has the original, booze-addled post from Alkie.

Stick: 1) baseball bat. 2) San Francisco’s 3Com Park, formerly known as Candlestick Park (also 3Com Stick).

Strangers: 1) Texas Rangers, for long history of confusing front-office moves, and the fact that they are even less interesting to the national media than the Astros.

T2: 1) ex-Astro and current Atlanta Braves P Mike Hampton. 2) See also Traitor II.

Taboo: 1) (also Tabu): ex-Astros P Chris Holt, for horrific luck that enabled him to lose any game at any time, regardless of the circumstances. Name inspired by mysterious idol that continuously thwarted Greg Brady in the “Hawaiian vacation” episodes of The Brady Bunch.

Take: 1) opinion, belief. 2) specific entry in the TalkZone.

TalkZone Overlord: 1) mysterious entity that routinely sweeps the board of undesirables or idiots that add nothing to the conversation. Operates discreetly and is seldom seen. 2) See also Spack McGrimm, TZOL.

Tank :( also Tank-Job) 1) act of losing or looking extremely bad on the field, usually after a stretch of respectable performances. 2) a specific game in which a team tanked (ex. “The game 3 tank against the Padres was absolutely horrible.”).

Tank Commander: 1) current Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa for his annoying tendency to make a move for the sake of making a move, frequently resulting his getting blasted.

TBS: 1) Atlanta Braves. 2) insipid Atlanta-based network that created the ATL bandwagon and features broadcasters who specialize in extremely biased, yet monotone ass-kissing of Braves players and coaches while directing a constant delivery of condescending, ignorant, bitter comments at opposing teams.

Team Bastard: 1) refers to Roger Clemens’ Houston-based agent duo of Alan and Randy Hendricks, for well-documented attempts at highway robbery and gutless shots aimed at Gerry The Hun during salary negotiations in the 1998-99 offseason. 2) See also Racket, The, Rocket, The.

That Pitch Right There: 1) favorite phrase of Astros broadcast personality Bill Worrell, which accounts for a shockingly large percentage of his color analysis. (ex. “See that pitch? That pitch right there?”) 2) See also Squatter.

Timmah: 1) current Astros P Tim Redding, whose facial contortions after anything at all goes wrong while he’s pitching remind Zone Dwellers of the mentally handicapped character on South Park of the same name. 2( See also SpongeTim SquareHead.

Toy Cannon, The: 1) ex-Astros OF Jimmy Wynn.

Trained Gorilla, The: 1) Atlanta reliever John Rocker, for resembling a large primate, especially when performing post-strikeout celebratory “Hans & Franz” full-body conniption and gutteral scream. 2) See also Gortex, Scooby-Doo.

Traitor II: (also T2):1) ex-Astro and current Braves P Mike Hampton, for refusing to talk contract extension with Houston in 1999 offseason, yet eagerly seeking a long-term deal after subsequent trade to NY. After evoking memories of The Traitor with a prompt cashing out after a big year, T2 went on to disrespect Astros organization through the media.

Traitor, The: 1) late ex-Astros, Rockies, Cardinals P Darryl Kile, for turning his back on both his career as a great pitcher and the organization that made him by cashing in on a great 1997 season directly attributable to The Wrangler/Golden Ruhle for an extra 4 million over 3 years offered by Colorado.

Trash: 1) See Junk.

Truffles: 1) ex-Cub and Diamondback 1B Mark Grace, for his propensity to sweep the infield dirt with his glove on a tag attempt as the runner returns to first on a throw over, either to create a screen and confuse the umpire or to expose fungal pig treats.

Truth, The: 1) ex-Astros and current Chicago White Sox OF/DH Carl Everett, for refreshing tendency to speak his mind and pull no punches. Also for reputation as a “bad MFer” – boxing reference is to Carl “The Truth” Williams. 2) See also C4, Demolition Man, The.

Twinkie: 1) Astros OF Lance Berkman who, during a game in Wrigley Field responded to taunts about his less than chisled physique by eating a Twinkie that was thrown at him from the stands. 2) See also Fat Elvis, Maybelline.

TZ: 1) common abbreviation for TalkZone.

TZOL: 1) common abbreviation for TalkZone Overlord.

Uncle Charlie: 1) wicked, usually overhand, curveball that breaks inside and effectively freezes the hitter (ex. “Whoa! Uncle Charlie just paid a house call!”)

Uncle Groin-pull: 1) obscure relative of Father Time; Has been known to spend a lot of time with older players.

Uni: 1) baseball uniform.

Upper Tank: 1) upper deck.

Wallet, The: 1) current Astros owner Drayton McLane, because of Zone-dwellers’ constant infatuation with how he’s going to spend his vast array of cash. 2) See also Grocer, The.

WaMi: 1) desperate attempt at a nickname for ex-Astros and current Red Sox P Wade Miller. 2) See also Whitey.

WFW: 1) acronym for ‘Wah Fucking Wah’, typically seen when instances of whining, bitching and moaning are running rampant in the TZ, or if Jim R. is feeling pissy.

Whiner, The: 1) current Cardinals OF Larry Walker, for continuously making with the excuses, particularly about the difficulty he had hitting the ball in the Astrodome.

Whitey: 1) faceless group of people trying to keep a brother down. 2) ex-Astros and current Red Sox P Wade Miller, for his purported resemblence to Yankees great Whitey Ford. 3) See also WaMi.

Witch, The: 1) Los Angeles headcase P Kevin Brown, for notoriously wicked pitches and for being one of the scariest SOBs we have ever seen. 2) See also Plumber, The.

Worrell Button, The: 1) the button that made watching televised Astros broadcasts on HSE, Prime Sports, and FoxSW bearable for most of the last 20 years, often labeled “MUTE” on remote controls.

Wrangler, The: 1) ex-Astros pitcher, manager and current sometimes broadcaster Larry Dierker.

X-Man: 1) ex-Astros reliever Xavier Hernandez. Also referred to as X-Can for hideous spring training performances when briefly reacquired by the club in 1999.

Yacht Captain, The: 1) current Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, for continuous wearing of white turtlenecks, blue blazers and other pompous gear which is symbolic of the ridiculous financial resources that the Evil Empire has at their disposal, further galvanizing in the minds of many Zone-dwellers the differences between the “haves” and “have-nots” in Major League Baseball.

Yack: 1) home run.

Yacker: 1) big curve ball.

Yackwagon: 1) the collective brood of idiot non-fans that have suddenly noticed baseball again due to the McGwire/Sosa madness and home run hype of 1998. Fueled by tendency of the national sports media to highlight yacks almost exclusively in any and all accounts of MLB games. 2) ESPN, for their unparalleled overhype of the yack.

Yvette: 1) current Astros Promotions and Advertising Sales Manager Yvette Casares-Willis, semi-famous for her on-air handling of the Squatter and Brownie. 2) See also Profundities.

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