What is becoming my annual pilgrimage to Florida for Spring Training is also yielding what is becoming my annual Limey Time. Following on from last year’s recap, here now is the 2011 trip report.
Archive for the ‘Limey Time’ Category
In two days, I shall depart for Florida to join roving SnSer Chuck for some springtime fun (NTTAWWT). I have never managed to get to Spring Training before, but everyone tells me it’s a blast and so I’m really looking forward to going.
The mundane detail of the trip is that we’re attending two road games: the Gnats in Space City and the Blue Jays in Tampa, where our duo will become a threesome with Ty. Eh? Oh. Anyway, that’s Thursday and Friday. To be followed by 2 games at the OCS: a split-squad game with Washington being the visitors (while the rooks ride the bus to Jakeback Mountain) and then the Hated ATL come in to finish me off. Whatever. Read the rest of this entry »
And, no, I’m not talking about Geoff Blum…yet.
We’ve endured years of this shit. Most of the oughts, in fact, have been plagued with an offense so anemic that it makes Powder look like George Hamilton. I understand that there was a need to make over the pitching staff after The Debacle of 2000, and I applaud the club’s efforts in that vein. Pitching and defense wins championships, they say, and the Astros made their only World Series appearance behind some tremendous pitching.
Pitching…Pitching…isn’t there another part to that? Oh yeah, defense. WTF? The Astros have staffed themselves with an infield, outfield and bench that can either hit a ball, or catch a ball, but not both. So when you put a “hands team” out there you lose a squeaker and when you put the “stick team” out there you lose a laugher. By “laugher”, I mean a Shakespearean tragedy where the Fates are all PMSing simultaneously and the poor sod on the mound hesitated when they asked him if they looked fat.
Currently, and obviously, Biggio is the everyday starter at 2B and will be until he gets #3,000. This is a fact of life, as is his statuesque defense and noodle arm. But consider the options: Burke is a solid glove man (at this position) but is currently lighting up AAA pitching to the tune of .170, and he is in no way, shape or form a leadoff hitter (he may also have an small desert in his vagina). Loretta can hit and defend, and maybe even lead off, but then who bridges the enormous gap between hitting and fielding exhibited by the other candidates for 3B? Read the rest of this entry »
It’s French…bitch! Actually, bouncebackability is acceptable English, despite being concocted by Crystal Palace FC manager Iain Dowie to describe the facet that his team would need to display in order to survive in the English Premier League. His theory was that they’re going to get thumped on a regular basis, but will need to bounce back over and over again.
Ultimately, Iain Dowie’s side were unsuccessful, being dumped out of the Premiership because they were unable to hold the lead for the last 10 minutes of the last game, which happened to be against a heated rival. Sound familiar? My lifelong support of “the Palace” has lead me to experience numerous cockpunches of this nature, so perhaps you can understand my inability to shrug off the ball-stomping by Pooholes as quickly as some of you. You only follow the Astros; I follow two of them.
But no longer are the Astros hapless wannabees. They are the Killer Bees, and they are National League Champions. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be comatose having snorted heroin thinking it’s coke and then having a three inch needle stabbed through your chest plate so that 50cc’s of adrenaline can be injected directly into your heart, I think you may now have an inkling. Of course, Uma got to go home and recuperate rather than drag her arse up and play Game 4B of the 2005 NLDS. The Braves, meanwhile, played the role of Vincent Vega and got blasted to kingdom-come with their own gun after taking a huge shit.
The current incarnation of the Houston Astros is systematically and comprehensively exorcising the club’s demons. The 2004 Wild Card chase and NLDS win showed the club not to be perennial chokers. Biggio and Bagwell hit in that post season (amazing what happens when you get to face someone not called Smoltz, Glavine or Maddux). They played the 3rds to a standstill, but ultimately fell just a little short of the World Series. Re-made on the fly for 2005, they repeated and perhaps exceeded the dramatic Wild Card chase of the year before. Now they have repeated as NLDS winners, doing it in 1 game less (sort of), but more importantly from a historical perspective, doing it by erasing the extra-inning loss of 1986. That game is no longer the longest post-season game ever and arguably no longer the greatest game ever played. Those monikers now belong to Game #4 of the 2005 NLDS and the story ends with an un-fucking-believable win for the Astros.
But enough of looking back. We are in uncharted territory here people. The 2005 Astros have the best starting rotation in the playoffs, and perhaps the best bully (I am too unfamiliar with the AL clubs to make that claim unreservedly). Assuming that MLB doesn’t fuck us over by flipping the schedule, the Astros are poised to put their best feet forward in the NLCS, and the 3rds will have to be at their peak to deal with it. There is no doubt that they will give their all and then some, but what do they have to give? Read the rest of this entry »