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Friday, June 09, 2006

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That...

Having drawn the proverbial black bean, and being forced to leave my office at noon and sit four rows behind the visitor's dugout, I thought I'd toss along a couple thoughts that might not be readily apparent from the news reports and box score from Chris Sampson's sterling performance in yesterday's 1-0 dismantling of the Cubbies.

As has been my unfortunate custom all year, I arrived at the game just in time to see the bottom of the first inning. As I settled into my seat, I saw that Chris Burke was getting ready to bat. I was horrified, however, to look up at the Jumbotron and see that it was displaying a picture of Burke's face wearing a freaking sailor suit and cap! The very first thought that crossed my mind--unfortunately--was... "Ahoy, Faggot!"

Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you... I guess it's just that the "sailor" look isn't the most menacing one, when looking to intimidate the other team. Would the Cubs even look at the Jumbotron? Well, probably not, although it only takes one of them to see "Captain" Burke up there (or the variety of other nautical Astros, some in Hawaiian shirts, some wearing ridiculous aviation sunglasses and straw hats) before the entire team is laughing at us. Is that really what we want? We've played laughably bad baseball over the past month; we don't need to find more reasons to entertain the opposing teams.

I'd attempt to Photoshop something to give you an idea of how stupid-looking it was, but my Photoshop skills... well, they're just not here right now.

Clearly, the reason Chris Sampson pitched as well as he did was because they didn't have a current photo that they could butcher in time to have it up on the Jumbotron. The rest of the team, howeve, were so mortally embarrassed and humiliated that they could muster only one run (and not a ton of hits, either) against Corky look-alike Sean Marshall:


The local boys' sole run came from a bizzomb off the bat of Brad Ausmus, his first of the season. Jason Lanedoza almost followed suit a few innings later, but his was called back after the umpires convened to declare it a foul ball. (Having not seen where it landed, I just can't offer any opinion as to whether it was fair or foul.)

The complete dearth of offense on both teams' part gave me plenty of opportunities to listen to the teenage guy (~17ish) who was sitting right behind me who, I would come to learn, was at his very first baseball game ever. He celebrated the occasion by disagreeing with every umpires' call that went against the Astros, pointing out the very, very obvious (e.g., After Special K chose to dive away from a pitch headed for his kneecap; Captain Obvious declared: "Woah! That was a close pitch!"), and so forth. Every strike was applauded as "Woah, good pitch!", every putout as "Woah, good catch!", etc. Woah.

You laugh, because it was against one of the worst teams in baseball, but the Astros Renaissance has begun, sluts.


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