Thursday, October 27, 2005

#9 Black day in Houston -- the White Sox win.

Sorry about the delay in posting. With the Series on, I haven't made much time for anything else.
Now, we all know the White Sox swept the Astros in four games. But that doesn't mean they were dominant. They just had most of the breaks go their way; all the games were close; the Astros didn't lose by more than two runs in any game. The Sox just got the hits when they needed them, the defensive plays when they needed them, and the right pitching when they needed it. The ONLY thing I would have done differently for Game 4 was switch Lance Berkman and Morgan Ensberg in the order: Lance to 4th, Mo to 3rd, so that the Sox couldn't pitch around Lance like they did tonight to get to Mo. Now, I like Morgan. I even had him on my fantasy team, but he went STONE COLD after the NLDS. Save for the home run in Game 2, he's been a dud, and I think Garner missed the boat on that one.
Now for some more ranting:

--Why does Willy Taveras turn into Roy Hobbs when the bases are empty? With men on, he can't lay down a decent bunt (popping up his last two bunts), but he goes nuts with the bat when RBI's aren't on base.
--Couldn't we start Ensberg with a 0-2 count so we wouldn't be subjected to him looking at taters and taking ridiculous-looking swings at bad pitches?
--Until further notice, Lance Berkman doesn't need to be in left field. Put him at first and leave Bagwell on the bench for next year. Lance's knee is too tender to be patrolling more than 2 sq. ft. of land.
--What was up with that fan (with the blue and brown suede jacket) on Burke's pop foul that Uribe caught in the stands? Couldn't he have pulled a Bartman and gotten in Uribe's way? Instead he wusses out and pulls back like a wimp. I almost threw my beer at the TV. Home field advantage, my butt. Heck, even the fans around him parted like the Red Sea for Uribe. It's like they WANTED him to catch the ball, and wanted to just be polite and help him out a bit with some good ol' Texas hospitality. Even our fans couldn't make a play.
--Reverse scenario on Tuesday night: a fan got in the way of Konerko. He looked like a foreman on the Ship Channel, with a glove, and just wouldn't budge out of Konerko's way. Way to go, fat guy!
--Can we please, Phil Garner, STOP swinging at first pitches that are crap? I think we got in more 0-2 holes by swinging at bad pitches in this postseason than I did in Little League. That forces the batters to be defensive and protecting the plate, rather than getting good looks at good pitches and getting good wood on them. Come on! My high school team did better than these guys did!
--Brad Ausmus is the unsung hero of Game 4. Did you notice how many time Backe shook off a call? How about the number of times Ausmus flashed a sign just once and got set, not even waiting for Backe to shrug it off? I'd say about 90% of the pitches were Ausmus' calls, not Backe's. He did a hell of a job nursing Brandon through a tough lineup in tough situations, and he deserves to get credit for Brandon's SUPERB performance.
--Speaking of Backe, how about him!? Last year, he throws a no-hitter through 8 innings in the NLCS against the Cardinals, and this year, he shuts out the Sox through 7. Unbelievable performance for a kid that is exactly the same age as me. Totally nails.
--McLane should've pretended to obey the League about the roof, then closed it 90 seconds before first pitch and paid the fine. Hell, I would've even DONATED to a fund to him pay it. The fact that the league didn't have a problem with the roof throughout the NLDS and the NLCS and decide to come in here like Jean Lafitte with his bad hairpiece and tell the Astros to take away their home field advantage is absolute crap. I don't think the noise is what I mean. I wanted the roof closed because I'm superstitious, and the Astros have NEVER won a postseason game in open air in Houston.
--If you didn't stay up until 1:21 am on Tuesday night, you're not a die-hard. I stayed up and paid for it, but I won't ever regret that I watched every pitch of every game in the first World Series in Astros (or Texas) history.
--I like Garner. I even think he should've won Manager of the Year. I like his emotion, his gut, his fire, his smarts. I don't like his stubbornness, though. I can't say this enough, and I was saying it Monday: FLIP BERKMAN AND ENSBERG. If you don't, Berkman will NOT get any opportunities because Ensberg was pulling up lame.
--Class act by the fans that stayed after the Sox celebrated on our field and waited for the Astros to emerge from the dugout. Way to go, Stros, for coming out and being acknowledged by your true fans.
--Last but not least: Congratulations to Chicago for winning. You deserved it. As a Red Sox fan second and Astros fan first, I never believed in the Curse on the Red Sox. I did, however, believe that you (ChiSox) were cursed. I mean, you deserved to be cursed! Who else would have pissed off the baseball gods more than the Black Sox? Almost everything else in your history has been cruel fate, even the Veeck years (Go Go Sox? Come on!). So, my hat goes off to you. I still hate you, though. At least it wasn't the Cubs. I hate them more.

I feel better now.

Thank you Astros for giving me the best baseball year I could have imagined. I thought it was last year, and until last week, I thought last year still was. I'm glad I was wrong. I stuck with you from the beginning, sometimes not happy about it, and went through the highs and lows with you. When you started 15-30, I still went to Minute Maid Park on my birthday. I still scrimped and saved for tickets when I should have been paying my electricity bill. I cheered when you were behind in games, because I knew you were going to break out someday. I cheered for Andy Pettitte early on, because I knew he would get better. I cursed Ensberg in May, even accused him of juicing in 2003 because of his slump, but ate crow when he got hot. I made up for it by voting online for Roy for the All-Star Game over 100 times. I cheered when Mo got the call to go to Detroit. I showed up on Opening Day, my birthday, July 4th, and any other chance I got, because well, I love baseball. But I also love the Astros. Nothing will ever change that, unless we sign Jeter, A-Rod, Barry Bonds and Rafael Furcal. Good luck this offseason, and let's do what we need to get better. I want to win.

OK, from now on this space will be for other sports (Spurs, Texans, Cowboys, etc.) and even other stuff, like it says on the title. If you like what you see, or have seen, let me know. I'm dying for some feedback. Until next time, peace out.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Preparations for Game 1 have begun. I'm going shopping today for steaks and snacks, getting ready for both the UT/TTech game and the first game of the World Series. Already my picks for this weekend's college games are bust. Northwestern is walloping Michigan St. in the 4th, and Missouri and Nebraska are tied (I picked Mizzou). I hope UT wins. They need it. There's still a stigma around that OU win, and with (the) Ohio State not as dominant as expected, they need a convincing win over another good team. However, Tech just hasn't played anyone worth mentioning.

As for the UIL contest on Thursday, Kempner got straight 1's! They were so proud of themselves, and they deserved to be. I was so happy for them, for doing as well as they were capable of. When I was in the stands listening to the show, I almost got teary-eyed. I was so proud of them, especially my percussion kids. They NAILED it! That was the best performance they've ever done, whether run-through, rehearsal, sectional, whatever. Absolutely the best. Unbelievable.

While you're heare, check out this link for Apollo XVIII, a Houston band that is full of rabid Astros fans. They've got a couple of songs out about the Astros, but check out "The Good Guys". Catchy, and very annoying if it gets stuck in your head. I've been humming it all week.

Update will come later. Peace.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


ASTROS WIN! THE ASTROS WIN THE PENNANT! Congratulations to Roy Oswalt, who pitched a 7-inning gem, for winning the NLCS MVP.

I wrote this great entry, but somehow it didn't make it in, so I'll just be brief-ish.

I wore my lucky black Astros polo shirt, cooked spaghetti (my lucky meal) and drank Ziegenbock beer. All winners. Plus, I shaved yesterday, so that helped, too. Can you imagine if I were actually playing? I'd be a mess of superstitions.

I'm so excited right now. I was watching 3 tv's of coverage, and thought FSN was best. But local Fox 26 had Kevin Bass on, and the other locals were at bars and downtown streets talking to people. It was almost as funny as 1999 in San Antonio when the Spurs won their first championship. Now, I don't have as much joy as when the Spurs made it into all three of their championship series, but this is a close fourth. I can't believe I'm saying that. I take that back. This is a second only to the 2003 Championship by the Spurs, only because David Robinson was retiring after that season. But this may be Bagwell's and Clemens' last seasons, so I'm happy for them, as well. But Houston, congratulations. I'm proud of them.

Now I have to try to settle down and get to sleep. We have UIL Marching Contest tomorrow, and I bet the kids will be tired after tonight. But they've worked hard the past 2 days, and I think we'll do okay. At least this will undoubtedly be the best performance by Kempner HS in many years, but I want them get a I. Hopefully they'll execute like we know they are capable of, and they'll be rewarded. We go on at 7:20 pm at Mercer Stadium in Sugar Land. Wish us luck.

That's all for now. Man, I wish what I'd written earlier hadn't been mysteriously erased. Oh well. See ya tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


One last thing: Great weekend of college football! I did pick USC over Notre Dame. One of the few things I got right. But not without a little help from Reggie Bush (Eric Kuselias said, "It's like he's moving a piano!").


Tuesday, October 18, 2005


The day after...

Man, this morning sucked. I stayed up until 3 last night hoping it was a dream. I woke up at 9, and checked all the sports sites. Bill Simmons is a great columnist on ESPN and is a huge Red Sox fan. He has a lot of cool things to say on today's column. But dude, I don't ANY fan deserved last night; I wouldn't even wish this on a Yankee fan. All over the radio today, Astros fans were saying they called in sick today, and are predicting a Cardinals sweep from now on to get to the World Series. I don't know about that; I think it will be tougher for the 'Stros to win, but Roy is up next, and roger after that, and I think the Cards have a tougher road ahead than us. I mean, they have to win out, and we have to only win one. I like our odds. But I'll still wear my lucky shirt and cook spaghetti (cause I started to cook that in the 17th inning last week, and we won), just in case.

Remember, I am originally from San Antonio, and have only been living in the Houston area for a year and a half. But I really like this area, and hope that the Astros can bring something other than an NBA title to the city. Now, I hope they never bring another NBA title here, as my Spurs are set to kick some more butt this year. But I'm beginning to think this city is cursed. Think about it: 1980, 1986 and 2004 NLCS heartbreakers, the Oilers Choke in Buffalo, the incredible upset by NC State over Houston in the NCAA Championship, and the HotShots. Okay, maybe not so much the last one, but close. See what I mean? Maybe Houston is the new Boston or Chicago. We'll see by Thursday night.

Back later tonight or tomorrow. Peace.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Damn. We should have walked Pujols. I hate that guy like I hate Jeter. I was pacing around the living room, hopping around. I even brought in the radio so I could hear Milo Hamilton say, "The Astros win the pennant!" But alas, it wasn't to be. I feel like I did in '86, when Buckner missed that ball. Damn! This sucks. My friends were calling; Brett wanted to be on the phone with me when we won. This is the baseball gods saying, "Meet me in St. Louie. One last time."

Now I'm watching the FSN Houston coverage of the post-game. Dana Larson and Emily Jones are anchoring, and they even look deflated. Damn. This sucks.

Now I still have to go to the grocery store for stuff. I've been putting it off all week, for sports watching, but we need milk for tomorrow. I guess I can shave now. And Tuesday night I'll be wearing my black Astros polo, since I was wearing my jersey tonight. Damn. This sucks.

I guess we worked Brad Lidge too much the past 3 days. I thought at least that we would walk Pujols, and strike out Sanders with the bases loaded, a sort of poetic justice; Lidge has struggled all series, walking people and giving up hits, but giving up only one run. At least he'll have a day to rest. Plus, we've got Roy and Roger up the next 2 games, but remember, Roger lost Game 7 last year. Damn. This sucks.

Jen is even sad. She's recuperating by watching Oprah on Tivo. I hate that show. I think she's a hypocrite and flaunts her money all over the place. How many f'*&%$ shows do you need with your rich celebrity friends talking about the gift packs they got at the Emmys and all their $1 million birthday parties? Sure, she catches molesters and tells women they need better bras, but this whole show is now just a huge tax write-off for her.

OK, so I'm taking it out on Oprah. I'll post later or in the morning. Peace.

It's the bottom of the 7th. Palmeiro just grounded out, and now BGO is up to bat...YEAH! E-6! Bidge is safe at 1st! Now Burke, and he just missed a foul ball down the line. Dang!

So far the Astros look lame. Ensberg looked awful in his first at-bats. He looked like he didn't even know he was in the box in the 3rd. This is a good at-bat by Burke. Fouling off pitches, looking at balls, making Carpenter's count go higher and higher, while Bidge keeps making him nervous at first.

Jen is watching figure skating on one of the small tv's, and I've got the MNF game on the other small one.



Berkman up...1st pitch...BLAST TO CRAWFORD! ASTROS UP 4-2!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry about the lame shouting, and never mind about the 'Stros looking dead.

Mo up now, and I'm almost crying. Brett just called: "Happy Astros!" he says. Looking at the replay, it wasn't a great swing, but the ball just carried. Thanks, low-humidity-air-inside-a-closed-roof-stadium. The best part, Tom Brenneman and Steve Lyons didn't say a word for 2 minutes; letting the fans do all the talking. Now Mo lines a shot to Crawford, and gets thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Dang! Lamb pops up, but oh well. WE'RE UP, BABY!

More later...


So I woke up too late to take out the trash. Damn! My wife's gonna kill me. I hate that. She works so hard, and I feel guilty sometimes, because I don't have to be up as early, since I start working in the afternoon. I teach today from 3:30 to 7, then I get to come home, cook, and watch the Astros tonight. Hopefully, they'll take it tonight, and won't have to go back to St. Louis. We need all the rest we can get, since the White Sox are already done (damn Angels just rolled over, didn't they?). Anyway, I think I'll make spaghetti tonight, since that's what I cooked when the Astros beat the Braves in 18 innings last weekend. Oh, and I still haven't shaved. I'll also be wearing the jersey I wore yesterday, since they won. It's not like it's the same socks!

So I watched CSI:Miami from last Monday, and I'm starting to feel they're losing it. I mean, is it me, or is Callie getting annoying (more than usual)? She looks like a robot now. And Horatio decides to bend the rules to help people that he likes. Hope the real system isn't like that.

Also, my picks are sucking from the weekend's college football games. I'm in like 88th place. I can't pick an upset to save my life. It was $50 to get in, and last year I did the exact same thing, but won Bowl Week and raked in like $200. But it would be awesome if I could win this whole season. The winner gets around $1000! Talk about a return on your investment! I kicked butt in March for the NCAA tourney. I think I paid about $60 to get in 3 pools, and won abou $250. Maybe I need to move to Vegas and do that for a living.

Well, gotta go to the post office. Bills. Another update after I get home and after the game.



Welcome to my lame attempt at communication with the civilized world outside my own. Congratulations if you found me.

So it's 1:25 am on Sunday night. I'm still pumped from the big Astros win. Man, I'm such a Homer; I haven't shaved since Thursday, when the Astros first beat the Cardinals. And I won't shave until they lose. Anyone else doing that?

So I've been a bum today - didn't even brush my teeth. My wife doesn't care, so why should I? She paitently watched all the sports with me today. We had a late night Saturday, so we slept in today. Woke up at noon, watched the Cowboys, and had the Pittsburgh/Jacksonville game on the small TV. Then the Astros came on, and I kept the small TV on CBS for the NE/Denver game (suck it, Pats!). Then we ordered a pizza. The Astros won (!). Then we watched the postgame coverage from FSN on the big TV, put the small TV on Fox for the White Sox/Angels game (I hoped the Sox would win, but couldn't the Angels have put up a better fight? I mean, really!), and brought in another TV for the Texans/Seahawks game (I don't know why I even bother watching the Texans. They suck balls.). Here's hoping for 0-16, baby, and the #1 pick!
So after all that, Jen takes a shower and goes to bed, and I watch some stuff on Tivo and decide to start this blog thing.

Ok, let me tell you a bit about me:
My name is Cristian. I'm a percussion teacher that teaches private lessons for JH/HS and works with a drumline at Kempner HS in Sugar Land, TX. I live in Lake Jackson, TX with my beautiful wife Jennifer, who is a band director at Brazoswood HS in Clute. I love what I do, and wouldn't anything else (well, almost). All of my students are great, and the people I work with aren't so bad, either.
I am a ridiculously rabid sports fan, especially baseball, as my wife and friends can attest. Originally from San Antonio, TX, I am a passionate Spurs fan. A graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, I keep up with my Lumberjacks. However, I am also a huge Texas Longhorn fan, as my family is from Austin. I've been an Astros fan all my life, or at least as long as I can remember, as well as a fan of the Texas Rangers. I also love the Boston Red Sox.

About that last part, I need to tell you a story. See, I'm not one of those dopes who has a brand-spankin' new Red Sox cap he got after Aaron Boone's shot in 2003 and only watches the Sox when they're on ESPN vs. the Yankees. No, I have been a Red Sox fan since 1986, when the Astros lost to the Mets in the NLCS. See, the Mets beat the Astros in 6 games after the (previously, until a week ago today) Longest Game in Playoff History as well as what many think was the Greatest Game Ever Played. So after I cried after that Game 6, I swore to never forgive the Mets. The Red Sox played the Mets in the World Series that year, and f&*^'in lost! Of course, we all know what happened. So, that year endeared the Red Sox to me. So don't tell me that I'm not a true fan. I was 8 when that happened, and I'll never, EVER forget that day.

Ok, back to me. Aside from the teams above, I also have a love for the Dallas Cowboys, and even the Houston Texans. I'll watch just about any game of any sport, though. Hockey, soccer, even. Ok, maybe just during the World Cup. I'd have to say baseball is my favorite sport, followed by college football, NBA, and the NFL.

Along with sports, I love music, film, and TV. In that order. I like drum corps, and home theater. I want to be a custom installer/designer when I "grow up". Classical music. Funk, Rock and Jazz. Jamming out with Tower of Power on a good music/home theater system is an experience few will ever forget.

When I'm not teaching or watching sports, I'm catching up on stuff that's piling up on my Tivo. Man, I'm telling you: If you don't have Tivo yet, you're dumb. I've got bunches of CSI: Miami, CSI, Law & Order, SVU, CI, and others. I've even got two Tivos so I can transfer recordings back and forth, so my wife and I don't have to fight over who gets to record what. So we get to watch sports in real time, whilst the Tivos record what we want. It's a win-win!

Ok, I know. This is a little long-winded. Sorry. I just hope to take a little bit of space here to tell the world about me and what I'm about. I'll be posting here often (I'm sure everybody says that), and you'll get to know me better. Until then, I hope you'll have a great day!