A HOME RUN TIP

Here's how to avoid the longest lines at Minute Maid

Here's how to avoid the longest lines at Minute Maid
Photo courtesy of Aramark

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Here's a sports tip you won't find anywhere else.

When the Astros return to Minute Maid Park for Game 6 (if necessary) or Game 7 (it may take that long to dismiss the Yankees, they're good), don't rush to the concession stands the minute you enter the stadium.

Where and when to eat during the game

According to my source, the playoff games are so intense that fans aren't leaving their seats for food like during the regular season. If you wait until the second inning, there won't be any lines at the concession stands. That goes for the main concourse and the upper deck. I was at Game 1 and ordered by hot dog and Coke Zero (nice touch) with zero wait. The only food stand with lines from first pitch to walk-off homer is Torchy's Tacos, which curiously is missing an apostrophe in its Minute Maid Park sign. (When it comes to tacos, grammar is every bit as important as guacamole.) Every other stand, though, is clear sailing from second inning on.

I am giving this tip against my own interests and better judgment. It may come back to bite me. I remember…

Worst best tip ever

When I arrived in Houston, I rented a house near Gessner and I-10. There was a supermarket two streets over and every night at 10, they sold all their remaining fried chicken for 10 cents a piece. Which fit right into my budget. (Newspaper writers don't exactly earn salaries like inexperienced interns at City Hall in Houston.)

I would get to the supermarket at 9:55 pm, dawdle at the deli counter asking silly questions about potato salad, and at 10 pm sharp, I cleaned them out of fried chicken. Whatever they had, I bought. It was such an incredible bargain, for a while there, my diet consisted mainly of fried chicken and potato salad.

Stupid me, I wrote about the great fried chicken bargain. I guess I was more popular then than I am now, but soon there was a crowd hanging around the deli counter, counting down to 10 pm like it was New Year's Eve in Times Square. Two nights later, the supermarket ended the dime deal. Darn it, I should have kept my trap shut. If I go to an Astros game later this week, there better not be a line for hot dogs in the fourth inning.

I'll just say this: if I were a dedicated civil servant for the City of Houston, and the mayor hired an intern with barely any real work experience at twice my salary, I'd quit. The only thing more insulting to city staffers is the mayor's ridiculous explanation. Even bigger problem: the other candidates, may be worse.

Getting drafty with the Texans

Two months ago, Fred Faour wrote an excellent piece in SportsMap about the Texans' fair-to-middling track record with their third-round picks during the Bill O'Brien era. Faour started with 2014 and ran right up to 2019, a few hits, a couple of incompletes, but mostly busts.

It would be interesting how Faour rated the Texans third-round selection in 2013. That pick was Brennan Williams, an offensive tackle from North Carolina. Williams unfortunately suffered a knee injury and never got into a game for the Texans or any other team. What's he doing now? Last week, the WWE introduced a new lineup of announcers for its Monday Night Raw show. One of the commentators is an extremely large man going by the name Dio Maddin. That's former Texans 3rd-round pick Brennan Williams.

Continue on CultureMap to hear Ken Hoffman's thoughts on Daryl Morey.

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The Astros have been bitten hard by the injury bug. Composite Getty Image.

As Houston Astros fans wait to hear an update about the health of Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier, we're left wondering why the team is so secretive about their injuries?

It's not as if there's some competitive advantage in withholding the information, like in football or hockey, when players can target the injured area and try to make it worse.

Typically, teams give reporters an update on what part of the body is injured, and/or when they expect them to return. This is certainly not the case with the Astros, you're lucky to hear something like, “arm discomfort.”

In the case of Jose Urquidy, we've seen reports that he's seeking a second opinion and Tommy John Surgery is on the table. But the Astros aren't yet willing to say his season may be over.

With Cristian Javier, we still don't have any concrete information on the injury, and we're approaching almost two weeks with no update.

So why the secrecy? And what will the loss of both Urquidy and Javier mean for the 2024 Astros if they are indeed done for the season?

Editor's note: Cristian Javier will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Plus, has the pitch clock and the enforcement of the “sticky stuff” caused an uptick in injuries? And if so, will MLB do anything about it?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

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