The Couch Slouch

Hey Mike Gundy: You're a man. You can find something else to do

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Nobody wants a pandemic, certainly not one that kills hundreds of thousands and delays the college football season.

That was certainly the mindset last week of Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, who indicated that May 1 would be a good time to get back to football and who wants his players on campus even if it's deserted because "continuing the economy in this state" requires his team playing games.

"We've got to have a plan," Gundy said, "…so let's just stay on schedule."

Uh, let's update the scoreboard here:

Covid-19, OSU 0.

Go Cowboys!!!

Coach, I understand that we must get back to the business of living. But – follow me on this – we can't do that if we are all dead. So we must stay at home – pause life to preserve life – until the experts say otherwise in regard to this once-in-a-century sacrifice that we hopefully will never see the likes of again.

It stinks this way, it sure does.

Suddenly, we know why our dogs want to take so many walks.

So, yes, we need sports again. But we also need almost every other taken-for-granted detail of our routine, from schools to restaurants to shopping to libraries to concerts to Costco grand openings.

And, frankly, we need back things that have been missing most or all of our lives: compassion, decency, humanity, sense of community.

But we can start by accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative at home. We can start by appreciating what's around us and by revisiting the simple delights that surround us.

Play Rack-O with your kids.

Watch any season of "The Larry Sanders Show" on HBO on Demand.

Talk to long-distance friends. In the old days, these were known as "phone calls."

Send your aunt or uncle a long note. In the old days, this was known as "writing a letter."

Make your own pizza, and when that fails, order one for delivery.

Dig out your old baseball card box, and if you can't find a Nolan Ryan rookie card, give all of them to the 10-year-old next door.

Tell your spouse, "We've got to talk," to let 'em know what it feels like to be on the other end of that baby.

Sing the theme song from "Gilligan's Island" three times nightly.

Board-game doubleheader: Monopoly and Candy Land!

Try to write the Great American Novel, or, at a minimum, at least a limerick.

"Casablanca" and "The Princess Bride," back-to-back, to experience full black-and-white and Technicolor joy.

"His Girl Friday" and "Broadcast News," back-to-back, in black-and-white and Technicolor, to experience full print and electronic joy.

S'mores!

Re-enact scenes from the Old Testament; I adore Leviticus Chapter 19, Verse 33.

A foosball table ($104.99-ish) or air hockey (also $104.99-ish) is the best quarantined C-note investment in the land.

Good betting game: Sit on your front porch with a family member and wager on which direction – left or right – 10 people will walk by your house first.*

(* If you don't have a front porch, just look out the damn window.)

Remind your teenagers about safe sex, in case they ever have sex.

When's the last time you played Charades?

For 16 and under: Hit your brother for no reason. When he hits you back, roll onto the living-room carpet in full brawling mode.

For 75 and over: Hit your brother for no reason. If he falls to the ground in agony, call 911.

Wii bowling!!!

Tell everybody in your home how much you love 'em, twice. Do it now.

Ask The Slouch

Q. I assume you have the entire "Dogs Playing Poker" collection of paintings. And aren't dogs the best? (Eddie Vidmar; Cleveland)

A. Yes, I have the entire collection and, yes, dogs are the best. We just lost our beloved poker-playing pit mix: R.I.P. Daisy.

Q. Is it true that the first recorded reference of the six feet "social distancing" term was in a NCAA basketball referees manual on what constituted a foul when a Duke player drives to the basket? (Stewart Verdery; Washington, D.C.)

A. Boy, I miss rooting against Duke.

Q. Distraught over the pandemic, IOC and NCAA officials walk into a bar and order a bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992. How much should the athletes tip the server? (Bobby Weaver; Smyrna, Ga.)

A. You have an uncanny grasp of global sporting economics.

Q. Since you have been "working" from home for years, does it bother you that your employer deemed you non-essential well before the coronavirus showed up? (Dan Cantwell; Albany, N.Y.)

A. Listen, pal, my family also has deemed me non-essential and questions why I even need to be home.

Q. Since the NFL draft will not have a live audience, should a booing track be added every time Roger Goodell steps up to the microphone? (Arthur Polton; Fairfax, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

To enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway, just email asktheslouch@aol.com. The Couch Slouch podcast is available on your favorite podcasting app.

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Houston loses in San Francisco

Astros drop back-and-forth middle game to Giants to even series

Houston's offense couldn't keep up with the Giants on Saturday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With the impressive win in the opener to start the series, the Astros entered Saturday's middle game against the Giants with an opportunity to not just secure the series but surpass San Francisco for the best record in the league. They'd have to wait to take that crown, as the Giants would out-slug the Astros to even the series.

Final Score: Giants 8, Astros 6

Astros' Record: 64-41, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jay Jackson (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Blake Taylor (2-3)

Teams trade blows early, Giants chase Greinke out early

The teams traded blows early in this one, with the Giants tagging Zack Greinke with six runs, all on homers. The first was a solo shot in the bottom of the second to start the scoring before hitting one in each inning through the fourth: two-run blasts in the third and fourth, then a go-ahead solo shot in the bottom of the fifth, putting them ahead 6-5 at the time. Greinke would face one more batter, allowing a single to end his lackluster day: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 4 HR, 93 P.

Houston's offense kept things close to try and keep Greinke in a position to win, going up 3-1 in the third on a two-run Aledmys Diaz homer and another coming in on an error. After San Francisco scored four unanswered to make it 5-3, Diaz homered again in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to one run before Yuli Gurriel would tie it with an RBI double.

Astros stay in it, but Giants even the series by winning the slug-fest

With Greinke exiting with no outs in the fifth, Houston handed the ball to Phil Maton, acquired in the recent Myles Straw trade, to make his debut for his new team. He worked himself into a jam, allowing a single and hitting a batter to load the bases with one out, but was able to get back-to-back strikeouts to strike out the side and strand all three runners, keeping it a one-run game.

That proved pivotal in the top of the sixth, as with two outs, Martin Maldonado would launch a game-tying solo homer, making it 6-6. Blake Taylor took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the inning but would face just three batters, getting two outs while leaving one on as Dusty Baker moved on to Cristian Javier. Javier would watch the Giants retake the lead, getting back-to-back singles to bring in a run and make it 7-6.

Javier stayed in the game in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff single but erasing it by striking out the next three batters. Still a 7-6 game in the bottom of the eighth, Yimi Garcia made his Astros debut but did not keep the score there, allowing a leadoff solo homer to make it a two-run game. The 8-6 score would go final as Houston's offense came up empty again in the top of the ninth, setting up a rubber game in the finale.

Up Next: The series finale will get underway at 3:05 PM Central on Sunday in San Francisco. Luis Garcia (7-5, 3.19 ERA) will take the mound for Houston, going opposite Logan Webb (4-3, 3.36 ERA) for the Giants.

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