NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerds Around Town: Clowney, Kobe and Spider-Man

Nerds Around Town: Clowney, Kobe and Spider-Man
ART BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

This week isn't over yet, don't quit on it yet.

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

In honor of college kids going back to school, I want you to look on Facebook and find one of your teacher friends and click on their Amazon wishlist. They're all doing it this year, they all should be doing it this year except that education is the most important thing in the world for children and we as a society should care more to educate them, poor or rich, white, black or brown. We should be teaching them how to think and ask questions and let them make this world a better place since obviously we don't know how.

PATRIOTS GOOD, TEXANS BAD

The Texans have angered Clowney who reportedly was ready to report this week but instead saw the trade rumors and is now choosing to not sign his franchise tender until he's happy. This gives him leverage like no player in the NFL has ever had, if he isn't happy with a potential trade location he can simply say he won't sign and kill the trade. Meanwhile the Patriots traded for two offensive lineman with starting experience last season but were likely backups this year shoring up their questionable line. The Patriots continue being the pinnacle of football excellence and The Texans continue what has been an offseason of bizarre ineptness for what is usually at the very least a high-class organization.

CONTROVERSY IN COMICS

This week comic book creator Matt Rosenberg tweeted out that it's the job of comic book creators to help promote their comic books projects. This was met with lots of creators complaining and saying they work all the time on creating and don't have the time or inclination to promote their projects. The reality of that though is they're wrong. Yes the publisher should be promoting their books but there are lots of books coming out every month and the shops and the consumers know that publishers want to sell books so they know they're being promoted to. The creators like artists of every era are obligated to sing for their supper like everyone else, it isn't enough to make great works, it's important to tell the fans you appreciate their money and enthusiasm. Entertainment is everywhere and money is tight, earn it.

REALLY GUYS

Shaq and Kobe had a mini feud on social media the other day. Will these two ever shut up? I'm so over the Kobe Bryant fandom and Shaq while dominant isn't the greatest of all time like he keeps trying to act like. I know they are great sports figure and Shaq does have a statue outside of the Staples Center which is impressive but they aren't those guys anymore. The whole obsession over these two and Kobe in particular is annoying to me, the sports world seems to hang on his every word and they seek out his comment on matters of all kind. Oh Lebron scored a triple double, let's talk to Kobe about it. Oh Dwight Howard is on another team let's talk to Kobe about it. James Harden shoots a lot of threes let's talk to Kobe about it. I wish they'd stop it already, talk to Kobe about that.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

So Spider-Man voiced by Tom Holland is going to appear in Disney+ streaming service's "What if…" series in at least two episodes, so some people think that means there is a secret deal between Sony and Disney. There isn't. This is because Sony only owns the movie rights to Spider-Man, so television and animated shows they don't need Sony's permission, because they own it. There was an animated cartoon named Spectacular Spider-Man that was produced by Sony Studios but they had to cancel it when Disney bought Marvel specifically because of this reason. That cartoon was awesome and DVDs are on sale everywhere and worth checking out.

Feel free to check out my brand new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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The Astros have their work cut out for them. Composite Getty Image.

Through 20 games, the Houston Astros have managed just six wins and are in last place in the AL West.

Their pitching staff trails only Colorado with a 5.24 ERA and big-money new closer Josh Hader has given up the same number of earned runs in 10 games as he did in 61 last year.

Despite this, these veteran Astros, who have reached the AL Championship Series seven consecutive times, have no doubt they’ll turn things around.

“If there’s a team that can do it, it’s this team,” shortstop Jeremy Peña said.

First-year manager Joe Espada, who was hired in January to replace the retired Dusty Baker, discussed his team’s early struggles.

“It’s not ideal,” he said. “It’s not what we expected, to come out of the shoot playing this type of baseball. But you know what, this is where we’re at and we’ve got to pick it up and play better. That’s just the bottom line.”

Many of Houston’s problems have stemmed from a poor performance by a rotation that has been decimated by injuries. Ace Justin Verlander and fellow starter José Urquidy haven’t pitched this season because of injuries and lefty Framber Valdez made just two starts before landing on the injured list with a sore elbow.

Ronel Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut April 1, has pitched well and is 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three starts this season. Cristian Javier is also off to a good start, going 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in four starts, but the team has won just two games not started by those two pitchers.

However, Espada wouldn’t blame the rotation for Houston’s current position.

“It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster how we've played overall,” he said. “One day we get good starting pitching, some days we don’t. The middle relief has been better and sometimes it hasn’t been. So, we’ve just got to put it all together and then play more as a team. And once we start doing that, we’ll be in good shape.”

The good news for the Astros is that Verlander will make his season debut Friday night when they open a series at Washington and Valdez should return soon after him.

“Framber and Justin have been a great part of our success in the last few years,” second baseman Jose Altuve said. “So, it’s always good to have those two guys back helping the team. We trust them and I think it’s going to be good.”

Hader signed a five-year, $95 million contract this offseason to give the Astros a shutdown 7-8-9 combination at the back end of their bullpen with Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly. But the five-time All-Star is off to a bumpy start.

He allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a 6-1 loss to the Braves on Monday night and has yielded eight earned runs this season after giving up the same number in 56 1/3 innings for San Diego last year.

He was much better Wednesday when he struck out the side in the ninth before the Astros fell to Atlanta in 10 innings for their third straight loss.

Houston’s offense, led by Altuve, Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker, ranks third in the majors with a .268 batting average and is tied for third with 24 homers this season. But the Astros have struggled with runners in scoring position and often failed to get a big hit in close games.

While many of Houston’s hitters have thrived this season, one notable exception is first baseman José Abreu. The 37-year-old, who is in the second year of a three-year, $58.5 million contract, is hitting 0.78 with just one extra-base hit in 16 games, raising questions about why he remains in the lineup every day.

To make matters worse, his error on a routine ground ball in the eighth inning Wednesday helped the Braves tie the game before they won in extra innings.

Espada brushed off criticism of Abreu and said he knows the 2020 AL MVP can break out of his early slump.

“Because (of) history,” Espada said. “The back of his baseball card. He can do it.”

Though things haven’t gone well for the Astros so far, everyone insists there’s no panic in this team which won its second World Series in 2022.

Altuve added that he doesn’t have to say anything to his teammates during this tough time.

“I think they’ve played enough baseball to know how to control themselves and how to come back to the plan we have, which is winning games,” he said.

The clubhouse was quiet and somber Wednesday after the Astros suffered their third series sweep of the season and second at home. While not panicking about the slow start, this team, which has won at least 90 games in each of the last three seasons, is certainly not happy with its record.

“We need to do everything better,” third baseman Alex Bregman said. “I feel like we’re in a lot of games, but we just haven’t found a way to win them. And good teams find a way to win games. So we need to find a way to win games.”

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