NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerds Around Town: Gamer troubles, comic books and podcasting truths

Nerds Around Town: Gamer troubles, comic books and podcasting truths
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, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

Hey Nerds!

We made it, it's the weekend, so get on out there and enjoy yourself!

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

I don't know how many more ways I can say, eat crawfish, help people, it's a good deal. It's the Light of the Phoenix Charity All You Can Eat Crawfish Boil, and there's stuff for the kids to do too while you grub a dub dub. $25 buys your ticket now but $30 gets you in at the door. This is the kind of thing I live for, doing a good deed and eating a bunch of food as you do it. #NerdsUnite

WHILE YOU'RE OUT

So usually here is where I tell you about some new books this month and remind you to go buy them and get into your local comic book store. We're going to mix it up a little bit this week though; first, of course go see your local comic book shop, I just opened my pull box with The Adventure Begins, but specifically we're just going to talk comics in general. This is a super interesting time for comic books, lots of really talented people working on some great projects, Hickman coming to the X Men, Bendis is at DC and doing big things. Marvel is in the middle of the War of the Realms and DC is telling a big Justice League story and honestly, all of this is crazy exciting. There is always talk that this is the "end" of comic books but honestly, I don't think it is, I think this is an amazing time to be a comic fan and in comic books in general. Find one you love and jump in, they're awesome.

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH KING’S HAWAIIAN BREAD

I don't know if someone suddenly bought stock in King's Hawaiian bread or something but suddenly that stuff is everywhere. Sonic has a delicious chicken club with King's Hawaiian bread and Arby's has a sandwich I haven't tried yet also with King's Hawaiian. Seriously it's great bread, but all of a sudden it seems to be everywhere. Did they just make too much recently? Are restaurants just now figuring out how awesome it is? This is odd to me that everyone is slow to get on the King's Hawaiian train but I guess it's great because the bread is great. Seriously, I love some King's Hawaiian.

GAMER TROUBLES

As news broke that gamer "TFue" was suing his esports team Faze Clan initially public sentiment was against him and actually the owner of the team spoke out and stated that his contract was great and they had only collected $60K of his $300K in earnings. Then the contract leaked and suddenly the owner changed his position to nobody is disputing that his contract is bad, well actually he was disputing that only a few days ago. The contract essentially entitles the team to percentages of earnings they create for the player and that even the player creates for himself which is in violation of California law apparently. In Hollywood everyone tries to get points off of deals so they created an unlicensed agent law where if you aren't an agent you can't do that, well these teams would fall under these parameters which means this case got a whole lot more interesting all of a sudden.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

I've been having lots of conversations with people about the "golden era" we live in of free media. At Comicpalooza it was a topic of a lot of conversations because it's something we talk about a ton on Nerd Thug Radio and it's something I firmly believe, that over the next ten years the pay walls will all change and the free access to get into all of these industries will be gone and suddenly everyone - content creator and consumer alike - will be a customer of Amazon and iHeart and others. Well I think the sea change is coming sooner and faster than even I originally predicted, I see so much content being generated and so many more high profile people with high profile support coming down to these lower levels that honestly, I'm not sure where the breathing room is for the little guys. I told someone the other day that I honestly wouldn't even make a podcast if I was starting from scratch today. I don't know what I would do, but honestly, it wouldn't be a podcast probably.

I'm going to jump out and wish you guys a great Friday and remind everyone to be kind to each other and try a little harder to have a great day! I'm coming back Monday and we'll be bringing more good times your way. Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio or support our Patreon Page. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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The Astros need to turn things around in a hurry. Composite Getty Image.

The Astros have already been swept in four series this season. They were swept in four series all of last season. As Mexico City says bienvenidos to the Astros this weekend, there are certainly more than a few folks fretting that the Astros are already close to saying adios to playoff hopes. The Astros are not at the point of no return, though one can see it out there on the horizon. It wouldn’t take another month of their garbage level 7-19 performance for the season to be essentially down the drain.

If the Astros were in the American League East, they’d already be ten games out of second place. But they’re not! If in the AL Central they’d be eleven and a half games back of Cleveland. But they’re not! Dozens of teams have rebounded to win divisions from larger deficits much later in the season than the Astros face presently. The Seattle Mariners lead the thus far weak AL West at 13-12. The Astros being six and a half games in arrears of the M’s and six back of the Texas Rangers in late April is far from optimal but nowhere near devastating.

Multiple media outlets have noted how few teams historically have started a season in as stumblebum a fashion as the 2024 Astros and wound up making the playoffs. What every outlet I have seen noting that failed to include: this is just the third season since Major League Baseball added a third Wild Card to each league’s postseason field. So, while 7-19 out of the gate is indisputably awful, it is not the death knell to the extent it has been over generations of MLB.

The issue isn’t where the Astros sit in the standings, it’s that they have played atrocious baseball and aren’t providing reason for optimism that a stark turnaround is imminent. The starting rotation is the best hope. Justin Verlander has made two starts. Framber Valdez rejoins the rotation Sunday. Cristian Javier should be a week or so away. Obviously, Ronel Blanco isn’t going to continue pitching as well as he has through his first four starts. But if he is a good number four starter, that’s fine if the top three coming into the season pitch to reasonably hoped for form.

Hunter Brown simply is not a good big league pitcher. Maybe he someday fulfills his potential, but the data at this point are clear. What can Brown do for you? Not much. Spencer Arrighetti needs better command to be a good big league starter. J.P. France was a revelation over his first 17 starts last season, but since has looked like the guy who posted underwhelming numbers when in the minor leagues. If the Astros wind up with 50-plus starts from Brown/Arrighetti/France their goose will probably be cooked.

The only MLB teams with worse staff earned run averages than the Astros’ horrific 5.07 are the Chicago White Sox (Wait! They have Martin Maldonado!) and Colorado Rockies. At 3-22 the White Sox are on an early pace to post the worst record in the history of Major League Baseball. The Rockies never have a chance to post good pitching stats because of the mile high offensive freak show environment in Denver.

Way to go, Joe

Props to Joe Espada for his conviction in making what he believed to be the right call in pulling Verlander after four and a third innings Thursday at Wrigley Field. Verlander allowed no runs but had reached 95 pitches in just the second outing of the injury-delayed start to his season. Not easy for a rookie manager skippering what has been a Titanic journey thus far to pull a surefire Hall of Famer who was two outs away from qualifying for a win. Many were no doubt poised to destroy Espada had Rafael Montero given up the lead in the fifth. Verlander was angry at being pulled from any chance at his 259th career win. Understood, but the manager’s job is to make the decisions he thinks are in the ballclub’s overall best interest. That Montero and Bryan Abreu combined to blow the lead in the sixth is immaterial.

Then there's the offense…

Six runs total the last four games. Scored more than four runs in just one of the last nine games. Timely hitting largely non-existent.

At last check Alex Bregman still hawks that “Breggy Bomb” salsa. At the plate, he’s been mostly stuck in “Breggy Bum” mode, including zero bombs (home runs). 23 games played without a homer is Bregman’s longest drought since 2017 when he had separate 35 and 27 game stretches between dingers. Bregman has a history of slow first months of the season, but never anything as inept as he’s posted thus far. A litany of lazy fly balls, infield pops, and routine grounders add up to a .216 batting average and feeble .566 OPS. Reference point: Martin Maldonado’s worst OPS season with the Astros was .573. If Bregman was a young guy handed a starting job coming out of spring training, if a viable alternative were available, there’s a chance he’d be a Sugar Land Space Cowboy right now. Bregman’s track record makes it a decent bet that he winds up with decent numbers, but nothing special. Certainly nothing remotely worth the 10 years 300 million dollars or whatever Bregman and agent Scott Boras intend(ed) to seek on the free agent market this coming offseason. Two hits Thursday did get Bregman to the 1000 hit plateau for his career.

Despite arriving south of the border with his batting average at .346, even Jose Altuve has his warts. With runners in scoring position, Altuve has one hit this season. One. In 16 at bats. Small sample size, but it counts. That’s .063. Yordan Alvarez has been no great shakes either, five for 24 (.208) with RISP.

One wonders what would happen if the Astros got a hold of and “lost” Jose Abreu’s passport/visa this weekend in Mexico City and Abreu couldn’t get back into the U.S. after the two-game set with the Rockies.

Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via YouTube: stone cold stros - YouTube with the complete audio available via Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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