NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerds Around Town: Nerd Holiday shopping guide, piracy and libraries

Nerds Around Town: Nerd Holiday shopping guide, piracy and libraries
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!

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

For the next two weeks I'm going to be pointing to the charity called "Let's Bring 'Em Home." They buy plane tickets for active duty enlisted guys and fly them home for the holidays. On December 13th, Nerd Thug Radio and The Adventure Begins will be teaming up and holding the Nerd Thug Takeover to benefit this wonderful organization. Starting at 6pm, proceeds from sales will be going to this 501c registered charity and will be helping to try and bring some enlisted people home for the holidays so they can see their families.

GREAT NERD GIFTS

So I hate that this is a thing but it's a real thing so it bears doing. This week has also become Christmas shopping kick off weekend, with all kinds of crazy Black Friday deals and a lot of people buy most of their gifts during this weekend so I suppose I owe it to the nerds around town to make some suggestions for people. So here are my five nerd gifts suggestions: 5. Watchmen Deluxe Edition 4. We're not always grim and gritty, maybe a little light hearted Superman and Batman statue 3. Black Science Premiere Hardcover, it's not just superheroes anymore 2. Bloodshot Deluxe Edition, in anticipation of this movie coming out next year and 1. Either "DCeased" or "Batman Who Laughs" they're both equally worthy of the top spot.

PIRATING COMICS

The hot topic of pirating broke out this week on Comic's twitter as the creator of Image comic "Crowded" got irritated when he saw roughly 90k reads of his 10 issue book but he as a starving artist is worried about his book being cancelled. I remember being a kid who illegally swapped music files when that stuff first came out and Lars of Metallica fame came out and went after Napster for stealing from artists. At the time, as a kid not understanding how stuff works I thought he was such a chump for that. Now as a creator who pays his own bills, I recognize the courage and the strength he had to come out and say, "if you're a fan of my music, then you need to buy it." The reality is that paying creatives for their work is the right thing to do. My grandmother passed away early this year and she had asked specific people to speak at her funeral service and after the fact there were conversations amongst the family members that they were surprised some of them took money for coming to speak. I know there are specifics that make this hard to explain well, and it wasn't that my family didn't want her to have a nice service, there was just surprise about the business of it. What wound up coming out of the conversation though is that this is their living, this is how they pay their bills and are able to continue their good works, by asking for and receiving money for their work. IF you like something, pay for it, I'm not saying pay everything for it, I make comics and I literally let people pay me personally whatever they want for a PDF of my comic. I'm not expecting to get rich doing this, but I have to receive value for my work or I can't keep doing it, the same is true for everyone else in this industry.

LIBRARIES BAD?

During the conversation about piracy, a village idiot from the "wise minds" of the Comicsgate community suggested Libraries and piracy are the same thing. This is vastly incorrect and an idiots take on a big idea. Yes libraries only may buy one copy of your work and then let tons of other people read it at no added benefit directly to you. But first of all, they bought A COPY, secondly libraries are the poor person's option to enrich their lives through the arts. You don't get mad that people use libraries, you get thrilled. Reading is the backbone of all modern societies through all of human history that mattered. Passing knowledge freely from person to person in a way that is respectful to the process is exactly what we should want everyone around the world to be doing. We certainly don't get mad at libraries loaning books out for free, that is just stupid. Also from a capitalism standpoint, if you sell your books to the estimated 100k libraries across America, you made a lot more sales than the estimated 2k comic shops across America, just a math thought.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

Work is progressing on issue #2 of Another Day at the Office and I'm super excited but the real question is, what's the best way to market it? How exactly should I handle the release of issue #2? These are the big things I'm pondering this holiday.

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 are back in action Friday night against the A's. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

The Astros need to whip up on the Oakland A’s this weekend in California as they did in sweeping four from them last week at Minute Maid Park. That was the start of a homestand which ended up with seven wins in 10 games. That goes down as a successful homestand, especially since it felt like the Astros’ prior winning homestand came while Donald Trump was President (it actually started in late July). Still, 7-3 doesn’t feel like a smashing success with it ending by dropping two of three games to the lowly Los Angeles Angels.

It is not exactly with bated breath that anyone should be waiting on Jose Abreu’s return to the lineup, but it’s coming. It should not be on this road trip. After the three games with the A’s the Astros move up the coast for a big four game set with American League West leading Seattle. The M's start all right-handed pitchers. That is no time to sit Jon Singleton to see if Abreu has managed to pump a few drops of gas into his tank while spending the better part of this month at the Astros’ minor league complex. It’s not as if Singleton has been stellar since Abreu’s departure, but by comparison, he’s been Lou Gehrig-esque. The series with the Mariners isn’t make or break but the Astros are strongly advised to get at least a split. That it should be Framber Valdez starting the opener Monday night doesn’t breed tremendous confidence, coming off his meltdown outing against the Angels. Another start, another opportunity.

The Mariners are at the Nationals this weekend, starting it a mere four and a half games ahead of the Astros. In four of the five other divisions the Astros' 22-28 record would have them at least 10 games off the lead.

One step forward, two steps back

Speaking of washed-up first basemen, Joey Votto should be a future Hall of Famer. The 40-year-old Canadian is trying to make it back to the big leagues via the minor leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays. Votto was an absolutely tremendous player with the Cincinnati Reds. As the Beastie Boys said, “Ch-check it out.” Over Jeff Bagwell’s first ten seasons with the Astros he hit .305 with a .417 on-base percentage and .552 slugging percentage, yielding a phenomenal .970 OPS. Over Votto’s first ten full seasons with the Reds: .313/.429/.540 for an exactly phenomenal .970 OPS. Where am I going with this? Read on!

Votto had phenomenal strike zone and bat control. He turned 30 during the 2013 season. That year Votto had 581 at bats. He popped out to an infielder once the entire season. Alex Bregman turned 30 the third day of this season. Bregman popped out to the shortstop four times in the Angels series. So much for Bregman’s “knob past the ball” epiphany that saw him hit three home runs over two games last week. Going into the weekend Bregman has one hit in his last 23 at bats. His season stats continue to be pitiful: a .209 batting average and .607 OPS. Bregman has only struck out once in the 23 at bats of his latest deep freeze. It’s that so much of his contract is feeble. There is a lot of season left for Bregman to build up to decent numbers, but one-third of the regular season will be complete after the Astros play the Mariners Monday night.

While Bregman’s season to date has basically been one long slump, Jose Altuve is in a funk of his own. Since blasting a homer Monday, Altuve is hitless in 12 at bats. Mini-slumps happen to everybody but Altuve’s woes trace back farther. Over his last 15 games, Altuve is batting .175. He last had more than one hit in a game May 5. He’s also drawn just two walks over those 15 games. It’s tough to ever sit Altuve, but he’s probably playing a little too much. Altuve turned 34 earlier this month. He has started 48 of the Astros 50 games at second base. Mauricio Dubon should be getting a start per week at second (and probably another at third given Bregman’s level of play). Over a full season not playing the field once per week still means 135 starts. Altuve should mix in some more at designated hitter (he has just one DH game so far this season). Wear and tear is a real thing, players don’t grow less susceptible to it as they get to their mid-30s.

King Tuck

On the flip side, Kyle Tucker! So far this season, he’s making himself as much money as Bregman is costing himself. Only Shohei Ohtani (1.069) starts the weekend action with an OPS higher than Tucker’s 1.060. The law of averages dictates that Tucker won’t finish as high as 1.060, but if he does, it would be the greatest full-length season offensive performance in Astros’ history. Jeff Bagwell posted an absurd 1.201 OPS in the strike-shortened 1994 campaign. Yordan Alvarez came in at 1.067 in his 87 games played rookie season of 2019. Lance Berkman’s 2001 was a monster. Enron Field was more hitter-friendly then than Minute Maid Park is now, but Berkman’s numbers were “Oh My Gosh!” spectacular. .331 batting average, 55 doubles (second in franchise history to Craig Biggio's 56 in 1999), 34 homers, .430 on-base percentage, .620 slugging percentage, and 1.051 OPS. And that was just Berkman’s second full season in the majors. Lance finished fifth in National League Most Valuable Player Award voting. Giant-headed Barry Bonds won MVP with his 73 home runs among other sicko stats.

* 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 The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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