NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerds Around Town: Texans, porn stars, and The Legion of Super-Heroes

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!

The week is winding down and we're coming up on the weekend, you ready?

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

Last week while talking about the Gulf Coast Blood Center, the good people reached out to me and pointed me to another awesome thing they're doing so I thought I'd bring it to your attention now. The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is working with Team Liquid through the year and eligible people can win an Alienware Aurora Computer valued at $800. The campaign is called Heal For Real, and I like it. Get involved today.

OVERWATCH UPDATES

I haven't written about the Overwatch League lately because it was going very well for Houston and I didn't want to jinx it but the last few weeks have turned against them and we're back to our losing ways. After making the playoffs in Stage 3, we are now tied for 17th out of 20 in this Stage and are basically done for the year. The team has gone through a lot, including being sold twice, the ownership sold to a group that already owned an Overwatch team and therefore they agreed to run The Outlaws until they could find a new ownership group for them. They were sold again for $40 million dollars about a month ago and since then the losing has picked up again.

DALLAS ISN'T ALONE

The Texans can't figure out how to resolve the Clowney problem. Essentially what it boils down to is that now because they have missed the date to negotiate a long term deal with Clowney who has a franchise tag offer currently unsigned, he has a rather untradeable contract number. The goal now sounds like they are looking for offensive tackles and they would trade Clowney for the tackle who hopefully has a similar contract number. The problem is there aren't a lot of high priced tackles that teams are looking to trade away, mostly because high valued tackles are a lot like high value pass rushers, they're hard to come by. While plenty of teams would love to have Clowney for the right price, they might not be able to accommodate the roughly $16 million dollar cap charge for this season even if they had players to give up in a trade. This is a mess.

THE RETURN OF LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES

DC Comics and mega star writer Brian Michael Bendis are on the verge of bringing back one of the oldest and most confusing franchises in DC comics, The Legion of Super-Heroes. The massive team of super powered teens from across the universe, who work to keep the year 31st century safe by protecting the entire collection of United Planets. Because the team is based out of the future, their story has been restarted a couple of times due to large events during the history of various DC events. Changing costumes and characters and line ups and the stories that are told, the Legion has had several different looks and themes over the years. It's been several years since they've been featured and their last run ended quietly and there was a peep of some of these characters when DC did the Rebirth launch by having a few members of the team stranded in current times, however they never followed up with any of those storylines.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

Former porn actress Mia Khalifa revealed that in the three months she made adult films, she only earned about $12,000. Which isn't a lot of money and the notoriety has been linked to her forever. While she has been able to pivot all of this into a career of sorts as a "famous person" like so many others these days, she stated how limiting it had been job wise. Now I've seen before where she's bailed on interviews or gotten upset because they mention the adult films in her intro pre interview and honestly, I was always exasperated with her. It's the thing that kind of "broke" her into the scene and made it possible to write about whatever else she was doing or promoting at the time because she was already a "known" quantity and that's how this game works in a lot of ways. I don't have Johnny on the street on my radio show, I have people with a value to our topic on the show and those are going to be people established or relevant in some way. The thing that broke her in was adult films and honestly the better and more honest advice is embrace and pivot which it looks like she is finally doing. Good luck Mia.

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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Willson Contreras could give the Astros some extra pop in the lineup. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

“The Hot Stove League” is the nickname given to Major League Baseball's offseason. In particular, the free agent signing period in late November/early December. Trades are also made during this period. Now that Astros' owner Jim Crane has ousted all opposition to his idea of how things should be run, he's free to do things the way he sees fit.

He opened it by not hiring a general manager to replace James Click. Instead, he opted for a committee of assistant GMs. Those guys are assisted by some special advisors, like former Astros great Jeff Bagwell. Crane likes and wants to take a big swing at things. He'd probably hit about .250 with 30-plus home runs every season. Can't leave out his guaranteed 80-100 strikeouts. Typical power hitter. It's all or nothing, except Crane has been making great contact and knocking some things out of the park.

Signing Jose Abreu was an example. Yuli Gurriel looked as if he was losing the battle with “Father Time” during the regular season. This was an insurance policy at first, and designated hitter. Another prime example is their reported interest in C/DH/LF Willson Contreras. His bat would be a major upgrade over past Astro catchers. Although Martin Maldonado may not be going anywhere, having a quality bat to relieve him is key. Add the fact that he plays some outfield, and he's almost a “two birds with one stone” type of signing.

Abreu may be 35 years old, but he's coming off a year hitting .304 with 15 home runs. Contreras may be the younger of the two at 30, but his .243 average hurts the fact that he hit 22 home runs. Both sport an OPS above .800 for their careers. Bagwell said he wants Yordan Alvarez to play left field 45% of the time. The other 55% can be Contreras, Chas McCormick (assuming Jake Meyers is still in the mix for center field), and whoever else they sign or bring up from Sugar Land. When Contreras isn't in left, he needs to be behind the plate or hitting DH. I'd really love the idea of him sitting under Maldonado's learning tree for a year and taking over catcher long-term. Not many can be the catcher "Machete" is, but hitting 50 points better than him has its advantages.

Then there's the reported interest other teams have in Justin Verlander. Supposedly, the Mets have met with him via Zoom. The Dodgers are interested and are seemingly the leaders in the clubhouse to sign him. However, I wouldn't count Crane and crew out. He may come to JV last minute and offer him something comparable in order to keep him around. He strikes me as the type of guy who'll keep his plays close to the vest, then make a Godfather type of offer. He negotiated Verlander's last deal with the team himself. Coming off a World Series win, Cy Young win, and opting out of said deal, Verlander is most likely looking to get one final payday that'll also land him on a contender.

Having a winner is one thing. Having a winner committed to winning long-term is another. Crane wants to strike while the iron is hot. Sure, he wants his franchise to be sustainable. But he also wants to keep the World Series window open as long as possible. Kyle Tucker's next deal will be one to watch. Having an embarrassment of riches on the pitching staff means you have trade bait. Keep an eye on old Jimmy Crane. I think he might be the best thing to hit Houston sports in quite some time.

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