NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerds Around Town: Westbrook, Area 51 and ghosts

Nerds Around Town: Westbrook, Area 51 and ghosts
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!

Hey Nerds!

Friday is here! Lets kick its ass!

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

The Stixx and Stonez Sundresses and Summershirts party is this Saturday bring socks and toiletries for donation and be prepared to have an awesome time.

WHITE PEOPLE CRAZY

If you have ever heard the term "White People Crazy" and wasn't sure what it meant, let me help you out. A couple bought the house from The Conjuring on purpose and plan on having ghost tours and investigators come through there after they do some remodeling (something that ghosts notoriously love). That's "White People Crazy," if you believe in ghosts and the supernatural then the last thing you should want to do is invite the kind of crazy danger that might be associated with owning the house from The Conjuring. The family who used to live there who the story was based on, still maintain today that some absolutely awful stuff happened and The Warrens basically made their "bones" on that case and went on to become The Ghostbusters of the real world.

IS THIS CRAZY

Russell Westbrook! The Houston Rockets obviously made a crazy trade and swapped Westbrook for Chris Paul after giving Paul a massive contract last off season. The big thing about the Paul deal was that basically it meant we had maybe one or two more years of this high-level basketball before Paul would likely start breaking down and being unable to play at the high level his massive salary warranted. Westbrook is four years younger and therefore we hopefully have side stepped that problem. The other potential issue is that Russ is not a great shooter, that's ok, we don't want him to shoot, I'm assuming the biggest reason we got him is that in both playoff runs there were games where we would go several agonizing possessions missing 3's and suddenly fall behind. Well I'm guessing that's where Russ comes in, a dribble penetrator who plays a different ISO game than Harden does, and some critics have been saying well you clog the paint against Russ and it limits his effectiveness, well the Rockets are still going to have several shooters on the floor so they can't clog the paint too hard. I think this is an attempt to make sure this year there's no 0-27 run of shots.

THAT'S NOT MINE

A cargo ship allegedly owned by JP Morgan Chase was just seized in the port of Philadelphia with 20 tons of cocaine. I just want to point out first of all that JP Morgan owns a fund the ship is part of that they don't actually have control of the ship but still, how many people are in jail for being the driver of a car or the owner of a place where bad things happened even if they weren't in control. I don't think there's going to be any real consequences to them, I don't even think they'll pay a fine but cases like this will be what I think about when I read stories of people who maintain their innocence and say the drugs or a gun belonged to a passenger of their vehicle. It's good to be filthy rich. By the way the street value of that bust was $1.3 billion.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

Also no one is going to storm Area 51, seriously. It's a really bad idea to even type that you're going to do that. Someone online started a petition that everyone should storm Area 51 and most of them will get in and find out the truth. That's an awful idea, the military won't want to shoot up a bunch of its own citizens but it will gladly arrest and redirect your crazy asses. Please don't be this person, seriously.

Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House 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 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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