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1. That picture pretty much describes how the LA Angels beat the Texas Rangers 11-3. So much went wrong that at one point relief pitcher Tanner Scheppers got injured on a play at the plate and, as he laid there, another run came in and scored. Texas is losing it a little bit. They’re just 9-7 in September and they’re having trouble getting on a role again. This is the reason that that No. 5 spot in the rotation was so key. They can’t be throwing away games like this coming down the final stretch.
Ryan Dempster took the loss in a tough outing in which he couldn’t get out of the 4th inning. That’s not too worrisome. Jared Weaver took the win and Dempster has shown the consistency already that earns him that No. 1 spot in the playoffs. What is worrisome is Josh Hamilton’s early exit. Hamilton had to leave the game with a sinus condition that made it difficult for him to see. With he and Adrian Beltre putting on an offensive show that has carried the Texas offense to their 2nd half resurgence, they can’t afford to have either guys sit out for any reason.
Hamilton certainly needs to play and prove that he’s worth the big-money contract he’s about to sign. Internally, the organization, fans, and the media have wavered back and forth as to whether the Rangers should pay Hamilton the money that would get him to stay.
Luckily for Texas, the Oakland A’s lost (and the New York Yankees were postponed) so they didn’t lose any ground for the No. 1 spot in the AL. They’ve got Derek Holland going tonight and Yu Darvish in the finale. Holland has pitched really well as of late, despite not getting a win in his last two starts, but Yu Darvish’s home-road splits aren’t favorable. Darvish is 10-2 at home while 5-7 on the road.
2. With the Rangers in Los Angeles, Josh Hamilton has taken advantage of the media opportunities. On Monday night, Hamilton appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and talked about how he first met former Rangers owner and former President George W. Bush.
3. It took longer than expected, but the Houston Astros lost their 100th game of the season yesterday when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1. But Houston wasn’t dominated in this game. They got seven hits and two walks. They just couldn’t get key hits when they needed them. The Astros were just 1-11 with runners in scoring position.
Despite such a depressing milestone, Houston is still 8-8 this month, the best they’ve played all season. With 14 games left, a 7-7 finish would still set a franchise record for losses, but Houston would avoid losing 110 games and being one of the all-time worst teams in the more than 135-year history of Major League Baseball.
It could still go either way for this team and is one of the few things makes this an interesting team to watch down the stretch. Even a 6-8 finish would equal their record from last year. But again, think about the fire sales that have gone on during the season each of the last two years. In a funny way, for Houston to lose so many players and start all over again… and finish with an equal or better record than they did last year… It’s not much. But it’s something.
Photo courtesy Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
4. Say what you want about Vince Young’s NFL career, but as a guy who was drafted before there was a rookie cap, he made a lot of money. He made the pro bowl twice, had endorsement deals, and even owns a restaurant in Austin. Having won a national championship at the University of Texas, you’d think he’d be set financially for life. Even if his NFL career is over, he can still make money all over Texas. Well… maybe not College Station or Lubbock so much.
But is appears that Vince Young has become yet another cautionary tale for current and future NFL players as he is running out of money.
Young has apparently given too much financial and legal power to too many people as he’s being forced to pay off people on investments that he didn’t even know about. The former Texas Longhorns quarterback is at home in Houston right now, waiting for a call from a team that needs another quarterback. I have no doubt that Young will be back on an NFL roster by the end of the season. Numerous quarterbacks get hurt or cut every year. At the very least, Young is healthy and mobile. He was on a roster throughout training camp and the preseason.
But even if he isn’t, Young is lucky. He’s forever a hero in Austin and among Longhorns all across Texas. If he never plays another NFL game, he’s luckier than most former players in his situation because he has a college career to fall back on, financially.
5. What do you think of when you think of NFL Films? I think of John Facenda narrating highlights in that incredible voice, reading poetry behind epic music to make us think that we were watching gods fight titans on the battlefield. Glorious and gritty, NFL Films is the biggest reason that the NFL is as popular as it is today. You don’t even need the highlights. Just listen to this and you can picture the action yourself.
No other film crew in the US did what NFL Films did for the NFL. As soon as the company was established, it started chipping away at the popularity of major league baseball. And 30 years after it was established in 1962, the NFL was the most popular sport in America.
I still remember my grandparents owning a VHS tape that NFL Films had produced about the 1989 season. It’s the only reason a six-year-old kid from south Texas knew who Christian Okoye was. Over the past few years, I’ve loved watching the NFL Network and the NFL Films weekly specials about the NFL season. Steve Sabol was always a great host and the perfect face for the company that his father started.
Sadly, Steve Sabol passed away yesterday. But he left one hell of a legacy so that his work and his father’s will live on as long as people love football.
6. Finally, something to make you smile. I’m a fan of good music, but not often pop music. Still, it always stands out to me, like a good score. It’s the reason I love NFL Films productions so much. I also love a good mash-up. I don’t know how, but someone has found a way to mash up Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe?”
Check it out for yourself and feel free to play it at your next party is you want a great reaction from your guests.
As we saw on Saturday Night Live, “Gangnam Style” is a great way to get people in a better mood.