Foul Ball Victim Escapes Gloveless Relationship

Remember the Astros fan who evacuated his date just as a smoked foul ball approached their Minute Maid Field seats on Monday night?

Foul Ball Couple Breaks Up

Located in seats down the left-field line, Sara Saco-Vertiz was struck flush on the right arm by the ball after her date, Bo Wyble, scrambled out of the way - exposing her to the liner off the bat of Chris Johnson.

The couple resurfaced Thursday morning on CBS and in an interview with Harry Smith confirmed that they have broken up since the incident.

Your Without Me, Leather: Astros Fan Evacuates Date Over Incoming Foul Ball

Saco-Veritz told Smith that the split was not over Wyble’s failure to wear a glove in her most vulnerable state, but somehow I have a feeling that sad abandonment may have hastened the relationship’s demise.

Below is video and a partial transcript of the interview.
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I’m Without You, Leather: MLB Fan Evacuates Date

Last night during an Astros game at Minute Maid FiINCOMING!!!!!

Your Without Me, Leather: Astros Fan Evacuates Date Over Incoming Foul Ball

(”I am not an animal, I am a human being!”)

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How Houston Astros, Rockets Helped Save Big 12

The best-kept secret at AOL Fanhouse, Jon Weinbach, has previously unreported details about the television negotiation that prevented the Big 12 from disintegrating.

Calvin Murphy's Houston Rockets Save Big 12

Several outlets have reported that ESPN and Fox, whose Big 12 TV contracts expire in 2016 and 2012, respectively, agreed to significantly higher payments in order to keep Texas in the Big 12 and secure the conference’s future. But a person familiar with the conference’s negotiations said “reports of a new TV deal between Fox and the Big 12 are inaccurate.”

A television network executive with knowledge of the negotiations also confirmed to me today that ESPN did not dump any more money into its existing deal with the Big 12. I was told that the key role played ESPN was that the network agreed not reduce to its financial commitment to the Big 12 despite two schools leaving the league.

ESPN’s financial contribution to the deal merely remained static, which means that a larger amount of revenue from the ESPN deal now goes to each of the 10 remaining Big 12 schools.

Weinbach also has previously unreported details on what motivated Fox to maintain its longterm relationship with the Big 12, effectively killing the proposed Pac-16 TV deal which was - ironically - authored the Fox. Read more…

Astros Fire Jose Cruz; Um, Was That Really Wise?

Nothing much amazes me anymore, especially after what the cops caught that guy doing in Costco. But I’m still taken aback at times over how tone-deaf pro sports front office folks can be when it comes to the public relations game.

Jose Cruz

The Houston Astros fired first-base coach Jose Cruz today. You might just as well say “The Giants banned Willie Mays from AT&T Park” or “The Cardinals kicked away Stan Musial’s cane and sent him headlong down a flight of stairs.” Not that Cruz was in that class as a player, but he’s an icon in Houston, and that franchise needs all the icons — and fan good will — it can get. Read more…

Shawn Chacon In Gambling/Bowling-Related Arrest

When last we left pitcher Shawn Chacon, he had “accidentally” choked Houston Astros general manager Ed Wade, and threw him to the ground. As would happen to you or me, that got him released and banished to the Newark Bears, where he played until signing a Single-A contract with the Oakland A’s on June 18.

Shawn Chacon

Well now, more fun! Chacon was arrested on Monday night at a bowling alley in Colorado in connection with $50,000 in unpaid gambling debts in Las Vegas. Let those who have never been arrested in a bowling alley for Vegas gambling debts throw the first stone. Read more…

SbB@3: Terrible Seats For A Terribler Economy

You! Yes, you, with the comically small amount of money! Would you like to attend an actual “sporting event” with “nationally recognized teams” and the possibility of seeing a “professional sports superstar”? Fret not! SbB@3 will put you in the cheapest seats imaginable, so you can have the privilege of squinting at millionaires who gave up on their season… often before it even began!

SbB's (Blocked) View From The Week's Cheap(est) Seats

Our first special sporting event comes from sunny Los Angeles, the city where even the ugly people are beautiful. There resides sporting’s pre-eminent international man of intrigue, David Beckham. What would you pay to watch the superstar reinvent the sport of soccer for this great country? $500? $1,000? $55,000? Nay, nay, and nay!

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Speed Read: An Evening Of Florida Pillow-Fighting

Normally, you don’t see a broadcast booth spend a plurality of a football game raving about the “time of possession” statistic. Then again, normally, you don’t see a team win said battle by a full 30 minutes of game time, which is precisely what Miami did to Indianapolis last night. And then again, you don’t normally see a team control the ball for fewer than 15 minutes of the game… and win anyway.

Pierre Garcon gets two thumbs down
(”Okay, so you just scored the go-ahead touchdown. Allow me to retort: BOOOO THUMBS DOWN TO YOU BOOOOOOO!”)

But lo and behold, thanks to the quickest of quick-strike offenses, the Colts did exactly that; thanks to touchdown drives of 1, 6, and 4 plays, Indianapolis prevailed in Miami, 27-23. Indeed, the Colts’ longest drive of the night was a 9-play drive that led to a 2nd quarter field goal; on the other side of the field, the Fins had exactly one shorter drive: an 8-play, 25-yard drive that ended in a punt. After that, literally every drive of theirs was 9 plays or longer. That’s the longest shortest drive since [ERROR WE ARE NOT ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU CLIENTS ABORT, RETRY, FAIL?].

Ah, but without turnovers, time of possession is effectively meaningless. Read more…

Aaron Boone Makes Us Feel All Happy About Stuff

OK, we needed a story like this one. Tonight is Aaron Boone night at Wrigley Field, as the third baseman triumphantly returns to the Astros after undergoing open-heart surgery in March. You don’t hear “triumphant” and “Astros” in the same sentence very often, so enjoy it. Gratifying doesn’t half describe it.

Aaron Boone Astros

Boone had just signed with the Astros and was going through his spring training paces in March when his doctor discovered that the heart irregularity he’s had since childhood — a defective aortic valve — had worsened. He required a somewhat risky open-heart surgery procedure to fix the problem. That is one hell of a way to get onto the 60-day disabled list. Read more…

Once-Great Athlete Returns To Play Another Day

You probably thought we were avoiding it today. And you know what? We were going to. I mean, come on - the guy’s way past his prime. Just because he’s going north, back to his old stomping grounds doesn’t mean he’s the same player he was in the ’90s and the earlier part of this decade. The magic is gone at this point; he only looks like the superstar of 10-15 years ago.

Ivan Rodriguez

(This picture sorta ruins the joke.)

Yeah, we said we weren’t going to talk about him, but we just couldn’t help ourselves. And when you consider the guy’s been in the league since 1991 - anytime he changes teams, it’s a big story. So here we are.

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Sports Cereal: A Spoonful Of Weird In Every Bite

I’m on west coast time, so it’s only now time to sit down for breakfast. Let’s see, which will it be this morning? “Houston’s Triple Play” (fortified with eight different kinds of Fail), or “Derek Jeter’s” (real bits of Derek Jeter in every spoonful!)? Hey Dara, where’s the milk?

With the unsettling news that Terrell Owens has released his own brand of cereal recently (You’ll OD on Deliciousness!), we decided to look back at some other dubious breakfast choices for your kids. And hey, adults like them too! The big surprise is that all of these have been approved by the FDA. Read more…