Monthly Archives: July 2010

“Colombia?! Why in the hell Colombia?”

This photo came from "," no lie.

I’ve been getting this question a lot lately. In case you didn’t know, from Aug. 11-27, Amanda and I will be traveling to and around Colombia for a vacation/graduation trip (gotta squeeze all we can out of that achievement before joining the real world, y’know?).

So naturally I’ve been spending a lot of my time explaining to well-meaning, concerned friends, relatives and the like. But I’ll be the first to tell you that I can get my thoughts across in writing much better than with my voice. Hence this blog post explaining why the hell we’d decide to go to a country known by most Americans for cocaine, cocaine-related murders and as “that country where Johnny Depp buys all that cocaine in ‘Blow.'”

Yes. That’s where I’m going. But it’s not 1988 anymore.

So to all my concerned friends/relatives/whomever, here’s why you should be more than excited for our trip while, naturally, still keeping a healthy dose of concern for our well-being:

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Today is Bengie Molina Day

Bengie "Freight Train" Molina.

True baseball history occurred last night. Bengie Molina, the self-described “slowest man on earth,” hit for the cycle AND had a grand slam to carry the Rangers to an 8-4 win over Boston. While I didn’t get to see the game after the rain delay, I take some sort of karmic responsibility for spurring on this amazing feat. Just look at the text message exchange I had with Austin Talbert as history was being made:

AT (6:23)- My name is Vlad Guerrero and I am the worst base runner ever. (After Vlad was thrown out trying to take third).

Me (6:40)- Hello my name is Bengie Molina and I’m the slowest human being alive. (After Bengie barely made it to third).

AT (8:59)- Bengie!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me (9:00)- What happened?

AT (9:00)- Grandslam

Me (9:00)- That’s impossible. We’re talking about Bengie Molina.

AT (9:03)- Don’t look now. But he’s a triple shy of the cycle.

Me (9:03)- OK now that’s impossible.

AT (9:54)- Triple. No joke.

Me (12:11)- I take sole responsibility for this miracle.

AT (12:12)- You had nothing to do with it.

Let’s agree to disagree. Regardless, the call by Josh Lewin and Tom Grieve may be my favorite call of all time. “Pigs have flown in Boston, Massachusetts!” Simply brilliant.

Again, sorry for doubting you Bengie. Now keep it up.

So go celebrate Bengie Molina Day appropriately: eat six cheese enchiladas and then run the bases four times.

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Band to know: Delta Spirit

Tonight Amanda and I will be venturing to the bustling metropolis of Dallas (yes, it is a bit of a drive from the Fort Worth ‘burbs) to see a rock and roll show. It will be my first show at a club to see in Dallas (excluding Neil Young and Radiohead at SuperPages a while back) since probably Wolfmother at the Gypsy Ballroom back in like ’07. Needless to say, I pretty stoked.

The band is Delta Spirit. If you like good music, you will like them. Their lead singer reminds me of a young Springsteen with that whole working-class-no-bullshit swagger, and their music matches.  I share this because you should go too if you’re free on this Thursday night. It’s at The Loft, which is above the Palladium, and from what I head it’s an intimate little joint. When the Yelp reviews are negative because of lack of space and not being able to see over the person in front of you, I think to my favorite places in Austin (Parish, Antone’s) and get excited. Tickets are $14. They have two openers who I’ve never heard of and I don’t believe in researching openers beforehand so as not to spoil the fun. See you there.

Here’s a taste of Delta Spirit, who just dropped their second album last month. Here’s my favorite track off of that. I’ve seen them a couple of times and they put on a helluva show.

More tracks after the jump. Continue reading

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List Time: Must-see concert films

This is why I can't eat spaghetti.

It’s the day after the All-Star Game, the deadest day in the world of sports. I’m pretty sure ESPN is looping reruns of lawn dart championships from the ’80s. I mean, those pretty anchors have to have some time off, right?

What this means for the media/blogosphere is a day completely full of fluff.’s lead story is about preparing for the second half of fantasy baseball and the biggest “news” is that Alex Gonzalez has been traded to the Braves. These are lean times.

And the saying is, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. I just finished watching the “Rust Never Sleeps” film version and was inspired to share my favorite concert films of all time. This list is by no means comprehensive as the breadth of my knowledge is admittedly lacking, and most of these are regarded as classics anyway…BUT if they’re new to at least one person, I’d chalk this one up in the win column.

On to business…

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All-Time Obscure Rangers: Middle Infielders

From 1989 on he was known as Billy "Fuck Face" Ripken.

Bleh. That’s how I feel about the Rangers going into the All-Star break. I was at the first game of the four-game sweepage at the hands of the mighty Baltimore Orioles. It was frustrating.

What isn’t so frustrating is naming the guys who’ll man the middle of the All-Time Obscure Ranger team. These guys would work together like a poorly-oiled, dysfunctional, patchwork double-play tandem. Or maybe not, considering who’s at shortstop…

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Cliff Lee is a Texas Ranger

Wow, didn’t expect to be writing that kind of a headline this year. I honestly didn’t think the Rangers would put up the prospects and risk needed to do it. BUT, J.D. did just that and now the Rangers have a bona fide ace for the first time since…Nolan Ryan? I mean, they’ve had Kenny Rogers, John Burkett, Aaron Sele and Rick Helling, but they were all No. 2 starters at best.

Sure will be nice seeing him in a Ranger jersey, but at a risk.

So it’s no wonder Texas fans don’t know how to react to this. Just read the up-in-arms comments over at Lone Star Ball. You’d think we traded away Elvis for Brian Moehler and some pine tar.

True, it does hurt to see Justin Smoak and Blake Beaven go (the other guys are more middling prospects). Smoak was perceived to be the next Teixeira, except with a higher on-base percentage. But, the fact is, he’s not there yet. The Rangers, though, could be. They’ll be at least a few games up in the division at the All-Star Break with the most realistic shot at the playoffs and beyond since 1999. This move means one thing: The Rangers want to win. Now. Not five years down the road. Now. After all, the stupid team slogan is “It’s Time.” They’re putting their money where their mouths are.

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All-Time Obscure Rangers: First Base

That's one large feline...I wonder how it relates to Blake's obscure first baseman pick...

Now that all that Le-Drama is over, it’s time to get back to business here at the Locker. A couple of days ago I named the All-Time Obscure catcher, and today we’ll delve into first base.

This one may be the skimpiest list we’ll run in to. The Rangers have had a long history of solid first basemen (Rafael Palmeiro, Will Clark, Mark Teixeira, Chris Davis…wait, one of those doesn’t fit…). Aside from the past couple of years, Ranger fans have been spoiled at the position.

And without further ado…

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The ESPN/LeBron Problem

LeBron and ESPN, a vomit-inducing match made in heaven.

I get it. Even as an admittedly passive observer of the NBA for the past four years (the ’06 finals and the Mavs’ first-round exit in ’07 killed my love for the league), I get it. LeBron James is a big freaking deal. Biggest free agent maybe ever. And I get that ESPN loves telling me about it ad nauseum. Almost as much as the network enjoyed stalking Brett Favre.

But they don’t need to. Sports fans don’t need an hour-long special tomorrow night to get amped up about where he’s going. After all, ESPN has spent every last minute since the NBA season ended stoking the hype fire on, well, every conceivable platform: SportsCenter, PTI and Around the Horn not enough for you? Luckily you’ve got ESPN News for that. Oh, don’t forget about and Twitter. And ESPN: The Magazine.

And they present all of this speculation and, for lack of the better word, bull shit as news, with the sole intent of keeping you, the die-hard sports fan informed and on the cutting edge. But people need to understand that ESPN stopped becoming a news organization a long time ago. Sure, they still break news and report on all the happenings around the sports world, but dollar signs and the entertainment side of its operation has become way more important.

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