Great Moments in cultural elitism

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Jon Heyman this morning:

lengthy discussion in starbucks now by 2 people regarding their love of hooters’ wings. i gotta get back to NY!

Anyone want to tell Heyman that there’s a Hooters on W. 56th Steet?

But I don’t mean to single out Heyman. Tim Lincecum likes to mock those with different tastes as well:

He’s a fan of the People of Wal-Mart Web site, and if you’ve ever
seen it, you probably feel a lot better about your ability to dress
yourself in the morning.

Lincecum and a buddy made a run to the local big-box retailer
yesterday and he was very pleased with the photo of himself out front,
smiling while making a “W” symbol with his hand. He submitted it to the
site and hopes to see himself soon.

I’m not trying to be the thought police here, but having grown up in places that many people consider to be less than culturally sophisticated, I get really tired of this kind of casual, mocking cultural elitism. Hooters and Wal-Mart patrons buy baseball tickets and copies of Sports Illustrated too. Many of them — even those whose photographs were taken without their knowledge while they were looking less than their best and then were posted on some website — are actually pretty darn nice people if you get to know them.

If you don’t like Hooters don’t eat there (I’m not a fan myself). If you’re gonna hate on Wal-Mart, hate the fact that their executives have are largely responsible for getting this country hooked on crappy, cheap, disposable imported consumer
products and for ruining the Kansas City Royals.

But lay off their customers, will ya?  Not all of them are worth eight figures or can afford to live next door to Pudge Rodriguez. They’re doing the best they can.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).