Don Drysdale on “The Brady Bunch” and the tragic life of the first Mrs. Brady

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Don’t lie: you’ve done it. You’ve done exactly what Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times describes in this article from the other day:

Baseball fans, who seem to have more time to waste than normal people, love to compile All-This or All-That teams: lineups made of real players who meet some criterion. The All-Steroids Team. The All-Mustache Team. The idea is to find one player for each position who fits the category.

Genzlinger makes up one of his own: the All-TV-Cameo Team.  Players who made a walk-on appearance on some scripted television show.  Difficulty: no “Seinfeld” or “Simpsons” allowed. He also limits himself to only a couple California or New York players because that would be too easy.

Because of that rule he has neglected one of my favorites ever: Don Drysdale appearing on “The Brady Bunch,” telling Greg Brady that he could be a bonus baby, thereby causing Greg to big-time everyone and neglect his responsibilities.

I can’t remember the setup — maybe Mike was designing an addition for Drysdale’s home or something — but I did always wonder if he was related to Mike’s boss who, you will recall, was named “Mr. Drysdale.” Probably got a discount on Mike’s valuable architect services. Or maybe there is some elaborate back story we never knew about in which Drysdale himself was both a pitcher and an architect. That would be something. UPDATE: Crap. As noted in the comments below, I blew this one. Mr. Drysdale was on “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Mike’s boss, I am now remembering, was “Mr. Phillips.”  I think I’m just gonna quit for the day.

By the way: Wasn’t Greg just the biggest rube? Prone to suggestion. Remember how he stole the other high school football team’s playbook that time? Remember when he stole the other school’s mascot? All because someone told him he should. If his life didn’t end up with him being the wheel-man/fall-guy for a robbery of some kind I’d be shocked. Dude looked like he was gonna go through life never knowing quite what happened to him.

Probably expected, of course. I mean, his natural mother disappeared completely and was never spoken of again and was never any part of her sons’ lives. Just tragic, really. She probably ran off to join the Manson Family or something. L.A. in 1969 was a dark place for many people.

OK, baseball needs to come back or else I’m gonna do another 2,000 words on the social dysfunction and pathos of “The Brady Bunch.” Which is fine, but may get a bit uncomfortable and difficult when we get to Jan.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.