Fight intensifies for TV rights…

Sports Focus



Ever since I retired from this newspaper business I have enjoyed life the way I thought most old-timers do when they become senior citizens and go home to do the wife’s chores and pretty much do as we please.

Over the years I have found out that doesn’t apply to watching my favorite sports events on television. You see, my wife is a novela nut – that’s spanish for soap opera. I like them too and she and I have been watching a pair of them lately that come out at 9:00 p.m. during the week on two separate channels. Thanks to the recording device on my television I record both of them and then watch them later at our leisure. That also gives me time to catch at least the first three innings of the Houston Astros game when it has a 7:00 p.m. start.

Now I’ve lost that privilege. A new novela at 7:00 p.m. that just started Monday has her all excited and now I have to record the Astros if I want to see any part of the game.

If you are any kind of a Houston Astro fan you know that the Astros at the moment I’m writing this are the hottest team in major league baseball. After knocking off the Detroit Tigers 8-1 Monday night the Astros had won nine of their last 10 games and were leading the American League’s West Division by 6 1/2 games over the second place Los Angeles Angels. In the process the Astros swept a four-game series over the Texas Rangers at home and started a series with Detroit with a nice 8-1 victory Monday night. After the win Monday the Astros’ overall record of 27-15 was the best in all of baseball, slightly better than the Los Angeles Angels’ 27-16 mark.

The best story-line of the Astros’ recent success came on Mother’s Day Sunday when they called up a young rookie named Corbin Martin to start the final game of the Texas Rangers series. Corbin, who was a lifelong Astros fan and a graduate of Cypress Ranch High School and Texas A&M, was called up from Triple- A Round Rock to pitch in place of the demoted Collin McHugh. The young 23-year-old delivered a gem by pitching six innings of one-run baseball and gave his family, particularly his mother and grandmother, something to treasure for a lifetime. When he was replaced in the sixth inning with the Astros leading by a wide margin, the sell-out crowd at Minute Maid Park gave the young right-hander a standing ovation. When the camera showed his mother in the stands wiping away tears, it gave me goose bumps.

The best part of all this was that there were no novelas showing on Sunday while the game was in progress. My wife and I enjoyed a Mother’s Day dinner at her sister’s house early in the day before the game and later I had the television all to myself.

Go Astros!

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