Houston Astros regular season games are broadcast on AT&T SportsNet Southwest which also provides pre-game and post-game coverage and analysis. However, during the playoffs, ATTSNSW will be the only regional sports network that will not provide such coverage. ATTSNSW is declining to provide the local angle because “they don’t have the rights to broadcast the games.” They are clearly the outlier as the other regional networks will provide coverage before and after each game even thought they are not actually carrying the games either. In the American League, Yankees fans can get the local scoop on YES, Red Sox faithful on NESN, Indians supporters on SportsTime Ohio and A’s hangers-on on NBC Sports California. But for Astros fans, the final chance to hear Todd Kalas, Geoff Blum, Julia Morales, Kevin Eschenfelder and Mike Stanton chat up the Astros will be before and after the final game of the regular season on Sunday. Sad!
Congratulation to Manager Wilmer Cabrera and the Houston Dynamo squad as they defeated the Philadelphia Union 3-0 on Wednesday to claim the 105th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Forward Mauro Manotas led the way with a brace scoring in the 5th and 25th minute of the match with assists from Albert Elis. Manotas claimed the Open Cup’s Golden Boot award with the second goal totaling five goals for the tournament and 20 goals in all competitions this year. The game ending goal came in the 65th minute when forward Romell Quioto’s shot was saved by Union keeper Andre Blake but the clearance by Auston Trusty failed resulting in an own goal.
The Open Cup victory means the Dynamo will return to the CONCACAF Champions League in 2019. This was the Dynamo’s first U.S. Open Cup title. The club previously won the Major League Soccer Cup in 2006 and 2007 shortly after relocating to Houston.
Red’s opinion of sports talk radio buffoon Josh Innes is rather well-known to long-time readers by now. KBME – AM 790 in Houston pushed out the knowledgeable and well-liked Charlie Pallilo two years ago and brought in the obnoxious and uniformed Innes as a replacement after he was drummed out of the Philadelphia market.
Every once in a while, Red may push the wrong button and end up listening to a few seconds of Innes’ inane blather. It happened last week, just as Innes was heaping praise on Donald Trump and guaranteeing that the Insult Comic President will win a second 4-year term because everyone is piling on him and that makes Innes want to support him.
Red has to thank the blubberous Innes because for the first time in a long time, Red has some hope. If Innes thinks Trump is a shoo-in for another term, then the likelihood of that happening has gone way down. Innes should stick to talking about other subjects of which he is ignorant – like Sports for example.
FIFA announced today that the 2026 World Cup Finals (and please note that is the appropriate name for what begins tomorrow in Russia) will be played in the USA, Mexico and Canada. All three countries will receive automatic qualification for the Finals. The field will be expanded to 48 teams with additional slots likely awarded to COMEBOL, UEFA and CONCACAF. The USA will host 60 of the 80 games and Mexico and Canada 10 apiece. All games after the Round of 16 will be played in the USA with the Championship Game in New Jersey. Here’s hoping that Houston and Arlington will get games. Red’s goal – assuming he makes it that long – will be to attend at least one game in the USA, Mexico and Canada.
Several current PGA tour members have questioned the manhood of NCAA golfers who use push carts instead of carrying their own bag. Golf Digest has the full scoop. Harris English, Billy Horschel and others seem overly offended by the amateurs employing modern push carts (Red remembers the days of pull carts). Not all pros have fallen in line. Bob Estes for one indicates that he wishes he had used one as he now suffers from some medical conditions possibly caused by years of carrying a hefty bag.
Red himself forswore the use of a pull/push cart for many years and insisted on walking and carrying. But in order to still walk as much as possible, Red has moved into the pro-push cart camp. For those who think golf is no exercise at all – Red challenges them to walk 18 holes in the Texas summer heat sometime. Walking an average 18 hole course is typically the equivalent of about 16-20,000 steps. That’s anywhere from 4 to 6 miles. Red you ask, how can that be when a course is only about 7000 yards? That leaves out the green to next tee box stroll of up to 100 yards or more, the walk around the green while putting, the searching for your and your fellow players’ balls, measuring distance, and general meandering, etc. Lugging a 20-30 lb bag for 6 miles is really not that much fun. Even the younger Red would usually be wondering about the sanity of same after the 14th hole. So the pampered elites of the PGA tour who haven’t lifted a bag in years and have a caddy to cater to their every whim on the course need to layoff the amateurs – most of whom are playing for the love of the game and will never play for the big money.
The finest non-major golf tournament held in the United States takes place in Fort Worth this weekend at Colonial Country Club. The event – dubbed the Fort Worth Invitational this year – has been held at the same site longer than any other tournament. As a result, CCC and the PGA have this tournament working like a finely-tuned, well-oiled machine. The facilities for the spectators are fabulous, there is ample room at most holes for up close viewing of the action and the overall layout is spectacular and compact. You can catch action on every hole without having to walk miles in the process. The venerable course holds up as well and while scores can be low only once has more than 20 under been the winning score.
The only downside has been the inability of to attract a better field in recent years – and the sometimes brutally hot weather in late May. The list of past champions, however, is impressive and includes such all-time greats as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Cary Middlecoff, Billy Caspar, Ben Crenshaw, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth.
Look for Red on Sunday relaxing in a luxury skybox by the 13th green with cool beverage in hand.
Unlike in past couple of years, Texas has an undeniably strong presence in this year’s NCAA Basketball tournament with a record-tying 7 teams in the 68 team field vying for the Final Four in San Antonio. In no particular order, Texas Tech, Stephen F. Austin, Houston, Texas A&M, Texas Southern, TCU and UT have made the field. Red thinks Tech and TCU have the best shot at a Final Four appearance, but he is almost always wrong about such things.
In fact, a Texas school has not been in the Final Four since 2003 when the University of Texas came on strong for its third Final Four shot. But, UTEP is the only other Texas team to have made a Final Four and won the only NCAA Championship for a Texas team with its upset of Kentucky in 1966. Maybe this is the year.