By Marc Campos

Never Mind, DeLayed Deal, Backstops, Tops

I don't know about you, but I sure feel ripped off this morning. One of my greatest accomplishments in grade school was learning the nine planets of the solar system and in order too. Now the planet gods are telling us that we're down to eight and Pluto has been demoted to "dwarf planet" status. Pluto has enjoyed planet status since 1930, how come it took them 76 years to get it right, errrr, or wrong?

Now they're telling us Pluto has company in that we get two more "dwarf planets": Ceres (as in The World Ceres?) and 2003 UB313 (a space odyssey?). Why didn't they just give 'ol 2003 a name like maybe a character from "Star Trek." I would have been cool with Spock or Scotty. Now it turns out that Pluto has a moon called Charon (as in cheeCharon?) If you have a moon, shouldn't that qualify you for full planet status?

This planet changing status stuff all happened at the worldwide astronomer's annual convention that was held in Prague a couple of days ago. I wonder if the astronomers had to run the planet changing deal by Culberson.

Speaking of the GOP, I'm kind of tired of the press run DeLay is still getting. Yesterday he was on one of the local TV stations complaining about the latest judicial ruling. I've had it with his act. He's no longer in office. He's not important. He's a has been. He can't do anything that affects me anymore. Of course, if I'm to get my wish about not hearing from DeLay, my Party has to lay off of him. I'm cool with that. We can win without bashing a political corpse.

Who's Joe Mauer? He's the catcher for MLB's Minnesota Twins. He's on pace to win the American League batting average title this season. As of yesterday, he leads the Yankees' Derek Jeter by 26 points. A catcher hasn't won a batting average title since 1942 when Hall of Famer Ernie Lombardi did it as a Boston (now Atlanta) Brave, which, by the way, was the only season he played as a Brave. He played most of his career in Cincinnati and New York (Giants, now San Francisco).

My Best Friend says there ought to be a mention of Yankee Skipper Joe Torre in this story. In 1971, as a Cardinal, Torre won the batting title. He was also named MVP that season. Torre started his career with the Braves (Milwaukee but used to be Boston) as a catcher and is probably best known during his playing days as a catcher. He was traded (from the Atlanta Braves, you with me) in 1969 to the Cardinals where he caught and played first base. The year he won the batting title, he played first base. Why don't catchers win more batting titles? It is the physically most grueling position in baseball, squatting, getting stung by foul tips, having to rip off your protective gear in between innings - you get the picture.

Check out page two of the star section in today's Chron. There is a cool photo of One Of My Best Friends with ZZ Top's Dusty Hill. The photo was taken at the City of Houston's birthday party the other night. Do you know what ZZ Top, Santana, Bad Company, and Joe Cocker have in common? They all played at ZZ Top's Texas Style Barbecue held on Labor Day of 1974 at the University of Texas' Memorial Stadium. Folks rocked so hard that day that mega concerts were banned at UT for years. Actually, they had a few logistical problems like lack of concessions, water, ice, and restrooms. Commentary was there. When I finally walked out of the stadium, totally dehydrated, I headed for a nearby 7-11, found a 24 ounce can of Schiltz and chugged it.

I don't feel like saying anything about the 'Stros this morning. Maybe I'll say something Monday.

August 25, 2006, 9:00AM

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