Big Baseball Weekend. Real Big.

So kids, how about a few notes from the world of major league baseball?

Alex Rodriguez is the youngest player to ever hit 500 home runs. He's also the best shortstop in baseball. He plays third base because Derek Jeter doesn't want to move, so that makes Rodriguez the best third baseman in baseball. And I hope everyone remembers that, in his last All-Star Game, Cal Ripken was voted in as the third baseman, but Alex Rodriguez, who was voted to start at short, moved to third base so that Ripken could start the game at third. I don't know why people don't like A-Rod. I think he's classy.

Barry Bonds tied Henry Aaron's home run record on Saturday night. And isn't it ironic, don't ya think, that he got the home run off a pitcher who tested positive for steroid use? I note that Jesus Ortiz has changed his mind and now says he will vote for Barry Bonds for the Baseball Hall of Fame. He says he's changing his mind in that any player for whom he now votes has to have at least 600 homers and 3,500 hits. Sorry, Biggio, I guess this means you don't make the cut.

Let's hear it for Tom Glavine, who got his 300th win as a major league pitcher last night. Glavine's the 23rd pitcher to reach that mark, and he's the fifth left-hander to reach that mark. The last left-handed pitcher to win 300 games was Steve Carlton, who did it in 1983. And for more Glavine trivia, he's the first pitcher since Carlton to get an RBI in the game in which he won his 300th.

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I heard lots of commentary yesterday about how Tom Glavine might be the last pitcher to reach the 300 win mark. I don't believe that. Several years ago, these same people thought that Greg Maddux would be the last to reach that mark because Tom Glavine's career seemed over. And we see how that's turned out. Randy Johnson is only 14 wins away from the mark. And it's possible that, because of his back problems, he might retire after this season, but I really don't see Johnson as the type to quit when he's so close to that mark. And after Johnson, Mike Mussina is the next closet to the mark, with 254 career victories. It's possible that Mussina could pitch for three or four more years and get the necessary number of wins.

And who knows what's going to happen with Roy Oswalt, or Johan Santana, or Roy Halladay. Or someone who's still down in the minors.

I'm not saying that any of these guys are locks, and it's possible that no one will ever get to that 300 win mark again. I'm just saying don't treat not reaching 300 as a sure thing.

I guess I should discuss the Astros a bit.

The Astros lost two of three to the Marlins. The good news, Roy Oswalt was solid in the Astros win Friday night. More good news, the Astros kept the Marlins to single digits in runs in every game. The Astros lost the Saturday night game in extra innings when Stephen Randolph uncorked a wild pitch that Eric Munson couldn't handle. The ball rolled under the stands and the umpires let the runner score from second to win the game. Apparently, the Astros had a bit of trouble with the call, because the umpire had to pay them a visit before yesterday 's game to explain the rules.

As I watch the Astros play, I can't help but wonder what the people who thought the Astros would be good this season think? Like Jesus Ortiz. This guy thought the Astros would go to the World Series. I could never understand how he thought this. Any objective observer could see that this wasn't a good team. That there were gaping holes in center, right, second, short, third, catcher, most of the starting rotation, and the bullpen. Yet I know several people who thought the team could at least compete because the NL Central is so mediocre. What do they think now?

The Astros return home tonight to start a three game series with the Chicago Cubs.

Why do I think MMP will be full of Cubs fans this week? -- John Royal

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