The scrappy horde of reporters who hang out at Minute Maaid Park's press row
during Astros games can agree on one thing: Jeff Bagwell is their go-to guy.
While second baseman Jeff Kent usually broods in front of his locker after games,
turned away from the media scum, Bagwell always faces reporters, offering up
quotable crumbs -- win or lose. After a loss to the Mets in early August, the
Bagster fixed his eyes in a vacant stare and wondered aloud "if this is as good
as we are." His question will be answered as the pennant race intensifies. This
weekend, the Astros face off with neck-and-neck rivals the Cardinals in a critical
series. Though Houston has won six of 11 games against St. Louis, there's no
way of knowing whether our team will rise to the occasion. In these uncertain
times, the Astros' unpredictability is the one thing Houstonians can count on.
7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, September 12 and 13; 1 p.m. Sunday, September 14.
Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. For tickets, call 877-927-8767 or visit www.astros.com
$5 to $39. -- Greg Barr
Pastas, Ponies and Pinot Noir
Cultured horseplay at the Houston Polo Club
Soldiers and peasants played polo 2,500 years ago in Persia and China. But
the rough-and-tumble sport eventually made its way to quarters just inside Loop
610. This Sunday, the Houston Polo Club hosts the fourth annual Polo Italia
and Risotto Festival, which features a six-chukka (period) match. Postgame activities
include a wine tasting and some of the town's finest chefs presenting their
own delectable varieties of risotto, a rice dish that originates in the homeland
of -- you guessed it -- Marco Polo. 4 p.m. Sunday, September 14. 8225 Memorial
Drive. For tickets and information, call 713-622-7300 or visit www.thehoustonpoloclub.com.
$50; benefits the Children's Assessment Center. -- Eric Norvell