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Every Day Should Be Jackie Robinson Day for the Houston Astros

HOUSTON - APRIL 09:  Bud Norris #20 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Minute Maid Park on April 9, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Richard ZowieCorrespondent IApril 20, 2010

One of the funniest baseball quips of all time came from Keith Hernandez, who had a pretty good career as first baseman of the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, and another team or two.

"Mex" was getting a divorce when he received word from his attorney before one game that his divorce was officially final.

Hernandez, last seen promoting Just For Men hair dye , proceeded to go something like three for four with two home runs and a double.

Not a power hitter, Hernandez mused to reporters after the game.

"Maybe I should get divorced every day. I'd be broke, but I'd also be in the Hall of Fame."

With that, as a Houston Astros fan, I wish Major League Baseball would honor Jackie Robinson every game of the season.

During the day in which teams all wore Number 42 jerseys to honor the man who broke baseball's color barrier in 1947, the Astros played the type of game we wish was typical of the team: a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

It makes me think that Dr. Phil's "Losing is a disease" pep talk with the 'Stros must've worked.

Nothing motivates a team to play hard like the prospect of getting lectured again by "Shiny Dome, the High Priest of the Church of Oprah".

Bud Norris pitched the way Chuck Norris can deliver roundhouse kicks (five innings, four hits, one unearned run and nine strikeouts), while the Astros had five hits and two runs against a pitcher in Kyle Lohse who normally owns them.

In the later innings, Houston added three insurance runs to secure the victory.

Norris drove in a run with a hit, while Houston's bullpen in four innings allowed two hits, three strikeouts and no runs. St. Louis' sole run first got on base on a dropped fly ball by Carlos Lee.

As fans who sit in the bleachers, blog at computers, and who've never had to face down a 90-mph fastball, is it too much to expect Houston to play like that every day ? Perhaps.

The game does make me think that returning to the baseball greatness the 'Stros had in the late 1990s and early in the last decade, is as simple as playing a balanced game.

Pitchers get outs, hitters get hits, the defense makes few mistakes, and base runners make good decisions.

Yes, feel free to roll your eyes at me and suggest my analysis is shallow, but it really is that simple.

Perhaps the Astros have neglected the simple solutions for so long that the simple problems have become complex.

Houston is now 3-9 on the season as they took two of three from the Chicago Cubs and try to climb out of the cellar. Maybe they'll start in that way when Lance Berkman returns to the line-up.

Otherwise, maybe Dr. Phil will return to speak in the clubhouse again.

Richard Zowie blogs about the Houston Astros for Bleacher Report. Even though he's lived in Michigan for more than five years, Richard remains a staunch fan of the Astros. Post comments here or e-mail Richard at richardzowie@gmail.com .

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