Pet of the Week
Name: Zydeco, like the Cajun music style, and groups named Buckwheat Zydeco, Zydeco Dots, and Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience. Please feel free to change my name. (In fact, I'm on my four knees begging you.)
Birthday: July 7, 2017 — I just blew out one candle on my birthday biscuit.
Ethnicity: I'm a miniature Schnauzer and terrier mixed-up fella. I'm a fun-loving, sweet boy, who's gentle with kids and other animals. I have topped out at 38 pounds, so I'm a medium-sized pooch. I'm fixed, healthy, housebroken, and good to go. What are you waiting for?
Come and get me: I'm available for adoption at 11 am Friday, July 20 at Citizens for Animal Protection (17555 Katy Freeway; 281-497-0591). Tell them, "Ken sent me."
Zydeco's zings: With all the talk about Major League Baseball considering doing something to eliminate or limit the use of defensive shifts, a few years ago, I asked former Astros infielder Morgan Ensberg: How come lefty hitters don’t beat the shift by hitting down the leftfield line? There’s nobody within 30 feet of third base.
According to Ensberg, that's easier said than done. In fact, it's impossible. He said something which I didn’t believe at the time, but do now. He said, “There is nobody in baseball who can hit a ball where they want. It’s just not possible. Pitchers are throwing 95 mph-plus and then you have relievers throwing even harder.”
Rockin' walk-on music
I wondered, do the Astros have to pay royalty fees for hitters’ walk-up songs and relievers’ entrance music? Or do they get off for free because they play less than 10 seconds of those songs? I’ve heard that there was a rule: no fees required for short snippets of songs. Not true.
From Astros senior manager of communications Dena Propis: “We pay annual rights fees to play licensed music inside the venue, regardless of length or time.”
For trivia buffs, it’s difficult to pinpoint the first player to use walk-up music, but it may have been Lou Brock. In the early '70s, the St. Louis speedster asked the stadium organist to play the “Theme from Shaft” was he walked to the plate.
My favorite walk-up music? Back in 2016, when I followed the Trinity University Tigers all the way to the D3 World Series title, leftfielder Jeremy Wolf used “Helter Skelter,” a screamer recorded by the Beatles in 1968 — 25 years before Wolf was born.
Big league baseball teams play a flat fee to play walk-up songs. But how much do radio stations pay to play a song? KHMX Radio (Mix 96.5 FM) program director Chase Murphy says stations pay about one-tenth of a penny each time a song is played. If a Top 40 station plays “In My Feelings” (currently No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart) 100 times this week, well, that’s 100 times one-tenth of a penny for Drake. It adds up.
Journalism 101: Where are the hookers?
When you're a hard-hitting, big city columnist, you have to put up with criticism and accusations of inaccuracy. For example: last week, as a joke, I said that prostitutes on Bissonnet Street don’t throw themselves at men like contestants on The Bachelor.
My friend Reg “Third Degree” Burns wrote to me, “You should have said South Main Street, that’s where the hookers are.”
I looked it up. Here, from a Channel 2 investigation, “By far the No. 1 spot for prostitution arrests is Bissonnet Street, along a 1.3-miles stretch between the Southwest Freeway and Beltway 8. A whopping 589 arrests were made on that street alone (in the past two years), and that doesn’t include the side streets.”
So, don’t tell me about where the hookers are in Houston, Third Degree!
Bye-bye, Papa John
My apologies to the King in Burger King commercials. You are no longer the creepiest fast food spokesperson. But at least you’re not a real person. Sadly.
Dog lover? Ken Hoffman introduces you to an adorable pup available for adoption in Houston every Thursday.