Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Identity of the Astros

The following comment was left on Astros County's post on the rebuild. I really felt like it was worth addressing. 

"But with the major differences in rules and strategy between the two leagues in baseball, the Astros switching leagues is a very good reason to dump the team. And honestly I believe if you continue to support the team then you were never a true fan to begin with because the REAL Astros died last year. The REAL Astros are a NL team. Any AL version is just a zombie version of the real Astros were no matter how successful they become after the switch. They aren't the same team or the same franchise. And honestly anybody who supports them is a traitor to the city of Houston and should just pack their bags and move to Dallas."

That is preposterous. Being a fan is irrational at its core, and so its all right if you stop rooting for the Astros for any reason at all. It doesn't make you a bad person. But don't try to justify it. Don't try to rationalize it. Admit that YOU are abandoning the team, not the other way around. The Astros will still be playing at Minute Maid Park. They will be decked out in Orange and Blue, which is what they should have been wearing this whole time. The NL Championship banner from 2005 will still be flying. Numbers 5 and 7 will still be retired, along with 24, 25, 32, 33, 34, 40 and 49. The team that gave us so many great memories, and so much heartache, will still be ready to give us more of both. They aren't leaving. If you leave, fine. But don't blame them. 

Unless you think that the true identity of the Astros is solely wrapped up into whether Bud Norris hits for himself. Unless you think that the most important part of all of that history is the fact that for all of the years, the Astros pitchers were hitting for themselves. For all the talk of the differences between the AL and NL, there really is only one. In 1973 the American League added the Designated Hitter. I have never liked it. I still don't like it. But, they still play baseball. There are still 9 innings, four balls and three strikes. And the Astros are still the Astros. 

The Astros are more than just the pitcher hitting. They are bigger than Jim Crane. They are bigger than any league switch. If the Astros defected from the U.S. Major Leagues to join the Nippon Profession League, I would follow (weirder start times, but no DH). If you can't bring yourself to watch Carlos Pena (or whoever, not really clear on that yet) hit for Norris, that's your prerogative. As for me, I am hoping for an AL Championship banner to hang next to that NL one in the near future. And I don't think that makes me a bad fan. Quite the opposite, in fact.  


Pat said...

My loyalty to the Astros is as strong as ever, regardless of league. My problems with the AL switch have everything to do with Bud Selig forcing it unwillingly on the Astros (making it a condition of sale). Also not a fan oflate west coast starts. Most of all, what I hate is replacing a lifetime of watching games against traditional NL teams (Braves, Mets, Pirates, Cubs, Cards, Reds, Giants, & Dodgers)& having to manufacture excitement for the Mariners, A's, Royals, Blue Jays, & Rays. We were already playing the Rangers in interleague, so I don't buy that we have to share a division with them for a rivalry to exist. But this post is absolutely correct. All the Astros can do is keep trying to build a winner, & all true fans can do is stick by them every step of the way.

Anonymous said...

I suffered through the nauseating kick to the gonads each time Brad Ausmus and Adam Everett went to the plate with their wet noodle and lackluster efforts. I've dealt with "King Jackhole" Bud Selig treating the Houston fans like second class citizens for a decade. I even tolerated "Yes Man" Tim Purpura as GM --- Enough said about that epic failed bit.

I'm not about to cash in my chips yet --- I have to much pain and suffering invested that has yet to pay off. It'll be worth it SOMEDAY when I can call my favorite team The World Series Champions.

We might be hosed now and for a long time to come, but my faith stands unwavered!

See you for some tragically bad baseball on opening day.

--- An Abused Lifelong Fan

Reuben said...

What is it with the ridiculous perpetual Ausmus-and-Everett hate in the comments lately? Do you people even realize what the primary purpose of a catcher an a shortstop is? It is to provide good defense and field leadership, and Brad Ausmus and Adam Everett were the best the Astros have ever had in that respect. Everett may have been THE best-fielding SS of the 2000's. I consider it a privilege that I was able to watch them with the Astros.

Were they good hitters? No, but neither was Mark Belanger, or Steve Yeager, or Marty Marion, or many other great-fielding SS and C from championship teams. The Astros' problems in the mid-2000s did NOT include Ausmus an Everett.

Anonymous said...

I will remain a fan because it is in my blood, but I understand the sentiment behind the original post. I also don't subscribe to what I consider the myth that Bud Selig forced the Astros to move.

Lots of fans assume that Selig had leverage over Crane, and used that leverage to get Crane to agree to move to the AL. The facts just don't support that. Crane had the leverage and he knew it; thus the 70 million payoff he received from Bud and Drayton.

If Selig actually had leverage, he would never have paid Crane a cent to move, he would have just demanded it. In short, those with leverage receive the ransom, they do not pay it.

Even after digesting the idea that Crane sold out the fans, I still support the team.

Reuben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Astrosfannj said...

That comment was plain dumb. I'm so glad you took the time to respond and a fine job responding you did. I hate the AL, I hate Bud Selig for raping us in the ass, I hate the DH but I love the Astros. That love is far stronger than any: (1) loyalty to the NL; (2) any enjoyment of watching Bud Norris hit; and (3)any desire to hunt down Bud Selig for revenge. A true fan doesn't cut an run when times get tough. A true fan hunkers down, takes the pain and waits for the better days.

Anonymous said...

This ticked me off. I've been a fan for 25 plus years since I was a kid. I would love for the Astros to be better than they are, but they aren't. There are so many moving parts that it takes many things to go right.

I do believe that the right plan is being done now. The AL does not bug me. At least we will see Minute Maid turned into a bigger homerun park.

Get over the gripe. Be thankful that we have baseball.

ntxlfty said...

No matter what happens in the future, I will never say I like the way it was done. You couldn't pay me enough to lie about it. Bud Selig, Drayton Mcclane, and yes, even Nolan Ryan have joined ranks with the likes of Bud Adams. That's not very good company. Nolan wanted a rivalry, and he got one. It's not against the Rangers, though. It's against him.

Anonymous said...

"But don't try to justify it. Don't try to rationalize it. Admit that YOU are abandoning the team, not the other way around."

Fuck you.

Anonymous said...

Well, you certainly didn't try to rationalize anything with that response. Stay classy, Bandwagon Fan.