Looking ahead to the Astros in 2010; The Cyclical Nature of Sports

RJ weighs in with a blog post telling us that the Astros don't have to be terrible in 2010. Let's point out a contradiction of his, right off the bat: in his last blog post, he noted that fans don't care about the Astros anymore. Friday though, he noted that:

People here care about this baseball team. They care deeply.

Ok, well nobody ever said Dickie was known for being consistent. Let's go on, shall we?

Astros fans will be OK with younger players as long as they see that the organization is committed to a larger picture. Besides that, whether the team is good or bad, there still aren't many better ways to spend a few hours than to sit inside Minute Maid Park and watch a baseball game.

Point to Mr. Justice. Indeed, a climate controlled environment, $8.50 beers, a downtown that is being improved upon seemingly by the week, and a city that loves sports. All factors that enable MMP to draw fans even when Humberto Quintero, Kaz Matsui, and Jason Michaels make up 1/3 of the Astros' lineup. Onward, I say!:

Also, don't go writing off Bud Norris, Tommy Manzella or Chris Johnson after just a month or even after a season. Remember how bad Michael Bourn was last year? Could you have ever imagined he would be the Astros MVP in 2009?

Damn you, Tricky Ricky! Making another point I can't readily disparage.

Weren't you a little embarrassed when the Astros made a big deal of Pudge Rodriguez becoming the all-time leader in games caught? Pudge meant nothing to most Astros fans. He got here when he was in decline, and at a time when the organization was sliding backwards.

....I don't know if embarrassed is the word I would use. Maybe it is.I'm so confused at this point. Agreeing with Justice this much is like a life long Republican nodding his head with a President Obama State of the Union address. It's just not right.

Install Tommy Manzella at short and Edwin Maysonet at second and come up with a plan to give Brian Bogusevic regular playing time in the outfield.

Chris Johnson? He should have every chance to win the third-base job. Same with Jason Castro behind the plate.

Echoing our own DQ? Stop it right now, Richard! He caps it all off with a push to sign pitching:

Among the free agents: Justin Duchscherer, Rich Harden, John Lackey, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny, Joel Pineiro, Kiko Calero, Fernando Rodney, Billy Wagner and Jamie Walker.

An interesting post, to be sure. Food for thought this weekend too.

This one is for you, 'ol Pete: the Seattle Pilots are having a player reunion this weekend, celebrating their one year of existence. The who?? Some may ask. They were Seattle's first major league franchise, playing the 1969 season before a used-car dealer from Milwaukee named Allan Selig spearheaded an effort to move Seattle's young franchise to his hometown. The Pilots would henceforth be known as the Milwaukee Brewers, so give thanks 'ol Pete, your town got a baseball team roughly forty years ago. 

For those who don't know, my family is from Milwaukee (I was actually born there) and I have heard stories about the old Milwaukee Braves moving to Atlanta, and how the city was distraught after losing the team. My grandfather would watch games at County Stadium in the cold, and enjoyed every second of it. After his Braves left though, he never could embrace the Brewers fully. After much of our family moved to Texas in the early 1990s he saw the light and became an Astros' fan, following the club closer than he ever did the Brew Crew. To me, it was always funny how he bemoaned losing his Braves, but he's never mentioned how Milwaukee pried away the Pilots from Seattle. I think on a basic level, the team you grew up with is going to have that pull on your heartstrings for life. Right or wrong, good or bad, most fans have their allegiances and will until the day they die. Times change, teams do too, but those memories from your youth are eternal. Sports is beautiful sometimes, ya know? A lot of people in Seattle lost a team, but tons of little guys and gals in Milwaukee gained a sports following that has lasted a lifetime.

The worst part of the Pilots saga was that it would foreshadow the city of Seattle eventually losing their beloved Sonics, and almost losing the Mariners in the early 1990s, before Ken Griffey, Jr. and crew saved the day, Seattle has had a bumpy sports history despite fielding competitive teams in all three of the major US sports. Hell, the Seattle Sounders soccer club are wowing folks in Washington, and drawing big crowds to boot. You win some, you lose some. You lose a piece of your town, and gain a new piece. Such is life, such is sports.

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