So if you saw the game last night, you witness a loss via the long ball as Texas doubled up Houston 4-2. To be honest, I was expecting the Astros to hit a few more homeruns than they have to this point given the team performance in Spring Training. I guess I should not take stock in stats for games that do not count.
In 1999, Houston was on the other side of the outcome as they doubled up the Pirates 19-8. What I was most interested to see here is that no Astro sent a ball over the wall. The offense was powered by 10 doubles by seven different players. Former Astros and Rangers Carl Everett, Ken Caminiti and Richard Hidalgo went a combined 9 for 14 with 10 RBIs. It’s fair to say that everything was rolling for the team on this day, evident by a 2-out single by pitcher Brian Williams to a to plate a run.
After I discovered baseball at the age of 6, most of my Saturdays would consist of a bowl of cereal with cartoons and later a PB and J with whatever ball game I could find. I became a fan of Houston in the early 90’s and Ken Caminiti was the first players that I recognized as a great player. I was always amazed at the way he was able to throw the ball across the diamond, especially from his knees or sitting down. I remember watching him play with the Padres in 1995 and being upset at the sight of it. When he came back to Houston I thought it was awesome. My sickness returned in 2001 when Caminiti joined the in Rangers and I did not watch a Braves game in 2001 for fear of seeing my first favorite player in the uniform of the team that I could not stand at the time.
Thinking back on that experience and – not to be too weird about – it introduced me baseball as a business rather than just a game. It is the main reason I have not been overly invested in the mass exudes of star power that has departed Houston in the past few years to win World Series with other teams. Over the span of both teams existence, 64 players have moved from Houston to Texas and vice versa. Thinking of this make me appreciate Bagwell and Biggio that much more.