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Going Back In Time For Perspective On The 2015 Season

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This season has been a ton of fun, and looking back on past seasons help you realize how great it has been.

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Perspective is important.  Like when a pro athlete complains about a contract offer and says something to the effect of "I have to be able to feed my family" while you are scraping together change to get a 12-pack of Taco Bell tacos on the day before payday.  Or like when folks from places up north (like Oklahoma, or Saskatchewan) laugh at Houstonians when we wear our parkas on our 52 degree winter day.  It's all about your perspective.  It's about what you know, and what you have become accustomed to.

This also applies to Astros fandom in 2015.  The team is having its best year in a decade.  There are a lot of people who have just returned to following the team after years of being away.  Those fans may not have the same perspective as fans that have been through the lean times.

I know some see it as a cop out, but if the Astros do not make the playoffs this season I will be a little disappointed, but I will not be angry.  That is because this season has already been above and beyond anything I could have imagined.  So I wanted to give a little snapshot of what the past few years were like for the long-suffering fan to promote a better understanding of this strange creature.

"A Day In The Life" of the Astros.  August 21 to be exact.  This is a snapshot of the way things were in this era of Houston baseball.  Let's get in the Crawfish Boxes time machine and get a peek into the mind of Astros fans from the three darkest years the team has seen.

**WHUBWHUBWHUBWHUBWHUBWHUBWHUBWHUBWHUBWHUB** (Yeah my time machine sounds like a broken air compressor.  What's yours sound like?  That's what I thought...)

August 21, 2011

Opponent:  San Francisco Giants

Gamethread

The team was headed for the first of its hundred loss seasons.  They started this day with a record of 41-84.  Including this game they would go 14-21 the rest of the way.  By this point in the season fan favorites Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn have been sent to the Phillies and Braves respectively for a group of prospects that fans hope will blossom into the next wave of stars.  The rebuild was beginning, and you could tell.

Recently acquired Astros starter Henry Sosa gave up four runs in his five innings including a 3-run homer to Brandon Belt.  Sosa left with a tie as the youngsters Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez sparked a four run inning of their own.  The score stayed that way until the eleventh inning, when the bullpen failed, and  closer Mark Melancon gave up a 2-run home run to Pablo Sandoval.

What Were The Fans Thinking?

"Paul Clemens could be an interesting potential callup.  I don't know if he'd be ready for the big stage, but he seems to be doing pretty well.  He'd have to trample over J.A. Happ, Aneury Rodriguez & Lucas Harrell though."

"Well I figured out bullpen would blink first after that missed opportunity in the ninth..."

"Ugh....bad to load the bases with 1 out and get nothing."

"Why the EFF are they doing that?  Just shut Lyles down. He doesn't need to pitch out of the BP in freakin AAA! And why the EFF effity EFF EFF is Micheals still getting starts over Bogey???"

Fans are feeling...

Apprehensive.  With a touch of relief knowing they needed to rebuild at some point.

August 21, 2012

Opponent:  St Louis Cardinals

Gamethread

One Hundred loss season number two was in full effect.  On this day the team was 39-83 on its way to 107 losses.  Brad Mills was fired and minor league coach Tony DeFrancesco was at the helm.  Gone was the face of the post-World Series team, Carlos Lee.  In his place were more pieces to try and put together a product on the field.  Jose Altuve had just come back from his first All Star Game appearance, and was becoming the ray of hope for fans to hold on to.

As for the game today, starter Lucas Harrell gave up four runs in the bottom of the first inning (including the first run on a balk) as he headed for a five inning, six hit, six run day.  If you want to picture the win probability chart, think of someone kicking a large rock off the edge of a cliff.  Adam Wainwright struck out 12 batters on his way to a shutout.

What Were The Fans Thinking?

"shoot me, please."

" I wish the season would just end (as I read somewhere on this site - 40 losses over their last 47 games - Yikes!) but at the same time would like to see how some of the players perform over the course of the rest of the season...With all that being said, these blowouts are taking their toll."

Fans are feeling...

Anger and depression as the realization this is bad and going to get worse before it gets better.

August 21, 2013
Opponent:  Texas Rangers

Gamethread

Another 100 loss season?  Check.  Third manager in three years?  Check.  This roster was the culmination of the trading away of our stars.  Grossman, Hoes, Carter Dominguez, Stassi and Wallace were all in the lineup on this day.  Best moment of 2013?  Losing fifteen games in a row to close out the season.  Nothing lights a spark for the next year like the final memory of your season being a giant losing streak.

In today's game Erik Bedard faced off against Derek Holland.  Bedard lasted just over four innings and gave up three runs.  Reliever David Martinez gave up one of his own.  In the top of the eighth Max Stassi drove in the tying run by getting blasted in the face with a pitch.  His sacrifice was in vain, as Chia-Jen Lo gave up a single and two walks before Elvis Andrus hit a game winning sacrifice fly.

What Were The Fans Thinking?

"Max Stassi in the lineup has cost Brett Wallace playing time as Chris Carter plays first"

"Anything interesting happening?"

"Pythaganeorly we should win some games soon."

"and the Rangers win again I wish I were surprised. edit: I wish the Astros would win against them sometimes. But you have to hedge on your wishes after a while with Houston."

Fans are feeling...

Nothing.  They have lost all ability to feel any emotion towards the team.

So before you jump on anyone for saying "I'm just happy with the improvement", remember a lot of those people are coming from a gloomy place and have just seen the sun for the first time in years.  Be gentle...