Less than a week ago, the Astros lifted the Commissioner’s Trophy for the second time in history as they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to bring the World Series home. While they’re still celebrating their huge accomplishment, it’s time to look back and recall everything the Astros went through, all the doubts, all the questionable moves, and how they walked into fire since reaching glory for the first time back in 2017.
I know you hate it every time someone brings to present the 2017 sign-stealing scandal, but there’s no Tuesday without Monday.
This championship means way much more than what people think. It carries a huge load of pride and good feelings of revenge, that sensation that itches our hearts but feels so good when it happens. And last but not least, this is proof of how you can overcome any obstacles in the way if you have a good front office and a good manager.
The only people who left the scandal behind until the 2022 World Series were the Astros fanbase, at least based on what other team’s fans showed until now with big signs from the stand and boos that bring to mind all the bad memories. The Astros needed this one to shut everyone’s mouth, to put a big “LEGIT” on their faces, to prove to everybody they’re the best team in MLB – not Dodgers, not Yankees, not Mets but Astros. Now, we can officially say every possible controversy has been buried.
Aside from the scandal, the journey wasn’t an easy one for the Astros. They had to hire a new manager and a new general manager, besides reassembling their coaching staff. They also lost huge stars to AL rivals on the way.
To name just three…
After the 2019 season: lost RHP Gerrit Cole to Yankees in free agency.
After the 2020 season: lost CF George Springer to Blue Jays in free agency.
After the 2021 season: lost SS Carlos Correa to Twins in free agency.
Those are not three nobodies at all. The first one is a true ace that was outstanding as an Astro, Springer was the star center-fielder, and Correa was one of the team’s leaders and an elite shortstop both offensively and defensively. All of them were in their prime by the time they left Houston.
But at the same time stars were departing from Minute Maid Park, new talented youngsters began to emerge. To fill Cole’s void, Framber Valdez established himself as an ace. Jeremy Peña did his best so that we didn’t have to miss Correa in the postseason. And lastly, Chas McCormick has fit nicely in center field though the team might look for some help in that position during this offseason. Not to mention the emergence of Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker.
The Astros tried over and over again without giving up. Before 2022, they made it to the playoffs every year since 2017 and went to the World Series twice before finally conquering the promised land on Saturday.
The best part of everything is the Astros will keep their core. Surely, they will have work to do before the upcoming season kicks off but no one can deny they’re still on the right path and will presumably compete again in 2023.