It’s coming to end soon. Very soon. The once proud tradition of National League baseball played in Houston will be no more. Good to see that other teams and fans in the National League are all broken up about it too. No really, I think they care. Okay, maybe not that much. Oh hell, they don’t give a rip. In fact, one beat writer for the Pittsburgh nine went so far as to insult the Houston organization as they walk out the door. Nothing like some crabby bastard in the media section at PNC Park to carry the day on being gracious and kind to the dearly departed.
In the end though, does anybody care what some hack has to say any way? No seriously, was he joking, serious, senile, or just being his douchebag self with his parting shot? One thing is for sure, he wasn’t factual. By that, what exactly does this kook mean that Houston has had 51 seasons of generally dreadful National League baseball? Really? By whose standards… his? If so, then the man is truly ignorant and by and large an idiot. Okay, so I can probably guess the guy wants to pull a “just kidding” right about now, or maybe not. Either way, he’s a moron. Here is the biggest reason: No one in Houston who has had the priviledge of watching the local nine in all those years would ever use the word dreadful.
Not even this season.
Yes, there you go, I said it. Baseball and dreadful generally don’t go together well, not to those with any ounce of dignity and passion for the game. I’m guessing someone in the media booth up in Pittsburgh has been sniffing way too much popcorn that the old heart and noggin ain’t what it used to be. This is really the truth of the matter, it’s been one hell of a ride and now that it’s over (or soon to be over), it’s nothing but good all over and then some. Perhaps not the best way to go out, what with the machinations of the MLB commissioner, the departed owner, the new owner, and the organization deciding to gut itself while the whole world watched in the same manner one would watch a hari kari ritual with shock and awe. But does that negate 50 years of baseball in our town? No, it doesn’t. But…
Not from this seat, it’s been fun, enjoyable, heart pounding, amazing, thrilling, and worth every emotion invested in the Houston Astros. Every day spent riding in the car on a Sunday afternoon with my Dad and brother as we approached the Astrodome and the game. Walking up to the gate and opening the doors to the magical place, watching the outfielders shagging flyballs, the hitters taking their hacks, and finding the best place to sit in the right field pavillion seats. Yelling as loud as I could for Jimmy Wynn, or Doug Radar. Dennis Menke, Hector Torres, Freddy “Flinstone” Gladding, all the heroes this kid could find wearing the shooting star uniform. The awe of looking up at the cieling in the Dome, or watching the scoreboard explode when a homerun was hit by a local player. Baseball was and is fun, it was about being there with my Dad, it was what any kid in any city in any state anywhere would call wonderful. Somewhere the blackhearts will disagree, but in the end, they can’t really take that away from us. From me. They can’t take away the fandom a teen had of the Jesus Alous, the Terry Puhls, the Craig Reynolds, the Nolan Ryans, the JR Richards, the Joe Sambitos, the Mike Scotts, and all the rest. They can’t handle how much we loved Bob Knepper, Casey Candele, Daryl Kile, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and Ken Caminiti. Luis Gonzales, Crazy Carl Everett, Moises Alou, Richard Hidalgo, Derek Bell, Daryl Ward, Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Carlos Lee, and all the rest. They were our team, representing out town well in the National League.
So now it’s time to turn the page and for some of us, the ride might be over, for others, the new ride is looked at with anticipation. And still for others, it’s not settled yet. There is still too much to bear, to think about right now. The end of the National League Houston Astros.
Doesn’t really sound good to say it, much less own it. But it is reality, the end is nigh. There is still baseball to be played for two more weeks, including one last joust with the Buccos from Pittsburgh. Does this last series matter or have any real significance? No, not really (all the right things are being said about “spoiler” and all, but seriously? Naaaahhhh….). In the grand scheme of things, the series is just going to be a faded memory soon and to many of us, it isn’t even worth even caring about right now. There is a greater issue at hand that really divides our attention.
It is time to say good-bye. It has been a great ride indeed and for that I am grateful!