Assuming you are still Astros fans…Why?


Chip’s blog is a refuge for true Houston Astros’ fans. If we were a separate species, we would have to be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Anyone who is the least objective has to stare at us and wonder – why do they still care after almost a decade of terrible fan abuse and more than half a century of non-championship baseball.

So, I’m game and I hope you all are also to state why you even check in on this outpost of alternating hope and despair.

Assuming you are still an Astros fan…..Why?

Why do you still care after all these years of failure (if winning championships is consider success)?

Why do you hang on despite 3+ years of deliberate suckiness (probably not a word – but I’m going for emotional truth and words I can use in a family blog)?

Why don’t you go off and be a band wagon fan – take up bowling and learn to crochet and rent all 6 seasons of Breaking Bad over the summer?

And why don’t you wait for them to be respectable again and then show back up with your rainbow colored uniform or Bagwell T-shirt?

And if you are not an Astros fan or no longer one – why do you care enough to show up here and read and comment?

I will share my “why” – later on – but right now it’s your turn to step up and lay out your reasons for why…..

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74 comments on “Assuming you are still Astros fans…Why?

  1. I am a fan because they are perfect for an old guy like me. Most of the time they can’t make it to first base. When they do, they are usually too slow to get to second. On the rare occasions they do make it to second their vision fails them and they can’t see third. If they ever get to third their teammate can’t deliver them home.
    Like an old guy they drop things a lot. When trying to go get something they usually depend on someone else to get it. When they are told something they don’t hear it or don’t seem to care. And the people in charge of their care don’t really know what the heck they are doing.
    Like old folks, the Astros are very low pay, just like social security and the people in charge use every opportunity to keep their pay low, while the bosses live off fatted calves. Like old people, the Astros get few people coming to see them and almost nobody cares if they’re around. But most of all I like the Astros because, just like me, they are getting lied to that, if they hang in there, things will get better.

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  2. They are the hometown team from my formative years. I watched every road game I could and listened on the radio to others since we didn’t have cable. It just doesn’t feel right to cheer for anyone else. Besides, winning probably gets old for the fans of the Yankees or (recent) Red Sox.

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    • It is funny Devin – I wonder if it gets old for those fans or if they get so jaded that they get ridiculous when they do not win a championship in 3 to 5 years.

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  3. From my friend – Betsy – “It’s basically simple, the Astros are my home team. Still, there’s more to it. It’s like the card game of Bridge. You keep thinking the next hand (i.e., season, draft) will be The One that leads to great things.”

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  4. Great analogy Old Pro , a little depressing but well articulated.. I tell you the last 2 weeks is the first time in a long time, I have either turned off games in the middle or not even watched them. Lyles is doing awesome on a real team, JD doing decent on a winning team, meanwhile we are a miserable- uninspired losing team. 3 years into Lunhow and Crane and I think we are , hard to believe, but worse than ever.

    I’m not even sure there is a plan anymore, whoppie we have improved our minor league teams. Then we bring them up they suck, we send them down they do well, we trade them they do well, what a mess. I sure hope the Texans do well this year!

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    • Kevin: Picture a Dow Jones Corporation (you know, one of the 30 big ones). They are in trouble so they fire all the managers and hire all new ones. For the next four years, those new guys perform worse than any company in the history of the DJ. The stockholders are bailing as fast as they can get out and the few that are left are being lied to by their “management team” that the future looks bright because they have invested all their assets into several new companies that have promised some really good products coming in the future.
      The managers are making a fortune while dragging the entire corporation to the point of bancruptcy, but the few stockholders left are being invited to parties every night by the managers to keep them from looking too deep into the books and wooing them with champagne so that the next morning the stockholders don’t notice the stock slowly disappearing. The management team dazzles the stockholders with all kinds of new-fangled numbers they have invented to make them look smart, while the company continues to lose money hand over fist.
      When one of the stockholders wakes up and realizes he is getting screwed by management, all the other stockholders beat them up and call them names. They definitely don’t want anyone around who would criticize “their” management team. While everything is going sour, the management team just tells them that it is all part of the plan.
      Soon we will find out the end of the story.

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    • Old pro – you are scaring me – are you actually a part of the Astros management team who is assuaging his guilt by joining in on Chip’s blog? LOL

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  5. I grew up as a Det fan so I’ve seen the absolute best (1984) and absolute worst (2003) that baseball has to offer. After 16 years in the wilderness of poor ownership and misguided management Det came back as a 1st rate organization. I think Houston can do the same with a much larger local market.

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    • I sure hope so Mike – yes – you have seen both ends of the scale their with the Tigers (who are kicking our buns this week). Thanks for checking in!!

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  6. As far as Dan P goes – I have been a Houston fan ever since we moved here in 1965. So I’ve been here through 49 Astro seasons, 47 Rocket seasons and something like 44 Oiler/ Texans seasons and all I have to show for it are the 2 Rocket championships. No Super Bowl appearances, one 0-4 World Series and 4 final appearances for the Rockets in almost 150 seasons of cheering.
    The Rockets loss over the weekend on a last second shot was typical of my fan life of disappointment.
    So why do I cheer?
    I think it ties to what my friend Betsy said – I figure the whole city is owed some good karma somewhere around the corner. Delusional I know – but it just feels like good times are owed to this town and it’s fans.

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  7. Question here my family of sick die hards, and yest the buzzer beater by Portland killed me!

    What will Crane/Lunhow do when we are 12-30?

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    • I’m all over the map, but can only fault Luhnow/Crane so much. At some point, the players have to catch the ball at first base or not swing through elevated breaking balls.

      It certainly seemed like they had more fire over the weekend. I’m keeping the faith that there will be improvement from the current roster AND an influx of young talent as the summer progresses.

      Still…Lyles is looking pretty good out West. I, of course, speculated Fowler was only a slight improvement over Barnes at the time and didn’t consider losing Lyles to be a factor.

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  8. I guess I keep hanging on, thinking the next season will get better, they CAN’T get any worse. Baseball is as much a “mind” game, as it is physical, and when you get a head virus going through the clubhouse, EVERYONE catches it. I don’t know if it’s Bo Porter’s fault, or the front office………but this has to stop, and stop now.
    If your pitcher goes out to the mound, he HAS to believe his team will protect him.
    That means NO errors, and at least TRY to hit the da*m ball. Changes need to be made, and I mean in a HURRY, or this team is looong gone. Like most of you, I’m here because I can’t afford a divorce…………

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  9. I have been an Oklahoma Sooners football fan since I was a little kid. Just because Howard Schnellenberger took over, and John Blake wasted every piece of talent he recruited, doesn’t mean I was going to give up on them. Now look at OU — they are a perennial top 10 team. Eventually, better times come back, and that makes those good times all the more sweet.

    The same can and will be said of the Astros (no matter what Bopert thinks). This organization is on the right track even if the team is not. But better times will come back, and that will make the winning all the more sweet.

    Beyond that, these are my guys. I’ve been watching Jose Altuve since he came up. I love that Dallas Keuchel does more with less than just about any pitcher I’ve ever seen. I believe George Springer will figure it out … like Jonathan Villar seems to be figuring it out. And I want to be here, watching, when it happens.

    Because that’s what being a fan means. It means believing. Not blindly, but without reservation because the product on the field isn’t perfect.

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    • I feel like I should be humming something really inspiring while I read that – like the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
      You got me fired up Brian T (except for the Oklahoma Sooners part – since I had two kids in the UT band – but nobody is perfect).

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      • Need Belushi doing his fired up speech on we didnt take it when the Nazi’s bombed Pearl Harbor

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  10. “Did Doug Rader quit when the Nazis bombed Pearl Harbor? The Red Rooster probably can not even spell quit. I can’t believe you guys! Where are the Astros I used to know?
    Well I’m not giving up – no not me!! Selig? A dead man. McLane? Dead. …..”

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    • Because when the going gets tough … (music repeats), when the going gets tough (music repeats again) … the tough get going.

      One of the best movies ever.

      Dan, sorry about my OU love. I actually attended UT for a couple of semesters, but I have been an OU fan since Elvis Peacock (no relation to Brad, I think) took the pitch on the hook and lateral against Nebraska and ran to the 2-yard line.

      Life is life, with all it’s ups and downs, but my love for my teams goes unaltered.

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    • Brian T – no need to apologize for the OU loyalty – as misguided and crazy as it may be…..
      Belushi was one of those people where you say – man – what would he have done with a whole career.
      Yes, I remember Elvis Peacock – one in a steady stream of killer backs north of the Red River.

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  11. i have been an astros (and colt 45’s) fan all of my life and will continue to be until i have no life. they were the first texas team and for me pretty much the only texas team (ill root for the rangers if they make the post season). they are about to the halfway point (2 1/2 yrs of a 5 yr plan) and i am willing to give them to at least the 2/3 mark (which comes early next season) before i holler for major course changes, with one exception. i played baseball starting two years before i could start school and during that time learned to have in my head what to do with the ball if it was hit to me, how to hit a cut off man, which base to throw to, how and when to run the bases and to play an aggressive heads up smart style of play. i dont see that in the astros. who is to blame there? porter? the minor league coaches? poor spring training preparation? i just dont get it. i knew all these things by the time i was 10, surely professional players should have all that down by now. we also knew to play at 100% no matter the score, or you would be sitting. so thats my biggest complaint till now and i dont know who to wave my one finger at for it.

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    • Thanks for the input rj. Great points – especially the ones towards the end about playing brainy ball and playing hard all the time.
      The weird thing to me is that it is hard to believe players under Bo Porter (who is a gung-ho type personality) would play less than 100%. Unless they have tuned him out??
      As you said and others have said – you should not have to teach guys who have reached the major leagues to think. Last night it was the 9th inning and the Astros were losing 2-0 with one out. Fowler tries to take 2nd on a delayed steal on a ball that was in the dirt but really did not get away from the catcher. What is a player thinking when they take off in that situation? The only thing they are doing is taking away a force at 2nd base – but they are risking (and in this case losing) a run that is not critical by itself.
      I just don’t know.

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      • I don’t care what type of team you are, when you are down by two in the ninth, it is impossible for the batter to hit a two-run home run when the runner on first gets thrown out trying to steal.. It was that way in the deadball fifties, the stolen base era sixties, the pitching seventies, the juicedball eighties, the juicedbatter nineties, the overreaction 2000s and the overpaid 2000 teens. Fundamental baseball will always trump stupid.

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      • Well said old pro – they give away so many runners it is ridiculous. Just an inning or two earlier – Altuve struck out into a double play when Marwin G was sent to 3rd from 2nd base (with Villar going from 1st to 2nd). That one I blame on Porter – trying to stay out of hitting into a double play he dead-ducked Marwin G at 3rd and ended up with a double play.

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    • dont get me wrong, ive got all my fingers. i type with only one on each hand. i would also wave with just one if i knew who to wave at.

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  12. Once you love someone or something, for me, I can’t love another even if the love is one way. I remember when the Oilers left Houston how devastating it was and the NFL has never been the same for me. I will always love the Astros unless they leave Houston and, if that happens, baseball may be dead to me, at least at the major league level.

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    • So like a divorce can sour a person to the opposite sex – so moving a team can sour you to the whole sport.
      This is in opposition to Bopert who is praying for the Astros to move.

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  13. I am still a NL Astros fan. I am not a Jim Crane-led ALastros fan. One day, after the great restoration, I may have something to root for again. So does make me an Astros fan or not? Absolutely! (not).

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    • Bo I understand your dislike for Jim Crane.
      What is weird and probably blasphemous on my part – after a year of AL ball – I don’t even think about pitchers not hitting.
      It is odd – I did not intend for that to happen.

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      • Oh, short-sighted one. It’s much more than pitchers hitting.

        I could write an essay on the topic of why NL ball is sublime, and AL ball is beer-league. Roster management, how it impacts manager’s decisions( when to yank a pitcher, double switches, do you pitch to the 8-hitter, etc), the fine art of bunting/sacrificing, the higher value of speed on the basepaths.

        I could go on and on. But that won’t change a thing, will it?

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      • Actually there seems to be plenty of discussion about when to pull pitchers based on how they are pitching – not an automatic jerk just because their spot in the lineup came around and they are down a run.
        Yes I watch some part of almost every game.

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  14. Caring about the Astros is an infectious disease. And Mr. Bill – like most of you – is afflicted with a terminal case of it. So be it! I became resigned to my fate long ago. For me, you see, the infection can be traced back to being bitten by the same set of monster mosquitoes that sucked the life blood from Judge Roy Hoffheinz, R.E. [Bob] Smith, and Harry ‘the Hat’ Walker on those long summer nights at old Colt Stadium. Some of my peers caught encephalitis from those mosquitoes and died quickly with a minimum of pain; I caught a virus that kills much more slowly and which crushes the heart heart out of a person every year, without fail.

    For some of your I suspect the infection from which you suffer was caused by rapid repetitive contact with the turnstiles at the Astrodome. I confess, I was one of the carriers in those days. But I was not alone by any stretch of the imagination. The disease process was exacerbated, it was rumored in some circles, by the hypnotic hum of the Raging Bull Scoreboard as people like me waited patiently for Jimmy the ‘Toy Cannon’ Wynn to light that scoreboard up and cause Lowell Passe to declare, just one more time, ‘Hot Ziggety Dog and Sassafras Tea’.

    Still others caught the horrid disease during the great infestation of the Killer B’s. Once you were stung by those critters … well, the only known cure was a sloppy wet kiss from one of Blum’s Blondes!

    In later generations Astromania provided a welcome escape from harsh reality as the city we love was forced to suffer through traumas like the Enron debacle, Hurricane Ike, and the massive earthquake that occurred the instant Albert Pujols’ bat destroyed a hanging slider dished up by our previously trustworthy hero ‘Lights-Out Lidge’. We felt your pain, Brad. And now you are cured, but we are not.

    And so, the disease of summer rages on. Today Astro fever is rapidly becoming the popular disease de jour of Gen Xers. Obsessed with the Zombie Apocalypse, these few, these proud, sit stone-faced at Minute Maid, no matter what the record, the price of Budweiser, or the score, waiting patiently for the most gruesome of baseball’s dead to come gloriously back to life and wreak havoc on the heinous likes of Carlos Beltran, Bud Selig, and some new guy named Jed.

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  15. (This is being typed from my shrink’s couch). Although I lived in the Metroplex and Houston, I spent most of my life in the “woods.” So we had to be content in seeing a high school kid play football, and then when he went to Texas or (God forbid) OU, we could say “we saw him in high school.” It also applies to growing up and watching Beaumont and Houston minor league teams. And them going to the majors. So I love to see the young kids that come along, develop, and mature. That being said, I HATE not getting to watch the games when talent is coming up. I have not seen a game played by George Springer, and damn few by Altuve. So my conclusion (and my psychologist agrees) I am hooked on the worst type of drug. The eternal optimist. So I sit here day after day with the Rangers playing on TV and me not watching. But yet wishing I could watch the Astros. Gotta run, my PM meds are starting to kick in.

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  16. I should add that although I’m sure I’ll always be an Astro fan, my expectations have been compromised considerably. I am no longer optimistic that this present organization knows how to create a culture of winning. It certainly does not start by simulating victory high five’s on the infield following an inter squad game in Spring Training. And when your top prospect is demoted to an instructional league, that concerns me. If your minor league players are not buying into the tandem system, well that’s a problem too. Is any other organization so smart that they are also employing the tandem concept? When one of your top five guys gets busted for pot twice and then starts getting drunk to replace the reefer, what’s he going to do when falling into a prolonged hitting slump? And if your A+ team is holding a closed door player only meetings after just three weeks of play, then something is wrong. And what about our GM touting our remade bullpen? Or our owner crowing about winning half our games? If you go to the park, you’ll note the lineup posted on the big scoreboard. They used to post the batting averages, but they’re too low so they’ve starting posting OPS instead. Do these guys really think we’re that stupid? I haven’t even gotten into on field issues. I harped about that last week and plenty of newer examples have been noted today. I think someone said yesterday that we should have won five more games just by playing smart. Problem is that we’re not very smart. The blind is leading the blind. We have Bo Porter in the dugout today because he is cheap. AlI I know is that I’d much rather have a Brad Ausmus helping a guy like Springer through his first slump, or managing a young pitching staff. Sadly though, I’m pretty sure Ausmus showed how astute a manager he could be by turning down the Houston job. That was his first wise move.

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  17. Bopert, I hate to break this to you, but Crane will not sell this team any time soon. It will not move to Portland or Virginia or Nashville or any other place. The league will not put a new NL team in Houston.

    How do I know all this?

    Well, how many teams did Crane try to buy? The Cubs, the Rangers, who else? Man wants to be a MLB owner. Well, now he has his wish.

    And he has that in the fourth-largest city in the country. If he’s the money-grubbing bastion of evil you claim, why would he move this team from a city of so many (potential) fans to some backwater that has to compete with established teams such as the Giants and Mariners; the Nats, O’s and Braves; or the Reds, Braves, Cubs, Cards and Indians?

    Answer: He wouldn’t.

    So, if Crane ain’t selling and he ain’t moving, well, your fantasy (much like mine involving Selma Hayek) just ain’t gonna happen.

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  18. Dan, It started with me with my 1st pack of baseball cards…top card was a Nolan Ryan Topps 1981. My older brother immediately wanted that card from me. Even at 8, I knew there was something special about that card or him just because my brother wanted it so bad. It just escalated from there. In 1986, all my friends knew I was am Astros fan and they all were bandwagon soulless Mets fans (for the year) just to spite me. That season strengthened my love for them and its never wavered since. My wife is a (gulp) Cardinals fan…born and bred. She gets it even though she teases from time to time. I grew up in Nebraska and now live on a farm in Iowa…so its not hometown for me….its just ……something

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    • Thanks for sharing some great memories. One of my best friends was from Missouri and a Cards fan. He would talk about spending time on his grandparents farm in the summer and listening to Jack Buck on the radio with his grandfather who would have to go to sleep after 3 innings in order to get up in the morning. The Cards have real non-bandwagon fans!

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  19. And…….it continued this evening. Fields will get sent to OKC, along with Oberholtzer. Man…..this team is worse than the 2014 team was. They only have *10* wins.

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  20. From my son, Adam
    Why am I still a fan? Because being a true fan means staying with them rain or shine.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to someone explain to me how they are somehow a Lakers, Yankees, and Patriots fan (or some other disgusting combination).

    “I wasn’t born in those cities. I just felt a connection.”

    To hell with that! Being a Yankees fan that was born in Texas is like owning a mom and pop shop and saying you love Wal-Mart.

    Being a fan is like being the captain of a ship. You don’t push women and children out do the way to get to the lifeboats when things go bad. You fight to the end and go down with the ship if it comes to that.

    In five or ten years when we’re contending again, you can ask the 35,000 fans next to you in the stands if they can name any players we had during the 2011-2014 era. If they stare at you blankly, tell them it’s ok, the Astros’ owner doesn’t remember either.

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