Return of Astroholics Anonymous

Back in the piney woods of East Texas a large brick building sits at the end of a snaky entrance road.  The Bill Spiers Center for Astroholism and Related Conditions houses many of those Astro fans who are trapped in their 53rd season of non-championship ball.

This summer day – one of the long time patients, Dan Peschong is having his exit interview with head physician Dr. Melfi in one of the 1st floor offices.

The burly patient wearing a Mark Lemongello jersey is sitting with his arms crossed defiantly in an uncomfortable metal chair. “I don’t understand why I have to go.”

“Dan – there is nothing else we can do for you. In the world of fan-dom addicts – you are Tony ‘Scarface’ Montana.  I expect to find you in your room with two Astros programs rolled up and stuffed up each of your nostrils.” The doctor sighed deeply at this image imbedded in her brain.

“I’ll try harder. I’ll work harder at this. I know I can beat it.” Dan’s words were positive but there was uncertainty in his eyes.

“Listen, if three 100+ loss seasons cannot drain the Astros gene out of you – how can you possibly get this monkey off your back now that they are bad instead of horrid.”

Dan had a problem with meeting Dr. Melfi’s eyes as he said, “I’m not that bad – I’m not that far away from being cured.”

Dr. Melfi pulled a large stack of papers from a brown accordion folder and began grabbing papers at random and reading them.

“April 5th – Surprise room check finds three Astros baseball cards hidden inside a small slit in his mattress. Bill Hall, Dave Rohde, and Ron Brand – worth about 50 cents apiece.

April 29th – Patient gets in altercation with another patient in the cafeteria over a chicken fried steak he claims looks like Gerry Hunsicker.

May 19th – Patient has dug a hole in a stucco wall behind a poster of Jimmy Wynn and is hiding a scale model of Minute Maid Park in the cavity.

June 12th – Patient found in room with homemade crystal radio set. When the set was taken from him he said, ‘Wait – Steve Sparks is about to do play-by-play next inning.’ Steve Sparks, Really??”

Dan shrugs sheepishly.

“This file has recorded more than 45 such incidents in the last year. It is obvious that you are incurable and with our recently scaled back resources – we need your bed for patients who will at least try.”

“I guess I understand Dr. Melfi. So today will be my last day. Who gets my room tomorrow?”

“Some Louisiana blog writer named Chip.”

“Dr. Melfi, you will be begging to get me back next week.”



51 comments on “Return of Astroholics Anonymous

  1. What about those of us who can’t afford this kind of care? Those of us who sing ” I left my heart in Ben Francisco” all night long?
    Those of us who wanted our own winning baseball team, so we struck out on our own?
    Those of us who needed injections, but couldn’t hit our own hips?
    Those of us with home nurses who couldn’t hold anything with their gloves on?
    Those of us who need to hurl but cannot find the plate?
    Those of us who are so confused and lost we fall over each other fielding a bunted medicine bottle?
    Those of us who are huddled into the same room and are so bad we run into each other chasing flies?
    We deserve some love too, you know!
    Don’t look down your nose at us! We have rights to, you know!


  2. Dan, please help me! I went to see my counselor and they said he had been designated for assignment. Then James Spader walked into the room and kissed me on both cheeks and left with my wife.


    • I have been moved to an Astroholic halfway house and daveb smuggled me in some contraband – a sheet of paper with some Jose Veras stats in WW II Navajo code.
      – In his first 6 appearances with the Cubs he walked 10 guys in 5.2 IPs and gave up runs in 5 of the 6 appearances.
      – In his next 6 appearances he walked only 1 guy in 6.2 IP and gave up runs in only that 1 game.
      – In 6 appearances with the Cubs’ and Astros minor league teams he has a 0.00 ERA


    • Chip, this blog does not have all the humor in Astroworld. I read about the Veras callup at another site and the writer there said that the Astros made this move in spite of the fact that their bullpen had not been a problem! I burst out laughing and realized we can find humor EVERYWHERE!


      • I had a problem getting behind Farnsworth – I always picture him giving up two huge HRs vs the Astros – the Berkman grand slam and Ausmus’ tying shot in the 2005 – 18 inning playoff win. It was hard to think of him as an Astro.


  3. hi im rj and im a astroholic. but they cant catch me cuz all my astros memorabilia is in my head. yes i remember bob aspermonte, doug radar, ‘the grande orange’ and othrs with fondness. but then my mind wanders to pujos 900 ft home run and weiss making an unbelievable play and i have to go self medicate. ill be back later.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband found all the news paper’s I saved from the 2005 World series games, and had no choice than to admit me to the emergency room at the Astroholics anonymous hospice. I thought I had hidden them from him……but sadly he found them, and now here I sit waiting on Dr. Chip Bailey to escort me to my room! The nurses put me in a straight jacket to keep me from checking the scores on my computer…..but, ha! ha! ha!……I fooled THEM, I still have my Ipad! They put me in a room where I have to watch every game from the 2011,2012,and 2013 seasons.
    The nurses wouldn’t even let me dye my hair that nice shade of purple EITHER.
    Now I’m stuck in a room where I can hear Oldpro, and dave_b argue about the OKC
    callus! PLEASE….if you can hear me, BRING ME SOME EAR PLUGS!!!!!!
    Signed…….Becky (with the purple hair) *sigh*


  5. I managed to sneak in a small transistor radio, the only problem is I have to listen to Steve Sparks, ugh. The score is Astros 5- Braves 1. Knock on the wall if you can hear it……shhhh don’t tell.


  6. So, I know we’ve all been happier with Porter lately. But as part of my recovery I need to point out the stupidity of this pitching change. Eighth inning, two outs, Josh Zeid on the mound and Tommy LaStella coming to the plate. No one on base. Porter lifts Zeid (righty) and brings in Tony Sipp (lefty) to face LaStella (lefty with zero homers and a .661 OPS).

    Why? It’s 6-1. LaStella can’t hit a bases-empty, five-run homer.

    Now we’ve burned another reliever for no good reason and zero half-a$$ed reasons.

    If Zeid can’t be trusted to get a weak-hitting middle infielder, he’s got no place in even the Astros bullpen.

    Useless move by Porter.

    And, yes, Sipp got the out. But that’s not the point.


  7. I’m sure he knows that facing Scherzer , Verlander and the vaunted JD Martinez in the next 3, Porter had to get this win.
    All the talk this year about Keuchel, McHugh and our Ace Feldman, it’s pretty amazing that nobody talks much about Cosart, who is 8-5 on a team that is 12 games under.500.


    • Cosart has been getting stronger as the season has moved along. Going 7 or 8 innings instead of 5 or 6 is important for him.


  8. Cosart had no feeling for his curve ball today……..time for Strom to give him an opinion soon. The Astros defense was awesome today, except for a throwing error by Castro……but he redeemed himself by throwing out one of the Upton brothers!
    BrianT–Yeah, I was surprised by Porter’s move with Zeid today.


    • Yeah Becky – going by the box score Cosart’s curve looked great – haha. Could not see or hear any of todays game.
      In retrospect Porter brought Sipp in when he did because he was going to let him go after a couple batters in the 9th


  9. I have ditched all my Lastros hats and gear, but held on to the Hunter Pence signed baseball (that Nance sent my son), and an old 2004 poster.

    What. A. Team. The 2004 squad was best team ever in the history of the former beloved NL Astros.

    If only Andy Pettitte were healthy that year, and if Edmonds didn’t make that incredible circus catch in the NLCS.

    MAN, what a team!

    But recovery requires that you take inventory, and face the facts. Those days are over, and they ain’t coming back.


    • Bo – I think I prefer the 1998 Astros (102-60) as their best team ever over the 2004 Astros who were still very good. The 1998 ‘Stros were 1st in runs scored and 2nd in runs given up and just got detoured by buzz saw pitching by the Padres in playoffs.
      But the 2004 were the first ones to win a post season series so – sure love them – but don’t think that this team will never equal that 92-70 record. That is not reality – that is plain silly.


      • Both teams were championship caliber teams, no doubt.

        But one team had a better overall roster, in my opinion. Again, Mr Pettitte was not healthy in ’04. What a huge difference that would have made, kind sir.


      • I like both teams a lot – but I think the Astros leading the league in runs scored while in the Dome was so impressive. They out scored the enemy by 250 runs while the 2004 team out scored them by 200 – not all because of Pettitte. 4 guys scored over 100 runs 3 guys knocked in over 100 runs. In these non steroid days you are right – we won’t see that again.


  10. Tonight, the Astros top 5 minor league teams had top pitchers throwing. Folty, Jankowski, Hader, Feliz and Scribner. Two of them have lost and the other three were losing. OKC is being trounced. All those fine young pitchers.
    But Lancaster is mounting a comeback and maybe Hader can keep his perfect record intact. He is shooting for win #8 without a loss. Lancaster is looking for their first post-Correa win.


      • Well, Hader left the game after five with the lead but his tandem good buddy, Chris Devenski just gave up a bomb in the sixth so Hader’s chance for winning is gone.
        Greeneville lost.
        Tri City lost
        Feliz and Quad Cities getting hammered.
        Corpus Christi lost
        OKC Lost
        Our last hope, mighty Lancaster, is back up by a run in the sixth.
        Tony Kemp had a couple of hits for CC tonight and seems to not be missing a beat in the move up. Also, Andrew Aplin had two home runs amongst his 3 hits tonight and four RBIs. Great to see him back and hopefully fully recovered from, I believe, a lower back injury.


  11. One comment – I got to watch some of today’s game on replay tonight. Both Dominguez and Springer hit bombs to the same place near “the pump”. But Springer’s HR got out in about 1/2 second. He hits such bullets.


  12. The hottest Lancaster Jethawk, Conrad Gregor, with a ninth inning walkoff double and Lancaster breaks their 5-game losing streak and are the saving grace of the Astros minor leagues tonight. Final score 9-8 in a pitchers duel at The Hanger.


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