The art of Houston Astros blog posting (we are professionals – though we don’t get paid – so, don’t try this at home, though that is where we do our best work) is a lot more enjoyable when the local nine is in first place and kicking bottoms rather than (fill in any occasion since the Astros lost the 2005 World Series).
You need not look any farther than the two postings of May 6, 2014 and that of May 5, 2013 to see what a different place and a different tone blog posting has taken.
Last year on May 6, the Astros were 10-23, nine games back in the division. They had just lost four games in a row and had lost nine of their last 12 games. More importantly, they were not only out of contention for a playoff spot, they were in many minds getting ready to chase the catastrophe that had been the 2013 season. In the midst of this the following was published….
For those not wanting to follow the link, this loyal writer was asking the loyal readers and commenters “Assuming You Are Still Astros’ Fans – Why?” After all the PR disasters, the terrible players and worse performances of the previous few years, this seemed to be a reasonable question to you folks. Almost to a person, the answers echoed that great song from Fiddler on the Roof “Tradition”. Folks had been fans for so long that they just did not know another way of existence.
If we flash back two years ago, the Astros’ world was an even darker place. The Astros were 8-24 and 12 1/2 games back heading into a day off. They were on a six-game losing streak, had just been outscored 37-8 in a four-game sweep by the Detroit Tigers and two guys named Philip Humber and Lucas Harrell had just started and lost the last two games of that series.
At that point, this blog was also in a dark place, still at chron.com (Spit!!) and Chip wrote the following 52 Card Pickup posting.
It is almost stunning to see the names of those on the 25 man roster at the time Chip wrote this plea for the front office to rip off the band-aid and shake things up. It included Harrell, Humber, Rhiner Cruz, Hector Ambriz, Brandon Barnes, Paul Clemens, Jose Cisnero, Ronny Cedeno, Brandon Laird, Rick Ankiel, Carlos Pena, Fernando Martinez, Travis Blackley, Erik Bedard, Wesley Wright and Matt Dominguez. When you Google the word “hopeless” on-line you get the 2013 Astros team photo. Is it any wonder they lost 111 games that year?
But getting back to the theme of this post, it is a pleasure to be able to write about positive and uplifting things this season. Instead of pleading for the release of Ankiel or Pena or the call-up of George Springer or Jon Singleton or Michael Foltynewicz or lamenting and highlighting the failures of Jeff Luhnow, Bo Porter and Jim Crane, there can be posts about the brilliance of Keuchel, the power of Evan Gattis, the defensive magic of Jake Marisnick and Springer and even the quiet calm of A.J. Hinch.
It is a great time to be a Houston Astros’ fan, but an even better time to be an Astros’ blogger.
So, how has your view of this team changed since those dark days at the bottom in 2013?