Back in the day, a lot of kids thought that the song by the McCoys was “Hang on Snoopy” (who the heck names their daughter Sloopy anyways). Either way, the sentiment can be applied to the current situation with Astros fandom. The team is struggling a bit the last week or so with starting pitchers getting hit, relievers getting hit and hitters forgetting how to hit. Fans have not seen a game that counted since October and are getting grumpy, antsy and let’s face it…. a little over-analytical about what it all means this time of the year.
So, here are 10 reasons to shake off the Spring Training Blues and to look forward to the 2016 season:
- THE CAPTAIN!!!…..You get to watch Carlos Correa, the greatest shortstop to ever strap on the Astro’s cleats and by the time he is done he might be the greatest Astro ever.
- THE BEARD!!!…If you can’t get excited watching Cy Young award winner and left-handed Bad-A#% Dallas Keuchel, force opponents to hit everything on the ground to somebody – well you don’t have a pulse.
- COLBY JACK!!!….This southern boy loves living in a city where his monster pickup truck is not out-of-place and he gave the Astros something they never got out of Biggio or Bagwell – a clutch hitting playoff appearance.
- ANDREW JAY!!!….A.J. Hinch gave the Astros the steadiest hand on the tiller since either Phil Garner or Larry Dierker guided the team to big time success. He seems to merge a sense of fun with catcher intelligence and some behind the scenes discipline in just the right portions.
- WAIVER WIRE MAC!!!….The Astros gave up nothing, nada, zilch, the big bagel to pick up Collin McHugh. In exchange for about a $1 million in salary he has given them a sterling 30-16 record.
- GEORGIE PORGIE!!!….George Springer is a tremendously talented individual with a wonderful attitude and needs just a little luck to play a whole season and put up some awesome numbers.
- CAR-GO!!!….Carlos Gomez was one of the best players in baseball in 2013 and 2014 scoring 175 runs, hitting 47 HR and stealing 74 bases. That is exciting and is recent enough that it can come back around.
- MAR-GO!!!….Marwin Gonzalez worked his way from fringe player to critical Swiss Army Knife and can be trusted wherever and whenever they choose to play him.
- THE PEN!!!….I don’t care if Ken Giles is being knocked around and Luke Gregerson is not quite back. This basically same bullpen made a quantum leap from the worst in baseball (the one where you cringed every time the manager approached the mound) to one of the best crews in the business in 2015.
- THE YOUTH!!!….Whether Tyler White or A.J. Reed or Matt Duffy or Colin Moran or Michael Feliz or Joe Musgrove starts the season with the team or ends the season with the team – there are a lot of young players that will make this team more fun to watch over the next season or five.
So what are your Top 10 reasons for watching this team in 2016?