This is an appeal to all true Astros’ fans. It is very important that you abandon all hope from now until the end of the season. Stop dreaming about the playoffs. Stop patting this 2016 team on the back, and stop singing its praises. If you really want to be a true fan, you must stop being one.
You see there is this pattern that becomes very apparent when you look closely at this Astro season. This team is a bunch of contrarians. Whichever way the fan base blows, these stubborn blades of grass bend the other way. Don’t believe it? Well here are some examples.
Coming into the 2016 season after an unexpected run to the playoffs, through the Yankees and within a few outs of whacking the World Champion Royals, the fan base was ripe with optimism. With Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh and Lance McCullers Jr. anchoring the rotation, they just needed a little help from Mike Fiers or Scott Feldman or Doug Fister to improve. The bullpen was totally set now that they had the big armed closer Ken Giles at the back. On top of that, having Carlos Correa with most of a season under his belt, improvement expected from now uninjured Carlos Gomez and minor league help from Tyler White a much better offense was expected.
So what happened?
- With all that full flown optimism, the team stumbled out of the gate like Joe Hardy turning back into Joe Boyd at the end of Damn Yankees. Keuchel’s loss on May 2nd dropped them to 8-18 and led many to bad mouth the local nine.
- So, of course the team then went on a nice little 9-6 run and really started generating some offense leading to a 17-24 record on May 18. The local folk of course became much more optimistic at that point.
- A four game losing streak, including a sweep by the Texas (this space for rent) where the team scored only 5 runs and lost three straight 2-1 games dropped them to their low point for the season at 17-28. Fans were abandoning ship and calling for the manager, general manager, batting coach and the MMP custodial staff’s jobs.
- This then led to a 37-20 roll through the next two months as the Astros were the hottest team in baseball and nudged up within sight of the Texas (this space for rent) team. Folks were rejoicing and writing limericks about their ‘Stros.
- Losing 11 of the next 14 games, changed the limericks from odes to obscenities. But….
- The fans found some life after the team won 4 in a row against the Twins and Jays, however the life was snuffed out of them when…
- The team lost the next five, which left them one game over .500 at 61-60, ten and a half games behind the (this space for rent) for the division lead and six and a half out of the second Wild Card Spot. Funerals were held for the season, but nobody cared enough to attend.
- The obvious reaction to the fans starting to look at the off-season or watching pre-season NFL games was that the Little Engine That Might (as long as no one was caring about them) ….all of a sudden Could. They went on a 10-2 run that has brought them to the brink (1 game back of the 2nd Wild card) of a playoff spot.
The natural reaction is to praise this team, talk up the heroics of Correa, Evan Gattis, George Springer, Jose Altuve, Keuchel, Giles, Devenski, etc. Well stop it. Just stop it right now. Go back to questioning their heart, their crazy swings, the short outings by the starters, and the home run launches against the bullpen. No matter what happens, you must show that you doubt them, that you have given up, that the task is too impossible.
It will take all your focus, pessimism, cynicism and any other -ism you can muster to not get behind this team. But you have to become steadfast and drive this team to the finish line by not supporting them. It is the only way.