It will be a long time before baseball returns to normal in Houston. Even before Harvey unloaded on the nation’s fourth-largest city, it wasn’t clear that the Astros were the best team in the American League. The Indians and Red Sox have closed the gap and have been playing better baseball since the All Star break.
But, baseball has not only taken a back seat for the foreseeable future, it may be in the rear view mirror for some time.
After Ike turned the city — and many stomachs — upside down in 2008, then-owner Drayton McLane toyed with the idea of moving the team. Jim Crane and the Astros have donated $4 million to the relief effort and that’s cool. But with major weather affecting playoff runs twice in a decade, will Crane sit idly by? Of course, he’d have major obstacles to cross to move the team and MLB itself would come under great pressure if he tried to move the franchise after this tragedy.
No, Crane has a major opportunity here to step up and lead the rebuild. Much like Drew Brees did in New Orleans after Katrina. It’s more than saying the right things. It’s doing the right things. It’s more than just throwing money at the rebuild. It’s getting involved in unique ways with good organizations to restore confidence and community.
He can follow the rebuild or he can lead. Understand that both are important, and both are great avenues for the Astros. But few people — very few — can lead the charge. Like Brees in New Orleans, Jim Crane is one of those people in Houston.
I’ve lived through hurricanes and even the Great Flood of 2016 (in Baton Rouge), which didn’t get the same news coverage as this event (pictured above). According to estimates, Baton Rouge received three times as much rain as Katrina. Friends and relatives lost everything. With no insurance. With no safety net. They turned life savings into a new beginning. (Obviously, Harvey is a much different, bigger event of epic proportions!)
But it was the outpouring of friends and new friends who made the recovery and turnaround something different. Republicans helped Democrats. Blacks walked through the waters alongside whites. The young carried the old. Northerners helped southerners. Yes, the Red Cross was there and so was Samaritan’s Purse and others. But it was the personal story and multiple people living together in hotels or homes that were opened to others that stole the day.
Yes, we’ll have baseball again in Houston. But it will be days, if not weeks, and the drag on the team and its players will take its toll. An already-horrid injury toll will only grow with the fatigue of travel and uncertainty. And, it could push Jeff Luhnow a little closer to a deadline deal, time will tell.
Here are a few quick thoughts…
- If you are in Houston, south Texas or Louisiana, stay safe.
- If you are not in Houston, find a way to get involved. Call friends, encourage them.
- I am a conservative Christian and despise the hate mongers who want to do nothing but tear down.
- Why can’t we have a civil conversation anymore without the discussion deteriorating into personal denigration and name-calling?
- What has happened to the world most of us knew when we were growing up?
- How much impact do you believe Harvey will have on the Astros’ playoff chances? Do you care?
- Where do you live, and what are you seeing (about Harvey) from your perspective?
- I’ll include some other personal notes in the comments along the way. It’s been a stormy 2017, but know this: God is faithful, He cares and He was not surprised by Harvey.
- This is a safe place. Please note that I reserve the right to delete comments that are incendiary, political or otherwise out of bounds.
this one has a few more details
Wow. I was wrong. DET was either desperate to dump salary or really like those prospects. I’m thrilled to have JV coming to town though.
I had to wake up my15-year old son after the news broke that Verlander had definitely agreed to the trade. He went to bed deflated thinking that a trade was agreed upon, but Verlander invoked his no trade clause. Needless to say, he wasn’t upset with me waking him up. 🙂
Both my boys and I are heading to Houston Saturday and will be going to the 2nd game as well as Sunday’s game. We are all very excited about getting Verlander.
While the players traded away were good prospects the one player, for me, that hurts the most is Jake Rogers. Great defensive catchers are so rare and hard to find. He will be the most difficult to replace. I think Perez is a very good pitcher, but with Whitley, Bukauskas and Armenteros looking very good the Astros have plenty of pitching depth. Losing Perez won’t hurt as much. I also think that Cameron’s stock was about as high as it’s going to be so this was a good time to capitalize on trading him. Overall, while the prospects lost hurt this is a trade I can live with and I think it will give the team and Astros fans something to be excited about going into September and the playoffs.
One more thought…who gets DFA’d off the 40-man roster to make room for Verlander? I am guessing Guduan or Brady Rodgers is moved to the 60-day DL.
On the Astros web site, it shows 42. Gustave on 60 DL, Gattis, Stassi, Moran, Sipp,, Feliz, LMJ, Correa all on 10 day. Maybin and Verlander are in the 42.
Was Dayan Diaz listed because he was DFA’d to make room for Maybin?
Don’t see him on the list.
Anyone critical of this trade? Not me. From the start, I did not care how much of the salary we’d have to pick up. We’re losing three prospects, but not one of the three are guys we insisted on not losing. I’m not sure if this could happen at a better time, including the July 31 deadline.
I just got great news. Kate Upton is coming to Houston.
Oh, and bringing her boyfriend.
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Now 45, don’t be making a move on Kate while our new man is at the office. That might be bad karma.
At my age, I can only “admire.”
Which I plan to do.
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WoW!!!! I’m late to the party!
I wouldn’t look last night didn’t want to go to bed disappointed and not sleep.
Overwhelmed with happiness this morning. Luhnow you ROCK.
Greg Lucas had an interesting post this AM. Basically saying the FO did their job to win it all in 2017, the ball is now in the players court.
I hope the players have a blast the last two months of the season and just think besides Beltran, this team will be back next year!
Gregerson, Liriano, Maybin and Clippard are all free agents as well. These are not big losses, but just thought I would mention it.
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I am hopeful that Maybin can mentor Altuve, Springer, Marisnick,and Kemp in the art of base-stealing.
I just hope Justin Verlander shows up ready to declare war on opposing offenses. We don’t want another Kazmir.
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Y’all are gonna love JV. Sadness in Detroit.
I approve of the trade if JV is used as a starter. If he is moved to the bullpen and asked to throw left handed, then I will change my opinion.
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Great post from Richard Justice today.
“Fire Luhnow, Fire Luhnow, Fire Luhnow. Wait, what? He did? No kidding?
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