We are quickly drawing near to the beginning of the “next” season after the shortest off-season in Houston Astro history. It is a good time to step back and check the pulse of the ordinary Houston Astro fan. Or as ordinary as any of the wild variety of folks who are part of this particular blog can be.
- Does it seem real? As far as the championship goes are there any of you who are having flashbacks to the 1980’s and the famous Dallas / Bobby Ewing plot cheat? Back then they killed off Ewing at the end of one season, because he was leaving the show. They then had a whole season of the show without Bobby and then brought him back at the beginning of the next season. The explanation was that the whole middle season was a dream. Are any of you afraid of waking up and being told that 2017 has not yet occurred?
- DH – good or bad? The Astros have completed their fifth season following the American League rules and having the pitchers bat in only a handful of games against NL teams in their stadiums including four games in the World Series. Are you used to it? Good with it? Miss the old days? Want the NL to convert?
- New divisional rivalries – good or bad? It has been the same five seasons since the Astros last played in the NL Central against the Cubs, Pirates, Brewers and Cards. Do you miss it? Are you used to the new rivals? Is having the South Denton Rangers in the new division give it an edge? Are you glad we are not having to face the 2016 WS Champs Cubs 19 times a season? (Never thought I would write that).
- Is Jim Crane no longer branded with 666? Crane was blamed with selling out the fans who wanted no part of the American League in order to buy the team. He was blamed for lowering the payroll so far he could pay off the debt from his tip money. He was blamed for a TV deal that blew up and kept a majority of fans from seeing a really bad team for a number of years (and a minority of fans for a longer time). He was accused of being a sexist/racist in his other company dealings. He was accused of never planning on spending money to make the team competitive. Ancient history? Does anything stick in your craw?
- Is Jeff Luhnow great or lucky? A number of their prime players are from the Ed Wade era including Jose Altuve, George Springer, Dallas Keuchel, and Chris Devenski. A number of the prime players are due to tanking and getting the top pick including Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr., and Alex Bregman. A number of prime players were picked up due to tanking and having first choice off the waiver wire including Collin McHugh, Will Harris and early Tony Sipp. He made questionable trades for Carlos Gomez and Hank Conger among others and as we understand came within a couple minutes of not bringing in Justin Verlander. Was he lucky or was his overall plan great?
- Dallas or Dynasty? This survey started off with the night time soap opera Dallas and ends with the night time soap opera Dynasty. Do the Astros have the opportunity for an actual sustainable dynasty? Or do they have a single window do get it done and then fade away?
Where do you stand on the great questions of the day?