mellicious: Astros' very colorful uniforms of the 70s-80s (Astros' rainbow uni)
[personal profile] mellicious
 OK, I'm going to try to talk about baseball, but it's difficult because I have SO MANY FEELS about it and they all try to come out at once. Luckily for you guys, I remembered that I actually wrote something down a few weeks ago, and it's much more coherent than I manage to be most of the time. So that's what's below, pretty much verbatim.

Here's the thing - the Astros have been losing as long as I've been alive. Or not quite - I'm 57 and the Astros are 56. But that bit of nitpicking aside, I have to admit that I didn't really grow up an Astros fan, because the Astros were so terrible I couldn't get interested. We went to the occasional game - supposedly I was taken to some Colt .45s games when I was 3 or 4 years old, but I wouldn't have known it from a little league game at the time. Once they moved into the Astrodome, the building itself was at least impressive to a child.

Later on, they started giving out free Astros tickets if you made the honor roll or something like that, and those are the first games I actually remember going to. The Astros almost always lost when I went. In those days you played your own division far more than they do now, and the Astros were in the NL West, along with Cincinnati, don't ask me why. Those were the days when the Reds were known as the Big Red Machine, and I can say very definitely that I saw Pete Rose and Johnny Bench and those guys play, a number of times - which I guess is why the Astros always always lost, come to think of it.

The Astros didn't finally make the playoffs until 1980, but I was in college then and I mostly wasn't paying any attention to what went on in Houston. I did gradually start paying more attention, though, and by the time I moved back to Houston in 1986, the Astros were much improved. So that's when I actually really became a baseball fan. We went to a few games in 1986 - I particularly remember the one the night before the Astros clinched the division, in which Nolan Ryan pitched and struck out 12. The next day Mike Scott threw his no-hitter. Then the Astros proceeded to get eliminated by the Mets, pretty spectacularly. That was the way it always went, for a long time. I've talked to a number of long-time Astros fans who say the same thing - it's just almost inconceivable that they actually won the World Series. Right up until the last out, we all just sat there and waited for the big heartbreak. You can tell yourself all day that this team was different - and clearly it was true, and there was a part of me that really knew that and believed it the whole time, but it still doesn't stop you from believing that something bad is going to happen. When they actually won, both in the NLCS and in the World Series, I wasn't jumping up and down and screaming. I just sat there and literally said, "Oh my god. Oh my god" over and over.

I'm sure this is true of other baseball teams - the Red Sox and the Cubs come to mind. We're not the only team that ever had this problem, I know, but at least the Red Sox and the Cubs had won a World Series in their history, even if that was a long, long time ago. I think there was something especially sort of pathological about the way that Astros fans felt about it. We just waited and waited for the blow to fall, you know? and when it didn't come, we didn't quite know what to do for a while.

(I'll write something else and talk about Altuve and Springer and all that later. This certainly isn't all I have to say on the subject!)

Date: 2017-12-03 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] bunny42
My history with baseball is quite different, although just as heartbreaking in some ways. I was there cheering on the first day of the Marlins existence in 1993. Charlie Hough pitched the first game. We won the Series in '97 against the formidable Cleveland Indians in seven games. My late husband had given me season tickets for Christmas '96 with no way of knowing what a season it would be. The year after we won, the team was decimated, completely gutted. We couldn't really blame Wayne Huyzinga, because, after all, he'd promised us a Series in five years and he delivered on that promise. But we blamed him anyway. Then John Henry bought the team and whaddya know, he gave us a Series, too! 2003, it was. But then he, too, dismantled the team, then decided he'd rather own the Red Sox and decamped, selling what was left of the Marlins to Jeffrey Loria, former owner of the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals) and that's been the end of that. Haven't seen a decent season since. We came close in 2016, until Jose Fernandez died. You wanna talk heartbreak! I was devastated. We all were. In 2017 we had a core of hitters that would stand up to anyone. It was remarkable to watch the team come together like a family after losing Jose. Amazing talent. Can you say Giancarlo Stanton? And about six others. Just no pitching. Derek Jeter and associates bought the team and we're all on tenterhooks, waiting to see which direction he goes. Obviously, Stanton is available to trade, but he has that pesky no-trade clause, meaning he has to agree to be traded. So far, the only team he'd be amenable to join is the Dodgers, but they don't seem to have the money this year. Stanton's gigantic remaining contract is a definite deterrent to other teams. We are hoping he stays here, and he would, if Jeter could get us some pitching. That's a daunting task. I hope he can do it without sacrificing several of those core players. It's an interesting and also terrifying off-season, here in sunny South Florida. I don't suppose you'd wanna part with Verlander, would ya? You could keep Altuve, that little sweetie. Pleeease?
Edited Date: 2017-12-03 05:36 pm (UTC)


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