Looking forward to the 2013 Houston Astros’ season, I cannot help but be optimistic about the upcoming year. I feel like the worst is behind us, there is an uplifting feeling around the core fan-base (aside from the CSN Houston debacle) and I think that most rational Astros fans would agree that the Astros can only go up from here.
You can say that we’re drinking the Kool-Aid or call us homers, but I would say that we are not completely delusional, and drinking hardly any Kool-Aid, as it were. If you ask any average Joe in Houston who will go to a handful of Astros games, usually only for a stadium give-away promotion, or because they feel obligated to fill their annual baseball game quota, they’ll berate and insult the Astros organization for “trading away all the good players”, or “being too cheap and not signing any big free agents“, and my personal favorite “what is the point of going and getting attached to the players? They’re only going to trade them away because they’re too cheap to pay them”
A vast, and unsettling, majority of Astros “fans” have become impatient, whiny, and rather resentful of the front office, mainly the fact is that they are upset over Crane’s comments and business decisions. I wrote about the Opening Night dilemma in this article and aired my grievances about the fans overreaction in that one.
More recently, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Astros owner Jim Crane, on the subject of fans’ displeasure about the team not being built to “compete”, said “It doesn’t bother me that people want us to spend more money,” Crane said. “But it’s not their money. This is a private company, even though it’s got a public flair to it. If they want to write a check for 10 million bucks, they can give me a call.”
Which is undisputably true because it makes perfect sense, and I don’t see how anybody with a clear mind cannot agree with it. Astros fans were, in my opinion, just looking for things to complain about and be grumpy. I was on my soapbox all the time, protecting Crane and company on twitter, and as expected, I caught a lot of flack from “old school” fans, claiming it was their team and Crane was taking them to the cleaners, yielding no return on the field. In all reality, I feel that people were looking for reasons to complain and gripe about something they did not like, and they have a right to complain and gripe, but when somebody is just getting started on their project, a project of which you and the worker have a common goal, you don’t badger and criticize them for not starting how you’d like.
I think that the worst is indeed behind us, at least the heartache of watching their decline is done with. The Astros are like a phoenix, in the recent past, we saw them crash, burn, crash some more, and burn themselves to a heaping pile of ashes. However, now is the time where we get to see the BEGINNING of the resurrection of the metaphorical phoenix that is the Houston Astros organization. While they won’t make a full return to their once majestic form, they will begin to start pulling themselves together, with a few bandages here, some splints there, and a full body cast everywhere else, the 2013 campaign marks the beginning of the Astros ascension. While they won’t get far, and we will certainly take more than our fair share of bumps and bruises, but the Astros won’t go down without a fight. Slowly but surely, we’ll see winning baseball in Houston once again, but as I have stressed before in the recent past, patience is the key with the Houston Astros.
– Richard Perez