Astros After April

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Photo credit: Houston Chronicle

Already we’re in May, the first full month of the Major League Baseball season is in the books and the Houston Astros, the team that everybody though was going to tank, is unfortunately tanking, but they are not alone in the Major League cellar. As of May 3rd, the Houston Astros are sitting at an overall record of 8-22, tied with the Miami Marlins for the worst in the league. A tale of two different teams, heading in opposite directions, yet are on congruent territory, last place in their respective leagues. I compare the Marlins to the Astros for a reason, I feel that the Marlins went through what the Astros did from 2006 to 2010 in one year, collapsing and having management trying to buy a World Series title; contrast to the Marlins however, the Astros did not have an owner whom single-handedly ruined baseball for the entire city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but Loria’s horrid past is unrelated.

Going in opposite directions, the Astros are on the upswing as far as where the team is heading overall, and the Marlins were blown up at the wrong time, after having a horrid 2012 season. Left with essentially a minor league roster, the Marlins are at rock bottom where the Astros once were, and on a few days, still are; the Astros have the better management group however, and the abundance of prospects in the Astros organization shows that the Astros handled the “blowing up” process better. Despite their differences, the Astros are still tied with the struggling Marlins, and as of now, these two teams are in a horse race for the first round pick for the 2014 Amateur Draft. I believe the Astros can also take solace in knowing that the current 2012 Marlins, aka the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays, are only two games ahead of them, so the Astros are not the only bad team in the league, they’re just the team everybody loves to pick on. Whiffing and striking out their way to last place, the Astros found themselves in the midst of a serious hitting slump, and I was very much surprised to see that they pulled themselves out of it rather quickly, sending down Shia Labeouf Brett Wallace to Triple A Oklahoma City may have been the best move they had made in the entire month. I may have been a little over-zealous in stating that the Astros would improve record wise, but with a lot of minor league prospects getting their Major League debuts, the Astros are going to be the youngest and least experienced team in the Major Leagues, and will probably have more “rough games” than last year, contrarily, their highs will be higher than last year. I feel most of the negativity and hard feelings surrounding this team is from the debacle of a TV broadcasting situation with CSN Houston, and people are upset for the right reasons, as the blame has been switched to the cable providers, my only hope is that the fans that bashed CSN and Astros owner Jim Crane realize their faults and can move on from their anger and focus towards the cable company that is charging them for Houston sports, yet is not broadcasting it.

After the first full month, I’d say that the Astros have a rough road ahead of them, they are certainly going to have to endure it and “take their lumps” as it were, and we’re all going along for this bumpy ride. I don’t care what the record is at the end of the season when it comes to the 2o13 Astros, all I care about is that the team grows and matures, and that we continue to see prospects flourish and reach the major league level.

– Richard Perez

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