It’s about that time of year where football is almost over, basketball is about midway, and the beloved game of baseball is inching her way closer and closer into full gear. Now I personally have a weird obsession with all three of Americas “Big Three of Sports”. However, baseball is it for me. There’s just something about the nostalgia of cracking peanuts with some buddies (of which have been expired for several months), chugging $10 cups of Americas finest pilsners, and turning jumbo popcorn buckets into “Rally Caps” while you obnoxiously heckle the opposing team. Shit gets me pumped.
Now I know the city of Houston has not even acknowledged the fact that we have a Major League baseball team ever since when we shit the bed in ’05 against the White Sox. Which I completely understand. Baseball is a slow, precise, and delicate game. It’s hard to watch if you aren’t into it. But when your team is good… Oh man when your team is good, it’s something else. To recap: we used to have the Killer B’s, a kick-ass pitching staff including Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Roy-O; and we had a team that probably ate dinner every night together like Torreto, Brian O’Connor and the crew. It was beautiful.
Enough of the past. We quickly became one of the biggest shit shows in the league. A damn circus show. But that’s what happens when you have fat asses like Carlos Lee tip-toeing around in left-field, every light in the world had been flipped on for Brad “lights out” Lidge, and the entire team as a whole couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a freaking boat. We sucked, for a long time. I get it. It’s tough. But don’t you fear. The game of baseball is like finding a crisp twenty in your pockets. You think you’re fucking broke, but WAIT, could it be? I’m fucking rich! There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Houstonians all around, I’m here to tell you… the STRO’S are back baby!
When Jim Crane bought the Astro’s in 2011 he appointed a crazy bastard named Jeff Lunhow as the teams GM. The guy’s is a bloody genius. Before baseball, Lunhow had a plethora of jobs. He was an engineer, management consultant, and a technology entrepreneur. Lunhow has a way with numbers, to say the least. Most people have seen the movie Moneyball. If not, basically a guy took a shit team and invested all of it’s money into strategic planning and data-analysis. He fired everyone and put a lot of inference on the teams farm system to develop young prospects. This team eventually balled out. Jeff Lunhow and his Astros wanted to do the same thing. People thought we were out of are fucking minds. In 2013 we had the lowest payroll in all of baseball at $27 Million. Anyone we had that showed even the slightest amount of talent got kicked to the curb. We traded away EVERYONE. We were supposed to be several years out from any chance of success. After all we had a hot, steamy dump of a record at (51-111) in 2013. However, things seem to be way ahead of schedule!
In 2014 we had achieved 19 more wins than the previous season. That wasn’t enough to grab the city of Houston’s attention though. Then, last season happened. We soon realized we had a few young stars. Dallas Keuchel was the face of our pitching staff. He had a record of 20-8, an ERA of just 2.48, a whopping 216 strike outs, and he was the starting pitcher for the American League during the All-Star Game. Oh, the guy has a beard only Houston is worthy of too.
Not only did we realize we had one of the best pitchers in baseball, we soon discovered what a freak-of-nature Carlos Correa is. The Astros drafted Correa first overall in 2012. The guy was 17 years old from Puerto Rico. 17 freaking years old. Around this time I was probably causing all sorts of trouble, pulling “Hey Mister’s?”, and showing up to practice late because I wanted an “afternoon quicky” from my broad. Meanwhile, this guy was being selected numero uno in the MLB draft. Carlos finished his rookie year with a .279 batting average, spanked 22 homers, and drove in 68 RBI’s. He also took home the “American League Rookie of the Year” award. Most of this was done before the kid could legally crack a cold one. Shit’s wild man.
Along with Keuchel and Correa we now have a team that is stacked at every position. Last year we finished off by losing to the Kansas City Royals and World Series champs in the playoffs. We took the season as a success. But we knew we needed a real closer in order to have a real shot at winning it all. We needed to get someone who could throw harder than my Mimi to close out games for us. Of course, Lunhow was on it. He brought in the flame-throwing closer from Philadelphia, Ken Giles. Giles was 15 for 20 in save opportunities during the 2015 season. He also had an ERA of 1.80, and punched out 87 batters in just 70 innings.
With Spring Training just around the corner, Houstonian’s and “Crush City” have a lot to be excited about. My gut is telling me that “this is the year”. This is the year we dominate the league and parade throughout the beautiful streets of Houston. All because are team is simply better than yours. Well, on second thought, I might just need to take a dump. Na, fuck that. The STRO’S are back baby!