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Houston Astros 2009


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Mike Hampton...right. You can count on what, 3 games out of him? The Astros typical MO has been to get way into the cellar by the end of May, and then try to pull some amazing comeback Aug-Sep. It worked a couple times. This year they will only dive further into the cellar.

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Mike Hampton...right. You can count on what, 3 games out of him? The Astros typical MO has been to get way into the cellar by the end of May, and then try to pull some amazing comeback Aug-Sep. It worked a couple times. This year they will only dive further into the cellar.

agreed, same story every year.

call them dead and in the grave before the all-star game and see them try and roar back to come close to contending it he second half

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This could be an ugly year alright. However, we know that going in so that helps with the season not being a heart breaker. It's baseball and I'll be at tons of games and watching the rest on TV. It's the only sport I care about. It would be cool if they were an upper tier team, but they're not. That's not the kind of owner we have. Drayton puts profits first, championships second - always. At least I'll get to see other teams and players.

As much as I'd like to rant about all of it, it could be worse. I could be living in a city with no team. I'll take bad over none, any day.

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This could be an ugly year alright. However, we know that going in so that helps with the season not being a heart breaker. It's baseball and I'll be at tons of games and watching the rest on TV. It's the only sport I care about. It would be cool if they were an upper tier team, but they're not. That's not the kind of owner we have. Drayton puts profits first, championships second - always. At least I'll get to see other teams and players.

As much as I'd like to rant about all of it, it could be worse. I could be living in a city with no team. I'll take bad over none, any day.

I would agree that we could be much worse off. I think there are things to criticize Drayton for, however I also think he's been our best owner ever. He has made big moves to get us to the World Series. We may not be in contention every year, but we've been in contention more often than not the last 10 years. Thank your lucky stars you're not from N. Texas and stuck with the Rangers. They don't even have a roof in the summer. I still don't know how they sell tickets.

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In the spirit of the 2009 Astros season, I thought I'd offer up my story. Baseball is the only sport I follow. It's a passion.

Non-nerds, you've been warned. wink.gif

Part 1

For many years I followed the Yankees very closely. As a former New York City resident, I was able to follow them on XM Radio & the Extra Innings cable package after I left NYC. I live in Houston now for the second time in my life. I saw probably 120 Yankees games a year (cable), listened to the ones that were blacked-out (XM), and attended a few on visits back to NYC every year.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the office.

This past off-season I found myself feeling disconnected emotionally from them. It started with the way they treated Pettitte. He's been a huge part of them making it to 6 World Series during his time there, but they very nearly discarded him. Then came the Sabathia deal. I just couldn't get behind the vulgar spending for C.C. Then, after Burnett & Texiera were added, I felt like an outsider. The spending was obscene, particularly considering the economy. They also doubled ticket prices at a time when half the country can barely make ends meet. I felt removed from their values.

The Yankees have always had that "best team money can buy" label, but they also built from their farm system. Outsiders or casual fans seldom saw the team closely enough to realize the pennant-winning teams had been their home-built teams - Jeter, Pettitte, Williams, etc. The free agents got the headlines and the haters let them become the focus.

But this past off-season, I felt they had become a team that openly sent the message that they'll just purchase championships now and moved away completely from building teams. I not only didn't agree with it, I felt myself bothered by it.

Part 2

I grew up in Houston (60s & 70s), so my first exposure to the game as a child was the Astros. I fell in love with the game through the Astros. I spent many a night in the Dome and followed the team closely through the years. Cedeno, Morgan, The Toy Cannon, Dierker, Cruuuuz, Niekro, J.R, Nolan - I was there for it all. I always followed them through the box scores in the newspaper after I moved away (pre-cable & internet).

Part 3

Since I've been back, I've certainly gone to plenty of Astros games and followed them somewhat. However, after I disconnected from the Yankees I found myself drawn back to the team that first moved me all those years ago. It wasn't a conscious decision at all - it just happened over the course of a few months. Truth is, it had been happening for years.

I listened to every Astros Spring Training game this year and I've already been to Minute Maid twice this year. I put away my Yankees shirts & caps and I canceled the Extra Innings package. I bought a few new Astros shirts and two new Caps. On my desk at work, the Yankees cap that has always been displayed has now been replaced with an Astros cap. Next to it is a Milo bobble-head.

I went to Fan Fest last weekend at Minute Maid and test-sat in several sections of the stadium to see where I want to buy season tickets. For the most part,I had the empty stadium to myself - Fan Fest was taking place in the concourses. I tried out about ten different sections - field, mezzanine, upper deck, etc, I was all over the place for about an hour. As I looked out at the empty stadium and the resting field, I took several minutes each time and pictured the game taking place.

I've returned to the team of my childhood - and I feel clean because of it. It's good to be home.

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I've returned to the team of my childhood - and I feel clean because of it. It's good to be home.

SecondTour, thank you for ditching those damn Yanquis, and welcome home. (From a fellow long-suffering Astros fan since childhood in the 70s...)

It's going to be a bumpy season for us, I think.

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Our payroll is higher than most teams so don't blame it on Drayton.

Wasted money, clearly. When Drayton dumped Hunsicker, he proved how little he knows about Major League Baseball. Now, we can just watched Drayton's follie play out...or starting watching soccer.

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I think this team will come around and win about 83 games maybe just over .500. Everyone is in typical panic mode. I think Cecil Cooper's job should be on the line and they could let him go before the all-star break. He has not inspired any confidence with a lot of the things he has said and the lineups he puts out sometimes are uninspired. But as far as starting pitching, you don't know what you will get behing Roy and Wandy, and that is not his fault.

All that said, management has made their bed so to speak. Not offering Ty Wigginton looks like a mistake this offseason. They can ill-afford to sign anymore big salary players because of the inbalance in their payroll and we will have to play a waiting game for talent to develop or trade for young talent. I think we will be waiting.

This season is really early And if Bourn and Pence have good years that would be great for the team and it's future. They will have to bring up some young pitching and see what they can do at some point.

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