I may not have a lot of nice things to say about Texas. There aren’t many things I miss about the Lone Star State (Austin, Galveston, the music, Tex-Mex). One of the things I do miss and that I really DID enjoy about living in Houston was going to watch the Houston Astros. For my money, Minute Maid Park is one of the best ballparks in Major League Baseball, and it’s always been a great place to watch a game. The problem become the product on the field. After going to the World Series in 2005 (and being swept by the Chicago White Sox), the Astros have cratered like Donald Trump’s poll numbers. If not for my Minnesota Twins (and that’s another story for another time), the Astros would be the worst team in Major League Baseball.
Drayton McLane, the grocery store magnate from Temple, TX, who has owned the Astros since 1992, seems to have somewhere along the way lost interest in putting a quality, competitive team on the field. Since 2005, the Astros have sunk to the point where they look like a AAA team in a first-class major league ballpark. Of course, Astros fans are still paying major league prices to watch a team lacking in talent, charisma, and a reason to exist.
After watching my Twins fold like a cheap lawn chair against Seattle last night, I’m reduced to hoping the Astros might pull something out of their collective hindquarters. With a new owner, and maybe, just maybe, some hope, it might just be possible that the Astros have hit rock bottom and can now look up. The question, of course, is where do you start? Offense? Yeah, it resembles your average tee-ball team. Defense? Well, even mediocre, that actually might be the Astros’ strong suit. Pitching? Outside of the inept starting pitching and bullpen…well, it’s in pretty good shape, right?
Now the Astros have a new owner. I don’t know a thing about him and his ownership group, but I have to believe that anyone would be an improvement over Drayton McLane.
Here’s my two cents…for whatever it might be worth: start by getting rid of Carlos Lee and that massive contract/albatross…IF that’s even possible. Perhaps then Astros fans will begin to think that there just might be hope, if not for this season then perhaps next.