Yesterday around the time you were walking to unlock your car in your work parking lot, the Houston Astros traded Jason Bourgeois and Humberto Quintero to the Kansas City Royals for the one thing slightly above the dreaded “future considerations”. They got a minor leaguer you’ve never heard of to go with more minor league caliber guys you’ve never heard of and a player to be named later who will end up being another minor leaguer you’ve never heard of.
And suddenly I realized something: there’s no longer any reason for me to hate the Houston Astros.
This deep rooted angst started sometime ago in my childhood when they played at the old Astrodome on that dreadful carpet with those dreadful uniforms. It endured through Eric Yelding and Darryl Kile, peaked through the Killer B’s (Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Derek Bell) and later on Lance Berkman. With Roger Clemens, Roy Oswalt, Billy Wagner and Andy Pettite randomly sprinkled in there; I absolutely hated this team and seeing them come to town to ruin everything my Reds had at whatever point in the season we were at.
These Astros are a laughingstock, and it’s kind of sad. I will be officially retiring my ‘F–k the Astros’ tag on this blog, and we will be holding a memorial service that is long overdue for this once proud franchise. Food and refreshments will be served at the home of former Houston Chronicle writer Richard Justice’s home afterwards for friends of the dearly departed.
Next year they’re moving over to the American League where they can even become less relevant to us all–and they’re going to go with new uniforms. They’ve still got Wandy Rodriguez who was probably the last of the Mohicans in the sense of the Houston crew I enjoyed hating so much over the years. And I’m fairly certain before he’s shipped out of town for a couple of AA players he’ll shut the Reds out in Cincinnati one last time to serve as one final parting gift in this hateful relationship that they allowed me to have for so long. Largely, the Astros 2012 season will be comprised of donating wins to the more fortunate around baseball and they’ll be extremely lucky not to drop 100 games in the upcoming campaign.
The Houston Astros are the one-legged man entered in an ass kicking contest now. They’re the girl in the wrestling match. They’re going to market to you José Altuve and Jimmy Paredes. And they’re going to fail miserably at being compelling. The Houston Astros have become a factory of sadness that shames the proud era that the Brad Ausmus’s, the Mike Hampton’s, and the Richard Hidalgo’s once ushered. Speaking of, please try and tell me that Hidalgo wasn’t a PED user. Has a more ordinary man ever hit 44 HR and driven in 122? Wade Miller, Scott Elarton, and Octavio Dotel can all join the kiss my ass club as well. I hated Lima time in 1999.
The hate is gone, and a season long celebration of a life that has now ended will commence. The Reds get the Astros 15 times in 2012. Just a few more looks at that short poke porch in left field with that stupid wall and that ridiculous hill in center field named after the front office executive who was the architect of all those teams who tortured me through my childhood and into my adult life.
The revenge will be rich I figure, and the suffering for those in that hot armpit of a city will be long. It’s nice to finally be on the other side and it’s amazing how simple perspective can change hate.