Hopes, Fears, and Expectations

After a Void unlike any that’s come before, in the 59th year of my Colt .45 / Astro fandom, I look at the season ahead and I’ve got absolutely no idea what to expect.

My hope is that this godawful situation will forge the players together like Damascus steel. Tougher and stronger than any player could be on his own. Astro hitters hammering pitch after pitch amid a crescendo of boos and epithets in opponents ballparks. Astro pitchers dominating with veterans and newcomers with nasty dispositions. A dominant, 100+ win season followed by a dominant post-season that includes a sweep of the Yankees and the Dodgers. That’s my hope.

My fear is that media driven rancor will reach such a level that people get physically hurt and that the team will lose cohesion, be shaken by the vitriol and wither like the 2000 Astros. I can imagine any number of plausible, horrible, even disgraceful scenarios.

My expectations, however, remain as blank as a fresh notepad. I’ve got no idea.

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My hope is that this all passes after the season gets started. They’ll get booed terribly to begin with but I have hopes that after the season gets going fans and the media will get on another story.

I wouldn’t count on that.

Yeah, there might be lulls in the narrative in early summer, but it’s never going to truly go away. As the All-Star Break approaches and passes, we’ll be treated to stories about how Hinch would’ve been managing in the game if he hadn’t let his team cheat their asses off. If the Astros are in the hunt for the postseason in August/September then we’ll be treated to more of the same old shit, as well as speculation that they’re still finding new ways to cheat since they’re still winning. Crank all of that up a couple notches if they make it to October, and crank it up a couple more notches any time they advance in the postseason.

I’m committed to not letting the noise get to me, even if that means leaving twitter and the sports pages be. I’m very interested in how it will affect the team but I could give two shits about what Jeff Passan or SlimJim69 on social media has to say.

Books, movies, ceaseless articles, careers made and broken, virtue-signaling by our betters, feckless leadership, blame shifting and fingerpointing.

A perfect scandal for this era. No one knows what degree of punishment fits the crime.

Just win, baby.

There is redemption only in victory. Careers and perhaps more depend on it.

I would like to go the games in Oakland (where I’ve gone in my usual Astros hat and shirts and had a fine time) in March, but might skip it this year.

Planning on hearing garbage can jokes the rest of my life.

Unfortunately this year, away games in Astros gear is not gonna be a very fun time