We have the league’s most bulimic offense, superstars that are on the decline, an owner that cannot grasp the concept of rebuilding, a GM that is not willing to let go of his Phillies past, and $9.50 long necks…
Oddly enough, this season is exactly what we needed.
After attending last night’s train wreck turned redemption epic, I was able to soak in the much needed victory with fans in the rows around me by watching their reactions. People were hooting and hollering in their seats and others stood with arms in the air thankful for this one victory. These fans, the ones that stayed to the bitter end of this sloppy ball game, are also the fans that will change the face of this franchise.
When Lindstrom had given up the tie in the top of the ninth, people in the bottom deck started filing out of the stadium as if it was a lost cause. These are the fans of old. They want a stereo typical ballgame that is over in the early innings regardless of the outcome so that they can get back to their houses and get their kids in bed in time for school the next day, and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem is that these are the people that have comprised the stands for the better part of the last couple decades, but it seems as though this year may bring in some change. As people left their seats, squatters from the upper decks came down and filled the vacated areas. The once quiet and complacent lower level became a frustrated, yet enthusiastic, jungle of intensity. This is what we have needed for years.
For the rest of the game, fans were on their feet being as rambunctious as possible regardless to whoever’s cost. You would have thought Lindstrom was in charge of the BP oil spill relief, and rightfully so. It almost seemed in years past that we would not show discontent as fans with anyone on the team because their was this feeling that it was not our place. Not our place? If we pay 20 big ones to sit in the upper deck and then 20 more for a pizza that would leave kids in Ethiopia thinking they had been taken advantage, then we deserve to let our voice be heard regardless of whether or not it’s in good taste. This is our team. I am proud to be sitting next to a guy who one minute wants to ring the neck of a closer and the next moment wants to shake the hand of his mother; it’s the spirit of a true fan. Why? Because he is at the games even when the team is more than 10 games below .5oo and showing zero motivation to change that.
The truth is, there are many reasons to not watch the Astros for the rest of the season, and if you choose not to; good riddance. I want the fans that tune in because they want to see if Paulino is going to prevent his one bad inning from happening or see if Manzella is ready to turn it up, and this season is going to bring those fans to center stage. Those are the fans that come regardless of record, but rather for the future, and clearly that is where the next found success will be.
Houston: embrace this season of heartache, change is coming. Not only on the field, but in the seats around it.