Dexter Fowler got both his season and his Houston Astros career off to good start Tuesday night by doubling and scoring runs in his first two at bats. A lead off home run followed by a triple in which he later scored on Wednesday night was a nice follow up performance.
Last season the Astros’ batting order was in constant flux and it was difficult for Bo Porter to find a lead off man most nights while also putting together a complete lineup. Now with Fowler, Porter can just work from the second spot on down.
But Fowler was added from Colorado this winter for more than just his ability on the field. Since he is still a young player two years away from free agency it seems odd to say, but he was added to be a leader. And to give the Astros some credibility since everyone is used to them shedding players and payroll, not trading for an outfielder who is making $7 million.
So far, Fowler has done just that. He has embraced a leadership role and was vocal this spring. That is something that both the team and its fans need.
Prior to Tuesday’s Opening Day defeat of the New York Yankees, Fowler presented each of his teammates with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Double Black. While on the surface it may not seem like much, it is nice gesture that illustrates the hope surrounding the Astros and optimism not just for this season, but beyond. Plus, who doesn’t like Johnnie Walker?
This is what Fowler had to say about the gesture:
“Opening Day presents not only a new start for me, but a fresh slate for my teammates and the entire Houston Astro organization. At this moment, the past is the past. It’s the next practice, the next swing, the next run that matters. I gifted my new teammates a bottle of Johnnie Walker Double Black to celebrate this moment, the opportunity to define ourselves by where we are headed, not where we stand.”