The last installment of our first half reviews deals with what has been happening off the field. The Astros have been in the news fairly often — and not always for the best reasons.
The biggest issue continues to be the CSN Houston debacle. Millions of fans in a 5-state area are still completely shut out from being able to view Astros games on TV — even if they are willing to pay for it. The lack of a carriage deal with any of the major satellite or cable TV providers has taken away a part of the fan’s lives that they had grown accustomed to enjoying.
This is an area in which ownership has failed miserably. Many fans have already abandoned the team. Some of those that remain will hold a permanent grudge. Despite all of the court proceedings and efforts to remedy this monumental problem, there appears to be no end in sight. All signs point to a second half of the 2014 season just like the last year-and-a-half — void of TV broadcasts for the majority of Astros fans.
The club got some positive PR when the big Sports Illustrated cover story recently broke. Unfortunately the warm fuzzy feeling of being declared 2017 World Series Champs didn’t last long. The “Ground Control breach” story came right on the heels of the good publicity, resulting in another black eye for the organization.
And, of course, the most recent “off the field” story for the Astros is the ongoing contract negotiations with top draft pick Brady Aiken. Amid accusations of drumming up an elbow injury in order to get Aiken at a discount, the club is running out of time to get a deal done with the 17-year old lefty from San Diego. Overall, it’s been a pretty rough season for the Astros off the field.