This Houston Astros offseason should have fans buzzing. No longer relegated to the MLB basement, the Astros and Jeff Luhnow have begun a new chapter and the “Lastros” have been put to rest.
The retooled offense now features Jed Lowrie, Evan Gattis, Colby Rasmus, and Luis Valbuena to help the Astros score more runs. In 2014, Houston’s offense was led by hits leader Jose Altuve, with the home runs being supplied by Chris Carter (37) and George Springer (20). In 2015, with the new additions, the Astros could have as many as five players in their Opening Day lineup that have hit 20 dingers at least once during their careers: Carter, Gattis, Rasmus, Springer, and Jon Singleton (13 at MLB, 14 at AAA in 2014), and three others that have hit 15+: Lowrie, Valbuena, and Jason Castro.
When you have a collection of power hitters like the Astros have in 2015, you have to embrace it. You have to own it. You have to name it. Yes, these guys will whiff a lot (who doesn’t like a breeze in Houston?), and they’ll join the ranks of Generation K. The New York Yankees had Murderer’s Row in the late 1920s, the Cincinnati Reds had the Big Red Machine in the 1970s, and the Oakland Athletics had the Bash Brothers of the late 1980s. So, why can’t the 2015 Houston Astros get some love for something commendable? (Note: this is not intended to be a comparison to those Yankees or Reds ballclubs).
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Look- it’s been a long time since Houston had a good nickname, something that was positive, instantly recognizable, and gave them an identity. Back in the 1990s through the mid-2000s, led by Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, the Killer B’s were a force to be reckoned with. Notable alums include Derek Bell and Lance Berkman, among several others. You didn’t have to ask who the Killer B’s were. But as we all know, that era is long gone.
Thus, here are a few suggestions for the 2015 Houston Astros:
The Bayou City Barbarians
It sounds like a fantasy baseball team name, but hear me out. Do you remember the Oscar-worthy performance of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan the Barbarian? All you need to know is “what is best in life”:
"To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women! –Conan the Barbarian"
The Crawford Street Crushers
This name is nod to the Astros’ address at Minute Maid Park. And to the Crawford Boxes where the fans should bring some sort of helmet to protect themselves from all the home runs that will rain down upon them. Astros broadcaster Bill Brown had a good take on the potential for this team after one significant trade:
I like this one because I like puns. And what better way to pun than to play off the manager’s last name? It’s perfect, really (as long as A.J. Hinch is the manager). The run-scoring potential of this club is criminal, and if the Astros play up to their potential, many will fear playing this manager and his gang.
Well, after spitballing a few ideas, that’s all I’ve got. I realize the season hasn’t started and no one has hit a home run yet. But it feels like the fun is already starting.
What are your thoughts, Astros fans? Have any other suggestions?