Astros: A prolonged culture of winning is key to success
You Can’t Have Baseball Without the Players
Being built from the very bottom of the ground up is what the Astros had to do to contend. An owner that doesn’t take mediocrity as the norm. A general manager that is savvy at every aspect of his profession, who drafts wisely and doesn’t give up his talent easy. A manager who is wise beyond his years, who trusts his players.
All three of those core pieces have one thing in common. Belief. A belief that by doing things the right way and not deviating from the original plan, you can build something incredible, and it slowly trickles down into the players’ mindsets.
You start seeing veterans mentoring other younger players. Carlos Beltran in 2017 was a player that many believe was consequential to winning the first World Series in franchise history. His leadership mentored younger players all season long, such as Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa.
It’s your aces sharing wisdom with your prospects. This spring training, Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr. were busy not only getting ready for the season, but teaching J.B. Bukauskas some of their signature pitches, and other tips about pitching that in the long run will only make Bukauskas better.
It’s your star players making it known that the trust and belief that you’ve established has reached them. We’ve seen three major extensions in the past year and a half. It started with Jose Altuve, your cog to the entire engine. Alex Bregman then signed a massive five year, 100 million dollar extension.
Alex Bregman is not a player that enjoys losing. At every stage of his game, every facet of his brain is winning. He eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball, and being a winner in the sport he adores. For a star of this caliber to sign a contract that will keep him in Astros orange and blue for an extended period of time, means something that most fans don’t even realize.
Justin Verlander then gets an extension of his own and says, “I don’t want to be anywhere else.” This is a future Hall of Famer saying he believes we can win even more than we already have, and he’s going to be around and wants to be around to see it happen, and to contribute to a team that won’t have him around forever.
The Makings of a Dynasty
Winners win. It’s such a simple phrase, with such a deeper meaning. A winning culture breeds winning mindsets. Different winners will want to join, different winners will want to stay. It’s a concept in Houston sports that hasn’t truly been experienced in the entirety of its existence.
Jim Crane has brought not only a winning team to Houston. He hasn’t brought winning players to the Astros. He hasn’t built just a World Series Championship team. Jim Crane has brought an entire winning culture to Houston.
Winners win. And Houston, we’re going to be winning for a very long time. Let’s sit back and revel in what we’re experiencing. Not many cities get to.