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Sympathy For Astros Fans

To a certain extent, the New York Mets and Houston Astros are tied together. Their respective stories began in 1962 when both teams broke through as expansion teams. Up until a point they had some parallels in their history.

In 1969, while Tom Seaver and the Mets we’re making a miracle run in Flushing, the Astros were surprisingly game. They got as close as 2.0 games back in late August before fizzling. Like the Mets, 1969 would be the first year the Astros didn’t have a losing record or a 90 loss season for that matter.

The Mets next World Series run would come in 1986, and they’d have to go through Houston to do it. Interestingly enough, that Astros team would have two former Mets maddening young hurlers, Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott, standing in their way.

When the Wild Card Era was ushered in, the story of the two teams diverged, and their tenuous link splintered. If that splintered it, the Astros move to the AL almost fractured it.

Still, there were some links through the years. Mike Hampton was the 2000 NLCS MVP. There was falling short of the pennant due to Albert Pujols led Cardinals teams ripping your heart out. There was also Carlos Beltran.

Beltran was a future Hall of Famer who played for both franchises. Initially, he fell short of going to the World Series with both teams losing in seven games to the Cardinals. Jeff Suppan was the Game 7 starter in both series.

Finally, Beltran broke through and won the World Series with the 2017 Astros. With that, his return proved fortuitous. The Mets were hoping they’d have a similar experience when they hired him to succeed Mickey Callaway as their manager. That isn’t going to happen.

With the release of MLB’s findings on the Astros sign stealing scandal, the Mets fired Beltran, and the Astros are dealing with the knowledge their World Series title is now tainted.

For Mets fans, we have to accept the role Beltran played. More than that, we know the ties between the Mets and Beltran are probably forever severed, and his Hall of Fame inevitability is now in question. To put it succinctly, we have to deal with the fall of an all-time Mets great.

It’s worse for Astros fans. MUCH worse.

Those fans had to wait 55 years for a World Series. They finally got one, and it was all the sweeter because of home-grown and back-then very well regarded players like Jose Altuve and George Springer.

This is a complete and utter nightmare for any fanbase, and the Astros fans are left to somehow process something which brought them so much joy. This is a sport and team they love, and this was a championship they waited a lifetime to see.

This is likely why we’ll see lashing out and rationalizing of what their team did. That doesn’t make them remotely unique.

Look at Yankees fans glossing over Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and other players. The Red Sox do the same with David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. There are others, but this also shows whether you’ve won 27 times or had to wait 86 years, your fans are going to be protective of those titles and players.

The same is going to be the case with the Astros. Don’t blame them. This is the circumstance they were put in by their favorite team.

They’re left rationalizing and trying to hold onto their only title. That’s the absolute worst position to be in as a fan. As a fanbase, they deserve our sympathy. Of course, it’s difficult to give them that if they choose to be obnoxious about it.

Still, no one wants to be in their shoes, and the fans of the other 29 teams should be happy they’re not them. They should also hope to the extent the Astros weren’t the only ones doing it, their team isn’t found out thereby leaving them to have to do the same rationalizing.

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