Dear Houston Astros,
Through thick and thin for the last 30+ years I have been a fan. Not always fully alert and engaged, but always a fan. Marie and I were at the inaugural game at Enron Field (now Minute Maid Park). My daughter Annalisa fractured her ankle standing on a seat cheering a game. At one point we owned a share of season tickets.
However, the move to the American League is the first time I’ve found myself facing the change from an intermittent fan to a non-fan. I loathe (LOATHE) the designated hitter – 9 men field, 9 men hit, that’s baseball. Going to the AL is almost (but not quite) as if you were switching to playing cricket. Yeah, there’s a bat and a ball, but it’s not the game I have loved (and, for a while, played) all my life.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers come to town regularly, so there’s that. But I don’t see myself becoming a fan. I still miss the Oilers and although I like seeing the Texans do well, I have never become a ‘fan’. Hell, in the heat of the moment I still refer to the Colts as ‘Baltimore’, the Rams as ‘L.A’, the Cardinals as ‘St. Louis’, and the Jazz as ‘New Orleans’.
For all of you who love the AL, I respect that, but it’s not for me. Kind of like New York versus Chicago in pizza, Texas versus North Carolina in barbecue, or East Coast versus West Coast in music, there are no empirically ‘correct’ tastes and I appreciate that different people have different preferences. But I am not an AL guy, and I don’t see myself becoming one.
So, goodbye to the Astros as I knew and loved you. Good luck with cricket or whatever you’ll be playing from now on. There are at least two constants in life…one is baseball and the other is change, and I guess this encapsulates both of those. Change may be inevitable, but I don’t have to like it, now pardon me while I go yell at a cloud.
A Long-Time (Former) Fan