It’s a glorious Sunday in Alexandria!
I hope you have the same good fortune wherever you are…
1. What a fun season the Astros are facing...Yesterday, in their first Spring Training game, the Houston Astros were booed by their own “home” fans in West Palm Beach, Florida. They will have an overhwelming amount of pressure on them this year in addition to being pariahs in every ballpark in te American League. If they don’t win their division again, or approach the 100+ wins the team has amassed ever season since 2017, the narrative will be that tis proves that it was the team’s cheating, not its superior talent, that had made them champions. Of course that will be a false conclusion, since there are many factors that could diminish the Astros in 2020, such as the loss of their best pitcher, Gerrit Cole, to free agency.
There were other ethically dubious moves by the Astros yesterday. Although teams are required by an MLB directive to include at least some team regulars in Spring Training games, since spectators are paying substantial amounts to attend, manager Dusty Baker had only minor leaguers in the line-up, apparently wanting to delay and minimize the fan abuse heaped on his team. Thus a line-up of players who had absolutly nothing to do with the sign-stealing that marred the Astros’ 2017 season and World Series victory absorbed the anger of the fans intended for the no-shows.
Meanwhile, ball park personnel confiscated signs brought by some fans to express their disapproval. The signs weren’t obscene or vulgar, just critical, like “Houston” with an asterisk, implying that the Astros’ 2017 World Series title would be forever blemished by the team’s cheating. That sign is telling the undeniable truth.
Can’t have that.
2. Now here’s an old tradition that does not need to be revived...