Every-Thing Sports

A chat with Astros' fans

Jermaine Every

Spring has sprung, and you know what that means. Spring Training is in full bloom. The Grapefruit and Cactus leagues are underway. The Astros have gotten their statements, apologies, pressers, and rebuttals out of the way. So have many other major leaguers, as well as some outside the scope of MLB. I first wrote about them embracing the bad guy role the day they made their apology, then how I felt about their haters a few days later after listening to the fallout. Now, it's time to speak directly to the Astros' fans to clear the air, set a decorum, and a few other items:

They cheated. Time to move on.

I know this may be hard to come to grips with, but they cheated, got caught, and were punished. So what if other teams were doing it too! They were the ones who got made an example of by the commissioner because someone with intimate knowledge of their ways decided to go public (Mike "The Rat" Fiers). Commissioner Rob Manfred had no other option but to punish the organization. While he's undoubtedly trying to minimize any collateral damage this may have caused the sport, you have to understand that he's protecting what little integrity baseball has left. We all know the well-documented history of baseball as a sport overrun with cheating. From steroids, to sign stealing to greenies to scuffing to pine tar to corked bats; it's all been done. They did what they did. Face it. Acknowledge it. Move on.

Dealing with backlash

There have been tons of media members, other MLB players, as well as others outside of the sport with plenty to say. Most of it has not been favorable. Some of it has been downright distasteful if you ask me. But that's what comes with the territory. I have a good friend who's a Patriots' fan. We give him grief all the time. However, he could care less. His attitude is one Astros' fans should adopt: "So what that we cheated! And?!? We still have rings!" People will exercise their free speech and there isn't a damn thing anyone can do about it. Let them talk, but don't get baited into an unnecessary back and forth. Don't let the trolls pull out the worst in you. That's what they want and that's how they feel like they've won. Instead, give them what they're not expecting and lean into the roll of most hated.

Continue your support

This team will face an extraordinary amount of scrutiny, hate, and ugliness. It is now the time to support them even more than before. Don't abandon them now. If you don't like what they did and want to stand on some sort of moral high ground, you should quit watching baseball, maybe sports in general. No one can say they did everything on the up and up every single time in baseball. They may not have done things to the extent the Astros did, but they all used something to gain an advantage. Twitter user @Joshstros has some really cool tee shirts at his teespring store for sale. I opted for the aWo shirt as a nod to my love of pro wrestling will be ordering more. This is like that one relative or friend you have that's going through a tough time that was self-inflicted. Do you abandon them and cut them off? Or do you go all in with your love and support to help them get through that rough patch? If you're a real family member or friend, you show them more love during that time to help them come out a better person.

That pic at the top of this article was a selfie I took in New Orleans. I walked to a parade while visiting family wearing my Astros gear. I got nothing but love from those that approached me. Some were native New Orleanians that have dealt with Bountygate as Saints fans, others were fans of other teams that felt like things were overblown, some weren't fans of any MLB team and thought the Astros were doing what every other team had already been doing but are being made an example of. Either way, I found over 95% of the people I interacted with were very cool about the whole thing. I've got friends who are fans of other MLB teams. They too don't get why this is as big a deal as people are making it out to be. People living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. MLB should live by that considering they're all guilty of something. Bottom line Astros' fans: stand by your team through thick and thin. You rode the wave in 2017. Continue to ride with them in 2020 and beyond.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Would the Astros trade Kyle Tucker for the right price? Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

“Everybody's gotta price for the Million Dollar Man! HAHAHAHAHA!” This was Ted DiBiase Sr's catchphrase as the Million Dollar Man in the 80s and 90s WWE. His character was an evil rich guy who used his money, power, and influence to get his way. The premise was simple: anybody can be bought. The other day, I gave you three Astros I would not trade at the deadline under any circumstances. Today, I'm giving you three guys I'd consider trading, under the right circumstances. Let's take a look:

Kyle Tucker: Outside of Yordan Alvarez, Tucker is the best hitter on this team. The smooth swinging lefty once earned the nickname “Ted” for his swing resembling that of Ted Williams. He's also greatly improved as an outfielder. Just when you think he's going to let a ball drop, he catches up to it and ends up on SportsCenter. He's 26, getting paid $5 million this season, and has two more years of arbitration left after this year. A young, top talent under team control and on a cheap salary should attract some interest.

Hunter Brown: It's better to give than to receive. Some team out there is looking for a salary exchange. They'd love to trade that high dollar starting pitcher or bullpen stud for a 24-year-old starter with electric stuff and under team control for several more years. Brown is the type of guy a team looking to save money would LOVE to have! I know this team could use another arm to go with Brown and the others. Would you rather have Brown with a lower chance of another ring, or whatever player in return and a higher shot a another championship? Give me the better odds at winning another ring. Those memories are stronger and longer lasting than fond memories of a random player.

Jeremy Peña: Who doesn't want a former World Series and ALCS MVP?!? At 25 and under team control for a few more years, Peña is in rarefied air. Not many in the game's history can claim to have his accolades after their rookie season. His future is brighter than the sun when traveling north on 59 near the Chimney Rock exit around 2pm. He's a jack of all trades in that he does everything pretty good. Can he improve? Sure. But this kid is special and wants to continue to get better.

“We need another arm!” “This lineup needs another bat!”

I've seen and heard the different arguments. I've also seen and heard the most preposterous trade proposals. You can't trade for a guy like Shohei Otani and give them your plumber, a Chinese food wing dinner, and four used pairs of lawn work shoes. You also can't trade a guy you can't stand and/or has little to no value for an All Star. It's better to give than to receive. When you give up more, you get more in return. How bad do you want to see another parade downtown? Personally, I don't like the crowds, but I love the joy on others' faces. I particularly enjoy the looks on faces when I'm out of town or post a pic wearing Astros gear. Since we all agree that moves have to be made, can we all agree that we need to swing for the fences?

I get it. These guys are young, very talented, and still cheap. When they're eligible, they're going to want to get paid. Will their demands match their production? Will keeping them lead to another ring? Is it the sentimental value that's forcing you to hold onto them? Trading them doesn't guarantee another ring, but I think it'll give you a better shot if the right guys are traded for. And now, we wait…

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome