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.

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The Texans made some surprising cuts this week. Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images.

The Texans went from 90 to 53 and a practice squad yesterday. Roster moves are still being made to shape the opening day 53. While there were pink slips given, “this isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later” may have been uttered, and the dreaded “we wish you well in your future endeavors.”

This is a necessary evil and a part of the business. Every day, normal people lose their jobs because of corporate restructuring. The difference here? Some of these guys were drafted recently by the same general manager that cut them.

One thing I appreciate about some of Nick Caserio's comments is him owning it. He spoke about writing things in pencil. You can erase pencil, but pen is permanent. NEVER marry yourself to a player is my philosophy. If it's working, cool, If not, on to the next. While most will not understand or tolerate this kind of behavior/talk, I happen to get it.

Crying over spilled milk instead of cleaning it up and buying a new gallon makes absolutely no sense! Take Kenyon Green for example. TONS of fans are upset and labeling him as a bust. He's played one season and is on IR for this season. Who's to say he wouldn't have made the improvements had he not been injured? You can't make that kind of judgement after one year. Especially if he's injured. Caserio said him going on IR was more about when, not if. This explains the extra offensive line moves.

When looking at the OL, it's imperative they put together the best unit possible. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud was named the starter following the final preseason game vs. the Saints. This was to be expected. One surprise was that they kept eight offensive linemen, when I thought for sure they'd keep nine. Keeping four running backs, six wide receivers, three quarterbacks, and five safeties made it a numbers game. Usually teams will keep one less in each of those positions to make room for more guys in other positions. Also, keeping a fullback and three tight tends made things a little tight.

Reminder: This is just the opening day roster. It's still very fluid. Moves are being made daily to constantly reshape the roster. Don't be surprised if there are more offensive linemen added. The defense may see some roster moves as well. DeMeco Ryans and his staff are developers. They see certain traits they can coach up and go after the player. This is also the reason some vets such as Desmond King, Christian Kirksey, Jacob Martin, Chase Winovich, Steven Sims, and Nick Vannett were given their walking papers. A few of those names surprised some folks. Not me.

I see the vision Caserio and DeMeco are casting. Out with the old, and in with the new. Their philosophy is simple: field the best team while building for the future. Looking to the future while establishing the present is a great way to rebuild. You want to improve upon the previous years and set new milestones. Remember, we're in “Phase Two” of the rebuild. I know it's a Tilman Fertitta/Rockets thing, but it applies to the Texans as well. You have your hot shot GM, a young/exciting head coach, a franchise quarterback, a young edge rusher, a lockdown corner, a playmaker at safety, still have some draft capital, and decent cap space. It's time to poop or get off the pot!

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