The Astros are in the World Series, and they are the heroes Houston needs

The hired gun, Justin Verlander, has been terrific. Elsa/Getty Images

The Astros are the sports heroes this city needs. And the heroes Houston wants. 

With Saturday's Game 7 win over the Yankees, the Astros are headed to the World Series for just the second time in the history of the franchise. The Astros are 55 years old. I am 52. I have more marriages (3) than they have World Series appearances. And I did not start until I was 19.

None of that matters. The Astros beat the mighty Red Sox. The more mighty Yankees. And now they face the toughest test of all -- the even mightier Dodgers. 

But in a city still recovering from Harvey, Houston needed this. Sports is the ultimate escape from reality. And the Astros are taking us on a magic carpet ride. 

And they are so unique. They have an MVP who is too small to be a success. And yet he is.

They have the hired gun, Justin Verlander, who has been nothing short of amazing.

They are the bearded one, Dallas Keuchel. The superstar young shortstop, Carlos Correa. The home-run bashing George Springer. 

They are talented. And they are likeable. Even with the annoying woos that Josh Reddick -- the heart and soul -- brought to the team, they are so much fun. Reddick. Carlos Beltran. Brian McCann. Despite the awful slump in New York, they came up big when they needed to do so.

And they did. 

And now they are on to the World Series. The Dodgers are the best team in baseball, but bet against this group at your own risk. 

The city of Houston is still recovering, and trash still sits out front of many houses. The storm displaced so many people. 

The Astros were affected, too. Not just here, but in Puerto Rico. And yet they stepped up. 

The next two weeks have a chance to be special. Would anyone doubt this team? 

They are the sports heroes Houston wanted.

And needed.






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