A LOVE STORY

Barry Laminack: A Valentine's Day letter to my one true love

Valentine's Day is for love...and this one is Barry's. Wikipedia

I love you. I've always loved you.

From the moment I laid eyes on you, I knew we would be together forever. I knew I didn't want anything in my life but you.

My mom said we’d grow apart one day. She was wrong. I love you now more than I ever have.

When I wake up in the morning, I think about you.

Throughout the day, I think about you.

When I lay in bed at night, you’re all I think about.

I can't get you off my mind. I talk about you all day long. My friends and co-workers are sick of hearing about you, but I don’t care.

Nothing can stop the love I have for you, not even my wife.

I wish I could tell my her all about us, but she doesn’t understand. She’s jealous of us and what we have together.

Some people don't understand why I love you so much, and that's fine. They don't know you like I know you, they don't love you like I love you, and they haven't seen what we've been through together.

And sure I watch you with other men, but it doesn't bother me because I need you in my life so bad that I'm willing to share you with those other guys.

You make me feel so alive.

You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me angry, and  I wouldn't trade any of that for the world, because most importantly you make me happy.

And I don’t care if you have balls, use a stick, or when it gets weird and it’s just your hands or feet, I love you for you.

So thank you for always being there for me.

I love you sports.

PS: I'm sorry I cheat on you sometimes with video games.

 

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The future is bright for the Astros. Composite image by Jack Brame.

2020 has shown us lots of things. A few of the things it's shown us is that anything is possible, expect the unexpected, and do not be surprised at the outcome. Well, the Astros checked all three of those boxes in this pandemic season and post season. Anything was possible when they finished the 60 game season 29-31 and barely made the playoffs (yes, the new format helped, but they made it). We should've expected the unexpected when they were able to beat the Twins in the first round 2-0 after the A's ran away with the division this season. We for damn sure shouldn't have been surprised at the outcome of their ALCS series when they forced Tampa to a game seven after being down 3-0 because this team is experienced and scrappy. We are talking about the team that's made it to the ALCS four years running and won it all in 2017.

Sure, there are some high dollar guys that mean a lot to this team that they may lose (looking squarely at George Springer and Michael Brantley), but that's the end of it. They'll also be without Justin Verlander after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Some will say coming back from a 3-0 deficit to force a game seven was good enough. They'll tell this team to accept its fate and fall into the background. They replaced their manager and general manager after the cheating scandal, no way they can move forward and succeed right? (insert your favorite GTFOH GIF)

Springer and Brantley could both leave as free agents

This team may not be thought of a contender moving forward, but I have faith in the talent that's still there. I believe Jim Crane knows who and what he can't live without moving forward, so I think he'll shell out the cash necessary to keep guys like Springer and Brantley...as long as it's within reason. Crane won't, and shouldn't, get into a bidding war with another team for either guy, but I think he will make a fair offer to both. Verlander being out in his last season under contract is a big blow. However, I think it can work to the team's advantage.

Let's say they're only able to bring back Springer OR Brantley, but Kyle Tucker takes that next step. Let's say Forrest Whitley, Framber Valdez, and Jose Urquidy all take that next step while Lance McCullers continues his accent. What will the league say when Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman return to their previously dominant forms? All of this speaks to the continued era of the dominant Astros.

Even if they lose Brantley and/or Springer this offseason, I still think they have enough in place to keep the lineup competitive and threatening. The pitching staff has enough firepower to put some fear into opposing lineups. If they continue to make the right moves and develop the talent they have in-house, this team won't fall off or take a dip. Instead, they'll continue to be a force if they hold true to the talent they have, and acquire the complimentary talent they need to accent the players they have now. The pitching staff will be in good hands. McCullers, Framber, and Urquidy are guys I feel that can carry the load. Meanwhile, Forrest Whitley is waiting in the wings. Kyle Tucker is poised for the next step in the lineup, and Captain Correa clearly established himself as a leader this post season.

The future is bright for Astros fans. If ownership and the front office pony up the money to keep some guys, it'll be even better.

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