WORLD SERIES PARADE

Fans celebrate World Series at downtown parade

Downtown Houston was the site of the parade. Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Astros landed in Houston on Thursday evening as World Series Champs. On Friday afternoon the city of Houston came out to greet them. Getting out to City Hall for the Astros Parade was no easy task, but 100’s of thousands made it. It was a fight to get to the front. Through the sea of orange…..strollers, wheelchairs, bikes, lawn chairs, people of all ages screaming “Let’s Go Astros.”

It was then that I realized this moment was not just for Astros fans, it was for the city of Houston. A city where almost two months ago, the streets of the parade route sat under water. After everything this city has been through, there was nothing that was going to stop people  from getting to this parade. This team brought Houston back together and this city was going to be there for them  to welcome them home.  Bosses let their employees out of work early, HISD cancelled school, Metro busses & rails were free. We live in one of the largest cities in America and today it felt like every single person who calls Houston home was downtown at 2 p.m.

People sat in traffic, parked miles away from the route, walked for 30 minutes through tons of sweaty people in hopes to get a glimpse of the World Champions. No one complained and people just kept cheering through the streets because how often do you get to witness your hometown team win a Championship? The last major championship parade this city has seen was in ‘94, ‘95 when the Rockets won it all. We will talk about this parade for years to come because this time it was the Astros we get to call World Champions.

It took a lot of time to get downtown and only seconds for the boys in orange to ride by on a fire truck. We did it for the experience. To say we were there when the World Champs came home. Those were the faces we stayed up late watching all week.  Those were the guys we talked about at work, we all heard about on the radio and tv, and now they’re home. We won’t remember the traffic, or the heat. We will remember the moment.

Thank you to all the people who worked overtime to create this memory for our city. Streets were blocked off and there was increased security so families, friends, co-workers, and fans were all safe in the streets. A lot of people made a ton of sacrifices to make our safety a priority. It is an honor to call Houston home.  We have the world champions!

Sports Illustrated predicted your 2017 Champs, and now Ben Reiter is predicting it again. Back to back championships for the Houston Astros.

See you all next season at the ballpark.

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Composite photo by Jack Brame

Former Astros manager Andrew Jay Hinch is on a short list of candidates to become manager of the Detroit Tigers in 2021.

The question is, after being suspended and later fired for his role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal, does A.J. Hinch deserve to manage again in baseball?

It's weird to think because so much has happened in 2020, but Hinch was suspended and fired only nine months ago. His banishment, however, ends in a matter of weeks with the final out of the upcoming World Series. At that point, he will be available to manage the Tigers or any other team. There's a possibility that the Mets are interested. Some were hoping it'd be the Astros, but the Astros are committed to manager Dusty Baker for next year. After that … never say never.

Shortly after getting the Astros ax, Hinch went on MLB TV and apologized for his role in the Astros cheating scandal. Although baseball's investigation said the garbage can banging scheme was "with the exception of (Astros coach Alex) Cora, player-driven and player-executed," Hinch took responsibility as manager and didn't challenge his punishment. No players were punished.

"I still feel responsible and will always feel responsible as the man out front," Hinch said. "As the leader, I was in charge of the team. I put out a statement to apologize. But there is something different to doing it on camera and putting a face to an apology, and saying I'm sorry to the league, to baseball, to fans, to players, to the coaches.

"It happened on my watch. I'm not proud of that. I'll never be proud of it. I didn't like it. But I have to own it. And the commissioner's office made very, very clear that the GM and the manager were in position to make sure that nothing like this happened. And we fell short."

In effect, while Hinch didn't authorize or participate in the sign-stealing scandal, he didn't do enough (really anything) to stop it. He is the rare case of being a guilty bystander.

To be clear, Hinch has not been offered the Detroit manager job. However, he has more experience and more wins under his belt than most of the other candidates being considered.

Hinch's reputation is blemished, but his credentials can't be disputed. During his five years as Astros manager, the team never had a losing season, won 100 or more games three times, including a team record 107 wins last year, made the playoffs three times and won a World Series.

Has baseball forgiven Hinch, and does he deserve another chance to manage in the big leagues? This is America, the land of forgiveness and second chances.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

Hinch knew his team was cheating and didn't do enough to stop it. There's no defense for that. But I think he's paid enough of a price to get back in baseball.

Mike Tyson raped a woman, went to jail, and now he's practically America's sweetheart. Hillary forgave Bill. We not only forgave Confederate leaders, we built schools and statues to honor them. Martha Stewart went to jail for insider trading, now she's back on TV baking crumpets. Ozzy Osbourne was arrested for pee'ing on a monument outside the Alamo, there is no more sacred place in Texas, and now he sells out concerts at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

Pee-wee Herman, well, let's not say what he was caught doing, but he's planning to tour the U.S. celebrating the 35th anniversary of Pee-wee's Big Adventure movie.

Remember, Hinch was suspended for a year. It could have been worse. Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to ban people for life. Since becoming the commish, Manfred has permanently banished two people: former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa for hacking into the Astros computer database, and former Atlanta Braves general manager, John Coppolella for signing international players illegally.

Manfred also has temporarily banned Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman for shouting inappropriate comments at female reporters last year. Taubman is eligible to apply for reinstatement after this year's World Series. However, if he commits one more violation of baseball rules, he will be banned for life.

Lifetime bans aren't as unusual as you might think. Since baseball's beginnings in the 1800s, dozens of players, managers and team owners have been banned, mostly, like Pete Rose and the Chicago Black Sox, for gambling-related offenses.

A.J. Hinch copped to his crime, suffered the consequences, now it's time for him to manage a baseball team again. It's not like he'd be landing a plum job with Detroit. The Tigers are out of this year's playoff picture. They lost 114 games last season. And were 64-98 the two years prior. Managing the Tigers will be punishment enough.

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