BEAT IT!

Hey Astros: keep this $@&! as far away from your team as possible!

Fans showed up to see the Astros, not them. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.

Dear Astros owner Jim Crane and everybody who’s minding the store at Houston City Hall.

Next time the Astros win the World Series, which should be next year and several years after that, let’s not invite politicians to ride down Smith Street in the team’s victory celebration.

Let’s say there were 2 million people downtown for the Astros parade. Hey, I’ll go with 2 million when it helps my point. You know how many went to the parade to watch Lt. Governor Dan Patrick flash his toothy grin from a float?

In the words of George Costanza … absolute zero!

Patrick has been accused of being tone-deaf, but even he had to hear people boo him like he was a back-and-white movie villain tying the town’s pretty librarian to the railroad tracks.

Same for Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and every politician glomming off the Astros’ popularity and success. Nobody cares about you sidling up to the Astros.

Then there was Sen. Ted Cruz, smiling like he was Santa Claus at the end of the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Except people usually don’t boo, shoot the finger and hurl a full can of White Claw at St. Nick.

I watched all this and thought, don’t these politicians have a shred of self-awareness, an ounce of dignity?

We vote for you, well, at polling places that remember to stock up on ballots, to fill our potholes and fix downtown street lights when they’re flashing red in all directions, and you can’t even do that right. We do not want you riding in the Astros parade and thinking it’s all right to steal the limelight from our World Series champions.

We love the Astros. We tolerate you, and just barely. Next time a Houston team wins a title, maybe UH in this season’s Final Four, you should stay home or fly to Cancun.

I heard more jeering for Cruz at the parade than when the Iron Sheik spit on the American flag at WrestleMania.

When Hidalgo began tweeting congratulations to the Astros during their playoff run, the comments were not exactly supportive: “First game all year, huh?” “Jumping on the bandwagon?” “Aren’t you embarrassed?”

The parade crowd’s vitriol hit 11 when Cruz came into sight. The reaction to Cruz weeks ago in Yankee Stadium was brutal: “Racist!” “You piece of garbage!” “Go home you a—hole.” But that was tame to what Houston fans threw at him - in addition to that can.

Cruz has become a heel wrestler. The more people yell insults at him, the more he seems to enjoy it. Strange.

I heard someone say, “They need to lay off Ted. He’s got his daughters here with him.” Think maybe he was using his kids as props to keep the natives restful?

Wouldn’t have been the first time he used his daughters to take his heat.

Here’s some advice for Cruz and every politician who gravy-trains off popular sports teams.

Read the room.

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