Every-Thing Sports

Jermaine Every: Houston athletes are next level when it comes to supporting the city's other pro teams

Jermaine Every: Houston athletes are next level when it comes to supporting the city's other pro teams
The Astros represented the Rockets. Julia Morales Twitter account

I’ve observed something about Houston pro sports athletes over the past few years. At first, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. But after this past weekend, it clicked: Houston pro sports athletes support each other better than other cities, and it doesn’t seem close.

The impetus for this thought came when I saw the Astros wear Rockets gear ahead of their recent road trip and hashtag it on social media as the #RunAsOne road trip. It isn’t the first time we’ve seen this in Houston sports.

Guys like Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, and JJ Watt of the Texans have been seen courtside at Rockets’ games. J.J. and friends have even taken batting practice at Astros games in previous years. James Harden and Chris Paul were photographed at an Astros game very recently. Dwight Howard was even seen at Minute Maid during his brief stint as a Rocket.

This didn’t just start; it’s been going on for a while. I remember seeing David Carr out to eat with his family wearing an Astros hat. But lately, things have gone up a notch. Now, it’s fairly normal to see other sports stars in the city to be seen at other games across the city. But what the Astros did in a show of solidarity for the Rockets is next level.

While embarking on their next road trip, the Astros decided to wear Rockets gear. Everyone from manager A.J. Hinch, to Justin Verlander, and even their sideline reporter Julia Morales all donned Rockets paraphernalia. Verlander was photographed holding a basketball walking into the stadium in Los Angeles! George Springer had a full Rockets uniform on, complete with a headband! In a time where the Astros have raised the bar for success, this was pretty cool to see. Maybe the Texans will abandon their silly idea of letterman jackets in favor of Rockets or Astros gear next time they have a big road trip?

Humans love and appreciate respect. Respect is a huge deal amongst pro athletes. Whether it’s from their peers, media, fans, front office people, or anyone else, respect is something they crave. It’s as if they’re fueled by it. While they may like to try other sports, there’s a certain level of appreciation for what fellow athletes can do. Seeing a Rocket or Texans player take batting practice, or an Astro or Texans player shoot the ceremonial first shot may put in perspective that they weren’t built to play another sport at a high level such as their peers. Seeing their interactions, especially when admiring each other’s accomplishments (in person or on social media) shows that the mutual respect is there.

The Astros raised the bar by winning a title last season, and have put together what looks like an all-time pitching staff that can carry the flaccid lineup to another one. It put the Texans and Rockets on notice. The Texans have never won a Super Bowl; and it has been over 20 years since the Rockets have brought a championship to Houston. Judging by the way last night’s game went for the Rockets, it may be another year, at least, before we can look forward to them bringing another title here. The Texans appear to be doing the right things to put a contender together, but with several key players returning from injury, it’s hard to say they’ll win the AFC South this year.

Despite what may seem like a bleak future for some Houston sports teams, I sincerely hope the love and respect they show one another never fades. The admiration they’ve all shown each other gives the fans hope. It makes things easier to tolerate (such as the Rockets Game 1 loss). Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into bad juju like those letterman jackets.

 

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Astros defeat the Orioles, 14-11. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer, Jose Altuve and rookie Joey Loperfido added three hits each and the Houston Astros used a nine-run sixth inning to pull away for a 14-11 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

Houston set a season-high in runs, a day after the Orioles had their highest-scoring game of the year in a 17-5 win over the Yankees.

The Astros trailed by 1 and had two on with two outs in the fifth inning when Meyers sent a pitch from Grayson Rodriguez (8-3) into the seats in left field to make it 5-3.

Houston sent 13 batters to the plate as they tacked on nine runs in the sixth to extend the lead to 14-3. The nine runs are the most by the Astros in an inning this season. They hit five doubles in the frame, including two from Loperfido.

Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson homered twice to give him 24 this season, which ranks second in the majors behind Aaron Judge’s 27. The Orioles, who lead the majors with 123 home runs, have homered in 20 consecutive games, which is tied for the longest streak in franchise history.

Henderson’s first home run was a solo shot in the seventh. Henderson, Jorge Mateo and Anthony Santander each hit two-run homers in Baltimore’s seven-run eighth that cut the lead to 14-11.

Adley Rutschman had a career-high five hits as Baltimore lost for just the second time in six games.

Houston starter Jake Bloss allowed six hits and two runs with two strikeouts in his major league debut before leaving with right shoulder discomfort with two outs in the fourth inning.

Bloss joined the major league team despite never pitching in Triple-A with Houston’s rotation decimated by injuries. The 22-year-old Bloss, who was drafted in the third round last year, was 4-2 with a 1.74 ERA in 12 minor league starts between High-A and Double-A this season.

Shawn Dubin (1-1) permitted three hits and a run in 2 1/3 innings. Bryan Abreu pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save.

Rodriguez allowed nine hits and seven runs in 5-plus innings.

There was a delay in the middle of the fourth inning when home plate umpire Scott Barry left the game after being hit in the mask with a foul tip. Second base umpire Tom Hanahan took over behind the plate.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: C Victor Caratini was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hip flexor. … Loperfido was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land to take his spot on the roster.

UP NEXT

Houston RHP Ronel Blanco (7-2, 2.43) opposes RHP Corbin Burnes (8-2, 2.14) when the series continues Saturday.

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