You’d be forgiven if at some point during Monday night's third inning of the Rangers' bloody baseball massacre of the truly terrible Houston Astros, you thought you were actually watching the Keystone Cops. Not to dogpile on them and add insult to injury, but the Astros are just godawful.
Wait, what am I saying? Of course I want to dogpile on them. Now I know what you might be saying. That it’s not nice. And you are probably right. But while we’re on the topic of things that aren’t nice, let’s include the City of Houston on that list.
I know we shouldn’t hate our sweaty sister to the south but please allow me to remind you of a few things.
First off, Nolan Ryan. We love Nolan. He’s ours. He belongs to us, in body and soul.
Sure. he played for the Astros. And sure, he wore A Houston uniform for far longer than he was a Rangers player. But like those bumper stickers say, “I didn’t start my major league career as a Texas Ranger, but I got here as fast as I could.”
Which is why, amidst the tension between Nolan and Jon Daniels, when rumors started circulating that Nolan might be leaving us to go bed down with the Astros, it stung. Nolan is ours forever plus this tattoo of his name we got in a very sensitive area would be really painful to laser off.
Luckily, Nolan stayed and we can all eat his beef products with pride for another year.
With the Astros moving to our own AL West this season, the Silver Boot went from a generally superficial silly little in-state rivalry to a series that actually mattered outside the confines of footwear bragging rights.
But (and I cannot stress this enough), the Astros are just horrifically bad. It turns out that this year’s Astros are in feverish race to hold one of the worst season records in the history of baseball.
And the news only gets worse.
They don’t show any signs of getting better any time in the near future. They’ll tell you that they have a farm system that is developing talent as I type this.
Just know that’s the same thing as your grandma describing your troubled uncle in her yearly Christmas letter as, “currently exploring some different career paths.” It’s a nice polite Southern way of saying that dark days are ahead.
Now I would feel wrong (actually, I wouldn’t at all) if I didn’t offer some optimism for fans of both the Astros and the Rangers concerning our rivalry. Should the Astros at any point in the next decade or so, actually get good, then we’ve got ourselves the baseball equivalent of Biggie and Tupac.
And we should all root for that. We should all want Houston to pull off a big trade or for some of those minor leaguers to turn it on and surprise us all. Because the potential for double the rivalry and the smack talking opportunities is just too great. So once I get over the schadenfreude of running up a football-esque score on them last night, I will hope for the best for them.
Maybe they could get a beloved retired Astros pitcher to form an ownership group and buy the team and rebuild. If only I could think of anyone who would fit that bill.