HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 02: Brian Bogusevic #19 of the Houston Astros drives a the ball to right center for a triple in the fourth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Minute Maid Park on September 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
It was only one conversation with one man, but the sense of hope that Houston fans have for their hometown baseball team is on the rise.
In a poll of one, yes 1, I have concluded that Houstonians are excited about the Houston Astros this season. There’s nothing reliable or scientific about a poll of one. It’s not even a poll, is it? It’s just a conversation.
Regardless of what you call it, I had an interesting conversation with a guy from Houston last night. He’s an attorney and I’m trying not to hold that against him. To add insult to injury he works for the same firm my ex-husband used to work for….again, tuning that information out.
So here I was on a flight from Houston to Chicago a bit bummed out that someone else would be sitting in my seat at Minute Maid Park while the Astros took their first turn around the field this year. It didn’t matter that it was just an exhibition game. You guys know me, if I have a ticket I want to be there.
I’m getting sidetracked, aren’t I?
Back to the story…so I’m sitting next to this attorney and I had MLB Network playing on the satellite television on board. He notices that I’m watching / listening to the Rangers / Mexico City game while trying to also get some work done. He asked that simple question that is so hard to answer.
"Are you a big baseball fan?" Oh, sir…if you only knew the half of it.
I explained my adoration of the game and the Astros and that I get to publicly rant, rave and blab about the Astros here and over at Tales from the Juicebox..
Then he asked the question that always comes next. "So how do you think the Astros are going to do this year?"
It’s such a loaded question at this point. I can’t win no matter what the projection I give, but I’m me and I often can’t shut up and hold my opinion back, so I told him. I told him what I’ve been saying here and to anyone who will listen - that this marks the beginning of the Astros rise from the ashes. I talked about the fact that I didn’t think this year would be as painful as last season, and that this is the best time to be an Astros fan.
Then something truly amazing happened. At the point when people’s eyes usually glaze over and they stop believing my hope, he expressed excitement – YES, excitement – at the prospect of watching the Astros play this year.
He had similar reasons as me. He understood the fun of watching young players develop before your eyes. He understood that it could only get better from here. He understood the strides made in depth and in the farm system.
I almost don’t know what to do with that information. I mean, I believe it. I talk about it all the time to the three of you that read my thoughts about baseball, but could the city of Houston finally believe it as well?
Will it mean that there will be butts in seats this year? Will it mean that Houston sports talk radio stations will really have meaningful discussion about the Astros this year? Will it mean that perhaps Houston fans will jump on the bandwagon before the team gets good?
I don’t know. After all, it’s just one guy on an airplane. But I’d like to believe it’s the way more and more Houstonians are thinking. Come on, Houston. Let’s Root Root Root for the Astros.