b The Longhorn Mafia <$BlogRSDURL$>

Friday, October 22, 2004

Astros: Thanks, Guys 

Destiny just wasn't to be, after all. This is the ultimate punch in the stomach -- the worst loss I've ever endured as a sports fan.

Still, this team came closer than any previous Astros squad to advancing to the World Series. Nothing could ever make me more proud of this ball club.

Congrats to the St. Louis Cardinals. Y'all were the class of the NL. Good job. Beat the Sawx. I'll be cheering for you.

More than anything, though, Thank You to to the 2004 Astros.

Thanks to Craig Biggio. Old legs or not, you scrapped your way through another season. You led off all year, setting an NL record for lead-off HRs, and tonight you gave us a lead that very well could have been the first of many series-clinching runs. It just wasn't meant to be. I hope you're back next year, but if things go awry, then I hope you know that you'll always be 1/2 of my favorite Astro. We'll see you in the Hall of Fame. 2600+ hits, three top ten MVP finishes, six all-star appearances and a couple of gold gloves? If that's not HOF material then screw Cooperstown.

Thanks to Jeff Bagwell. Arthritic shoulder or not, you scrapped your way through another season. You're the other 1/2 of my favorite Astro, and like Bidge, I know that some day I'll see you enter the Hall of Fame. An MVP award, a ROY award, and close to 500 HRs should do it. You were the cornerstone of this franchise since as far back as I can remember, and even if you never get to a World Series, your play this postseason silenced the critics that said Baggy couldn't get it done in the clutch.

Thanks to Carlos Beltran. I hope you weren't just a rent-a-player. Along with lance Berkman, you can be the Killer B's v 2.0. Nine postseason HRs? Amazing. Your two catches in Game Five? Amazing. The run that you helped spark -- the one that put Houston in the playoffs? Amazing doesn;t even begin to describe it. Please come back, Carlos. If you don't I'll understand. But no matter what, all Astros fans appreciate the contribution you made to this team.

Thanks to Lance Berkman. It's officially your team now, Lance. It's your hometown, too. Continue to do us proud. The only thing that kept you from legendary noteriety was the Beltran-Pujols show. But you'll be back. You'll be back. Someday we'll be back in this spot. Lead us to the World Series, Lance.

Thanks to Jeff Kent. You've probably played your last game in Houston, Jeff, but no matter what they say, you're an Astro. That Game Five HR will live forever. Someday I'll tell my grandkids how Jeff Kent grabbed his sack and launched a rocket into the Houston skyline.

Thanks to Roger Clemens. I'd love to see you back, Rocket. You left your heart on the mound tonight. One bad pitch. That was the differnce. But it happens to the best of them. We're not there without your 18 wins and countless innings of domination. Some people think Randy Johnson deserves the Cy Young? Screw that. RJ pitched for a losing ballclub with absolutely no pressure to perform. You carried the weight of the nation's fourth largest city everytime out, and you delivered a season that took our team to the brink of the World Series. We couldn't thank you enough.

Thanks to Roy Oswalt. The "experts" talk about Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Well this season proved that you belong in that echelon. Even if the Rocket retires for real this time, I have no regrets, because I know that the Wizard will lead a rejuvenated roatation into battle in 2005.

Thanks to Brad Lidge. Right now the Boston Red Sox are praying to the guy that Johnny Damon slightly resembles, because they don;t have to face you this week. Bily "the Kid" was great, but you're the best -- the best Houston has ever had. And you're only 27. Keep kicking ass, "Mr. Lights Out."

Thanks to Andy Pettitte and Wade Miller. You'll be back next year.

Thanks to Morgan Ensberg, Mike Lamb, Jose Vizcaino, Adam Everett, Brad Ausmus and Raul Chavez. The Killer B's get all of the pub, but all of you played a role in this year's success. I hope to see each one of you return in 2004, ready to take the next step.

Thanks to Brandon Backe. You were the fifth man that it took us five months to find -- the anti-Redding. If Clemens comes back, you'll be the best number five guy in baseball next year. If he doesn't, you'll be the best number four.

Thanks to Dan Miceli, Chad Qualls, Dan Wheeler and Mike Gallo. The bullpen had its ups and downs, but the ups outshined the downs, and anyone that wants to argue need only look at the fact that we played Game Seven of the NLCS tonight and stood toe-to-toe with a team that won 105 games in the regular season.

Thanks to Phil Garner. Scrap, you made this team believe they could win. Maybe you weren't perfect all the time, but I'd be damn happy to have you back in 2005.

Thanks to Gerry Hunsicker. The Hun brought us Beltran. He also brought us Petitte, which brought us the Rocket. And don't discount the impact from Dan Wheeler, another Hunsicker steal.

Lastly, thanks to Drayton McLane. Everyone wants a winner. For a decade you've had this team knocking on the door. Under your guidance we'll get there someday. I've met you numerous times. I've known your son since age five and I've played football in your yard. In short, I have all the faith in the world in your ability to manage this franchise. You're the best owner in Houston sports history, and someday you'll lead us to that World Series championship.

98-76. One game from the World Series. I'm not going to complain.

Again, congrats to St. Louis, you have a helluva ballclub. And thanks again to my favorite team in the world, the 2004 Houston Astros. In a few days, I'll offer my end-of-year review. But for now I just want to reiterate how proud I am of this club. You brought me a lot of joy this year.

Go Astros.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?