Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #28

I've told this story a number of times, so I'll keep this brief. I had a really unplesant experience in the city of Houston. I have not been to many major league baseball parks (okay, seriously, it's actually just two), but I came away extremely unimpressed with Minute Maid Park (aka The Juice Box.) I loathe the city of Houston. I hate their weather. Their fans, or at least the ones I've dealt with, are the worst examples of frontrunning and bandwagoning jerks I've ever seen. It seems like everyone has their story of unpleasant opposing fan confrontations, and I know there are far worse than what I experienced, but they were truly a black mark on a state I generally consider to be easy going and friendly.

Maybe I have a skewed view of Texas. With all things considered, however, the team itself is the only reason I don't have them listed at #30. I have found that I don't really hate the Astros as a baseball team as much as I did in their mid-'00s state of power. We're long past the Killer B's days, unless you want to count Geoff Blum, Michael Bourn, and Tim Byrdak. (We hear Brian Bogusevic is on the way, as evidenced by his dismantling of the outgoing Portland Beavers late last summer.) I even have a fond place in my heart for the '80s Texas-style rainbow unis. I just can't get past all of the other, more personal issues of recent past to rank this team any higher. Plus, they have the maddening ability to beat the Cardinals in their sweaty circus of a ballpark no matter what .185 hitting catcher is in the lineup.

Favorite current Astros player: J.A. Happ. Despite the fact that he's played for two teams that I really can't get behind, he's been brilliant throughout his brief career and still seems very far under the radar. As soon as he beats down the Cardinals a few times, this will undoubtedly change.

Least favorite current Astros player: Bud Norris. Speaking of beating down the Cardinals, Bud Norris has been more like Chuck Norris against the Cardinals, despite posting an uninspiring career ERA of 4.82. And yes, this is surely a sign that Lance Berkman, Carlos Beltran, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Roy Oswalt and Luke Scott have all moved on.

Favorite Astros player of all-time: Darryl Kile. For reasons that I can't even begin to explain, I was a minor fan of Kile's from when he was still coming up with the Astros. He feels like a Cardinal to me because he had his greatest success there and ultimately passed away during the fateful 2002 season, but he spent the majority of his career in Houston.

Least favorite Astros player of all-time: Brad Lidge. There are so many choices and so few redeeming qualities. I choose Lidge because he was the FOX Sports darling of the 2004 and 2005 NLCS's, and there are few moments more satisfying in Cardinals history than what is documented in this "random" Google image search.

The Houston Astros come in at #28 in my reverse-ranking of favorite teams as of the moment I picked them on October 4th, 2010. All of these cards are very much up for trade, so please contact me if you're interested.


Play at the Plate said...

Kerry, you come to Arlington next season. We'll treat you right!

Trey J. said...

Hey, I'm fairly new to collecting so I just stumbled upon your blog during my random Google searches.

I'm sorry to hear you had a bad time in Houston/Minute Maid. I assure you the majority of Houston Astros fans (the real ones that were fans before the 2005 season and are still fans even during horrible seasons) are good people who are pretty nice. I know Houston weather sucks since I've grown up here for 22 out of my 23 years. Hopefully if you ever come back down to Houston for a game you'll have a better experience.

Good luck this year, I'd love to see Berkman finally get a ring even if it isn't with the Astros. Also I love Pujols and Holliday as players so it's hard for me to root against you guys.

Take care.