As the saying goes, "When the Astros lose in the postseason, an angel gets its wings." Sadly, that angel is not any of the ones who play in Anaheim.
You know, it was surprisingly easy to put up with the Houston Astros' 2022 championship. I think Dusty Baker being their manager helped a bit. It also helped that we all knew that there was no way Houston would repeat. No, it's not because it's been over two decades since a team won back-to-back, and that team was an actual powerhouse in the New York Yankees. History has nothing to do with it. The reason is simple. The Astros simply are not good enough to be an actual dynasty.
Don't get me wrong. Seven straight ALCS appearances is definitely nothing to scoff at. But think about it. What have they really done with those appearances? They had to cheat their way to a ring in 2017, so that's a big asterisk right there. 2018 saw them lose to the Red Sox, 2019 saw them defeated by the Nationals in a World Series that saw no wins for the home team, and 2020 saw them defeated in the ALCS by the Rays. 2021, two years after their cheating was exposed, saw Houston in the World Series again, but they lost to the Atlanta Braves. And yes, there's the 2022 championship. So entering this year, here's the result of Houston's previous six ALCS appearances:
*One fraudulent championship
*Lost pennant to another cheating team (what goes around comes around)
*Lost World Series to a team who hadn't won a postseason series in their history
*Victims of Tampa Bay's random run
*Victims of Atlanta's only championship during their current run (shades of the 1995 Cleveland Indians)
*Only legit championship was against a random Cinderella team
So what did the Astros have for us in 2023? Well, they did beat the Twins in the Division Series to reach the ALCS for the seventh straight time. We received an all-Texas ALCS; Astros vs Rangers. Astros had the home field advantage. If only they knew how to use it.
It happened to them again, folks. The 2019 World Series saw the road team win every game, and that year, Houston had the home field advantage. The same thing would hit Houston in this year's ALCS. No home wins at all. Seriously, how do you not win at home? Houston's one loss in the Division Series was at home, and they followed it up with four more home losses in this entire series. My goodness.
The worst losses came in the games they needed. All they needed to do, after sweeping the Arlington heart of this series, was to win once at home. Not only could they not do that, but they were crushed in those games. 9-2 in Game Six, and 11-4 in Game Seven. Astros pitching got dominated six ways from Sunday on their home turf by their in-state rivals in games that they needed to win to go back to the World Series for the third straight year. A lot of the hitters were whiffing at bad shit. Adolis Garcia spent most of that series living rent free in the minds of Astros pitchers and their fans. I haven't seen such a feat since Nazem Kadri owning the Blues.
You know, I never thought I'd say this in the four years that have passed since this all came out, but...I fully understand why the Astros cheated. I do. Because it's plain and simple: the Astros flat out suck when they have to play by the rules. Without the hidden mics and the trash cans, what's left is a team who just can't do anything right. In other words, without those cheating tools, the Houston Astros are basically the 2023 Oakland Athletics.
The Texas Rangers are in the World Series; their third trip overall, and their first appearance since 2011. The team is still looking for their first championship in their 52nd season of play, and regardless of who wins the NLCS, the Rangers will have home field advantage in this year's Fall Classic. As for the Astros, well, I would say they have some soul-searching to do, but that would require them, oh I don't know, actually having a soul.
If you like this story, click the heart and the subscribe button, and feel free to comment below! Tips and pledges would be greatly appreciated, but only if you want to do so!
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme