The Optimist's Guide To A Tough Season

added 4/15/2010 by Pat Hajovsky

I've seen all eight Astros games now and, truly, this is going to be a tough season.

Did I ever tell you about when I was growing up? My Mom didn't like meat. Why do I know this? Because she cooked it until it was unrecognizable as actual "meat". Fence posts? Leather saddles? Hard tack? Ice cream, compared to the "meat" my Mom cooked. That's what I'm expecting this year from the Astros. A tough season.

But there is hope (or change, or hopenchange, whatever). Herewith is "The Optimist's Guide to the 2010 Astros Season." Just a few rules to keep in mind as we go hand in hand through the desert of 2010 (so we can turn it into a dessert):

  • With 154 games to play, we're only six games back. A couple of good weeks and first place is right around the corner!
  • The starting pitching is fun to watch. Who cares about leads? Anyone can pitch with a lead!
  • Bill Brown and Jim Deshaies. How can a season be bad listening to them?
  • According to Speedy, the Astros have moved time and space and are celebrating their 45th anniversary in their 46th year. As a 45 year old, this is very welcome news!
  • We are one more year toward the day Hunter Pence is no longer an Astro. If he continues to bat .103, that day might come even sooner.
  • Eventually...somehow...Roy Oswalt is going to win five games this year and will become the all-time winningest Houston pitcher. I want to be present when that happens.
  • As the losing continues, the Astros will have no choice but to bring up hustling young players, such as Edwin Maysonet and Jason Castro. That will be fun.
  • It's just a matter of time until Mr. Jenny Finch Casey Daigle gets promoted to the big club. (Is it stalking if I scope out seats in the wives section when that happens? Just curious about the law in that area...)
  • Have you noticed that Prince's Hamburgers now has a stand at Minute Maid Park? Just beyond the right field foul pole. My previous favorite, Rosarita's Fajitas, has now lost a customer.
  • Opening Day! (Oh wait, that already passed. Sorry. Hubris got the better of me.)
  • The Astros have several early round draft picks in the first year player draft this year and we've jumped out to an early lead on the first overall pick in 2011. A Baseball America subscription has thus found renewed value.
  • Alcohol. It's always a good way to cope with things like this. (Kids, disregard that last remark.)
  • It's only a couple of days a week a month a little bit until Lance Berkman returns to the lineup.
  • I get to see a ton of marginal pitchers (Brad Penny, Jamie Moyer, a host of middle relievers) in the National League at their very best. Please, give me more!
  • The Astros are better than the, um, Mets Royals Nationals, uh, Padres! Yeah! Better than the Padres!! They stink!
  • I get to have the term "anal fissure" permanently sealed in my mind every time I see Kaz Matsui. That's not something we would have if we had signed, oh, say, Orlando Hudson, Mark DeRosa or some kind of talented second baseman. (Honestly, think of "DFA (designated for assignment)" and "anal fissure" at the same time. It's kind of creepy how it goes together.)
  • In all seriousness, Minute Maid Park. No complaints about that. What a beautiful ballpark!
  • Jeff Bagwell on Saturday evening broadcasts. If they ever devised a plan to keep me from attending on Saturday nights (like my wife would permit me...riiight), that would be it.
  • Like a certain presidential administration (of whatever political stripe you may be), every day brings us one day closer to the next, better one.

    And at the end of the day, I get to attend baseball games with my six-year-old daughter. I don't care what happens, that's about the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoy the 2010 season! After all, what choice do you have? Or do you want?

    Now, where's that Kool-Aid, Dr. Jones?