added 4/3/2012 by Jared Bargas
With opening day just around the corner, I have a feeling that the Astros' season will be more of a train wreck than anything else. Unfortunately for me, and many other fans, it's one of those train wrecks that you can't look away from.
I made the decision to break ties with my beloved Astros shortly after I heard the news that switching to the AL West was a stipulation of the sale from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane. While I personally agree with Lance Berkman's statements that Bud Selig extorted the Astros and the new ownership group to switch leagues, I also believe that Jim Crane is as much at fault for not putting up a bigger fight to keep the Astros in the NL.
Pulling away isn't so easy though. As much as it has disenfranchised me, I find it terribly difficult to part ways with my beloved Astros. Much like an ex-girlfriend that you would occasionally find yourself following on Facebook after a break-up, I can't help but check in on the Astros on a semi-regular basis.
I've physically said my "goodbyes"to the team – I took down all the Astros memorabilia from around my house – but, mentally and emotionally, I'm not prepared. Boycotting the team is easy enough. I'm currently living in Colorado, and I don't travel to Houston nearly as much as I should or want to. But when it comes down to shutting the door completely, it's like that train wreck - I just can't look away.
I remember the playoff game in 2004 when the Astros beat the Atlanta Braves and advanced to the NLCS. I cried tears of glee! I remember watching every minute of the 2005 NLCS and World Series. Those are memories that, no matter how hard I try, I can never forget. They mean something to me, as I'm sure they do to other Astros fans. Now, not even a decade later, the Astros have become the laughingstock of baseball.
It's ironic that this year marks the 50th Anniversary season for the Astros tenure in the NL, and immediately following, the Astros will be switching leagues, throwing all of their history and rivalry right out the window. Why even bother celebrating? I suppose because it will bring in a few more fans.
But why rub it in? It's like pouring an entire salt shaker into the wounds of the Astros fan base. It's like saying, "we know that you're all angry about what went down in the deal, with the switching leagues and all, but here, let's celebrate the history of the club that will be meaningless in less than twelve months!"
I suppose that this year, the Astros last year in the NL, I will be watching from a distance. I'm still not ready to let go, but you won't find me “root, root, rooting for the home team,” that's for sure.
When the switch to the AL does happens next season, that’s when my goodbyes will become official. The Astros and I will go our separate ways, as hard as it will be. The history and memories won't go away, but they'll have to be put on a shelf or in a scrapbook in the back of my mind, to collect dust. I just hope that the next team I choose to place my loyalties in doesn't hurt me like the Astros have.
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