Friday, October 21, 2005

That darn Astros tombstone

On June 1 of this year, as the Astros stumbled to a 15-30 record and looked for all the world like roadkill on the diamond, the Houston Chronicle ran a picture of a tombstone on the front page of the sports section. It was time to throw in the towel, the story said, blow up the team and start over from scratch. Because of injuries to Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman, coupled with the free agent losses of Carlos Beltran and Jeff Kent, the squad that had been one game away from the World Series the year before wasn't within shouting distance of a winning record, much less the playoffs.

Houston Chronicle Astros Tombstone

The players saw it. The management saw it. The fans saw it. And something happened. Something wonderful. The DisAstros took offense, and turned it around. It became a rallying point, a launcing pad, a monument to greater things. And from that miserable 15-30 start, the Astros became the winningest team in Major League Baseball in the second half of the season. They rode that determination to a divisional series victory over the Atlanta Braves, then took down the mighty St. Louis Cardinals to win Houston's first-ever National League Pennant. No longer are the Astros the winningest team to never play in the World Series. In honor of this monumental accomplishment, I've decided to give that inspiration tombstone a makeover befitting this accomplishment. Behold, my Monument to Greatness:

Houston Astros Tombstone Monument to Greatness

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